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AND Josaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with them in the city of David: and Joram his son reigned in his stead.

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2 And he had brethren the sons of Josaphat, Azarias, and Jahiel, and Zacharias, and Azaria, and Michael, and Saphatias, all these were the sons of Josaphat king of Juda.

Ver. 2.  Azarias.  The only difference between this and the former name is, that the younger brother's (H.) has u at the end, (C.) Azrieu.  Prot. and Sept. make no difference, which we should nevertheless expect.  H.

 

--- Juda.  Heb. "Israel."  Sept. Syr. &c. agree with the Vulg. editions, though most of the ancient Latin MSS. have Israel.  Josephat ruled over the principal tribes.  Yet it seems probable, from the versions, that the Heb. formerly read Juda.




3 And their father gave them great gifts of silver, and of gold, and pensions, with strong cities in Juda: but the kingdom he gave to Joram, because he was the eldest.

Ver. 3.  Pensions.  Heb. "precious things."  Sept. "arms."




4 So Joram rose up over the kingdom of his father: and when he had established himself, he slew all his brethren with the sword, and some of the princes of Israel.

Ver. 4.  Sword.  This cruel policy (H.) has been very common in the East.  C.

 

--- Israel.  They had perhaps opposed his impious plans, animated by his brethren.  God presently chastised him with the rebellion of Idumea; and though Joram gained a victory over Seir, (4 K. viii. 21.) he was not able to reduce the nation, being called off by other wars, v. 16.  His own subjects at Lobna, a Levitical city in Juda, also abandoned him.  Dreadful evils were denounced in a letter from the prophet Elias, who had been translated to paradise nine years before, and at last the honours of sepulture were denied to the wicked king.  T.


5 Joram was two and thirty years old when he began to reign: and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.

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6 And he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Achab had done: for his wife was a daughter of Achab, and he did evil in the sight of the Lord.

Ver. 6.  Achab.  It is supposed by Jezabel.  She might be grand-daughter of Amri.  C. xxii. 2.  The infamous Athalia is blamed for most of the evils which her husband committed.



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7 But the Lord would not destroy the house of David: because of the covenant which he had made with him: and because he had promised to give a lamp to him, and to his sons for ever.

Ver. 7.  Lamp; heir and successor.  C.  Ps. cxxxi. 17.

8 In those days Edom revolted, from being subject to Juda, and made themselves a king.

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9 And Joram went over with his princes, and all his cavalry with him, and rose in the night, and defeated the Edomites who had surrounded him, and all the captains of his cavalry. 10 However Edom revolted, from being under the dominion of Juda unto this day: at that time Lobna also revolted, from being under his hand. For he had forsaken the Lord the God of his fathers:

Ver. 10.  Day, when the author lived.  See 4 K. viii. 20.




11 Moreover he built also high places in the cities of Juda, and he made the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and Juda to transgress.

Ver. 11.  Fornication; idolatry.  M.

 

--- Heb. "and compelled Juda."  Sept. "seduced."  Syr. "dissipated Juda."  C.

 

--- He used every art of seduction and violence to introduce idolatry, to the ruin of his kingdom.  H.




12 And there was a letter brought him from Elias the prophet, in which it was written: Thus saith the Lord the God of David thy father: Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Josaphat thy father nor in the ways of Asa king of Juda,

Ver. 12.  Elias.  Le Clerc would read Eliseus.  Grotius supposes that all passed in a dream.  Others think that Elias had written the letter before his removal from the conversation of men, some years before, foreseeing the impiety of Joram, and leaving the letter with Eliseus, to be delivered unto him.  M.  Jun.

 

--- But the most common opinion is, that the prophet wrote it in paradise, (C.) and sent it to the king by an angel, &c.  Seder. xvii.  Bellarm.  T.

 

--- Elias had been taken away in the 18th year of Josaphat, who reigned 25; so he shewed this special care of Joram and his kingdom, so many years after his assumption.  W.

 

--- Thus the saints in heaven interest themselves in our defence.  2 Mac. xv. 11.  H.

 

--- Prophet.  Heb. "And there came in him a writing of," &c.  C.




13 But hast walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and hast made Juda and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, imitating the fornication of the house of Achab, moreover also thou hast killed thy brethren, the house of thy father, better men than thyself,


14 Behold the Lord will strike thee with a great plague, with all thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy substance.

Ver. 14.  Thee is not expressed in Heb. but it is in the Sept. and the king was not only afflicted with illness, but with the losses of his people and family.  H.


15 And thou shalt be sick of a very grievous disease of thy bowels, till thy vital parts come out by little and little every day.

Ver. 15.  By little.  Heb. "by reason of the sickness, (H.) day by day," or in two years time, v. 19.  C.

 

--- He was probably ill so long.  H.

 

--- Agrippa and Antiochus were treated in the same manner, (C.) with a diarrhœa, (M.) or dysentery, (C.) the vitals being corrupted.  Valesius 40.


16 And the Lord stirred up against Joram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, who border on the Ethiopians.

Ver. 16.  Philistines; who, it seems, had been obedient since the days of David.

 

--- Ethiopians, who lay west of the Arabians, from the Red Sea to the lower Egypt and the Nile, (C.) bordering on Madian.  There was another Ethiopia to the south of Egypt.  M.


17 And they came up into the land of Juda, and wasted it, and they carried away all the substance that was found in the king's house, his sons also, and his wives: so that there was no son left him but Joachaz, who was the youngest.

Ver. 17.  Joachaz, alias Ochozias, (Ch.) or Azarias, in Heb.  C. xxii. 1. and 6.  C.

 

--- The variation of names seems to originate in the mistakes of transcribers, very frequently.  If we found in some profane author, that Philip had only one son, Ander-alex, left, and that this son, Alex-ander, succeeded him, we should readily allow that the first syllables had been erroneously placed last, (Kennic.) as on this occasion aéz-ieu stands for ieu-aéz.  Sept. has here OcoziaV; as the other versions have also Ochozias, (C. xxii. 6.) instead of Azrieu, (H.) a name given to Ozias, king of Juda, when it belonged to the priests, as it here belongs to one of the captains.  C. xxiii. 1.  Sometimes we find Aézie.  4 K. ix. 16.  Strange inconsistency!  Kennicott.  See 4 K. xiv. 21.




18 And besides all this the Lord struck him with an incurable disease in his bowels. 19 And as day came after day, and time rolled on, two whole years passed: then after being wasted with a long consumption, so as to void his very bowels, his disease ended with his life. And he died of a most wretched illness, and the people did not make a funeral for him according to the manner of burning, as they had done for his ancestors.

Ver. 19.  And.  Prot. "And it came to pass that, in the process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out, by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases: And his people made no burning for him," &c. (H.) not that the body was usually consumed, but no aromatical spices were burned near it, (Sanctius.  T.) as in the funeral of Asa.  C. xvi. 14.  C.

 

--- The point is controverted.  M.


20 He was two and thirty years old when he began his reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he walked not rightly, and they buried him in the city of David: but not in the sepulchres of the kings.

Ver. 20.  Rightly.  Sept. "unpraised."  Heb. "without any satisfaction;" or, "he departed unregretted," oppressed with illness, and odious to all.

 

--- Kings.  Joas, Achaz, Achab, and Manasses, were disgraced in like manner, after their death.  The Hebrews then shewed their resentment, without fear.  The like custom prevailed in Egypt, and kept many within bounds.  No person could receive the usual honours of burial, if his accusers could maintain their charge against his character before a court of above forty people, assembled for the purpose.  Calumny was severely punished.  But the kings themselves were to stand their trial, while their corpse was placed in the porch of the monument, and the priest spoke their funeral oration.  The people testified their approbation or discontent, "and many of the kings have been deprived of a glorious and legal burial, on account of the opposition of the multitude."  Diod. i. and ii.  C.




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