1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Jehoram
JEHORAM, or Joram (Heb. “Yah[weh] is high”), the name of two Biblical characters.
1. The son of Ahab, and king of Israel in succession to his brother Ahaziah. He maintained close relations with Judah, whose king came to his assistance against Moab which had revolted after Ahab’s death (2 Kings i. 1; iii.). The king in question is said to have been Jehoshaphat; but, according to Lucian’s recension, it was Ahaziah, whilst i. 17 would show that it was Jehoram’s namesake (see 2). The result of the campaign appears to have been a defeat for Israel (see on the incidents Edom, Elisha, Moab). The prophetical party were throughout hostile to Jehoram (with his reform iii. 2 contrast x. 27), and the singular account of the war of Benhadad king of Syria against the king of Israel (vi. 24-vii.) shows the feeling against the reigning dynasty. But whether the incidents in which Elisha and the unnamed king of Israel appear originally belonged to the time of Jehoram is very doubtful, and in view of the part which Elisha took in securing the accession of Jehu, it has been urged with much force that they belong to the dynasty of the latter, when the high position of the prophet would be perfectly natural. The briefest account is given of Jehoram’s alliance with Ahaziah (son of 2 below) against Hazael of Syria, at Ramoth-Gilead (2 Kings viii. 25–29), and the incident—with the wounding of the Israelite king in or about the critical year 842 B.C.—finds a noteworthy parallel in the time of Jehoshaphat and Ahab (1 Kings xxii. 29–36) at the period of the equally momentous events in 854 (see Ahab). See further Jehu.
2. The son of Jehoshaphat and king of Judah. He married Athaliah the daughter of Ahab, and thus was brother-in-law of 1. above, and contemporary with him (2 Kings i. 17). In his days Edom revolted, and this with the mention of Libnah’s revolt (2 Kings viii. 20 sqq.) suggests some common action on the part of Philistines and Edomites. The chronicler’s account of his life (2 Chron. xxi–xxii. 1) presupposes this, but adds many remarkable details: he began his reign by massacring his brethren (cf. Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, and his bloodshed, 2 Kings ix. seq.); for his wickedness he received a communication from Elijah foretelling his death from disease (cf. Elijah and Ahaziah of Israel, 2 Kings i.); in a great invasion of Philistines and Arabian tribes he lost all his possessions and family, and only Jehoahaz (i.e. Ahaziah) was saved. His son Ahaziah reigned only for a year (cf. his namesake of Israel); he is condemned for his Israelite sympathies, and met his end in the general butchery which attended the accession of Jehu (2 Kings viii. 25 sqq.; 2 Chron. xxii. 3 seq., 7; with 2 Kings ix. 27 seq., note the variant tradition in 2 Chron. xxii. 8 seq., and the details which the LXX. (Lucian) appends to 2 Kings x.). (S. A. C.)
- 2 Kings i. 17 seq.; see Lucian’s reading (cf. Vulg. and Pesh.). Apart from the allusion 1 Kings xxii. 49 (see 2 Chron. xx. 35), and the narrative in 2 Kings i. (see Elijah), nothing is known of this Ahaziah. Notwithstanding his very brief reign (1 Kings xxii. 51; 2 Kings iii. 1), the compiler passes the usual hostile judgment (1 Kings xxii. 52 seq.); see Kings (Books). The chronology in 1 Kings xxii. 51 is difficult; if Lucian’s text (twenty-fourth year of Jehoshaphat) is correct, Jehoram 1 and 2 must have come to their respective thrones at almost the same time.
- In vii. 6 the hostility of Hittites and Mizraim (q.v.) points to a period after 842 B.C. (See Jews, § 10 seq.)
- These details are scarcely the invention of the chronicler; see Chronicles, and Expositor, Aug. 1906, p. 191.