2 Chronicles Chapter Twenty-one
2 Chronicles 21
The wicked reign of Jehoram. (1-11) Jehoram's miserable end. (12-20)
Commentary on 2 Chronicles 21:1-11
(Read 2 Chronicles 21:1-11)
Jehoram hated his brethren, and slew them, for the same reason that Cain hated Abel, and slew him, because their piety condemned his impiety. In the mystery of Providence such men sometimes prosper for a time; but the Lord has righteous purposes in permitting such events, part of which may now be made out, and the rest will be seen hereafter.
Commentary on 2 Chronicles 21:12-20
(Read 2 Chronicles 21:12-20)
A warning from God was sent to Jehoram. The Spirit of prophecy might direct Elijah to prepare this writing in the foresight of Jehoram's crimes. He is plainly told that his sin should certainly ruin him. But no marvel that sinners are not frightened from sin, and to repentance, by the threatenings of misery in another world, when the certainty of misery in this world, the sinking of their estates, and the ruin of their health, will not restrain them from vicious courses. See Jehoram here stripped of all his comforts. Thus God plainly showed that the controversy was with him, and his house. He had slain all his brethren to strengthen himself; now, all his sons are slain but one. David's house must not be wholly destroyed, like those of Israel's kings, because a blessing was in it; that of the Messiah. Good men may be afflicted with diseases; but to them they are fatherly chastisements, and by the support of Divine consolations the soul may dwell at ease, even when the body lies in pain. To be sick and poor, sick and solitary, but especially to be sick and in sin, sick and under the curse of God, sick and without grace to bear it, is a most deplorable case. Wickedness and profaneness make men despicable, even in the eyes of those who have but little religion.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on 2 Chronicles》
2 Chronicles 21
 And he had brethren the sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah: all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.
Azariah — Two sons called by the same name, though doubtless distinguished by some additional title: which is not mentioned here, because it did not concern succeeding ages to know it.
Of Israel — So he is called either, 1. Because he was so by right: or 2. Because he was king not only of Judah and Benjamin, but of a great number of Israelites, who had come and settled in his kingdom.
 Now when Jehoram was risen up to the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword, and divers also of the princes of Israel.
Strengthened himself — He hardened his heart, as that word sometimes signifies.
Princes — The chief of those Israelites, who out of love to God and the true religion, had forsaken their estates in the kingdom of Israel, and were now incorporated with the kingdom of Judah: because he thought these would be most zealous for that religion which he was resolved to oppose.
 So the Edomites revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. The same time also did Libnah revolt from under his hand; because he had forsaken the LORD God of his fathers.
Libnah — Libnah seems to have set up for a free state. And the reason is here given, both why God permitted it, and why they did it, because Jehoram was become an idolater. While he adhered to God, they adhered to him; but when he cast God off, they cast him off. Whether this would justify them in their revolt or no, it justified God's providence which suffered it.
 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.
High places — Not to the Lord, but to Baals or false gods.
And caused — Not only by his counsel and example, but by force, by threats, and penalties.
 And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah,
From Elijah — By this it appears, that Jehoram came to the throne before Elijah's translation. It is true, we find Elisha attending Jehoshaphat; but that might be, while Elijah was yet on earth: for we read of Jehoram's coming to the crown, before we read of Elijah's translation, 1 Kings 22:50. We may suppose, the time of his departure was at hand, so that he could not go in person to Jehoram. But he left this writing, probably with Elisha, to be sent the first opportunity. The message is sent in the name of the Lord God of David his father, upbraiding him with his relation to David, as that which was no more his honour, but an aggravation of his degeneracy.
 And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day.
People — Because the generality of them sinned, in complying with his wicked and idolatrous commands.
Wives — Whose lives shall go for the lives of thy brethren, verse 4.
 Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians:
Philistines — A people fully subdued and dispirited: but God now raises their spirits and courage to do his work.
Ethiopians — A people in Arabia, so called, either for their likeness in complexion to the Ethiopians, or because the one of these people were a colony of the other.
 And they came up into Judah, and brake into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king's house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.
His wives — Whom also they slew, chap. 22:1, except Ahaziah and Athaliah; who possibly were hidden in some secret place.
Left him — Blood for blood. He had slain all his brethren; they slay all his sons, but one. And he had not escaped, had be not been of the house of David; which must not be extirpated, like that of Ahab: because a blessing was in it; no less a blessing than that of the Messiah.
 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired. Howbeit they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchres of the kings.
Desired — This is an emphatical expression, because it is usual with men to desire the deaths of some persons, whom afterward they lament, and heartily wish they were alive again. But for this ungodly and unhappy prince, his people did not only in his life time wish his death, but afterwards did not repent of those desires.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on 2 Chronicles》
21 Chapter 21
And departed without being desired.
The undesirableness of a wicked man’s life
I. Such life is not desirable on its own account. Two facts will show this.
1. His highest enjoyments are unsatisfactory and brief. It is impossible for us to be satisfied in any condition where we have not a consciousness of right, a sense of Divine favour, a hope of a bright future, and the pulsation of holy loves. Observe--
2. That the longer it continues the greater becomes his responsibility.
II. Such a life is not desirable on account of others.
1. It renders no real good to others.
2. It produces incalculable mischief. In the spiritual, as in the material, like begets like. “One sinner destroyeth much good.” (Homilist.)
──《The Biblical Illustrator》