2 Chronicles – Chapter 22

2 Chronicles chapter 22

In order to make sense out of the events in this next section, we recognize the duplication of the names of the kings in the southern and northern kingdoms.

In the northern kingdom of Israel, Ahab (wicked king) had two sons, Ahaziah and Jehoram. When Ahab died, his son Ahaziah succeeded him, and he in turn was succeeded by his brother, Jehoram.

In the southern kingdom of Judah, Jehoshaphat was succeeded by his son Jehoram, and his successor was his son (and Jehoshaphat’s grandson), Ahaziah.

Thus, the successions in the north were Ahab, Ahaziah, and Jehoram. In the south the successions were Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Ahaziah.

Verses 2-4 – Ahaziah of Judah was just as evil as his father Jehoram. His mother Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, mislead him with evil advice. Ahaziah followed the practices of the northern kingdom, including idolatry and violence.

Verses 5, 6 – Ahaziah of Judah went to fight against the Arameans, just as Jehoshaphat had done with Ahab. The result was almost identical, Joram was seriously wounded.

Verses 7-9 – Jehu: Ninth king of Israel began a new dynasty when he eliminated the house of Ahab and killed Ahaziah of Judah as part of his purge. God’s chosen instrument to put an end to Ahab’s reign was Jehu son of Nimshi who had led a revolt against Ahab and made himself king. Ahaziah of Judah was caught up in this revolution and was executed along with everyone else related to the house of Ahab.

Verse 10 – Now we have Athaliah, Ahaziah’s mother leaping at the chance to make herself queen of Judah. She had no legitimate claim to the throne because she was not the descendent of David. She followed her husband’s earlier practice and killed anyone who had a claim to the throne, even her own grandchildren.

Verses 11, 12 – The plot thickens: Joash was a baby. Ahaziah’s sister, Jehoshabeath and her husband Jehoiada, the high priest, raised Joash in seclusion in the temple for six years while evil queen Athaliah reigned over the land.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 21

2 Chronicles Chapter 21

Verses 1-6 – Jehoshaphat dies and his son Jehoram becomes king of Judah. As soon as Jehoram is established, he kills all his brothers and anyone else that might dethrone him. Jehoram was married to King Ahab’s daughter. Athaliah’s mother was Jezebel, the most wicked woman Israel had ever known. This marriage was Judah’s downfall, because Athaliah brought her mother’s wicked influence into Judah causing the nation to forget God and turn to Baal worship.

Verses 8, 9 – The Edomites had suffered defeat during the reign of Jehoshaphat. When they realized that Jehoram was not worshiping the same powerful God as Jehoshaphat had done, they declared their independence. Jehoram set out to attack them by crossing into their territory, but God was not on his side.

Verse 10 – The citizens of this town refused to follow Jehoram because he had abandoned Yahweh, the God of his ancestors. Not everyone turned a blind eye to the disaster into which Jehoram was taking the country.

Verse 11 – Jehoram kept busy installing places of idol worship throughout Judah. The statement that he caused the inhabitants to prostitute themselves can be both literal and symbolic. In the symbolic sense, the people were committing spiritual adultery, in the literal sense, many of the pagan practices involved sexual lewdness. The people of Libnah refused to follow these practices.

Verses 12-15 – Chronicles mentions Elijah only here. Elijah chastised Jehoram for the same behavior for which he had rebuked Ahab, Jehoram’s father-in-law. He told him that he would have an incurable disease of the intestines and just as Jehoram had eliminated his brothers, now Jehoram’s household would be eliminated.

Verses 16, 17 – It had not been long since the Philistines and their Arab neighbors had come calling on Jehoshaphat to bring tribute. Now they came calling again and took back the tribute and everything else in the king’s palace. They killed all of Jehoram’s sons except Jehoahaz, also called Ahaziah.

Verses 18-20 – You would think that if a great prophet predicted a horrible disease on you, you would change your ways, not Jehoram. He lingered for two years with an incurable disease of the bowels and then he died in severe pain. No one mourned him. The people berried him in the city of David but not in the tombs of the kings. No one misses the wicked when they die or regrets that they are gone.

2 Chronicles – Chapter 20

2 Chronicles chapter 20

Verses 1, 2 – The northern kingdom was occupied in a war against the Arameans, while the countries east of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea decided to invade Juda. By the time the word of invasion got to Jehoshaphat, the invading army was about 50 miles from Jerusalem on the west shore of the Dead Sea.

Verse 3 – When Judah was facing a disaster, Jehoshaphat called the people together to get serious with God. They went on a fast and devoted that time to prayer and seeking God. Although Jehoshaphat’s army was over a million men, he knew it wouldn’t matter if he didn’t have God on his side.

Verses 5-9 – In a public prayer in front of the temple, Jehoshaphat reaffirmed Solomon’s prayer and God responded.

Verses 10-12 – Jehoshaphat reminded God of long ago when the Israelites were on their way to the promise land and the Ammonites and Moabites wouldn’t let them pass through their land. Now Jehoshaphat appealed to God to judge them.

Verse 15 – As the enemy got closer to Judah God spoke through Jahaziel. “Do not be afraid or discouraged…for the battle is not yours, but Gods.” We may not fight against an army, but we do have temptations, pressure, and struggles in today’s dark world that rebels against God. As believers we have God’s spirit living on the inside of us that is greater than anyone or thing in the world.

Verses 18, 19 – Jehoshaphat believed Jahaziel’s message. So there was nothing left to do but worship God. This meeting had turned into a giant praise and worship service.

Verse 21 – The next day, the only issue that had to be settled was which songs were going to be sung. That’s trust. The worshipers were out in front praising the entire time while marching toward the enemy. “Give thanks to the Lord, for His faithful love endures forever” is the same chorus sung when the ark was being transported to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 16:34). As believers, why not sing praises to the faithful God before the battle, because the battle is not ours.

Verses 22, 23 – There were three separate armies who didn’t know each other. They took the praising they heard as shouting. This caused confusion among themselves and fought against each other!

Verses 29, 30 – Due to Yahweh’s reputation, no nation had any interest in picking a fight with Jehoshaphat and the nation of Judah. Thus, God’s victory brought peace and prosperity. So in other words, while the storms of life surround you, praise God, let Him fight your battle, and the end result will be peace and prosperity.

Verses 32, 33 – Although Jehoshaphat did destroy most of the Baal and Asheriah idols, he didn’t succeed in wiping out the corrupt religions practiced at the high places.

Verses 35-37 – 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers…” Once again Jehoshaphat tied himself to the northern kingdom, by making ships that they would send to Tarshish. And once again, God did not allow Jehoshaphat to get away with the compromise. God, sent a prophet named Eliezer to condemn Jehoshaphat’s sin. As punishment a huge storm came and destroyed all the ships.