Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


2 Kings 1:17

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And Jehoram reigned in his stead - The Vulgate, Septuagint, and Syriac say, Jehoram His Brother reigned in his stead, in the second year of Jehoram. There were two Jehorams who were contemporary: the first, the son of Ahab, brother to Ahaziah, and his successor in the kingdom of Israel; the second, the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, who succeeded his father in Judah. But there is a difficulty here: "How is it that Jehoram the brother of Ahaziah began to reign in the second year of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat, seeing that, according to 2 Kings 3:1, he began his reign in the eighteenth year of the reign of Jehoshaphat; and, according to 2 Kings 8:16, Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat began to reign in the fifth year of Jehoram king of Israel?" Calmet and others answer thus: "Jehoram king of Israel began to reign in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, which was the second year after this same Jehoshaphat had given the viceroyalty to his son Jehoram; and afterwards Jehoshaphat communicated the royalty to Jehoram his successor, two years before his death, and the fifth year of Jehoram, king of Israel." Dr. Lightfoot takes another method: -

"Observe," says he, "these texts, 1 Kings 22:51; : Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years; and 2 Kings 1:17; : And Ahaziah died according to the word of the Lord which Elijah had spoken, and Jehoram reigned in his stead, in the second gear of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; and 2 Kings 3:1; : Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. By these scriptures it is most plain, that both Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, and Ahaziah the son of Ahab, began to reign in the seventeenth of Jehoshaphat; for who sees not in these texts that Jehoshaphat's eighteenth, when Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign, is called the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat? Now Jehoshaphat's reign was not yet expired by eight or nine years, for this was in his seventeenth year, and he reigned twenty-five years, 1 Kings 22:42; nor was Ahab's reign expired by two or three years, for this was in his twentieth year, and he reigned twenty-two years. 1 Kings 16:29. But the reason why both their sons came thus into their thrones in their lifetime, and both in the same year, was because their fathers, Jehoshaphat and Ahab, were both engaged in the war against the Syrians about Ramoth-gilead: and while they were providing for it, and carrying it on, they made their sons viceroys, and set them to reign in their stead, while they were absent or employed upon that expedition."

This is very probable, and seems well supported by the above texts, and would solve all the difficulties with which many have been puzzled and not a few stumbled, had we sufficient evidence for the viceroyalty here mentioned.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The similarity of names in the two royal houses of Israel and Judah at this time, and at no other, seems to be the consequence of the close ties which united the two reigning families, and is well noted among the “undesigned coincidences” of the Old Testament. The accession of the Israelite Jehoram (Ahab‘s brother) took place, according to 2 Kings 3:1, in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat. Jehoram of Judah perhaps received the royal title from his father as early as his father‘s sixteenth year, when he was about to join Ahab against the Syrians; the same year might then be called either the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat or the second year of Jehoram.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Elijah called for fire from heaven, to consume the haughty, daring sinners; not to secure himself, but to prove his mission, and to reveal the wrath of God from heaven, against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Elijah did this by a Divine impulse, yet our Saviour would not allow the disciples to do the like, Lu 9:54. The dispensation of the Spirit and of grace by no means allowed it. Elijah was concerned for God's glory, those for their own reputation. The Lord judges men's practices by their principles, and his judgment is according to truth. The third captain humbled himself, and cast himself upon the mercy of God and Elijah. There is nothing to be got by contending with God; and those are wise for themselves, who learn submission from the fatal end of obstinacy in others. The courage of faith has often struck terror into the heart of the proudest sinner. So thunderstruck is Ahaziah with the prophet's words, that neither he, nor any about him, offer him violence. Who can harm those whom God shelters? Many who think to prosper in sin, are called hence like Ahaziah, when they do not expect it. All warns us to seek the Lord while he may be found.
Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 210-12

The history of King Ahaziah's sin and its punishment has in it a warning which none can disregard with impunity. Men today may not pay homage to heathen gods, yet thousands are worshiping at Satan's shrine as verily as did the king of Israel. The spirit of idolatry is rife in the world today, although, under the influence of science and education, it has assumed forms more refined and attractive than in the days when Ahaziah sought to the god of Ekron. Every day adds its sorrowful evidence that faith in the sure word of prophecy is decreasing, and that in its stead superstition and satanic witchery are captivating the minds of many. PK 210.1

Today the mysteries of heathen worship are replaced by the secret association and seances, the obscurities and wonders, of spiritistic mediums. The disclosures of these mediums are eagerly received by thousands who refuse to accept light from God's word or through His Spirit. Believers in spiritism may speak with scorn of the magicians of old, but the great deceiver laughs in triumph as they yield to his arts under a different form. PK 210.2

There are many who shrink with horror from the thought of consulting spirit mediums, but who are attracted by more pleasing forms of spiritism. Others are led astray by the teachings of Christian Science, and by the mysticism of Theosophy and other Oriental religions. PK 210.3

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Cross References
The Golden Ages of the 9th & 8th centuries BCE