As we learned in II Kings 8, Jehoshaphat’s eldest son Jehoram inherited the throne, and his wife Athaliah converted him to the worship of Baal and Asherah. But Jehoshaphat was a considerate father and left all of his sons wealthy and in charge of their own cities. This made Jehoram uneasy, so as soon as he had solidified his power in Jerusalem, he murdered all of his brothers and a few Israelite princes (relatives of his wife) just to safe.
Unfortunately, this didn’t bring stability, because Edom rebelled against Judah, and so did other tribute nations, and Judah lost.
Then Elijah sent Jehoram a letter informing him that God was pissed he was cheating on It–and that he had killed his brothers, too–but mostly for cheating on It! so God would visit a plague on Judah that would cause Jehoram to shit his guts out.
And lo, first the Philistines and Arabians invaded Judah and plundered Jerusalem and killed all but one of Jehoram’s sons. Then some horrible GI plague attacked the land, and Jehoram was not spared. He suffered for two years before he finally shit his guts out and died. His reign was a mere 8 years long. No one was sad to see him go. In fact, he was so despised that there were no mourning ceremonies and his body was not entombed with the kings.
Word of an impending attack on Judah by the Moabites and Ammonites caused Jehoshaphat to call for nation-wide fasting and penance. A multitude assembled at the temple in Jerusalem, where Jehoshaphat gave a pathos-laden prayer begging God to forgive them all because they were all so very sorry for whatever they had done to offend It. Then a dude named Jahaziel was possessed by God to tell everyone that God was pleased with them and that if they went out to battle, they would win without even striking a blow.
So next day the army marched out to find that faction had caused their allied enemies to fight amongst themselves. Many were dead, the rest scattered, so the Judaeans pillaged what remained and them went back home rejoicing.
However, God became angry with Jehoshaphat when he allied with King Ahaziah of Israel to build a fleet of ships and caused them all to wreck.
Part of Jehoshaphat’s religious reforms included appointing judges throughout the land, as well as a supreme court in Jerusalem to enforce and prosecute infractions against mosaic law.
As we learned in II Kings 8, Jehoshaphat cemented the peace with Israel by marrying his eldest son to one of King Ahab’s daughters, Athaliah. So a few years later, when Ahab requested Jehoshaphat that join forces with him to go reclaim Hebrew land, dammit, from the Syrians, Jehoshaphat couldn’t refuse, but also tried to delay with religious ceremonies, as has been told in I Kings 22: The End of Ahab.
Asa’s son Jehoshaphat inherited the throne and continued enforcing strict religious practices. He even started sending missionaries out to teach mosaic law to the rubes in the hinterlands. Jehoshapat made peace with Israel, and in general, his reign was peaceful. He even received tribute from the Philistines, the Arabians, and others.
You might remember I Kings 15: Dynasties Continue, Dynasties End. Well in this part of the story, we learn that part of Baasha’s attempt to secure power in the region was to continue war with Judah over disputed territories, and that King Ben-hadad had been allies with Israel, but that Asa paid him more, so he came over to Judah’s side and defeated Israel.
Well, after the war, the prophet Hanani came to tell Asa that God was pissed that he had relied on Syrian help to win the war, instead of just relying on the divine help of a capricious god, and so It cursed Asa to have to continue to fight many wars. This pissed Asa off, and he threw Hanani in prison and also persecuted any supporters or anyone else that pissed the king off. Then three years later, Asa got gout or something, and when he called doctors to treat him, that pissed God off even more. Clearly this was another punishment to make Asa come back and tell God he was sorry and would never trust anybody but God again. But Asa was stubborn and relied on his fellow humans. He died two years later. He had a grand funeral and was buried in the tomb of the kings.
Inspired by the prophet Azariah, learn more about them at I Kings 15: Dynasties Continue, Dynasties End
(I’m out of town for the rest of the week, so we’ll pick up the retellings next week!)
Asa inherited the throne and instituted religious reforms. For the most part his reign was peaceful, except when King Zerah of Ethiopia marched a million-strong army to conquer Judah. Nevertheless, Judah’s much smaller army routed the Ethiopians and chased them back home, plundering their cities.
In this version, Abijah, who had 14 wives, 22 sons and 16 daughters, reigned longer than 3 years, and he was faithful to God…So faithful that when he went to war with Israel, he was victorious, even though Israel outmanned and outgunned them. In fact, Judah killed half a million Israelites and took back a lot of territory.
See also I Kings 15: Dynasties Continue, Dynasties End