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2 Chronicles 21:6-13

Context
21:6 He followed in the footsteps of the kings of Israel, just as Ahab’s dynasty had done, for he married Ahab’s daughter. 1  He did evil in the sight of 2  the Lord. 21:7 But the Lord was unwilling to destroy David’s dynasty 3  because of the promise 4  he had made to give David a perpetual dynasty. 5 

21:8 During Jehoram’s 6  reign Edom freed themselves from Judah’s control and set up their own king. 7  21:9 Jehoram crossed over to Zair with his officers and all his chariots. The Edomites, who had surrounded him, attacked at night and defeated him and his chariot officers. 8  21:10 So Edom has remained free from Judah’s control to this very day. 9  At that same time Libnah also rebelled and freed themselves from Judah’s control 10  because Jehoram 11  rejected the Lord God of his ancestors. 21:11 He also built high places on the hills of Judah; he encouraged the residents of Jerusalem to be unfaithful to the Lord 12  and led Judah away from the Lord. 13 

21:12 Jehoram 14  received this letter from Elijah the prophet: “This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: ‘You 15  have not followed in the footsteps 16  of your father Jehoshaphat and of 17  King Asa of Judah, 21:13 but have instead followed in the footsteps of the kings of Israel. You encouraged the people of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem to be unfaithful to the Lord, just as the family of Ahab does in Israel. 18  You also killed your brothers, members of your father’s family, 19  who were better than you.

1 tn Heb “he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab did, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife.”

2 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”

3 tn Heb “house.”

4 tn Or “covenant.”

5 tn Heb “which he made to David, just as he had promised to give him and his sons a lamp all the days.” Here “lamp” is metaphorical, symbolizing the Davidic dynasty.

6 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Jehoram) has been specified in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

7 tn Heb “in his days Edom rebelled from under the hand of Judah and enthroned a king over them.”

8 tc Heb “and he arose at night and defeated Edom, who had surrounded him, and the chariot officers.” The Hebrew text as it stands gives the impression that Jehoram was surrounded and launched a victorious nighttime counterattack. Yet v. 10 goes on to state that the Edomite revolt was successful. The translation above assumes an emendation of the Hebrew text. Adding a third masculine singular pronominal suffix to the accusative sign before Edom (reading אֹתוֹ [’oto, “him”] instead of just אֶת [’et]) and taking Edom as the subject of verbs allows one to translate the verse in a way that is more consistent with the context, which depicts an Israelite defeat, not victory. See also 2 Kgs 8:21.

9 tn Heb “and Edom rebelled from under the hand of Judah until this day.”

10 tn Or “from Jehoram’s control”; Heb “from under his hand.” The pronominal suffix may refer to Judah in general or, more specifically, to Jehoram.

11 tn Heb “he.” This pronoun could refer to Judah, but the context focuses on Jehoram’s misdeeds. See especially v. 11.

12 tn Heb “and he caused the residents of Jerusalem to commit adultery.” In this context spiritual unfaithfulness to the Lord is in view rather than physical adultery.

13 tn Heb “and drove Judah away.”

14 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jehoram) has been specified in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

15 tn Heb “Because you…” In the Hebrew text this lengthy sentence is completed in vv. 14-15. Because of its length and complexity (and the tendency of contemporary English to use shorter sentences), the translation has divided it up into several English sentences.

16 tn Heb “walked in the ways.”

17 tn Heb “in the ways of.”

18 tn Heb “and you walked in the way of the kings of Israel and caused Judah and the residents of Jerusalem to commit adultery, like the house of Ahab causes to commit adultery.”

19 tn Heb “the house of your father.”



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