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2 Kings 8:16-24

Jehoram’s Reign over Judah

8:16 In the fifth year of the reign of Israel’s King Joram, son of Ahab, Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram became king over Judah. 1  8:17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king and he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem. 2  8:18 He followed in the footsteps of the kings of Israel, just as Ahab’s dynasty had done, for he married Ahab’s daughter. 3  He did evil in the sight of 4  the Lord. 8:19 But the Lord was unwilling to destroy Judah. He preserved Judah for the sake of 5  his servant David to whom he had promised a perpetual dynasty. 6 

8:20 During his reign Edom freed themselves from Judah’s control and set up their own king. 7  8:21 Joram 8  crossed over to Zair with all his chariots. The Edomites, who had surrounded him, attacked at night and defeated him and his chariot officers. 9  The Israelite army retreated to their homeland. 10  8:22 So Edom has remained free from Judah’s control to this very day. 11  At that same time Libnah also rebelled.

8:23 The rest of the events of Joram’s reign, including a record of his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 12  8:24 Joram passed away 13  and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David. His son Ahaziah replaced him as king.

1 tc The Hebrew text reads, “and in the fifth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel, and [or, ‘while’?] Jehoshaphat [was?] king of Judah, Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah became king.” The first reference to “Jehoshaphat king of Judah” is probably due to a scribe accidentally copying the phrase from the later in the verse. If the Hebrew text is retained, the verse probably refers to the beginning of a coregency between Jehoshaphat and Jehoram.

2 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

3 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.”

4 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”

5 tn The Hebrew has only one sentence, “and the Lord was unwilling to destroy Judah for the sake of.” The translation divides it for the sake of clarity.

6 tn Heb “just as he had promised to give him and his sons a lamp all the days.” The metaphorical “lamp” symbolizes the Davidic dynasty; this is reflected in the translation.

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

8 sn Joram is a short form of the name Jehoram.

9 tn 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 Joram was surrounded and launched a victorious night counterattack. It would then be quite natural to understand the last statement in the verse to refer to an Edomite retreat. Yet v. 22 goes on to state that the Edomite revolt was successful. Therefore, if the MT is retained, it may be better to understand the final statement in v. 21 as a reference to an Israelite retreat (made in spite of the success described in the preceding sentence). The translation above assumes an emendation of the Hebrew text. Adding a third masculine singular pronominal suffix to the accusative sign before Edom (reading אֶתוֹ [’eto], “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. There is, however, no evidence for this emendation.

10 tn Heb “and the people fled to their tents.”

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

12 tn Heb “As for the rest of the acts of Joram and all which he did, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Judah?”

13 tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”

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