JEHORAM


JEHORAM (Heb. יוֹרָם ,יְהוֹרָם), the son of *Jehoshaphat, king of Judah (851–843 B.C.E.). Jehoram's wife was the Omrid princess *Athaliah. During his reign a close alliance existed between the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, ruled by his brother-in-law (or his wife's nephew) Jehoram the son of Ahab if, as may be inferred from II Chronicles 21:3, Jehoshaphat reigned jointly with Jehoram (II Chron. 21:4), – this may reflect a clash among the sons of Jehoshaphat over the succession (see: *Chronology).

At the beginning of Jehoram's reign, Edom, which had been subservient to Judah, rebelled, and Jehoram sought to subdue the rebellion. However, his war against Edom (II Kings 8:20–22) was unsuccessful, and the latter remained independent until the reign of *Amaziah. Following this military reverse, Judah, according to II Chronicles 21:16–17, was ravaged by the Philistines and others. The historicity of this account is questionable, but undoubtedly the Philistines did beset Judah, for the statement in II Kings 8:22, "… then did Libnah revolt at the same time," can only mean that it was wrested from Judah by the Philistines. II Chronicles also says that Jehoram suffered an incurable illness, which Elijah had predicted (21:12–15, 18–19), and states that Jehoram was not buried in the tombs of the kings (ibid., 21:19–20), and that the people "made no burning for him" on his death. However, II Kings 8:24 explicitly states that he was buried with his ancestors in the city of David, and it would seem that Chronicles, which dwells at length on Jehoram's wickedness and failures, drew on a folk legend about Elijah that exaggerated Jehoram's sins and represented him as one of the most evil kings of Judah because of his association with the house of Ahab. Nevertheless, it may well be that the temple of Baal mentioned in II Kings 11:18 was built (at Athaliah's instance) during the reign of Jehoram. If Israel was one of the 12 western countries (headed by Adad-Idri, i.e., Ben-Hadad, king of Damascus) which allied themselves against Shalmaneser III of Assyria in the years 849–845 B.C.E., the hypothesis (of B. Mazar) that the king of Judah also participated may be accepted. In any event, there is no doubt that in Jehoram's brief reign Judah declined rapidly from its period of glory during his father's reign. Edom's independence deprived Judah of control of the important commercial routes to Arabia and thus affected its economy negatively. The relations between the two kingdoms at this time were such that the political and economic crises that plagued Israel could not but spread to Judah (see also: *Jehoram the son of Ahab).

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Maisler (Mazar), in: Tarbiz, 19 (1947/48), 123–4; Yeivin, in: JNES, 7 (1941), 31; J.A. Montgomery, The Book of Kings (ICC, 1951), 394–8; Thiele, in: VT, 4 (1954), 186; Ginsberg, in: Fourth World Congress of Jewish Studies, 1 (1967), 91; EM, 3 (1965), 539–41, incl. bibl. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: W. Thiele, in: ABD, 3:949–53.

[Hayim Tadmor]


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