The kings of Judah from Solomon to the gap (Mt 1:7-1:8)

“Solomon was

The father of Rehoboam.

Rehoboam was

The father of Abijah.

Abijah was

The father of Asaph.

Asaph was

The father of Jehoshaphat.

Jehoshaphat was

The father of Joram.”

 

Σολομὼν δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ῥοβοάμ, Ῥοβοὰμ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀβιά, Ἀβιὰ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀσάφ, Ἀσὰφ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωσαφάτ, Ἰωσαφὰτ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωράμ.

I Chronicles, chapter 3 lists the kings of Judah, based on 1 Kings and 2 Kings.  Based on those 2 books, there was no disruption in the lineage of David via Solomon to all the kings of Judah before the Exile, since there were no revolutions in the southern kingdom of Judah.  The son of Solomon (Σολομὼν) was Rehoboam (Ῥοβοάμ) who ruled from about 931-913 BCE.  His son Abijah (Ἀβιά,) or Abijam ruled from about 913-911 BCE.  His son Asaph (Ἀσάφ) or Asa ruled from about 911-870 BCE.  His son Jehoshaphat (Ἰωσαφάτ) ruled from about 870-848 BCE.  His son Joram (Ἰωράμ) or Jehoram ruled from about 848-841 BCE.  The Greek text used the term “begat” (ἐγέννησεν) to represent the relationships between these 5 men.  However, it seems perfectly acceptable to simply call them the father instead of saying “fathered them.”  Now there was a gap in this genealogy from 841-781 BCE, since there was no mention of Ahaziah, Azariah or Jehoahaz who only ruled for less than a year in 741 BCE.  Actually, his mother Athaliah, ruled for about 6 years until her grandson Joash or Jehoash ruled from about 835-796 BCE.  Joash’s son, Amaziah ruled from about 796-781 BCE.  Perhaps this gap in the chronology of the kings was done to keep the numbers down to 14.

King David’s officers (1 Chr 18:14-18:17)

“King David reigned over all Israel. He administered justice and equity to all his people. Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the recorder. Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests. Seraiah was the secretary. Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites. King David’s sons were the chief officials in the service of the king.”

Once again, this biblical chronicler is following 2 Samuel, chapter 8. King David was the king who was just and fair to all the people of Israel. Joab, King David’s nephew and son of his sister Zeruiah, was in charge of the army. This is the same guy who killed Abner that King David was so upset about. King David’s sons were not the priests as in 2 Samuel, but the chief officials in the service of the king, which makes more sense. This Jehoshaphat, the recorder or annalist of court events, is not the same as the later king (870-848 BCE), but they share the same name. There are a few biblical people with the same name of Zadok, but this one was the high priest during the time of King David.   Abiathar was the friendly Levite that accompanied King David in his travels after the disaster at Nob from 1 Samuel, chapter 22. He too was a high priest. However, this text says that Ahimelech his son was the high priest. Either this is a mistake by this biblical author or he may have been the son of Abiathar and the grandson of Ahimelech. There were at least 11 biblical figures with the name Seraiah. This Seraiah was the recording secretary for King David. Benaiah, whose father had been a high priest, was in charge of the Cherethites and the Pelethites, who were like body guards, executioners or messengers. These Cherethites and Pelethites may have been captured Philistines.

The kings of Judah (1 Chr 3:10-3:16)

“The descendants of Solomon were Rehoboam, Abijah his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son, Amon his son, Josiah his son. The sons of Josiah were Johanan the first-born, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. The descendants of Jehoiakim were his sons Jeconiah and Zedekiah.”

Here we have the list of the kings of Judah starting with Solomon that can be found at the end of 1 Kings and 2 Kings. Based on those 2 books there was no disruption in the lineage of David via Solomon to all the kings of Judah before the Exile. Unlike the northern kingdom of Israel, there were no revolutions in the southern kingdom of Judah until the end with the Babylonian Captivity. However, there was also a consideration of the kings of Israel in the books of Kings, which is not here at all. The whole emphasis is on Judah and Jerusalem alone. The son of Solomon (1) Rehoboam ruled from about 931-913 BCE. His son (2) Abijah or Abijam ruled from about 913-911 BCE. His son (3) Asa ruled from about 911-870 BCE. His son (4) Jehoshaphat ruled from about 870-848 BCE. His son (5) Joram or Jehoram ruled from about 848-841 BCE. His son (6) Ahaziah, Azariah, or Jehoahaz ruled for less than a year about 841 BCE. There is no mention that Athaliah, Ahaziah’s mother ruled for about 4 years until her grandson (7) Joash or Jehoash ruled from about 835-796 BCE. His son, (8) Amaziah ruled from about 796-781 BCE. His son, (9) Azariah or Uzziah ruled from about 781-740 BCE. His son (10) Jotham ruled from about 740-736 BCE. His son (11) Ahaz ruled from about 736-716 BCE. His son (12) Hezekiah ruled from about 716-687 BCE. His son (13) Manasseh ruled from about 687-642 BCE. His son (14) Amon ruled from about 642-640 BCE. His son (15) Josiah ruled from about 640-609 BCE. Many of Josiah’s sons will rule Judah. His son (16) Johanan, Jehoahaz or Shallum ruled for just one year about 609 BCE. His brother, (17) Josiah’s son Jehoiakim or Eliakim ruled from 609-598 BCE. His son (18) Jehoiachin, Coniah or Jeconiah ruled for less than a year about 598 BCE. (19) Zedekiah or Mattaniah, brother of Jehoiakim and son of Josiah, ruled from about 598-587 BCE until the beginning of the Babylonian captivity.

 

The response of the prophet Elisha (1 Kings 3:13-3:20)

“Elisha said to the king of Israel. ‘What have I to do with you? Go to your father’s prophets or to your mother’s prophets.’ But the king of Israel said to him. ‘No, it is Yahweh who has summoned us, three kings, only to be handed over to Moab.’ Elisha said. ‘As Yahweh of hosts lives, whom I serve, were it not that I have regard for King Jehoshaphat of Judah, I would give you neither a look nor a glance. But get me a musician.’ Then when the musician was playing, the power of Yahweh came on him. He said. ‘Thus says Yahweh. ‘I will make this Wadi full of pools.’ Thus says Yahweh. ‘You shall see neither wind nor rain, but that Wadi shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, you, your cattle, and your animals.’ This is only a trifle in the sight of Yahweh. He will hand Moab over to you. You shall conquer every fortified city and every choice city. Every good tree you shall fell. All springs of water you shall stop up. Every good piece of land you shall ruin with stones.’ The next day, about the time of the morning offering, suddenly water began to flow from the direction of Edom, until the country was filled with water.”

The prophet Elisha did not like King Jehoram of Israel and told him to consult with his parent’s prophets, who were prophets of Baal. However, the king of Israel reminded him that Yahweh had blessed their mission. Elisha said that he had great respect for King Jehoshaphat of Judah. Otherwise, he would not waste his time with King Jehoram. Elisha asked for a musician so that in his trance the power of Yahweh came upon him. Yahweh said that he would enlarge the brooks or the wadis. There would be no rain or wind. They, their cattle and animals would be able to drink. On top of that, they were going to be successful in Moab. They would conquer all the cities, fortified or not. They would fell trees, stop up wells, and ruin the land with stones. Sure enough, the next morning, the brooks or wadis began to fill with water, all coming from Edom.

They decide to consult with the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 3:11-3:12)

“King Jehoshaphat said. ‘Is there no prophet of Yahweh here, through whom we may inquire of Yahweh?’ Then one of the servants of the king of Israel answered. ‘Elisha son of Shaphat, who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah, is here. King Jehoshaphat said. ‘The word of Yahweh is with him.’ So the king of Israel, King Jehoshaphat, and the king of Edom went down to him.”

King Jehoshaphat was always looking for the prophet of Yahweh to tell him what to do as in 1 Kings, chapter 22, when he was with King Ahab. One of the servants of the king of Israel said that the prophet Elisha was there. He used to pour water on the hands of the prophet Elijah. King Jehoshaphat said that the word of Yahweh was with him. Then all 3 kings went to see Elisha.

The reign of King Jehoram in Israel (852-841 BCE) (2 Kings 3:1-3:3)

“In the eighteenth year of King Jehoshaphat of Judah, Jehoram son of King Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria. He reigned twelve years. He did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh, though not like his father and mother. He removed the pillar of Baal that his father had made. Nevertheless he clung to the sin of King Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit. He did not depart from it.”

There is a problem with dating here since King Jehoram took over in either the 18th year of King Jehoshaphat or was it the 2nd year of King Jehoram in Judah, as in chapter 1. Remember he was the brother of King Ahaziah who ruled for 2 years. He ruled for about 12 years. King Jehoram of Israel was evil, but not as bad as his parents, King Ahab and Jezebel. However, he was like King Jeroboam in causing Israel to sin.

The death of King Ahab at Ramoth-gilead (1 Kings 22:29-22:36)

“So the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. The king of Israel said to King Jehoshaphat. ‘I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.’ So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle. Now the king of Aram had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots. ‘Fight with no one small or great, but only with the king of Israel.’ When the captains of the chariots saw King Jehoshaphat, they said. ‘It is surely the king of Israel.’ So they turned to fight against him. However King Jehoshaphat cried out.  When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. But a certain man drew his bow and unknowingly struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. So King Ahab said to the driver of his chariot. ‘Turn around. Carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.’ The battle grew hot that day. The king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans, until at evening he died. The blood from the wound flowed into the bottom of the chariot. Then about sunset a shout went through the army. ‘Every man to his city. Every man to his country!’”

King Ahab and King Jehoshaphat went out together to do battle with the Arameans at Ramoth-gilead on the east side of the Jordan River. King Ahab must have expected something because he disguised himself and sent King Jehoshaphat with full robes into battle. In fact, the king of the Arameans had told his 32 captains to kill King Ahab and not anyone else. Obviously the Arameans saw King Jehoshaphat with all his royal robes so that they thought that he was King Ahab. They started to fight against him until King Jehoshaphat cried out to go to battle. Then they realized that is was not King Ahab. However, King Ahab was struck by a stray arrow that caused him to bleed in his chariot. He died at the end of the day as his blood dripped to the bottom of his chariot. All the troops scattered as had been the prophecy of Micaiah. Everything was going as Micaiah had prophesized.