They discuss the idea of seizing the spring water (Jdt 7:8-7:15)

“Then all the chieftains of the Edomites and all the leaders of the Moabites along with the commanders of the coastland came to General Holofernes and said.

‘Listen to what we have to say, my lord.

Your army will suffer no losses.

This people, the Israelites,

Do not rely on their spears

But on the height of the mountains where they live.

It is not easy to reach the tops of their mountains.

Therefore, my lord,

Do not fight against them in regular formation.

Not a man of your army will fall.

Remain in your camp!

Keep all the men in your forces with you.

Let your servants take possession of the spring of water

That flows from the foot of the mountain,

Which is where all the people of Bethulia get their water.

So thirst will destroy them.

They will surrender their town.

Meanwhile, we and our people

Will go up to the tops of the nearby mountains.

We will camp there to keep watch to see

That no one gets out of the town.

They and their wives and children will waste away with famine.

Before the sword reaches them

They will be strewn about in the streets where they live.

Thus you will pay them back with evil,

Because they rebelled and did not receive you peaceably.’”

The local groups of Edomites, Moabites, and coastal people had a proposal for General Holofernes. They came up with the idea where the Assyrians would lose no men in battle because the mountains were hard to climb. This is the only occasion where mountains seem to favor the Israelites. In all other cases the battles seemed to be around towns and in valleys. They proposed that the water supply be shut down. Somehow the water springs were at the bottom of the mountain. It seems like there might be water at the top of the mountain. The Israelites would suffer from a great thirst. Eventually, they would surrender their towns as they would waste away with famine. This is somewhat similar to the idea of trying to cause a famine in Samaria under the Israelite King Jehoram (852-841 BCE) in 2 Kings, chapter 6, when he was attacked by the king of the Arameans. This would be an easy way to conquer these rebellious men of Judah and Benjamin, since theoretically Israel had already been conquered the previous century.

King Ahaziah (2 Chr 22:1-22:4)

“The inhabitants of Jerusalem made the youngest son of King Jehoram Ahaziah king as his successor. The troops who came with the Arabs to the camp had killed all the older sons. So King Ahaziah son of King Jehoram reigned as king of Judah. King Ahaziah was forty-two years old when he began to reign. He reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of King Omri of Israel. He also walked in the ways of the house of King Ahab, because his mother was his counselor in doing wickedly. He did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as the house of King Ahab had done. After the death of his father they were his counselors, to his ruin.”

Once again, this is loosely based on 2 Kings, chapter 8. King Ahaziah, the son of King Jehoram of Judah, was the nephew of King Jehoram of Israel. Thus he was the great grandson of King Omri of Israel, since his mother was Athaliah, the sister of King Jehoram of Israel and daughter of King Ahab of Israel. This King Ahaziah of Judah had the same name as King Ahaziah of Israel, who was his uncle. He may have been named after him. They both had short reigns as kings. Therefore, he walked in the evil ways of the house of King Ahab. However, there are 2 problems with King Ahaziah besides his short reign of 1 year. First, he was called Jehoahaz in the preceding chapter as the only son left after the killing of all the sons of Jehoram. The reference is to the same person. The 2nd problem is his age. Here he is 42 years old, which makes no sense since his father died at the age of 40. In 2 Kings, he was 22, which means that he probably was an older son of King Jehoram since he was born when King Jehoram was 18. In any case, he is young and wicked. He following the advice of the Israelite family of King Ahab since his mother had some influence on him. This would seem to indicate the younger age.

The destruction of Judah (2 Chr 21:16-21:17)

“Yahweh aroused the anger of the Philistines and the Arabs who are near the Ethiopians against King Jehoram. They came up against Judah. They invaded Judah. They carried away all the possessions they found that belonged to the king’s house. They took his sons and his wives, so that no son was left to him except Jehoahaz, his youngest son.”

Once again, this was not in 2 Kings. Yahweh aroused those pesky Philistines and Arabs on the southern border close to Egypt. They invaded Judah and took away all of the king’s possession, including his sons and wives. Only the youngest son Jehoahaz remained. Things do not look good for Judah or King Jehoram.


The revolt of Edom (2 Chr 21:8-21:10)

“In days of King Jehoram, Edom revolted against the rule of Judah. They set up a king of their own. Then King Jehoram crossed over with his commanders and all his chariots. He set out by night. He attacked the Edomites who had surrounded him and his chariot commanders. So Edom has been in revolt against the rule of Judah to this day. At that time, Libnah also revolted from his rule, because he had forsaken Yahweh, the God of his ancestors.”

This is once again based on 2 Kings, chapter 8. The revolt of Edom, which was south east of Judah on the other side of the Jordan River, was successful. There is no mention of the town Zair here. King Jehoram attacked or seemed to be successful, but there is no indication of what happened. The area of Libnah which was south west of Judah also revolted successfully against this southern King Jehoram. Here it says that Libnah revolted because King Jehoram was not true to Yahweh. Things did not go well with him as king. Edom was still in revolt at the time of this biblical writer, which would be about 500 years later. This looks like an attempt to blame the loss of Edom on King Jehoram.

King Jehoram (2 Chr 21:1-21:3)

“The son of King Jehoshaphat King Jehoram succeeded him. King Jehoram had six brothers named Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael, and Shephatiah. All these were the sons of King Jehoshaphat of Judah. Their father gave them many gifts, of silver, gold, and valuable possessions, together with fortified cities in Judah. However, he gave the kingdom to Jehoram, because he was the first-born.”

Although loosely based on 2 Kings, chapter 8, there was no mention of the six brothers of King Jehoram. (1) (4) Azariah is mentioned twice. There are a lot of biblical people with this name or something close to it. A child with the same name does not seem impossible. Ask George Foreman who named all his kids George. There were over 10 people with the same name as (2) Jehiel. There were over 27 people with the name of (3) Zechariah. There were only 11 people with the name of (5) Michael and 8 with the name of (6) Shephatiah. They had plenty of gifts from their father, plus they were in charge of fortified cities in Judah. However, Jehoram was the oldest and therefore became king.

The war with King Hazael of Aram (2 Kings 8:28-8:29)

“King Ahaziah of Judah went with King Jehoram son of King Ahab to make war against King Hazael of Aram at Ramoth-gilead, where the Arameans wounded King Jehoram.  King Jehoram returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramoth, when he fought against King Hazael of Aram.  King Ahaziah son of King Jehoram of Judah went down to see King Jehoram of Israel, the son of King Ahab, in Jezreel, because he was wounded.”

There was another battle at Ramoth-gilead with the Arameans. This seems to be a favorite spot to do battle with the Arameans. This is the same spot where King Ahab of Israel was killed when King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to fight the Arameans in 853 BCE, 1 Kings, chapter 22. Now it is 12 years later in 841 BCE, when disaster strikes again.

The reign of King Jehoram in Judah (848-841 BCE) (2 Kings 8:16-8:19)

“In the fifth year of King Jehoram son of King Ahab of Israel, Jehoram son of King Jehoshaphat of Judah began to reign. He was thirty-two years old when he became king. He reigned eight years in Jerusalem. He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of King Ahab had done. The daughter of King Ahab was his wife. He did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh. Yet Yahweh would not destroy Judah, for the sake of his servant David, since he had promised to give a lamp to him and to his descendents forever.”

This became the time of the 2 Jerhorams that lasted 8 years since they both died in 841 BCE. One was king in Israel and the other king in Judah. Not only did they have the same names, they were brothers-in-law. King Jehoram in Judah had married the sister of King Jehoram in Israel, another son of King Ahab of Israel. Thus King Jehoram of Judah walked in the evil ways of the Israelite kings. However, Yahweh did not destroy the King Jehoram of Judah because he had promised David to have a descendent forever.