Jeho'ram (Heb. Yehoram', יהוֹרָם, Jehovah exalted, 1Ki 22:50; 2Ki 1:17; 2Ki 3:1,6; 2Ki 8:16,25,29; 2Ki 9:15,17,21-24; 2Ki 12:18; 2Ch 17:8; 2Ch 21:1,3-5,9,16; 2Ch 22:1,5-7,11; Septuag. Ι᾿ωράμ, A.V. "Joram" in 2Ki 9:15,17,21-23), also in the contracted form JORAM (יוֹרָם, Yoram', 2Sa 8:10; 2Ki 8:16,21,23-25,28-29; 2Ki 9:14,16,29; 2Ki 11:2; 1Ch 3:11; 1Ch 26:25; 2Ch 22:5,7; Sept. Ι᾿ωράμ,, but Ι᾿εδδουράμ in 2Sa 8:10), the name of five men.
1. Son of Toi, king of Hamath, sent by his father to congratulate David upon his victory over Hadadezer (2Sa 8:10; Heb. and A.V. "Joram"); elsewhere called HADORAM (1Ch 18:10).
2. A Levite of the family of Gershom, employed with his relatives in special sacred services connected with the Temple treasury (1Ch 26:25; Heb. and A.V. "Joram"). B.C. 1014.
3. One of the priests sent by Jehoshaphat to instruct the people in the Law throughout the land (2Ch 17:8). B.C. 910.
4. (Josephus Ι᾿ώραμος, Ant. 9:2, 2.) The son of Ahab and Jezebel, and successor to his elder brother Ahaziah, who died childless. He was the tenth king on the separate throne of Israel and reigned 12 years, B.C. 894- 883 (2Ki 1:17; 2Ki 3:1). The date of his accession, in the second year of the reign of Jehoram of Judah (2Ki 1:17), must be computed from a viceroyship of the latter during his father Jehoshaphat's war at Ramoth- gilead (1Ki 22:2 sq.). The reckoning in 2Ki 9:29 is according to Jehoram's actual reign; that in 2Ki 8:25, according to the years of his reign as beginning prophetically with the Israelitish calendar or regnal point, i.e. the autumn, as those of Judah do in the spring. SEE ISRAEL, KINGDOM OF.
The Moabites had been tributary to the crown of Israel since the separation of the two kingdoms; but king Mesha deemed the defeat and death of Ahab so heavy a blow to the power of Israel that he might safely assert his independence. He accordingly did so, by withholding his tribute of "100,000 lambs and 100,000 rams, with the wool." The short reign of Ahaziah had afforded no opportunity for any operations against the revolters, but the new king hastened to reduce them again under the yoke they had cast off. The good king of Judah, Jehoshaphat, was too easily induced to take a part in the war. He perhaps feared that the example of Moab, if allowed to be successful, might seduce into a similar course his own tributary, the king of Edom, whom he now summoned to join in this expedition. Accordingly, the three kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom marched through the wilderness of Edom to attack Mesha. The three armies were in the utmost danger of perishing for want of water. The piety of Jehoshaphat suggested an inquiry of some prophet of Jehovah, and Elisha, the son of Shaphat, at that time, and since the latter part of Ahab's reign, Elijah's attendant (2Ki 3:11; 1Ki 19:19-21), was found with the host. From him Jehoram received a severe rebuke, and was bid to inquire of the prophets of his father and mother the prophets of Baal. Nevertheless, for Jehoshaphat's sake, Elisha inquired of Jehovah, and received the promise of an abundant supply of water, and of a great victory over the Moabites, a promise which was immediately fulfilled. The same water which, filling the valley, and the trenches dug by the Israelites, supplied the whole army and all their cattle with drink, appeared to the Moabites, who were advancing, like blood when the morning sun shone upon it. Concluding that the allies had fallen out and slain each other, they marched incautiously to the attack, and were put to the rout. The allies pursued them with great slaughter into their own land, which they utterly ravaged and destroyed, with all its cities. Kirharaseth alone remained and there the king of Moab made his last stand. An attempt to break through the besieging army having failed, he resorted to the desperate expedient of offering up his eldest son, the heir to his throne, as a burnt offering upon the wall of the city, in the sight of the enemy. Upon this, the Israelites retired and returned to their own land (2 Kings 3). B.C. cir. 890. SEE MESHA.
It was, perhaps, in consequence of Elisha's rebuke, and of the above remarkable deliverance granted to the allied armies according to his word, that Jehoram, on his return to Samaria, put away the image of Baal which Ahab, his father, had made (2Ki 3:2); for in 2 Kings 4 we have an evidence of Elisha's being on friendly terms with Jehoram in the offer made by him to speak to the king in favor of the Shunammitess. (He is highly spoken of in the Talmud [Berachoth, 10]; but he did not remove the golden calves introduced by Jeroboam.) The impression on the king's mind was probably strengthened by the subsequent incident of Naaman's cure, and the temporary cessation of the inroads of the Syrians, which doubtless resulted from it (2 Kings 5). SEE NAAMAN. Accordingly, when, a little later, war again broke out between Syria and Israel, we find Elisha befriending Jehoram. The king was made acquainted by the prophet with the secret counsels of the king of Syria and was thus enabled to defeat them; and, on the other hand, when Elisha had led a large band of Syrian soldiers, whom God had blinded, into the midst of Samaria, Jehoram reverentially asked him, "My father, shall I smite them?" and, at the prophet's bidding, not only forbore to kill them, but made a feast for them, and then sent them home unhurt. This procured another cessation from the Syrian invasions for the Israelites (2Ki 6:23). SEE BEN-HADAD. What happened after this to change the relations between the king and the prophet we can only conjecture. But, putting together the general bad character given of Jehoram (2Ki 3:2-3) with the fact of the prevalence of Baal worship at the end of his reign (2Ki 10:21-28), it seems probable that when the Syrian inroads ceased, and he felt less dependent upon the aid of the prophet, he relapsed into idolatry, and was rebuked by Elisha, and threatened with a return of the calamities from which he had escaped. Refusing to repent, a fresh invasion by the Syrians and a close siege of Samaria actually came to pass, according probably to the word of the prophet. Hence, when the terrible incident arose, in consequence of the famine, of a woman boiling and eating her own child, the king immediately attributed the evil to Elisha, the son of Shaphat, and determined to take away his life. The message which he sent by the messenger whom he commissioned to cut off the prophet's head, "Behold, this evil is from Jehovah, why should I wait for Jehovah any longer?" coupled with the fact of his having on sackcloth at the time (2Ki 6:30,33), also indicates that many remonstrances and warnings, similar to those given by Jeremiah to the kings of his day, had passed between the prophet and the weak and unstable son of Ahab. The providential interposition by which both Elisha's life was saved and the city delivered is narrated in 2 Kings 7 and Jehoram appears to have returned to friendly feelings towards Elisha (2Ki 8:4). B.C. cir. 888-884. SEE ELISHA.
It was very soon after the above events that Elisha went to Damascus, and predicted the revolt of Hazael, and his accession to the throne of Syria in the room of Ben-hadad; and it was during Elisha's absence, probably, that the conversation between Jehoram and Gehazi, and the return of the Shunammitess from the land of the Philistines, recorded in 2 Kings 8 took place. Jehoram seems to have thought the revolution in Syria, which immediately followed Elisha's prediction, a good opportunity to pursue his father's favorite project of recovering Ramoth-gilead from the Syrians. He accordingly made an alliance with his nephew, Ahaziah, who had just succeeded Jehoram on the throne of Judah, and the two kings proceeded to strengthen the eastern frontier against the Syrians by fortifying Ramoth- gilead, which had fallen into Jehoram's hands, and which his father had perished in the attempt to recover from the Syrians. This strong fortress thenceforth became the headquarters of the operations beyond the river. Hazael was scarcely settled on the throne before he took arms and marched against Ramoth, in the environs of which the Israelites sustained a defeat. Jehoram was wounded in the battle and obliged to return to Jezreel to be healed of his wounds (2Ki 8:29; 2Ki 9:14-15), leaving his army in the charge of Jehu, one of his ablest and most active generals, to hold Ramoth- gilead against Hazael. Jehu, however, in this interval was anointed king of Israel by the messenger of Elisha, and immediately he and the army under his command revolted from their allegiance to Jehoram (2 Kings 9), and Jehu, hastily marching to Jezreel, surprised Jehoram, wounded and defenseless as he was. Jehoram, going out to meet him, fell pierced by an arrow from Jehu's bow on the very plat of ground which Ahab had wrested from Naboth the Jezreelite, thus fulfilling to the letter the prophecy of Elijah (1Ki 21:21-29). B.C. 883. SEE JEHU.
5. (Josephus Ι᾿ώραμος, Ant. 9:5, 1.) The eldest son and successor of Jehoshaphat, and fifth king on the separate throne of Judah, who began to reign (alone) at the age of thirty-six years, and reigned three years, B.C. 887-884. It is indeed said in the general account (2Ch 21:5,20; 2Ki 8:16) that he began to reign at the age of thirty-two and that he reigned eight years; but the conclusions deducible from the fact that his reign began in the fifth year of Jehoram, king of Israel (2Ki 8:16), show that the reign thus stated dates back three years into the reign of his father, who from this is seen to have associated his eldest son with him in the later years of his reign, as, indeed, is expressly stated in this last cited passage (see Keil's Com. on 2Ki 1:17; Reime, Harmon. vitae Josaphat, Jen. 1713, and Diss. de num. annor. regni Josaph., ib.). This appears to have been on the occasion of Jehoshaphat's absence in the conflict with confederate invaders, the Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites (2 Chronicles 20); and must be distinguished from a still earlier copartnership (2Ki 1:17), apparently during the allied attack upon the Syrians at Ramoth-gilead, in which Ahab lost his life. SEE JEHOSHAPHAT.
Jehoram's daughter Jehosheba was married to the high priest Jehoiada (q.v.). He had himself unhappily been married to Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, and her influence seems to have neutralized all the good he might have derived from the example of his father. One of the first acts of his reign was to put his six brothers to death and seize the valuable appanages which their father had in his lifetime bestowed upon them. After this we are not surprised to find him giving way to the gross idolatries of that new and strange kind the Phoenician which had been brought into Israel by Jezebel and into Judah by her daughter Athaliah. For these atrocities the Lord let forth his anger against Jehoram and his kingdom. The Edomites revolted, and, according to old prophecies (Ge 27:40), established their permanent independence. It was as much as Jehoram could do, by a night attack with all his forces, to extricate himself from their army, which had surrounded him. Next Libnah, the city of the priests (Jos 21:13), one of the strongest fortified cities in Judah (2Ki 19:8), and perhaps one of those "fenced cities" (2Ch 21:3) which Jehoshaphat had given to his other sons, renounced allegiance to Jehoram because he had forsaken Jehovah, the God of his fathers. But this seemed only to stimulate him to enforce the practice of idolatry by persecution. He had early in his reign received a writing from Elijah the prophet admonishing him of the dreadful calamities which he was bringing on himself by his wicked conduct, but even this failed to effect a reformation in Jehoram. SEE ELIJAH. At length the Philistines on one side, and the Arabians and Cushites on the other, grew bold against a king forsaken of God, and in repeated invasions spoiled the land of all its substance; they even ravaged the royal palaces, and took away the wives and children of the king, leaving him only one son, Ahaziah. Nor was this all: Jehoram was in his last days afflicted with a frightful disease in his bowels, which, from the terms employed in describing it, appears to have been malignant dysentery in its most shocking and tormenting form (see R. Mead, Bibl. Krankh. 44; but comp. Bartholin. Morb. Bibl. c. 12; G. Detharding, De morbo reg. Jorami, Rostock, 1731). SEE DISEASE. After a disgraceful reign and a most painful death, public opinion inflicted the posthumous dishonor of refusing him a place in the sepulchre of the kings. Jehoram was by far the most impious and cruel tyrant that had as yet occupied the throne of Judah, though he was rivalled or surpassed by some of his successors (2Ki 8:16-24; 2Ch 21). His name appears, however, in the royal genealogy of our Saviour (Ι᾿ωράμ, "Joram," Mt 1:8). SEE JUDAH, KINGDOM OF.