So Jehoshaphat dies and leaves the kingdom to Joffrey, er… Jehoram, who promptly kills all of his brothers, and appoints some… I don’t know… half-brothers or cousins as governors. Point is, the guy’s a little jackass.
He brings back idolatry to Judah (because that’s worked out really well for you guys…) and marries into Ahab’s family.
Edom revolts against Judah and while Jehoram puts it down, it never really stops.
Then Elijah sends him a letter:
You’ve been a big poop, and you killed your brothers who were better than you, so God’s going to take away your family and make you poop yourself to death.
Yours in the Lord,
So some local Arabs and the Philistines band together, invade, conquer Judah and loot the king’s house and take his wives and sons away as slaves.
The Jehoram gets a bowel disease that lingers for two years before he shits himself to death.
Judah says, “Good riddance” and throws him in a lesser grave so they can forget about him.
Our takeaway lesson: Don’t be a little shit because God is sometimes a big fan of ironic punishment.
Also… you probably shouldn’t kill your siblings.
So Judah has no king, so they look around and decide to put Ahaziah on the throne. But Ahaziah is a jerk too.
He goes to war with his cousin Jehoram, King of Israel, and Jehoram is wounded. So Ahaziah goes to visit him, but then Jehu comes along and kills everyone of Ahaziah’s house, before killing Jehoram, and then capturing Ahaziah, and bringing him to Jehu who executes him and buries his body with honor, which is not the same story we got in 2 Kings 9 where:
27 When Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu pursued him and said, “Shoot him too, in the chariot.” So they shot him at the ascent of Gur, which is at Ibleam. But he fled to Megiddo and died there. 28 Then his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem and buried him in his grave with his fathers in the city of David.
When Athaliah, Ahaziah’s mom, hears that he’s dead, she has the rest of the royal family killed and seizes control of Judah for six years. But again, she’s failed to read the Evil Overlord list, and she leaves on person of royal blood alive, Joash.
Joash hides in the Temple until the priests have garnered enough support for a counter-coup.
The priests spring their counter-coup again, and put Joash on the throne (again) and Athaliah dies (again.)
The king is seven years old, so the High Priest Jehoiada becomes the defacto king and institutes religious reforms, getting rid of the cults of other gods, because competition splits the prophets/profits.
Joash again tells the priests to gather money to fix the Temple of the Lord, but mysteriously enough, all of the money gets collected, but the Temple is not fixed! I’m shocked! So the king calls the priests up for a chat and they pull in with their Bentley and Mercedes chariots wearing their Gucci sandals and can’t explain where all the money to fix the Temple went.
So the king learns a valuable lesson about priests and public works projects, and he tries again, this time with some civil oversight in the form of his appointed officers and the Temple gets fixed.
Then the high priest dies.
And all of the leaders of Judah once again get together and say, “Hey, I know we haven’t had much luck worshipping other gods in the past, but maybe this time it’ll be different! What do you say, King?”
And the king shrugs and says, “Okay, I guess we could try it out.”
So Jehoiada’s son comes to the king and says, “What the heck are you doing? Because you have forsaken God, God has forsaken you!”
And everyone is super bummed about that, so they stone Jehoiada’s son Zechariah and they all feel better.
So they Arameans come up and defeat a larger army of Judeans and loot their stuff, and Joash becomes ill and is murdered by some of his attendants. So Amaziah is appointed king in his place.