King David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa and then Jehoshaphat: this is Jehoshaphat’s family tree.
King Jehoshaphat was a descendant of King David, from the tribe of Judah, and began to reign over Judah about 100 years after the death of King David. He was a righteous and faithful king who would be high on the list of the best kings of Judah – although he had a problem with being too tolerant of evil people.
A family tree centred on King Jehoshaphat is included below. The family tree extends up to King David in simplified form, however the generations around Jehoshaphat include much more detail.
There are a few points that stand out in the Biblical details behind Jehoshaphat’s family tree, but don’t always show in the family tree itself. Let’s look at three of them:
The family tree of David (whose descendants became the royal family of the kingdom of Judah) contains quite a few women who were not Jewish.
David was the great grandson of Ruth the Moabitess (Ruth 4:13-22).
Rehoboam was the son of Naamah the Ammonitess (1 Kings 14:21, 31).
Abijah/Abijam was the son of Maacah, the daughter of Absalom (2 Chronicles 11:20-22), who was the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur (2 Samuel 3:3).
Athaliah was the daughter of Ahab king of Israel (2 Kings 8:18; 2 Chronicles 21:6; 22:2-3). Her mother may have been Ahab’s wife Jezebel the Sidonian (and her behaviour was very similar), but we do not know.
Numbers of wives/concubines
Many of the kings had large numbers of wives and/or concubines:
David had at least 8 wives and at least 10 concubines (1 Samuel 18:27; 2 Samuel 3:2-5; 11:26-27; 15:16).
Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:2-3).
Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines (2 Chronicles 11:21).
Abijah/Abijam had 14 wives (2 Chronicles 13:21).
Jehoram/Joram had more than one wife (exact number unknown) (2 Chronicles 21:17).
Joash/Jehoash had at least two wives (2 Chronicles 24:3-4).
We do not know how many wives Jehoshaphat himself had, but we know that he had seven sons. Six were murdered by the oldest son Jehoram/Joram after he became king. Interestingly, two of the sons had the same name: Azariah. It is possible that in one or both cases, the name should be connected with the name before or after it in the list, which would reduce the number of sons by one or two.
Kings over Judah and Israel shared a few names:
Jehoram/Joram: Both Jehoshaphat king of Judah and Ahab king of Israel had a son with this name. They each ruled their own kingdom and their reigns even overlapped.
Ahaziah: Jehoram king of Judah and Ahab king of Israel each had a son with this name, but neither of them reigned for very long. Ahaziah king of Judah reigned for one year, while Ahaziah king of Israel reigned for two years.
Joash/Jehoash: Ahaziah king of Judah and Jehoahaz king of Israel each had a son with this name who became king after them.
There were two other names which were later used as names of kings in both kingdoms: Jehoahaz and Shallum. The king of Judah called Jehoahaz was also known as Shallum, a name he shared with an earlier king of Israel.
The King's Armour-bearer
A tale from the time of King Jehoshaphat.
eBook, paperback and hardcover to be released 14 December 2021 (God willing).
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