2Ch 21:1 Now Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead.
2Ch 21:2 And he had brethren the sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah: all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.
2Ch 21:3 And their father gave them great gifts of silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fenced cities in Judah: but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram; because he was the firstborn.
2Ch 21:4 Now when Jehoram was risen up to the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword, and divers also of the princes of Israel.
2Ch 21:5 Jehoram was thirty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
2Ch 21:6 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD.
Jehoshaphat was a very good king of Judah. The only knocks against him were the two times he made leagues with the ungodly kings of Israel. Other than that, He was sure to eliminate the places of idol worship, he published the Word of God throughout the land, worshiped the Lord, re-established the order of the priesthood and wrought great victories by the hand of God.
But his eldest boy, Jehoram, was a devil. Even though he reigned by right of the eldest, he slew his 6 brothers along with many of the princes of Israel. Ungodly and despicable acts!
What happens for kids to turn out like this?
1. Dad is so busy with ruling the kingdom that he sometimes fails in the leadership of the home.
2. He, Jehoshaphat, may have been a disciplinarian of the rankest order, causing his boy to rebel, but more than likely, he was too lax with his boys. We note that he loaded them up with gold, silver, expensive toys and property.
We must remember that that which is easily acquired is not readily appreciated. Spoiled children cannot be expected to do what is right in life. They come to expect everything to be handed to them without working for it. They begin to feel a great sense of entitlement and when they don't get their way, watch out for the tantrum.
3. As it has been with kings for many millennia, the kid with the crown gets paranoid and begins to do away with any possible obstruction or opposition, blood relations not withsttanding. No doubt Jehoram figured that his ungodly rule would be challenged by some of these quality princes and he would be deposed in favor of one of his siblings, so he killed them all.
4. Sometimes, nothing at all happens. The parents do all they can to raise well-rounded, good-grounded kids and the whelps just never "get it."
At any rate, Jehoram goes down as one of the lousiest excuses for a king in Judah and thus will ever be his legacy. He should have been more like his dad.