Jehoshaphat (Judah)

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Jehoshaphat was the son and successor of Asa as king of Judah . His reign is dated to 873–849 BC. BC (Albright) or 870–848 BC Chr. (Thiele) dated. He had several children, among them his successor Joram .


The Hebrew personal name "Joschafat" has been handed down in two different spellings: יְהוֹשָׁפָט jəhôšāfāt and (less often)יֹושָׁפָט jôšāfāt . It is a verb sentence name, consisting of subject and predicate. Subject (and at the same time theophoric element) is a form of " YHWH " (יְהֹו jəhô orיֹו ), the predicate is derived from the verb rootשׁפט špt , German ' to judge / help to right' . The name can be translated as “Yhwh spoke right / procured right / helped to right”. The Septuagint gives the name as Ιωσαφατ Iōsaphat , the Vulgate as Iosaphat .

Biblical narration

King Joschafat on a stained glass window in the Palais Rihour in Lille

Joschafat is reported in 1 Kings 22  EU , 2 KingsEU , as well as in 2 Chr 17  EU . He becomes king at the age of 35 and his reign is estimated at 25. His father is Asa, King of Judah, his mother Asuba, a daughter of Shilhi. Like his father, he is rated positively, although he did not remove the cult heights ( 2 Kings 22.44  EU ). There was peace with Israel in his day.

Jehoshaphat made covenants with the kings of Israel. He connected himself to the House of Ahab by marriage. In the battle of Ramot-Gilead he fought with Ahab against the Aramaeans . They suffered a defeat, Ahab died, Joschafat was able to escape ( 1 Kings 22.33  EU ).

Joschafat rejected an alliance with Ahaziah , the king of Israel with the aim of trading with Ophir ( 1 Kings 22.50  EU ) because his ships had previously been broken up at Ezion-Geber ( 1 Kings 22.49  EU ) .

Eventually Jehoshaphat allied with King Joram of Israel in the fight against the Moabites , who owed Israel tribute. The campaign was successful. But soon afterwards the Moabites allied themselves with their neighbors and resumed the fight. The chronicle tells how God, after the Jews called on him for help, miraculously beaten the Moabites and their allies and the fighters of Judah found only the corpses of their opponents. Joschafat died at the age of sixty soon after that victory after 25 years of government. He was succeeded by his son Joram.


Individual evidence

  1. Hans Rechenmacher : Old Hebrew names , Münster 2012, p. 147.
predecessor Office successor
Asa King of Judah
873–849 BC Chr.