In Divrei Hayamim 2:21:2 it says:

"He had brothers, sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were sons of King Jehoshaphat of Israel.

But Yehoshafat was King of Yehudah! Why is he called here King of Yisrael?

  • Is it discussing the same person/situation as in 1 Kings 22:32? It seems there that he was killed when they THOUGHT he was king of Israel.
    – rosends
    Commented Mar 21, 2021 at 18:13
  • @rosends That's a fascinating idea, though in the context of DH it's his real death, not a parallel to that portion of Kings. Unless it's the author's sense of humor at play here... Not king of Yisrael but ""king of Yisrael"" with an added wink at the end...;P...
    – Harel13
    Commented Mar 21, 2021 at 18:34
  • I was also thinking of it as derogatory because he made peace with Yisrael sefaria.org/I_Kings.22.45?lang=bi&with=Radak&lang2=en
    – rosends
    Commented Mar 21, 2021 at 18:51
  • @rosends Was making peace with them bad?
    – Harel13
    Commented Mar 21, 2021 at 19:04
  • 1
    2 Chron 20:35 "Afterward, King Jehoshaphat of Judah entered into a partnership with King Ahaziah of Israel, thereby acting wickedly."
    – rosends
    Commented Mar 21, 2021 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


R. Hayyim Joseph David Azulai raises this question in his commentary to that verse and notes that he hasn't seen anyone discuss it:

לא ראיתי מי שדיבר למה נקרא מלך ישראל מאחר שהוא ממלכי יהודה ועיין במסרה כ"י דברי אמת כ"י להרב מהר"ש עדני ז"ל

However, there are in fact several earlier rabbinic authors that do address this. Radak in his commentary to Michah 1:14 explains that the kingship of Judah is simply subsumed under the kingship of Israel:

כי אע"פ שנחלקה המלכות מלכי יהודה מלכי ישראל הם כי יהודה הוא בכלל ישראל וכן נקראו מלכי יהודה מלכי ישראל כמו שאמר כל אלה בני יהושפט מלך ישראל

Ralbag in his commentary to II Kings 1:17 (discussing a different issue) argues that there was some sort of fusion between the kingdoms such that in a sense Jehoshaphat could rightly be termed "king of Israel":

והרצון בו שיהושפט היה מנהיג מלכות ישראל עמו וכאילו היה יהושפט מלך ישראל גם כן

See there for his full argument.

Abarbanel mentions the problem as a parallel to a similar problem in his commentary to Micha Chapter One:

השאלה הרביעית באומרו בתי אכזיב לאכזב למלכי ישראל כי הנה אכזיב עיר מערי יהודה היתה ושאר הערים שזכר באותה קינה עפרה שפיר צאנן מרות לכיש מרשה ועדולם כולן היו ממלכות יהודה ולמה אם כן יחסם למלכי ישראל הוא כמו למלכי יהודה ושכן מצינו שנקרא יהושפט מלך ישראל וכן אחז וכל זה איננו שוה לי כי למה לא אמר הנביא בפירוש למלכי יהודה

However, as far as I can tell, the answer that he provides there only addresses the actual question he realized but not the tangential parallel that is the subject of the question here.

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