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Jehoram of Israel became King in the 2nd year of Judah's Jehoram (2 Kings 1:17). 2 Kings 3:1, on the other hand, tells us that the Israelite Jehoram became king in the 18th year of Jehoshapat, so perhaps the Judahite Jehoram became "co-king" with his father in the latter's 17th year?

While that's possible, 2 Kings 8:16 complicates things further. It says that Judah's Jehoram became King while his father was still living in the 5th year of the Israel's Jehoram.

Which Jehoram became King first and when?

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Both statements are correct. Before Jehoshaphat joined Ahab in military action against Ramoth-gilead, he appointed his son Jehoram as co-ruler in Judah. When Jehoram the son of Ahab became king of Israel, it was both the second year of the reign of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, and also the eighteenth year of the reign of his father Jehoshaphat.

In summary, Jehoshaphat was king of Judah and his son Jehoram was coregent in Judah. Thereafter Jehoram became king of Israel in the second year of Jehoram's reign and the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat's reign.

So, answering his question, who was king first, it depends, officially it was Jehoram of Israel. If co-king is recognized then Jehoram of Judah was first.

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  • That solves the 2 Ki 1:17 v. 2 Ki 3:1 issue. But what about 2 Ki 8:16? It tells us that Jehoram of Judah became king in the 5th year of Israel's Jehoram?
    – A.O.
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 17:55
  • Yup. 2 Kings 8:16 mentions that Jehoram of Judah began to reign in the fifth year of Jehoram of Israel. The only explanation for these apparent discrepancies with other texts is a co-regency. Suffice it to note that 2 Kings 8:16 mentions that Jehoshaphat still reigned in Judah.
    – Thales
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 18:21
  • See this, he offers a more elaborate explanation deltackett.com/resources/19567/…
    – Thales
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 18:38
  • Let's say that Jehoram became coregent with Jehoshaphat shortly before Ramoth-Gilead in this 17/16th year. Jehoram reigned a total of 8 years. That means he would've died in his father's 24th/25th year. That's impossible. Are we to understand that he made Jehoram coregent twice?
    – A.O.
    Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 22:55
  • Jehoshaphat reigned for 24 years in Judah, in the eighteenth year Jehoram of Israel became king in Israel, Jehoram of Judah being king in the fifth year of Joram of Israel is due to a co-regency of 5-6 years, totaling 24 years of Jehoshaphat's reign, so Joram had been king for about 5-6 years depending on the sources of biblical chronologers. Dating the reigns of Israel and Judah is very complicated.
    – Thales
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 13:15

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