Josaphat, in the Greek, (they having no letter to express the Hebrew h by), was the son of Asa, a good son of a good father, 2Ch_17:1,2; he reigned twenty-five years, 1Ki_22:42. Jehoram, here called
Joram, succeeded him in his kingdom: he slew his brethren; he walked in the ways of Ahab.2Ch_21:4,6; he reigned but eight years, lived and died wickedly, and was buried infamously, 2Ch_21:19,20. But here ariseth another difficulty from what is said,
Joram begat Ozias. It is certain that he did not beget him immediately, for Uzziah was the fourth from Joram. Jehoram or Joram begat Ahaziah, he was his youngest son; he lived but one year as king, 2Ch_22:1,2; then Athaliah usurped the kingdom for six years, not counting her usurpation. Joash the son of Ahaziah reigned forty years, 2Ch_24:1. He dies, and Amaziah his son reigned in his stead, 2Ki_12:21. He was the father of Uzziah, 2Ch_26:1, called Azariah, 2Ki_14:21. So that when it is said, that Joram begat Ozias, we must only understand that Uzziah lineally descended from Joram: thus, Mat_1:1, Christ is called the Son of David, the son of Abraham. Thus the Jews said: We have Abraham to our father; and Elisabeth is said to be of the daughters of Aaron, Luk_1:5. But it is a greater question why the evangelist leaves out Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah, who were all three lawful princes, and rightly descended from the family of David. To pass by various conjectures, the best account I find given of it is this.
1. It is manifest the evangelist had a design to divide all the generations from Abraham to Christ into three periods. The first of which should contain the growing state of the Jewish commonwealth, till it came at the height, which was in David’s time. The second should contain its flourishing state; which was from David’s time till the first carrying into captivity. The third should contain its declining state, from the first carrying them into captivity to the coming of Christ.
2. He designed to reduce all the generations in each period to fourteen; this appeareth from Mat_1:17. Now although the first period contained exactly fourteen descents or generations, yet in the second there was manifestly seventeen, so as the evangelist was obliged to leave out three to bring them to the number of fourteen: now though it be a little too curious to inquire why the evangelist chose to leave out these three, Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah, rather than any other three, yet there is a probable good account of it given by learned men, who have waded into these speculations. Ahaziah was the son of Jehoram by Athaliah the daughter of Ahab, 2Ch_21:6; Joash her grandchild; Amaziah her great grandchild. Now God had cursed the house of Ahab, and threatened to root out all his house, 1Ki_21:21. This (as is supposed) made the evangelist, who was necessitated to leave out three to bring the generations to fourteen, rather to choose to leave out these princes, who were of Ahab’s half blood, than any others. If any say, Why then did he not leave out more? Besides that he was not obliged any other way, (than as he would keep to his number to leave out these), he knew God’s threatenings of children for the sins of parents usually terminate in the third and fourth generation.