Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 22

Jehoshaphat’s boats sink at Ezion Geber

1 Kings 22:48-49

As we saw in verse 47, Jehoshaphat controlled Edom – he appointed its ruler. That meant that he had control over Ezion Geber, a port in the south of Edom.

In 1 Kings 9:26-27, Solomon gained great wealth when he used that port for trade with Ophir. To do that, he had to build boats there. He did that with the aid of Hiram, the king of Tyre, whose men had great skill in the construction of boats.

During the rule of Ahaziah (Ahab’s son), Jehoshaphat believed that there was an opportunity to establish that trade again. Jehoshaphat controlled Ezion Geber – and Ahaziah’s mother, Jezebel, belonged to Sidon’s royal family (16:31). Sidon and Tyre were part of the same country, which now had a good relationship with northern Israel.

Ahaziah helped to arrange the construction of the boats (2 Chronicles 20:35-37). He hoped to agree with Jehoshaphat that his traders would travel with Jehoshaphat’s traders. However, Jehoshaphat would not agree to that arrangement. Jehoshaphat wanted complete control over the trade, and its profits. So, instead, Jehoshaphat paid Ahaziah for his work on the boats, and he made a peace agreement with Ahaziah.

That arrangement did not please God. Ahaziah was a wicked king, and Jehoshaphat should not have supported him with that peace agreement. So God told Jehoshaphat that he would destroy the boats.

That is what happened. Probably, there was a severe storm in which the boats sank. They never even left Ezion Geber.

Next part: The record of Jehoshaphat's death (1 Kings 22:50)


Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 1000+ page course book.


© 2024, Keith Simons.