Did King Jehoram have Crohn’s disease?

Maybe:

“And after all this the Lord struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease. In the course of time, at the end of two years, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great agony.” -2 Chronicles 21:18-19

Crohn’s disease is known for causing fistulas between the bowels and other organs, including sometimes the skin. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anything else that could cause his bowels to “come out”. The etiology must not have been infectious, or at least not transmissible, since the text singles out Jehoram himself as having the disease. He died at the age of 40, and so the time of onset of the disease was probably about right–it usually starts between the ages of 15-35. Since it wouldn’t have become so severe as to kill him immediately, it makes sense that he may not have died until age 40. Additionally, Jewish ancestry is a risk factor for Crohn’s disease. Anyone else have any other plausible ideas for King Jehoram’s differential diagnosis?

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7 responses to “Did King Jehoram have Crohn’s disease?

  1. I would absolutely have to agree with you on this. When I was reading this one morning, the first thing that came to my mind was Crohn’s/Colitis. Today, the mortality rate is much lower because of IV fluids and prednisone but I imagine that one could definately die in a couple of years if it was severe enough.

  2. As a high school biology and anatomy/physiology teacher, I also thought of Crohn’s, but it would have to have been bad enough to literally decompose the mesentery (connective tissue) that connects the small/large intestines to the body. To have the “bowels” literally come out of the body must have been horrific! Shows that God will not tolerate disobedience!

  3. Crohn’s is a possibility (although scary to think about for those of us who have it, lol). Here’s another one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/15785440/ colorectal cancer

  4. I am not a physician, but curiosity led me to inquire about this king’s debilitating illness. Most of the medical sites I checked out support colorectal carcinoma in its highest stage: (stage four).

  5. How about hernia-rupture? once it occurs you cannot heal it but surgically, it is getting bigger and bigger and finally your bowels will drop out. I can easily imagine this as I passed through it.

  6. Pingback: Died how? — a regular elijah

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