2Chronicles 27:1 ¶ Jotham was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok.
2Chronicles 27:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the LORD. And the people did yet corruptly.
Jotham was 25 years old when he became king, and he ruled for 16 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jerushah, daughter of Zadok. Jotham was a good king that followed the example of his father Uzziah in doing what was right before the LORD. He did not, however, try to overstep his authority and go where he was not allowed in the temple. In other words, he did pay attention and learn from his father’s wrongdoing.
Though the king set a good example, the people were becoming ever more corrupt and disobedient to the LORD. As noted in a previous chapter, both Hosea and Micah were prophesying at this time, as well as the prophet Isaiah. Their prophecies speak to the corrupt nature of the people.
The IVP Old Testament Commentary adds this historical note: “Extrabiblical evidence of Jotham’s reign includes a signet ring found at Tell el-Kheleifeh with his name and the picture of a horned ram. He is also named on a bulla found of Ahaz’s royal seal.”
2Chronicles 27:3 He built the high gate of the house of the LORD, and on the wall of Ophel he built much.
2Chronicles 27:4 Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers.
Jotham rebuilt the high gate (to the north) to the temple and added substantially to the wall of Ophel (to the south). He also built cities in the mountains of Judah and added more fortresses in the forest areas.
Guzik uses a quote from Knapp that is interesting if true: “In particular, it seems that Jotham rebuilt the link between the temple and the palace. ‘He wished free access from his own house to that of the Lord. He would strengthen the link between the two houses - keep his line of communication open (to use a military figure) with the source of his supplies of strength and wisdom. This is one of the secrets of his prosperity and power.’” Guzik then goes on to add: “His father Uzziah misunderstood the link between the royal house and the house God, demanding priestly authority. Many kings before him wanted no link between the royal house and the house of God. Jotham understood that he was a king and not a priest, yet he wanted a good, open link between the palace and the temple.”
2Chronicles 27:5 He fought also with the king of the Ammonites, and prevailed against them. And the children of Ammon gave him the same year an hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon pay unto him, both the second year, and the third.
2Chronicles 27:6 So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God.
Jotham led his army in victorious battle against the king of the Ammonites. In consequence, the Ammonites paid him a yearly tribute of 100 talents (over 3 tons) of silver, 10,000 measures of wheat and 10,000 measures of barley for three years. [Note: A measure or cor (from the Hebrew) is about 60 gallons. The IVP Commentary equates the 10,000 measures to about 65,000 bushels.]
The historian emphasizes that Jotham became mighty because he acted in deference to God’s will.
I have heard it taught that Isaiah was related to King Uzziah and found this quote at www.bible.ucg.org: “Isaiah is referred to 13 times as the son of Amoz, which may suggest that his father was a man of some prominence. According to Jewish rabbinic tradition in the Babylonian Talmud, this Amoz was a brother of Judah's King Amaziah. If so, this would make Isaiah first cousin to King Uzziah, and a grandson of King Joash—and thus a man of the palace, being of royal blood.”
If this is true, maybe King Jotham consulted the great prophet as he “prepared his ways” (made his plans) and sought to act in accordance to the LORD’s will.
2Chronicles 27:7 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
2Chronicles 27:8 He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.
2Chronicles 27:9 And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead.
Again, the historian closes his account of the king by noting that more is written about him in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. He reiterates that Jotham became king at age 25 and that he ruled for 16 years (until age 41) in Jerusalem.
The account of Jotham in the book of 2Kings notes that the LORD began to send Rezin, the king of Syria, and Pekah, the son of Remaliah, against Judah. This would be in response to the corrupt actions of the people, not against the king.
When Jotham died, he was buried in the city of David. His son Ahaz succeeded him to the throne.