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Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
Jotham succeeds his father Uzziah, and reigns well, 2 Chronicles 27:1, 2 Chronicles 27:2. His buildings, 2 Chronicles 27:3, 2 Chronicles 27:4. His successful wars, 2 Chronicles 27:5, 2 Chronicles 27:6. General account of his acts, reign, and death, 2 Chronicles 27:7-9.
1Jotham 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.
2And 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.
He entered not into the temple - He copied his father's conduct as far as it was constitutional; and avoided his transgression. See the preceding chapter, 2 Chronicles 26 (note).
3He built the high gate of the house of the LORD, and on the wall of Ophel he built much.
On the wall of Ophel - The wall, says the Targum, of the interior palace. Ophel was some part of the wall of Jerusalem, that was most pregnable, and therefore Jotham fortified it in a particular manner.
4Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers.
Castles and towers - These he built for the protection of the country people against marauders.
5He 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.
He fought also with - the Ammonites - We find here that he brought them under a heavy tribute for three years; but whether this was the effect of his prevailing against them, is not so evident. Some think that they paid this tribute for three years, and then revolted; that, in consequence, he attacked them, and their utter subjection was the result.
6So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God.
7Now 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.
The rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways - It was in his days, according to 2 Kings 15:37, that Rezin king of Syria, and Pekah king of Israel, began to cut Judah short. See the notes on 2 Kings 15:36, 2 Kings 15:37.
Written in the book of the kings, etc. - There is not so much found in the books of Kings which we have now, as in this place of the Chronicles. In both places we have abridged accounts only: the larger histories have long been lost. The reign of Jotham was properly the last politically prosperous reign among the Jews. Hezekiah and Josiah did much to preserve the Divine worship; but Judah continued to be cut short, till at last it was wholly ruined.
8He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.
9And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead.