New European Commentary


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Deeper Commentary


2Ch 27:1 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok-
Zadok, righteousness, is a typical priestly name; so we wonder whether this was another example of the kingly and priestly lines uniting.

2Ch 27:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that his father Uzziah had done. However he didn’t enter into Yahweh’s temple. The people still did corruptly-
Isaiah prophesied at this time (Is. 1:1), and condemns the people and their leadership as being deeply corrupt and spiritually leprous. The same word is used of the corruption of the land in the lead up to the flood (Gen. 6:11,12), so we are being set up to expect the coming of judgment. The same word is that used for 'destruction' (2 Chron. 26:16). Corruption was its own judgment, it was self destruction. And this is the nature of human sin; it is its own judgment. Jotham did good works as his father did, but there is no commentary about God's judgment of the state of his heart. And this is the all important factor.

2Ch 27:3 He built the upper gate of the house of Yahweh, and on the wall of Ophel he built much-
This was the gate which led from the king's palace to the temple. The fact the king rebuilt it would reflect his desire for access to the temple and a wish to show solidarity with the temple. "Ophel" is "the swelling ground", referring to the land between the Kidron and the Tyropean valley.

2Ch 27:4 Moreover he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers-
Many of the kings are described as opening their reigns by doing similar things to those done by their fathers. In this case, replicating the building passion of his father. We are therefore invited to ponder whether this was simply a function of psychological response to his father, or from a motive of personally wanting to serve God. We note the absence of any Divine comment upon the state of his heart (:2). This is to make us ponder, but not judge, what it might have been.

2Ch 27:5 He fought also with the king of the children of Ammon, and prevailed against them. The children of Ammon gave him the same year one hundred talents of silver, ten thousand measures of wheat and ten thousand of barley. The children of Ammon gave that much to him in the second year also, and in the third-
His father Uzziah had also fought with Ammon and got tribute out of them (2 Chron. 26:8). And Jotham surely seeks to replicate the actions of his father, as discussed on :4. We notice he did these things immediately after his father died, which is the usual psychological response of a son after a father dies. But this raises the question as to whether our motivations for Divine service are simply psychological reactions, or motivated by personal devotion toward God.

2Ch 27:6 So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before Yahweh his God-
If a man prepares his way after God’s principles (2 Chron. 27:6; Prov. 4:26), then God will ‘prepare’ that man’s way too (Ps. 37:23; 119:5), confirming him in the way chosen. His power might appear to have been because of bravery in military action and hard work, but it was rather from preparing his paths before God. We read this word for preparing or establishing in the context of the heart. Perhaps his "ways" refer to the ways of his heart. Or it could be that reference to the heart is purposefully omitted, and instead we are told that he prepared his ways before Yahweh, aware of His presence and observation in absolutely all he planned. 

2Ch 27:7 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars and his ways, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah-
This may not necessarily refer to the books of Kings which we now have in our Bibles.

2Ch 27:8 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem-
He died at 41, which is a number which repeats at least three other times in the history of the kings (1 Kings 14:21; 15:10; 2 Kings 14:23). We can only ponder whether this is all some kind of Divinely arranged program, the exact function of which we cannot understand although we perceive it as existent.

2Ch 27:9 Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David; and Ahaz his son reigned in his place
The description of death as sleeping with fathers is clear evidence that death is seen as a sleep, unconsciousness, and not as the start of an immortal soul going to heaven or 'hell'. Good and bad, David and Solomon, are gathered together in death. The division between them will only therefore come at the resurrection of the dead, and the granting of immortality at the judgment seat of the Lord Jesus.