2 Chronicles 27 Commentary

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The Kingdom of Israel
From Splendor to Disaster
Splendor Disaster
King Solomon
of Judah
2 Chronicles 1-9
Successive Kings
of Judah
2Chr 10-36
2Chr 10:1-19
Rulers of the Southern
Kingdom of Judah
After the Split
The Exile
of Judah
2Chr 36:17-23

2Chr 1:1-17

2Chr 2:1-7:22
2Chr 8:1-9:31
of the Temple
Decline & Destruction
of the Temple
~40 Years ~393 Years

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2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

Legend: B.C. dates at top of timeline are approximate. Note that 931BC marks the division of the Kingdom into Southern Tribes (Judah and Benjamin) and Ten Northern Tribes. To avoid confusion be aware that after the division of the Kingdom in 931BC, the Southern Kingdom is most often designated in Scripture as "Judah" and the Northern Kingdom as "Israel." Finally, note that 1 Chronicles 1-9 is not identified on the timeline because these chapters are records of genealogy.

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Another Chart with Variable Dates for Reigns of Kings



2 Chronicles 27:1 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok.

Related Passage:

2 Kings 15:33-38 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Jerusha the daughter of Zadok. 34 He did what was right in the sight of the LORD; he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done. 35 Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. He built the upper gate of the house of the LORD. 36 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 37 In those days the LORD began to send Rezin king of Aram and Pekah the son of Remaliah against Judah. 38 And Jotham slept with his fathers, and he was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father; and Ahaz his son became king in his place.

Moody Bible Commentary makes an excellent observation - As has been noted, a main theme of the Chronicler is that the when the Davidic king “seeks the Lord” there is blessing and prosperity—enjoyment of the blessings of the covenant promises. But when the king “forsakes the Lord” there is loss of blessing and chastisement for both the nation and the king. This theme is once again in focus in the accounts of the next six kings. The vacillation between “good kings” and “bad kings” was not merely a historical reality. It also provided the Chronicler the opportunity to drive the lesson home: faithfulness and obedience bring the blessing of the Lord, and disobedience brings His displeasure and loss of blessing. The ultimate loss of blessing was the Babylonian captivity—the loss of enjoying the land itself. In these accounts the Chronicler began to foreshadow (what his generation knew all too well was) that inevitable reality. (BORROW Moody Bible commentary)


Raymond Dillard: This wholly positive account of Jotham represents a break in the Chronicler’s practice seen in the preceding three reigns of dividing his accounts of individual kings into alternating periods of good and bad; he will follow the practice of presenting a single consistent judgment through his account of Hezekiah (Williamson, 341).

Geoffrey Kirkland: Background & Bigger Context of the Ancient Near Eastern World:  Jotham reigned in a period when the Assyrians were on the rise -- powerfully, globally, increasingly, fearfully, and violently! And the contemporary prophets were Hosea, Micah, Amos and Isaiah. (this gives us a clue as to the society/culture of life in Judah during Jotham’s reign).  See Isaiah 1:1; 7:1; Hosea 1:1; Micah 1:1 [all speak of the reign of “Jotham” during these prophetic times]  This speaks of a corrupt, unjust, idolatrous, pagan, deceitful, greedy, arrogant time in Judah & Israel!

Frederick Mabie: The summary evaluation of Jotham is similar to that of Uzziah (cf. 2Ch 26:4). As with Uzziah (recall their long coregency; cf. v. 1), Jotham “grew powerful” (v. 6), enjoyed success in battle (v. 5), and received tribute from foreign nations (v. 5). Unlike Uzziah, however, Jotham did not grow proud and challenge Yahweh’s covenantal bounds regarding temple service, but instead “walked steadfastly” (or better, “caused his ways to be ordered”) before the Lord (v. 6). Unfortunately, the people under Jotham’s rule were not similarly inspired to pursue covenantal faithfulness.

Andrew Hill: The Chronicler’s review of Jotham’s reign applauds achievements on three fronts: his building program, his military success, and his consolidation of political power (2Ch 27:3-6).

L.M. Grant: Jotham's reign was comparatively short, just 16 years, and he died at 41years. He did what was right as his father had done, though he did not follow his father's bad example of entering the temple of the Lord. Yet in spite of his reign being better than most of the kings, the people still acted corruptly. This evil included their sacrificing in high places (2 Kings 15:35). Thus, though Jotham was personally faithful to the Lord, he did not have the spiritual energy to banish the false worship from Judah. But his good work of building the upper gate of the temple and on the wall of Ophel, and his building cities in the mountains and fortresses and towers in the forests, is commendable (vv.3-4). Jotham also by warfare brought the Ammonites into subjection, so that they paid him tribute of 100 talents of silver, 10,000 cors; of wheat and 10,000 of barley for three years in succession (v.5). The Ammonites picture the doctrine of demons, which, though not destroyed, were allowed no liberty during Jotham's reign. Thus we are told, "Jotham became mighty because he prepared his ways before the Lord his God" (v.6). His short reign of 16 years, he died and was buried in Jerusalem. Then his son Ahaz became king.

Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok. Jotham receives nothing but plaudits from the chronicler. 2 Kings 15:5 speaks of Jotham's coregency writing "The LORD struck the king, so that he was a leper to the day of his death. And he lived in a separate house, while Jotham the king’s son was over the household, judging the people of the land."

Bob Utley points out that "It is surprising that nothing negative is said about this king. He was faithful from the first to the last. The only negative item (2 Chr. 27:2) is attributed to "the people." Because of this it is surprising he does not receive more attention from the Chronicler. Also note that he did not have a godly counselor, did not receive a prophetic warning and did not receive a priestly warning. (ED: All 3 advantages were give to other kings but without the flawless record of Jotham!) 

Raymond Dillard: Jotham’s sixteen years included a ten-year coregency due to the illness (LEPROSY) of his father Uzziah (750–740/39 B.C.); however, the sixteen-year figure did not include a three-to-four-year overlap of his reign with that of his own son and successor Ahaz (735–732/31 B.C.), a fact that would allow for the synchronism with Jotham’s twentieth year (2 Kgs 15:30).

2 Kings 15:30  And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and struck him and put him to death and became king in his place, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.

Matthew Henry Notes: 2Ch 26:1-9
There is not much more related here concerning Jotham than we had before, 2 Ki. 15:32, etc.

I. He reigned well. He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord; the course of his reign was good, and pleasing to God, whose favour he made his end, and his word his rule, and (which shows that he acted from a good principle) he prepared his ways before the Lord his God (v. 6), that is, he walked circumspectly and with much caution, contrived how to shun that which was evil and compass that which was good. He looked before him, and cast his affairs into such a posture and method as made the regular management of them the more easy. Or he established or fixed his ways before the Lord, that is, he walked steadily and constantly in the way of his duty, was uniform and resolute in it: not like some of those that went before him, who, though they had some good in them, lost their credit by their inconstancy and inconsistency with themselves. They had run well, but something hindered them. It was not so with Jotham. Two things are observed here in his character:-

1. What was amiss in his father he amended in himself (2Ch 27:2): He did according to all that his father did well and wisely; howbeit he would not imitate him in which he did amiss; for he entered not into the temple of the Lord to burn incense as his father did, but took warning by his fate not to dare so presumptuous a thing. Note, We must not imitate the best men, and those we have the greatest veneration for, any further than they did well; but, on the contrary, their falls, and the injurious consequences of them, must be warnings to us to walk the more circumspectly, that we stumble not at the same stone that they stumbled at.

2. What was amiss in his people he could not prevail to amend: The people did yet corruptly. Perhaps it reflects some blame upon him, that he was wanting in his part towards the reformation of the land. Men may be very good themselves, and yet not have courage and zeal to do what they might do towards the reforming of others. however it certainly reflects a great deal of blame upon the people, that they did not do what they might have done to improve the advantages of so good a reign: they had good instructions given them and a good example set before them, but they would not be reformed; so that even in the reign of their good kings, as well as in that of the bad ones, they were treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath; for they still did corruptly, and the founder melted in vain.

II. He prospered, and became truly reputable.

1. He built. He began with the gate of the house of the Lord, which he repaired, beautified, and raised. He then fortified the wall of Ophel, and built cities in the mountains of Judah (2Ch 27:3, 4), took all possible care for the fortifying of his country and the replenishing of it.

2. He conquered. He prevailed against the Ammonites, who had invaded Judah in Jehoshaphat's time, 2Ch 20:1. He triumphed over them, and exacted great contributions from them, 2Ch 27:5. He became mighty (2Ch 27:6) in wealth and power, and influence upon the neighbouring nations, who courted his friendship and feared his displeasure; and this he got by preparing his ways before the Lord his God. The more stedfast we are in religion the more mighty we are both for the resistance of that which is evil and for the performance of that which is good.

III. He finished his course too soon, but finished it with honour.

He had the unhappiness to die in the midst of his days; but, to balance that, the happiness not to out-live his reputation, as the last three of his predecessors did. He died when he was but forty-one years of age (2Ch 27:8); but his wars and his ways, his wars abroad and his ways at home, were so glorious that they were recorded in the book of the kings of Israel, as well as of the kings of Judah, 2Ch 27:7.

The last words of the chapter are the most melancholy, as they inform us that Ahaz his son, whose character, in all respects, was the reverse of his, reigned in his stead. When the wealth and power with which wise men have done good devolve upon fools, that will do hurt with them, it is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.

Jotham, king and saint
This is the key-note of Jotham’s biography: “He prepared his ways before the Lord his God.” This may be applied like a key put into the lock of each of these verses of the record of his life.

I. HE WENT RIGHT WHERE HIS FATHER WENT WRONG (2Ch 27:2). Even on the pinnacle of success and popularity, his head was cool, and his heart was clear, and his nerves were steady, for he prepared his ways before the Lord his God.

II. HE COVERED THE COUNTRY WITH FORTIFICATIONS (2Ch 27:3-4). The man who is spiritual to the core will not be a weakling in the city, and he will not be easily turned aside. This disposes of the idea that to be a praying man and to be a business man do not go together.

III. HE PREVAILED AGAINST HIS ENEMIES (2Ch 27:5). Because, before he fought he prayed.

IV. HIS WEALTH INCREASED (2Ch 27:5). Prayer to God brought him his fortune.

V. HIS HUMILITY EXALTED HIM (2Ch 27:6). Conclusion: What was Jotham after all but a dim, distant, foreshadowing of Jesus Christ? If ever the text was true of any one, it was true of Him. (John McNeill.)

QUESTION - Who was King Jotham in the Bible?

ANSWER - Jotham became king of Judah at age twenty-five and reigned for sixteen years, from 750 to 735 BC (2 Kings 15:33; 2 Chronicles 27:1). “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Uzziah had done, but unlike him he did not enter the temple of the Lord. The people, however, continued their corrupt practices” (2 Chronicles 27:2; see also 2 Kings 15:34–35). King Uzziah had been faithful to the Lord but then became prideful and attempted to burn incense on the altar of the Lord, something only priests were permitted to do (2 Chronicles 26:16–20). As a result, God afflicted Uzziah with leprosy. Uzziah lived out the rest of his days in a separate house, while his son Jotham oversaw the palace and governed the people (2 Chronicles 26:21). Jotham did not repeat his father’s mistake of presumptuously entering the temple.

“Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God” (2 Chronicles 27:6). He rebuilt the Upper Gate of the temple and also did work on the wall at the hill of Ophel and built towns, forts, and towers (2 Chronicles 27:3–4). However, King Jotham failed to remove the high places so the people continued to make sacrifices there (2 Kings 15:35). Jotham waged a successful war against the Ammonites, resulting in their paying him tribute for three years (2 Chronicles 27:5). During Jotham’s reign “the Lord began to send Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah against Judah” (2 Kings 15:37). During the reign of Jotham’s son Ahaz, the Arameans would march against Judah, resulting in defeat and heavy casualties for Judah (2 Chronicles 28:5). Initial defeat was followed by Ahaz seeking help from the Assyrians and ultimately looting and shutting up God’s temple and creating more high places (2 Kings 16:5–18; 2 Chronicles 28:5–25).

Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah all prophesied during Jotham’s reign (Isaiah 1:1; Hosea 1:1; Micah 1:1). Also, the genealogies in 1 Chronicles 1–5 were recorded during Jotham’s reign (1 Chronicles 5:17).

Despite Jotham’s godly example, his son Ahaz proved to be a wicked king. Even so, both Jotham and Ahaz are ancestors of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:9). God is able to use all people to accomplish His good purposes.GotQuestions.org

2 Chronicles 27:2 He did right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah had done; however he did not enter the temple of the LORD. But the people continued acting corruptly.

  • And he did (KJV): 2Ch 26:4 2Ki 15:34 
  • he entered not (KJV): He copied his father's conduct as far as it was pious and constitutional; and avoided his transgression. 2Ch 26:16-21 Ps 119:120 Ac 5:13 
  • the people (KJV): 2Ki 15:35 


He did right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah had done; however he did not enter the temple of the LORD - Note the contrast word however, indicating Jotham followed the right things his father had done but not the bad things. Specifically he did not dare attempt to offer incense. Why not? He had a living example of God's punishment that he could see every day as a reminder God will punish sin! This surely was a major motivating factor in Jotham's good behavior, for he co-reigned for the first 10 years with his father who was leprous. Ten years of seeing leprosy on his father's forehead convinced him he did not want to incur the same divine curse! The phrase he did not enter the temple does not mean he never went to the area, but simply that he assiduously stayed away from the areas that were off limits to all but the priests. 

But - This is a sad and somewhat surprisingly term of contrast. The king did right, while the people did wrong! Normally when a leader leads out, the people will follow (Jdg 5:2+), but not this time. Jotham's faithfulness presents a striking contrast with people's unfaithfulness. 

The people continued acting corruptly (shachath) -  Jotham's personal piety did not prevent the people's pagan practices. The Hebrew phrase continued acting corruptly (shachath) is translated in the Septuagint with the verb  kataphtheiro which literally means to destroy (in Lev 26:39 = "will rot away because of their iniquity") or to ruin and here is in the imperfect tense (over and over, again and again) and middle voice this voice indicating that they were making the conscious choice to do this to themselves, i.e, choosing to ruin themselves! That's what unconfessed, persistent sin will do to the human soul!) There was a pretence of religion without reality and scrupulous ceremonialism was made a cloak for evil-doing. But Jotham was no party to this. The records do not charge him with any form of sin, as is done in the case of all the other kings of Judah. In his day Amos, Hosea and Isaiah prophesied. And in Isaiah 1-5 we get a good picture of the corruption of the people! 

The record of his father Uzziah/Azariah in 2 Kings would  help explain to some extent the people's ongoing corruption, for the writer records that "the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places." (2 Kings 15:4)

Moody Bible Commentary adds that "The corrosive influence of idolatry that had afflicted the nation during the reigns of Joash and Amaziah had not been overcome even during the long reign of Uzziah. Such are the pervasive and lasting effects of ungodliness and evil upon a nation. The Chronicler’s generation was being warned, “Do not let the evil of idolatry take root again.” (BORROW Moody Bible commentary)

Bob Utley on people continued acting corruptly "I assume this refers to fertility worship. None of the kings of Judah, so far, were successful at removing the local Ba'al worship sites (i.e., 2 Kgs. 14:4; 15:35). See FERTILITY WORSHIP OF THE ANE." Utley's assumption of what acting corruptly means may be accurate because of the persistence of the high places, where such activities were carried out. 

Knapp: Jotham is the only one of all the Hebrew kings, from Saul down, against whom God has nothing bad to record. In this his character is in beautiful accord with his name, Jehovah-perfect.

Thomas Constable: However, Jotham appears to have failed to lead his people in righteousness. There was no reformation of abuses or revival during his reign, as far as we know. Evidently the reference to Jotham not entering the temple (v. 2) means that he did not inappropriately violate the holy place, like his father had done (26:16). Another view is that he did not want to have anything to do with the temple, since God had judged his father when Uzziah entered it and offered incense inappropriately. (ED: I DOUBT THAT LATTER INTERPRETATION BECAUSE IN THE VERY NEXT VERSE HE HAD AT LEAST SOMETHING TO DO WITH TEMPLE IN BUILDING THE UPPER GATE!). 

Acting corruptly (07843shachath means to decay, to go to ruin, to corrupt, to destroy (Sodom and Gomorrah = Ge 13:10, Ge 18:28, 31-32), to lay waste (Egypt from swarms of flies -Ex 8:24). Shachath is used of Israelites who worshiped the golden calf (Ex 32:7; Dt 9:12; 32:5, Hos 9:9). God warned He would destroy Israel if they were turned away from following Him (Nu 32:15). Shachath describes Israel's behavior as more corrupt after a judge died (Jdg 2:19).

Shachath in Kings and Chronicles - 2 Ki. 8:19; 2 Ki. 13:23; 2 Ki. 18:25; 2 Ki. 19:12; 1 Chr. 20:1; 1 Chr. 21:12; 1 Chr. 21:15; 2 Chr. 12:7; 2 Chr. 12:12; 2 Chr. 21:7; 2 Chr. 24:23; 2 Chr. 25:16; 2 Chr. 26:16; 2 Chr. 27:2; 2 Chr. 34:11; 2 Chr. 35:21; 2 Chr. 36:19; 

2 Chronicles 27:3 He built the upper gate of the house of the LORD, and he built extensively the wall of Ophel.

  • high gate (KJV): 2Ch 23:20 Jer 20:2 
  • Ophel (KJV): or, the tower, "The wall," says the Targum, "of the interior palace." {Ophel} appears to have been a tower, or fort, on the city wall, in which we read "the Nehthinim dwelt." 2Ch 33:14 Ne 3:26,27 


He built the upper gate (North side) of the house of the LORD, and he built extensively the wall of Ophel. (South of Temple near city of David - see location on map above) - What is notable is that in Jotham's building projects, the first thing recorded relates to the Temple complex or as one writer says "As a true Davidic king he took an interest in the temple." Now go back and read about his father Uzziah's building projects and there is no mention of projects related to the Temple! From the very outset we can see that Jotham seems to have his priorities straight, and to such an extent that God does not see it necessary to send a prophet to keep him on the "straight and narrow." Recall that  2Ch 26:5 says that Uzziah "continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God prospered him." So Uzziah did have a prophet (Zechariah but not the one who wrote the post-exilic prophecy) that seems to have exerted significant influence on him up until the time his heart became prideful at all his achievements (2Ch 26:16). 

Bob Utley on the upper gate - It was an entrance to the temple court on the north (cf. 2Ki 15:35; 2Ch 23:20). It is unsure if Jotham built it or refurbished it. Apparently Jotham was very conscious of the sacredness of the temple. Later in Jehoiakim's time this gate was renamed "the New Gate." It was the location of the positioning of a large number of temple guards (i.e., 2Ki 11:6). the wall of Ophel refers to a filled area on the east between Mt. Zion and Mt. Moriah (cf. 2 Chr. 27:3; 33:14; Isa. 32:14; Micah 4:8).

Jerry Thrower emphasizes that "One of the first things he did had to do with repairing the Temple of the LORD. He served the LORD first! He went to work for the LORD and did something for HIM! He didn’t enter the Temple like is father did in pride and try to do what he was never called to do, “he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD”, he used his reign to serve the LORD! He showed that by repairing the Temple!"

Mark Boda: Interestingly, if the “upper gate” referred to here was that gate that linked the royal palace to the Temple courts (cf. 2Ch 23:20), Jotham’s reconstruction work may signal a desire to protect the Temple courts from royal intrusion.

J. Parker: Ophel means “the mount.” Where was the mount? On the southern slope. Why did the king build so much on Ophel? Because it was most accessible to the enemy. Like a wise commander he remembered that no man is stronger than his weakest point, and that no fortification is stronger than its frailest part; so the king built much where the wall was weakest, or where the access of the enemy was most open; and in doing so he gathered up and represented the wisdom and experience of the ages, and anticipated what we and all the sons of time ought to do. What is your weakest point in life? Build much there.

Raymond Dillard: The Chronicler has already compared Jotham with Uzziah (2Ch 27:2), and he appears to be deliberately perfecting the parallel. Uzziah rebuilt Corner Gate and Valley Gate (2Ch 26:9), and Jotham works on the Upper Gate of the temple. Uzziah built towers in the desert and in Jerusalem (2Ch 26:10), and Jotham builds towers in forested areas.

August Konkel: Jotham’s enterprises are a sequel to those of his father. The work of restoration begun by Uzziah was continued in sections that had not been completed. His forts and towers were in the forests, providing a network of lookouts and highway defenses, both on the frontier and within the kingdom.

Ophel -  Fortification in the southeast portion of ancient Jerusalem high above the slopes of the Brook Kidron strengthened by Jotham (2 Chr 27:3) and Manasseh (2 Chr 33:14). Isaiah describes the destruction of such a fortress when prophesying the judgment of God upon Jerusalem (Is 32:14). After the exile the temple servants lived there and repaired its walls (Neh 3:26, 27; 11:21). Josephus states that it was near the temple. Archaeological excavations at the traditional site in Jerusalem reveal fortifications dating from pre-Israelite times to the Maccabean period. (BORROW Baker encyclopedia of the Bible Volume: 3)

2 Chronicles 27:4 Moreover, he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and he built fortresses and towers on the wooded hills.

  • he built cities (KJV): 2Ch 11:5-10 14:7 26:9,10 
  • the mountains (KJV): Jos 14:12,13 Lu 1:39 
  • castles and towers (KJV): These castles and towers he doubtless built built for the protection of the country people against marauders.

Moreover, he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and he built fortresses and towers on the wooded hills.

Ron Daniel: He is building protection for the house of God. That is very interesting to me. You see, it seems that every time the enemy breaks into Jerusalem, they invade the temple and steal the valuable things which are sanctified for the Lord. This is the way our enemy still works. The enemy's primary goal is to invade the house of God and steal that which is sanctified for God: us.

2 Chronicles 27:5 He fought also with the king of the Ammonites and prevailed over them so that the Ammonites gave him during that year one hundred talents of silver, ten thousand kors of wheat and ten thousand of barley. The Ammonites also paid him this amount in the second and in the third year.

  • the king of the Ammonites: We find here, that he brought the Ammonites 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. 2Ch 20:1 Judges 11:4-33 2Sa 10:1-14 Jer 49:1-6 
  • ten thousand: Rather, "ten thousand {cors} (korim) of wheat."  The {cor} was same as the {homer,} and contained about 32 pecks 1 pint.


He fought also with the king of the Ammonites and prevailed over them so that the Ammonites gave him during that year one hundred talents of silver, ten thousand kors of wheat and ten thousand of barley. The Ammonites also paid him this amount in the second and in the third year - See Ancient Near East WEIGHTS AND VOLUMES

Believer's Study Bible - Although the reign of Jotham is described in 2 Kin. 15:7, 32-38, this is the only record of his victory over the Ammonites as a result of his dedication to the Lord (2 Chr. 27:6).

Ryrie - The silver was equivalent to 120,000 oz (3.75 tons, or 3.4 metric tons). 10,000 kors is equivalent to 60,000 bushels (2,200 kl). The Lord did what was promised in 2Ch 25:9! (“The LORD has much more to give you than this.”)

J.A. Thompson: While Uzziah’s main success in battle was against the Philistines (2Ch 26:6-7) and the Ammonites paid him tribute (2Ch 26:8), Jotham fought only the Ammonites (war against the Ammonites is recorded only here). Apparently they had stopped paying the tribute. This tribute seems to us to be very large. A hundred talents of silver is about 3.4 metric tons, and 10,000 cors of barley probably is about 62,000 bushels. The tribute apparently ceased again after three years, perhaps due to the rising power of Aram-Damascus in the area.

2 Chronicles 27:6 So Jotham became mighty because he ordered his ways before the LORD his God.

  • Jotham (KJV): 2Ch 26:5 
  • prepared (KJV): or, established, 2Ch 19:3 

Related Passages:

2 Chronicles 26:16 But when he became strong (chazaq), his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.

So Jotham became mighty (chazaqbecause he ordered his ways before (panim/paniym) the LORD his God - Don't miss the striking contrast related to the same verb mighty/strong (chazaq). The father's response is pride. The son's source of mighty is because he followed Jehovah. The clear implication is that he did not become prideful in the face of becoming mighty! Uzziah focused on self, while his son Jotham focused on God. 

The phrase before (panim/paniym) the LORD his God is notable as panim/paniym which means Jotham walked before the face of the Lord, the Septuagint using the preposition enanti which means in the presence of or in the sight of. Now think about this for a moment. His walk was such that "he was determined to please the LORD his God" (2Chr 27:6NET). Now consider the declaration and promise in 2Ch 16:9+ that "the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His." Surely this explains to some degree why Jotham is the only king in either Judah or Israel about which there is nothing negative recorded! 

THOUGHT - Does this truth motivate you to desire to carry out a 2Ch 16:9a walk? 

Bob Utley - Here again, the Chronicler makes a theological statement related to "the two ways." Obedience to the Mosaic covenant brings prosperity and blessing, but disobedience brings judgment (cf. Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28; Dt 30:15,19; Psalm 1:1-6).

Andrew Hill: The reference to Jotham’s becoming “powerful” is instructive. The same expression was used to characterize Uzziah’s earlier reign (Heb.chazaq cf.2Ch 26:16). But unlike his father, Jotham does not fall prey to the temptation of pride and turn away from God. His success is attributed directly to the fact that he “walked steadfastly before the Lord” (2Ch 27:6). This unique expression is generally understood to be synonymous with the phrase “to set one’s heart on God” (cf. 1 Chron. 22:19; 28:9; 2 Chron. 30:19).

Mark Boda: Here the Hebrew is literally, “He made firm his ways before Yahweh his God,” an expression that refers to doing something without flinching or wavering (see Prov 21:29 for the same phrase)..

Spurgeon - “So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God.”—2 Chronicles 27:6. - THIS is a very singular expression which is used here concerning Jotham, who is one of the kings of Judah who are commended as having done that which was right in the sight of the Lord. All of them had their faults, yet they were the best monarchs that sat upon the throne of Judah; and concerning Jotham it is mentioned as his peculiar honour that he “became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the Lord his God.” (Sermon Jotham's Peculiar Honor)

Became mighty (02388)(chazaq) conveys the basic meaning of to be or become strong, to make strong or strengthen, in the Hiphil to take hold of or seize ("retain His anger" - Mic 7:18+), in the Hithpael to strengthen oneself (to take courage 1 Sa 30:6). To be courageous. To overpower. Chazaq describes strength - severity of a famine (a "strong" famine) (2 Ki 25:3, Jer 52:6), strength of humans to overpower (David and Goliath  1 Sa 17:50, cf 1 Sa 17:35 = seized;, Amnon and Tamar = 2 Sa 13:14), in a battle, to capture (2 Chr 8:3), Samson's last demonstration of supernatural strength he prays "please strengthen me" (Jdg 16:28). Used in the charge "Be strong and courageous" (Josh 1:6, 7, 9,18, Josh 10:25, "be firm" = Josh 23:6; "Be strong and courageous" = Dt 31:6-7, 23). Chazaq used 12 times in Ex 4-14 of hardening Pharaoh's heart (cf similar use in Josh 11:20). In a great passage in Da 11:32+ we read "“By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength (chazaq) and take action.""

Chazaq is commonly used in Kings and Chronicles - 1 Ki. 1:50; 1 Ki. 2:2; 1 Ki. 2:28; 1 Ki. 9:9; 1 Ki. 16:22; 1 Ki. 20:22; 1 Ki. 20:23; 1 Ki. 20:25; 2 Ki. 2:12; 2 Ki. 3:26; 2 Ki. 4:8; 2 Ki. 4:27; 2 Ki. 12:5; 2 Ki. 12:6; 2 Ki. 12:7; 2 Ki. 12:8; 2 Ki. 12:12; 2 Ki. 12:14; 2 Ki. 14:5; 2 Ki. 15:19; 2 Ki. 22:5; 2 Ki. 22:6; 2 Ki. 25:3; 1 Chr. 11:10; 1 Chr. 19:12; 1 Chr. 19:13; 1 Chr. 21:4; 1 Chr. 22:13; 1 Chr. 26:27; 1 Chr. 28:7; 1 Chr. 28:10; 1 Chr. 28:20; 1 Chr. 29:12; 2 Chr. 1:1; 2 Chr. 7:22; 2 Chr. 8:3; 2 Chr. 11:11; 2 Chr. 11:12; 2 Chr. 11:17; 2 Chr. 12:13; 2 Chr. 13:7; 2 Chr. 13:8; 2 Chr. 13:21; 2 Chr. 15:7; 2 Chr. 15:8; 2 Chr. 16:9; 2 Chr. 17:1; 2 Chr. 19:11; 2 Chr. 21:4; 2 Chr. 23:1; 2 Chr. 24:5; 2 Chr. 24:12; 2 Chr. 25:3; 2 Chr. 25:8; 2 Chr. 25:11; 2 Chr. 26:8; 2 Chr. 26:9; 2 Chr. 26:15; 2 Chr. 26:16; 2 Chr. 27:5; 2 Chr. 27:6; 2 Chr. 28:15; 2 Chr. 28:20; 2 Chr. 29:3; 2 Chr. 29:34; 2 Chr. 31:4; 2 Chr. 32:5; 2 Chr. 32:7; 2 Chr. 34:8; 2 Chr. 34:10; 2 Chr. 35:2

G Campbell Morgan - 2 Chr 27.6.
 We have very few details of the reign of Jotham. In all probability the sixteen years referred to by the chronicler cover a period in which he was exercising authority, while his father Uzziah was still alive, though excluded from the kingly office on account of his leprosy. He continued the work of his father in the strengthening of the internal conditions of the kingdom by building; and he was successful in a campaign against the Ammonites. While there was no definite national reform during his reign, he seems to have gone quietly forward along true lines, and his strength is attributed to the fact that he ordered his ways before Jehovah his God. Perhaps three things helped this man. First, he reigned during the early period in which Isaiah was exercising his prophetic ministry. Second, his mother was almost certainly the daughter of Zadok the priest. Third, he profited by his father's example—both good and bad, following the good and shunning the evil. All good influences are to be valued, but the ultimate note is always personal. "He ordered his ways." If a man will do this, then he will ever profit by all the influences brought to bear on him, distinguishing between good and evil, and choosing according to the will of God.

Jotham’s epitaph

I. EVERY MAN IS UNDER GOD’S INSPECTION. How truly did the ancients realise this (Psa 139:1-24.; Jer 23:23-24; 2Ch 16:9; Job 34:22). We little consider this in the present day.

II. EVERY MAN SHOULD LIVE AS UNDER GOD’S INSPECTION. A man’s conduct will be very different if he realises that God’s eye is on him. He will avoid sin. He will bear in mind the love of his Father who is in heaven. He will try to please Him in thought as well as in deed.

III. The recognition of God’s presence is the foundation-stone of all prosperity. It renders a man great, for--
    1. It makes him careful not to do that which will disgrace him.
    2. It entitles him to Divine protection and help.
    3. It fills him with a consciousness of rectitude, which in itself is a panoply of defence. (Homilist.)

F B Meyer - 2 Chronicles 27:6   Jotham became mighty, because he ordered his ways. (R. V.)

There is a lower sense in which this holds good in daily and business life. You can hardly imagine a really successful man being untidy and disorderly. Method is the law of success; and a truly holy soul is sure to be orderly. I do not remember ever meeting one who really walked with God who did not make orderliness one of the first principles of life.

The Lord Jesus would have the men sit down in rows before He broke the bread; and He wrapped together His grave-clothes before He left the sepulchre. It was, therefore, in keeping with the whole tenor of His example when the apostle prescribed that all things should be done decently and in order.

Clear handwriting, especially the direction of an envelope, to give the postman as little trouble as possible; the careful folding of our cast-off garments, to save the maids needless work; the leaving our room that we have been occupying as little disturbed in its arrangements as may be; the gathering up of luncheon fragments from the green banks, where we have sat to view the entrancing prospect; the arrangement of papers, and accounts, and magazines, so that we can readily lay our hand upon whatever is required; the adopting of mental order in prayer and conversation, and in the thinking out of plans and purposes; neatness in dress— these are all part of the right ordering of life which makes for its success and comfort, and greatly for peace in the home. They are the habits of the soul that walks before God, and which is accustomed to think of Him as seeing in secret, and as considering all our ways. In this way we may become mighty, and by being faithful in that which is least come to great charges.

2 Chronicles 27:7 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, even all his wars and his acts, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.

  • Now the rest (KJV): 2Ch 20:34 26:22,23 32:32,33, A.M. 3262, B.C. 742
  • they are written (KJV): There is not so much found in the book of Kings, which we have now, as here:  in both places we have abridged accounts; the larger histories having been lost.

Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, even all his wars and his acts, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.

2 Chronicles 27:8 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.

He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem

J.A. Thompson: The Chronicler omits any reference to difficulties with Rezin and Pekah (2 Kgs 15:37), perhaps because he did not understand it as judgment on Jotham but on Judah generally and especially on Jotham’s successor, Ahaz. The account of Jotham is clearly a truncated one. Details of his death are not given, but he was buried with his fathers in the City of David, a burial that befitted his life and character (cp. 26:23).

2 Chronicles 27:9 And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David; and Ahaz his son became king in his place.

  • Jotham (KJV): 2Ki 15:38 

And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David; and Ahaz his son became king in his place.


1) Why do godly people sometimes fail to have a reforming influence on those under their authority (whether in the home or in society)?

2) Why did he only reign for sixteen years if he was such a godly king?

3) How do these building projects reflect the blessing of the Lord in granting him prosperity and security?

4) How careful and steadfast are we in our commitment to fully obey the Lord?


Andrew Hill: Selman has suggested that this three-generation sequence of a faithful father followed by a wicked son and a faithful grandson is based on the situation described by Ezekiel in his oracle on individual responsibility before God (Ezek. 18:1- 20). The stories of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah carry an important message for the Chronicler’s audience – each person and every generation is responsible to God for their behavior. The reigns of Jotham and Hezekiah are instrumental in demonstrating that a new generation need not be held hostage to the ungodliness they inherit from their predecessors. The combined tenure of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah on the throne of Judah extend from about 750 to 686 B.C. This means all three kings rule under the mighty shadow cast by the New-Assyrian empire (ca. 750-650 B.C.). The brutal grip of Assyria on Israel and Judah was first felt during the second western campaign of Tiglath-Pileser III (734-732 B.C.), when Pekah was replaced by Hoshea on the throne of the northern kingdom of Israel as an Assyrian puppet king (cf. 2 Kings 15:29-30). For all practical purposes Israel was annexed into the Assyrian Empire, and it is at this time that King Ahaz of Judah becomes an Assyrian vassal king (2 Kings 16:8). Not long thereafter, Shalmaneser V (and his successor Sargon II, who completed the campaign) invades Israel in order to punish the rebellion of Hoshea (cf. 2 Kings 17:1- 6). After a three-year siege, the city of Samaria was destroyed, survivors were deported to Assyria, and the entire northern kingdom was formally annexed into the Assyrian Empire (722 B.C.). Sometime later, during the reign of Hezekiah, the Assyrian overlord Sennacherib launches a western campaign (701 B.C.). The Assyrians subdue the coastal plain of Syria-Palestine from Phoenicia to Philistia and then turn full attention to Judah. They pillage the outlying regions of Judah but are thwarted in their siege of Jerusalem by a disastrous plague attributed to divine intervention as a result of prayers offered by Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah (2 Kings 18:17 – 19:36). The Assyrian annals do not report the outcome of Sennacherib’s siege of Jerusalem.

John McNeill: This is the key-note of Jotham’s biography: “He prepared his ways before the Lord his God.” This may be applied like a key put into the lock of each of these verses of the record of his life.

I. He went right where his father went wrong (2 Chronicles 27:2). Even on the pinnacle of success and popularity, his head was cool, and his heart was clear, and his nerves were steady, for he prepared his ways before the Lord his God.

II. He covered the country with fortifications (2 Chronicles 27:3-4). The man who is spiritual to the core will not be a weakling in the city, and he will not be easily turned aside. This disposes of the idea that to be a praying man and to be a business man do not go together.

III. He prevailed against his enemies (2 Chronicles 27:5). Because, before he fought he prayed.

IV. His wealth increased (2 Chronicles 27:5). Prayer to God brought him his fortune.

V. His humility exalted him (2 Chronicles 27:6). Conclusion: What was Jotham after all but a dim, distant, foreshadowing of Jesus Christ? If ever the text was true of any one, it was true of Him.



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