2 Chronicles Chapter 27
Verses 1-6: “Jotham (2 Kings 15:32-38), the son of Uzziah, became the tenth legitimate king of Judah at age 25. Jotham followed the Lord through his lifetime, and unlike other good kings who ended poorly, Jotham ended well. Despite his personal faithfulness, the people of Judah “did yet corruptly”. Every Christian should pray to remain faithful even when surrounded by faithlessness.
Verses 1-9: The reign of Jotham (ca. 750-731 B.C.; compare 2 Kings 15:32-38).
Isaiah (Isa. 1:11), and Hosea (Hosea 1:1), continued to minister during his reign, plus Micah (Micah 1:1), prophesied during that time also.
(Verses 1-4 and 7-9; see notes on 2 Kings 15:33-37).
2 Chronicles 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.”
Alone, after the death of his father.
“And he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem”: And his reign, upon the whole, was a good reign.
His mother’s name also [was] Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok”: A person well known in those times.
(See 2 Kings 15:33).
In the last lesson, we learned that Jotham began to reign, when his father became leprous. He was not actually crowned king until many years later. Jotham did that which was right in the sight of the LORD. It appears he followed in the steps of his father in following God, and took a warning from the leprosy that God caused his father to have for his disobedience. There is very little known of his mother Jerushah. There are several people named Zadok in the Bible, but very little else is known of this particular one. Jotham began to reign when he was 25, and reigned for 16 years. “Jotham” means Jehovah is upright.
2 Chronicles 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.”
See (2 Kings 15:34).
“Howbeit, he entered not into the temple of the Lord”: To burn incense, as his father did. He did according to his good ways, but not his evil ones.
“And the people did yet corruptly”: In sacrificing and burning incense in the high places (2 Kings 15:35). Which some think Joash himself did, and is meant in the preceding clause; but the sense given is best.
It appears that Jotham greatly feared the LORD and did not go into the temple as his father did. The people remained corrupt in their worship in the high places and burned incense to false gods. This was a time when the nation was away from God, even though they still clung to a form of worshipping God. That is very similar to our society today. We have a form of religion, but we are out of relationship with God.
2 Chronicles 27:3 “He built the high gate of the house of the LORD, and on the wall of Ophel he built much.”
(See the note on 2 Kings 15:35).
“And on the wall of Ophel he built much”: Which Kimchi interprets a high place. It was the eastern part of Mount Zion. Josephus calls it Ophlas, and says it joined to the eastern porch of the temple. And some have thought the porch of the temple is meant. The Targum renders it a palace; it is a tradition of the Jews that it was the Holy of Holies.
“Wall of Ophel”: Is located on the south side of Jerusalem.
This is the northern gate of the inner court that was rebuilt by Jotham. He tried to repair the wall and the gate that had been torn down.
2 Chronicles 27:4 “Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers.”
In the mountainous part of it, the hill country of Judea (Luke 1:65).
“And in the forests he built castles and towers”: For the safety of travelers, and of shepherds and their flocks (see 2 Chron. 26:10).
These were actually fortifications to be used against any oncoming army they might face. These were not castles in the sense of the king’s palace, but a high building as a fortification.
2 Chronicles 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 a 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.”
“Ammonites” (see note on 2 Chron. 26:8). Jotham repelled the invasion, pursuing the enemy into their own land and imposing a yearly tribute, which they paid for two years until Rezin, king of Syria, and Pekah, king of Israel, revolted and attacked. Jotham was too distracted to bother with the Ammonites (compare 2 Kings 15:37).
“One hundred of talents”: If a talent is about 75 pounds, this represents almost 4 tons of silver.
“Ten thousand measures”: If a measure is 7.5 bushels, this represents 75,000 bushels.
Jotham’s “Ammonite” campaign is not recorded by the author of 2 Kings.
It appears he defeated the Ammonites, but instead of killing them he made them pay tribute to Judah. This along with the wheat and barley, was paid for three consecutive years. The large amounts of wheat and barley that were paid each year for three years give us some idea of just how fertile the land of the Ammonites was.
2 Chronicles 27:6 “So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God.”
“Jotham” did not duplicate the foolish pride of his farther (compare verse 2), but found his success in spiritual things. The heart that is prepared … “before the Lord” is the soil in which God’s “mighty” acts can be grown.
His one failure was in not removing the idolatrous high places and stopping idol worship by the people (compare verse 2; 2 Kings 15:35).
Now we see the reason for the blessings God bestowed on Jotham. His first thought was loyalty to his God. He stayed faithful to the LORD his God. He walked in the belief in his God daily.
2 Chronicles 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.”
Not only with the Ammonites, but with the Syrians, and ten tribes (see 2 Kings 15:37).
“And his ways, lo, they are written in the books of the kings of Israel and Judah”: Not in the canonical books of Kings, but in the Chronicles of the kings of both nations (see 2 Kings 15:36).
Jotham lived and reigned pleasing unto the LORD. The book of the kings of Israel and Judah could be a historical book, but he is also spoken of in the book of Kings in the Bible. The one really outstanding thing he was remembered for, was the re-building of the temple gates.
2 Chronicles 27:8 “He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.”
The same is repeated here as in (2 Chron. 27:1).
This is probably speaking of his formal reign as king. He actually reigned as a subordinate to his father, before he died of leprosy. He was probably just a lad, when he filled in for his dad in his illness. He was 25 when he was crowned king.
2 Chronicles 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.”
These verses are much the same with (2 Chron. 28:2).
When Jotham died, he was buried with honor in Jerusalem. This son Ahaz was a very evil king. He did not follow in his father’s steps. Ahaz followed in the footsteps of the kings of Israel.
2 Chronicles Chapter 27 Questions
1. How old was Jotham, when he began to reign?
2. How many years did he reign?
3. What was his mother’s name?
4. When did he begin to reign for his father?
5. What kind of a king was he?
6. What was the one thing his father did, that he did not do?
7. The people remained __________.
8. How was Judah, then, similar to our land today?
9. What great thing is mentioned, that he did in verse 3?
10. Which gate is this?
11. He built _________ in the mountains of Judah.
12. What were these really?
13. Who did he fight against and prevail?
14. What did he do, instead of killing the Ammonites?
15. How many ounces of silver did they give in one year?
16. What food products did they give Judah, in way of tribute?
17. How many years did they have to pay tribute?
18. Why did Jotham become mighty?
19. What was the one really outstanding thing Jotham is remembered for?
20. Where was Jotham buried?