2 Chronicles 27
Here is a very short account of the reign of Jotham, a pious prosperous
prince, of whom one would wish to have known more: but we may better
dispense with the brevity of his story because that which lengthened
the history of the last three kings was their degeneracy in their
latter end, of which we have had a faithful account; but there was no
occasion for such a melancholy conclusion of the history of this reign,
which is only an account,
I. Of the date and continuance of this reign,
2 Chronicles 27:1,8.
II. The general good character of it,
2 Chronicles 27:2,6.
III. The prosperity of it,
2 Chronicles 27:3-5.
IV. The period of it,
2 Chronicles 27:7,9.
|The Reign of Jotham.
||B. C. 758.|
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.
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
3 He built the high gate of the house of the LORD, and on the
wall of Ophel he built much.
4 Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in
the forests he built castles and towers.
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.
6 So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before
the LORD his God.
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
8 He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and
reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.
9 And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the
city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead.
There is not much more related here concerning Jotham than we had
2 Kings 15:32-38,
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
(2 Chronicles 27:6),
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
(2 Chronicles 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
(2 Chronicles 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,
2 Chronicles 20:1.
He triumphed over them, and exacted great contributions from them,
2 Chronicles 27:5.
He became mighty
(2 Chronicles 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
(2 Chronicles 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,
2 Chronicles 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