Make a Donation
About The Author
Holy Day Calendar
Free Online Bibles
Bible Reading Plan
|Get Daily Bible Study on Facebook||Get Daily Bible Study on Twitter Follow @WayneBlank|
2 Chronicles 27-29
Jotham was the son and successor of his father Uzziah as king of Judah, although Jotham's administration, if not his reign itself, began while his father was yet alive. The Lord had struck Uzziah with leprosy for violating the Temple (see notes for 2 Chronicles 26), so Uzziah was isolated for the last years of his life as the law required for lepers. Perhaps with his father's example so plain, Jotham ruled Judah with more effort than his father (although not a total effort i.e. "the people still followed corrupt practices") to do things The Lord's way, as no doubt reinforced by Prophets such as Isaiah, Hosea and Micah who also served God in that time.
"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. And he did what was right in the eyes of The Lord according to all that his father Uzziah had done - only he did not invade the Temple of The Lord. But the people still followed corrupt practices. He built the upper gate of the house of The Lord, and did much building on the wall of Ophel. Moreover he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and forts and towers on the wooded hills." (2 Chronicles 27:1-4 RSV)
While he was obedient to Him, The Lord also delivered victory to Jotham over the Ammonites from east of The Jordan River.
"He fought with the king of the Ammonites and prevailed against them. And the Ammonites gave him that year [see Custom and Tribute] a hundred talents of Silver, and ten thousand cors of wheat [see Corn] and ten thousand of Barley [see also The Great Tribulation to understand what "tribulation" has to do with harvesting grain]. The Ammonites paid him the same amount in the second and the third years. So Jotham became mighty, because he ordered his ways before The Lord his God." (2 Chronicles 27:5-6 RSV)
Jotham reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem (see The Southern Kingdom).
"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. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in The City of David; and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead." (2 Chronicles 27:7-9 RSV)
2 Chronicles Chapter 28
Jotham was succeeded as king of Judah by his son Ahaz. As was the case so many times before (and after), the son failed to continue the righteous path of the father - Jotham permitted idolatry, and, ignoring the warnings from the prophets Isaiah, Hosea and Mica, sought dangerous allegiances with enemies in order to (try to) defend himself from the nations who were empowered by The Lord to deliver His wrath upon Jotham for his disobedience to God.
"Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of The Lord, like his father David [i.e. his forefather King David], but walked in the ways of the kings of Israel [i.e. The Northern Kingdom of "Israel"]. He even made molten images for the Baals [see Baal; also Baal-zebub and Beelzebub]; and he burned incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom [see Valley Of Hinnom], and burned his sons as an offering, according to the abominable practices of the nations whom The Lord drove out before the people of Israel. And he sacrificed and burned incense on the High Places, and on the hills, and under every green tree [see Groves].
When the defeat of Judah by Israel had gone far enough, The Lord informed Israel that it had been allowed to happen because of The Lord's wrath and that it was now time for Israel to withdraw from Judah - or face The Lord's wrath themselves.
The men of Israel took captive two hundred thousand of their kinsfolk, women, sons, and daughters; they also took much spoil from them and brought the spoil to Samaria.
Judah's other enemies (the Edomites and Philistines) were still allowed to trouble Judah, so King Ahaz sought help from a very dangerous source - Assyria. The Assyrians came, but rather than helping Judah, they treacherously attacked Judah in its weakened state i.e. "Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria came against him, and afflicted him instead of strengthening him."
"At that time King Ahaz sent to the king of Assyria [see Ancient Empires - Assyria] for help. For the Edomites had again invaded and defeated Judah, and carried away captives. And the Philistines had made raids on the cities in the Shephelah and the Negeb of Judah, and had taken Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages; and they settled there. For The Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had dealt wantonly in Judah and had been faithless to The Lord. So Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria came against him, and afflicted him instead of strengthening him. For Ahaz took from the house of The Lord and the house of the king and of the princes, and gave tribute to the king of Assyria; but it did not help him." (2 Chronicles 28:16-21 RSV)
Despite all of the warnings and painful lessons to get Ahaz to turn back to The Lord, Ahaz descended even further into corruption. It left his government and the nation in self-inflicted ruin.
"In the time of his distress he became yet more faithless to The Lord - this same King Ahaz. For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus which had defeated him, and said, "Because the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me." But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.
2 Chronicles Chapter 29
Hezekiah succeeded his father Ahaz as king of Judah - and proved that a good son can come from a corrupt father just as easily as a corrupt son can come from a good father. Hezekiah reigned twenty-nine years and "he did what was right in the eyes of The Lord, according to all that David his father had done."
"Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the eyes of The Lord, according to all that David his father had done." (2 Chronicles 29:1-2 RSV)
As happened other times in Judah's cycle of obedience and apostasy, The Temple of God had been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair during the time of a bad king and was then restored by a good king. Hezekiah was a good king who recognized why "the wrath of The Lord came on Judah and Jerusalem" during the times of unfaithfulness.
"In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of The Lord, and repaired them. He brought in the priests and the Levites, and assembled them in the square on the east, and said to them, "Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the house of The Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry out the filth from the holy place. For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done what was evil in the sight of The Lord our God; they have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of The Lord, and turned their backs. They also shut the doors of the vestibule and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. Therefore the wrath of The Lord came on Judah and Jerusalem, and he has made them an object of horror, of astonishment, and of hissing, as you see with your own eyes. For lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this." (2 Chronicles 29:3-9 RSV)
The Temple hadn't merely become unclean from dust and dirt; it was foul because of the idols that had been put in it. The Levites carried them out and dumped them in the Valley Of Kidron.
"They gathered their brethren, and sanctified themselves, and went in as the king had commanded, by the words of The Lord, to cleanse the house of The Lord. The priests [see also The Lines Of Eleazar and Ithamar] went into the inner part of the house of The Lord to cleanse it, and they brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of The Lord into the court of the house of The Lord; and the Levites took it and carried it out to the brook Kidron. They began to sanctify on the first day of the first month [see Bible Calendar and Bible Months], and on the eighth day of the month they came to the vestibule of The Lord; then for eight days they sanctified the house of The Lord, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished." (2 Chronicles 29:15-17 RSV)
Hezekiah also restored the music in the Temple as King David had arranged.
"And he stationed the Levites in the house of The Lord with cymbals, harps [see The Harp String Verses], and Lyres, according to the commandment of David and of Gad the king's seer and of Nathan The Prophet; for the commandment was from The Lord through his prophets. The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets." (2 Chronicles 29:25-26 RSV)
With Hezekiah as king, "the service of the house of The Lord was restored."
"Besides the great number of burnt offerings there was the fat of the peace offerings, and there were the libations for the burnt offerings. Thus the service of the house of The Lord was restored. And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because of what God had done for the people; for the thing came about suddenly." (2 Chronicles 29:35-36 RSV)