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Jotham Of Judah

Jotham, from the Hebrew name pronounced yo-thawm, succeeded his father Uzziah (see Uzziah / Azariah Of Judah) as king of Judah. Unlike most kings of Israel and Judah (see Kings of Israel and Judah), Jotham began governing while his predecessor was still alive; Jotham's father Uzziah was struck with leprosy, as a punishment from the LORD (i.e. from Jesus Christ; see 'The God Of The Old Testament' and 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'; also The Floods Brought By Christ), because of his entering into the Temple of God and arrogantly presuming to do himself what only authorized Levites were permitted to do (see also Raiders Of The Lost Ark).

"15:5 And the LORD smote the king, so that he was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house. And Jotham the king's son was over the house, judging the people of the land.

15:6 And the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

15:7 So Azariah slept with his fathers [see The Sleep Of Death]; and they buried him with his fathers in The City of David: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead." (2 Kings 15:5-7 KJV)

Jotham "judged" as regent (someone who rules during the absence or inability a monarch) in place of his father, beginning at age twenty five, for approximately the seven years that Uzziah lived with leprosy until he died. It would seem obvious, given the Biblical instruction for the isolation of those with leprosy (i.e. Leviticus 13 - which Uzziah was obviously obeying voluntarily, or being forced to obey by his son Jotham, who, as regent, would have been the only one in authority to tell a king, and his father, what to do), that Jotham actually saw very little of his father during that time. After Uzziah's death, Jotham reigned for sixteen years entirely in his own right.

"26:21 And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land." (2 Chronicles 26:21 KJV)

"So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God"

As was frequently done for recording the reigns of kings of Israel and Judah, the beginning of the reign of a king was stated in time reference to a reigning king in the other kingdom. This was stated for Jotham i.e. "In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel [see Israelite Monarchy - The Northern Kingdom] began Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah [see Israelite Monarchy - The Southern Kingdom] to reign."

The Holy Scriptures

"15:32 In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel began Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah to reign. 15:33 Five and twenty years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok.(2 Kings 15:32-33 KJV)

The northern kingdom of Israel was conquered and taken into exile by Assyria, in totality, by 721 BC (see Ancient Empires - Assyria). The southern kingdom of Judah lasted longer, until it was conquered and taken into exile by Babylon, in totality, by 586 BC (see Ancient Empires - Babylon). In the time of Jotham of Judah, the kingdom of Israel was beginning to be conquered by the Assyrians (see The Galilee Captivity).

"15:29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abelbethmaachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.

15:30 And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah." (2 Kings 15:29-30 KJV)

Jotham was, overall, a good, but not "perfect," king of Judah.

"15:34 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD: he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done.

15:35 Howbeit the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burned incense still in the high places. He built the higher gate of the house of the LORD." (2 Kings 15:34-35 KJV)

Jotham was, overall, militarily and politically successful. One mistake of his father that Jotham did not repeat was entering the Temple and blaspheming it. After seeing the leprosy delivered unto his father for such arrogance, Jotham maintained a more humble attitude ("he entered not into the temple of the LORD"), even though he failed to rid the kingdom of idolatry.

"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. 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.

27:3 He built the high gate of the house of the LORD, and on the wall of Ophel he built much. 27:4 Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built Castles and towers.

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 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.

27:6 So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God." (2 Chronicles 27:1-6 KJV)

At the end of his long reign, Jotham died and was buried in Jerusalem. He was succeeded as king of Judah by his son Ahaz.

"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. 27:8 He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. 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." (2 Chronicles 27:7-9 KJV)

Jotham is mentioned in three of the books of the prophets.

"1:1 The vision of Isaiah [see The Prophets: Isaiah] the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah." (Isaiah 1:1 KJV)

"1:1 The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea [see The Prophets: Hosea], the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel." (Hosea 1:1 KJV)

"1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Micah [see The Prophets: Micah] the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem." (Micah 1:1 KJV)

Fact Finder: Were prophets sometimes sent specifically to either Israel or Judah?
See The Prophets: North and South


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