The Reign of Jotham.

V. 1. Jotham was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. Cp. 2 Kings 15, 32-35. His mother's name also was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok, probably a descendant of the famous priest of that name. V. 2. And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah did, all but the burning of incense in the Temple; howbeit, he entered not into the Temple of the Lord, that is, the Sanctuary proper. And the people did yet corruptly, idolatry was still being carried on in the high places, for Jotham seems to have lacked real energy; his reign was pretty colorless. V. 3. He built the high gate of the house of the Lord, that is, he repaired this gate on the upper side of the Temple area, and on the wall of Ophel, on the southern slope of the Temple mountain, he built much. V. 4. Moreover, he built cities in the mountains of Judah; and in the forests, in the wooded and rugged places, where fortified cities could not well be erected, he built castles and towers, forts which would serve for purposes of defense. V. 5. He fought also with the king of the Ammonites, who probably had attempted to revolt after paying tribute to Uzziah, and prevailed against them, they were unable to regain their independence. And the children of Ammon gave him the same year an hundred talents of silver and ten thousand measures of wheat (a measure, at that time, being almost six bushels) and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon pay unto him, both the second year and the third, as the regular annual tribute. V. 6. So Jotham became mighty, he held a position of some influence and authority among the surrounding nations, because he prepared his ways before the Lord, his God, he was established in his personal piety. It was only a little later, when the Syrians and Israel combined to attack the kingdom of Judah, that the Ammonites succeeded in regaining their independence, 2 Kings 15, 37. V. 7. Now, the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars and his ways, his entire manner of conducting his life, lo, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. V. 8. He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. V. 9. And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the City of David, with all the other kings of the dynasty of David; and Ahaz, his son, reigned in his stead. Even a ruler's piety cannot keep the punishment of God from an idolatrous people if they persist in their wickedness.