Keil and Delitzsch OT Commentary
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.Jotham having ascended the throne at the age of twenty-five, reigned altogether in the spirit and power of his father, with the single limitation that he did not go into the sanctuary of Jahve (cf. 2 Chronicles 26:16.). This remark is not found in 2 Kings 15, because there Uzziah's intrusion into the temple is also omitted. The people still did corruptly (cf. 2 Chronicles 26:16). This refers, indeed, to the continuation of the worship in the high places, but hints also at the deep moral corruption which the prophets of that time censure (cf. especially Isaiah 2:5., 2 Chronicles 5:7.; Micah 1:5; Micah 2:1.).
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.
He built the high gate of the house of the LORD, and on the wall of Ophel he built much.He built the upper gate of the house of Jahve, i.e., the northern gate of the inner or upper court (see on 2 Kings 15:35); the only work of his reign which is mentioned in the book of Kings. But besides this, he continued the fortifying of Jerusalem, which his father had commenced; building much at the wall of the Ophel. העפל was the name of the southern slope of the temple mountain (see on 2 Chronicles 33:14); the wall of Ophel is consequently the wall connecting Zion with the temple mountain, at which Uzziah had already built (see on 2 Chronicles 26:9). He likewise carried on his father's buildings for the protection of the herds (2 Chronicles 26:10), building the cities in the mountains of Judah, and castles (בּירניּות, 2 Chronicles 17:12) and towers in the forests of the mountains of Judah (חרשׁים from חרשׁ, a thicket).
Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers.
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.He made war upon the king of the Ammonites, and overcame them. The Ammonites had before paid tribute to Uzziah. After his death they would seem to have refused to pay this tribute; and Jotham made them again tributary by force of arms. They were compelled to pay him after their defeat, in that same year, 100 talents of silver, 10,000 cor of wheat, and a similar quantity of barley, as tribute. לו השׁיבוּ זאת: this they brought to him again, i.e., they paid him the same amount as tribute in the second and third years of their subjection also. After three years, consequently, they would seem to have again become independent, or refused the tribute, probably in the last years of Jotham, in which, according to 2 Kings 15:37, the Syrian king Rezin and Pekah of Israel began to make attacks upon Judah.
So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God.By all these undertakings Jotham strengthened himself, sc. in the kingdom, i.e., he attained to greater power, because he made his ways firm before Jahve, i.e., walked stedfastly before Jahve; did not incur guilt by falling away into idolatry, or by faithless infringement of the rights of the Lord (as Uzziah did by his interference with the rights of the priesthood). From the כּל־מלחמתיו in the concluding remark (2 Chronicles 27:7) we learn that he had waged still other successful wars. The older commentators reckon among these wars, the war against Rezin and Pekah, which kings the Lord began in his days to send against Judah (see 2 Kings 15:37), but hardly with justice. The position of this note, which is altogether omitted in the Chronicle, at the end of the account of Jotham in 2 Kings 15:37, appears to hint that this war broke out only towards the end of Jotham's reign, so that he could not undertake anything important against this foe.
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.
He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.The repetition of the chronological statement already given in 2 Chronicles 27:1 is probably to be explained by supposing that two authorities, each of which contained this remark, were used.
And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead.