Bible Commentary: 2 Kings 15:32-37 and Related

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Bible Commentary

2 Kings 15:32-37 and Related

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Reign of Jotham

Jotham was a fairly good and successful king, following the positive example set by his father Uzziah and avoiding his father's big mistake. But the wickedness of the people continued. Still, Jotham refortified Judah, as the Assyrians and other possible enemies were increasingly a threat. He reasserted control over Ammon, which had apparently broken free of its tributary status under Uzziah. And he became a "mighty" ruler. Finally, it is explicitly stated that God enabled all this because Jotham "prepared his ways before the Lord his God" (2 Chronicles 27:6).

Jotham, we are told, reigned for 16 years (2 Kings 15:33), including a 12-year coregency with his father Uzziah. Yet verse 30 mentions Jotham's 20th year. So it would appear that Jotham, four years before that 20th year, turned the rule of the nation over to his son Ahaz, who would prove to be a wicked king. It was apparently sometime during these four years—when Ahaz was sole king even though Jotham was still alive—that God began to allow Syria under Rezin and Israel under Pekah to begin menacing Judah (2 Kings 15:37), a turn of events we'll see more about in an upcoming reading.