When a chapter is particularly short or lacking in content that allows for commentary, I tend to lump it in with another chapter, a more exciting chapter, so that each post has approximately the same word weight. Unfortunately, when I started 2 Chronicles, I instead went through very short blurbs on each chapter and organized them thematically, instead. So while this chapter is very short, a piddling nine verses with nary a controversial one, I’ve already pre-dated all of my blog posts and don’t feel like having to go back and do it again. And so, dear reader, I give you King Jotham, in all his lack of glory.
Jotham gets an even briefer treatment in 2 Kings 15:33-38. There, we learn that he was 25 years old when he became king, and his reign lasted for 16 years. His mother’s name was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok. We were also told that he built up some of the Temple’s fortifications.
The Chronicler adds to Jotham’s building projects, giving him some cities in the hill country of Judah, as well as some forts and towers on the wooded hills.
And while both authors tell us that he was a good king, in the way of his father, the Chronicler adds the addendum that he did not, as his father did, “invade the temple of the Lord” (2 Chron. 27:2).
The Chronicler also adds that he beat the Ammonites, and that he collected a tribute of 100 talents of silver, 10,000 cors of wheat, and 10,000 cors of barley for three years in a row.
The more interesting difference, however, is in what the Chronicler leaves out. Specifically, 2 Kgs 15:37, where God sends more enemies (King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah) against Jotham. I can see three reasons for this omission:
- Error, perhaps the Chronicler’s eye skipped and he just forgot this verse;
- Though not stated, it’s possible that Jotham lost these battles, which would conflict with the Chronicler’s assessment that Jotham was mighty (2 Chron. 27:6);
- God sends enemies as punishments, which doesn’t really jive with the impression the Chronicler has been giving of Judah in this period.
And that’s it for Jotham. He died, he was buried with his forefathers, and his deeds were recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.