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Bible Commentaries

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
2 Chronicles 27



Verse 1


REIGN OF JOTHAM. (Comp. 2 Kings 15:32-38.)


PUBLIC WORKS (2 Chronicles 27:1-4).

(1) Jotham was twenty and five years old.—Word for word as 2 Kings 15:33, only adding Jotham.

Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok.—Perhaps the high priest Zadok of 1 Chronicles 6:12. (Comp. 2 Chronicles 22:11.)

Verse 2

(2) Howbeit he entered not.—The chronicler adds this reservation upon the preceding general statement. The author of Kings, having said nothing of Uzziah’s sacrilege, had no need to make such an exception.

And the people did yet corruptly.—Still used to deal corruptly; a paraphrase of what we read in 2 Kings 15:35, “the people still used to sacrifice and burn incense on the high places.” We know further, from the extant utterances of the prophets of those days, that a deep-seated moral corruption was sapping the strength of the nation. (Comp. Micah 3:10-12; Hosea 4:1-2.)

Verse 3

(3) He built.—He it was that built (pronoun emphatic). He “built,” i.e., restored and beautified. The same statement occurs in 2 Kings 15:35.

The high gate.—Rather, the upper gate; i.e., the northern gate of the inner or upper court (Ezekiel 9:2). The north being the holy quarter (Isaiah 14:13; Psalms 48:2), the north gate would be the principal entrance.

And on the wall of Ophel he built much.—The southern slope of the Temple hill was called the Ophel, i.e., “the mound.” Its wall would be the line of fortifications connecting Zion with Moriah, on which Uzziah had already laboured (2 Chronicles 26:9), with the same object of securing the city against attacks from the south and east. Neither this detail nor the next three verses are found in the parallel account. The style and contents of the passage indicate a good ancient source.

Much.—Larôb, “to much;” one of the chronicler’s favourite words.

Verse 4

(4) Moreover.—Literally, and cities built he in the hill region of Judah. (Comp. 2 Chronicles 26:10.)

Castles.—Bîrânîyôth; a term explained at 2 Chronicles 17:12. The contemporary prophets denounced the popular confidence in “fenced cities” as a kind of treason against Jehovah, who was Himself the shield and fortress of His people (Psalms 18:1; Isaiah 12:2). “Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth palaces; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof” (Hosea 8:14. Comp. Isaiah 2:15; Isaiah 17:3-4).

Verse 5

(5) He fought also with the king of the Ammonites.—“He also,” like his father, “fought with the king of the sons of Ammon.” They no doubt had refused the tribute imposed on them by Uzziah; but Jotham quelled their resistance, and they paid him a fixed contribution for three successive years.

The same year.—In that year; the year of the revolt.

Ten thousand measures.—Kôrîm. The kor was perhaps equivalent to our quarter. (Comp. 1 Kings 4:22; 2 Chronicles 2:10.)

The land of Ammon is fertile of grain even at the present day.

So much . . . and the third.—Rather, This (tribute) did the bnê Ammon restore to him (i.e., after withholding it during the year of rebellion); and in the second year, and the third. After three annual payments, the tribute was again suspended, perhaps because the Ammonites took advantage of the outbreak of the Syro-Ephraite war, which took place towards the end of the reign (2 Kings 15:37). There is no note of time in the text.

Verse 6

(6) So Jotham became mighty.—The chronicler’s customary phrase. “Strengthened himself,” “gained strength” (2 Chronicles 13:21).

Because he prepared.—For he directed his ways (Proverbs 21:29; comp. also 2 Chronicles 12:14; 2 Chronicles 20:33). Jotham directed his ways “before,” i.e., in the chronicler’s usage, “to meet,” “towards” Jehovah his God. (Comp. 1 Chronicles 12:17; 1 Samuel 7:3.) “Direct your heart towards Jehovah.” Perhaps, however, “before” simply means “as in the sight of” Jehovah. (Comp. Genesis 17:1, “walk before me.”)

The verse is a moral reflection of the writer on the preceding facts.

Verse 7

(7) And all his wars, and his ways.—See 2 Kings 15:36, “And all that he did.” The chronicler seems to have varied the phrase, in order to hint at the Syro-Ephraite war, mentioned in 2 Kings 15:37.

Verse 8

(8) He was five and twenty years old.—A word for word repetition of 2 Kings 15:33, omitting the last clause about the queen-mother. Perhaps in one of the chronicler’s sources this notice occurred at the beginning, and in another at the end of the reign. This would account for its repetition here, after having been already stated in 2 Chronicles 27:1.


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Bibliography Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 27:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 20th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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