The reign of King Jotham in Judah (740-736 BCE) (2 Kings 15:32-15:35)

“In the second year of King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel, King Jotham son of King Azariah of Judah began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign. He reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerusha daughter of Zadok. He did what was right in the sight of Yahweh, just as his father King Azariah had done. Nevertheless the high places were not removed. The people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. He built the upper gate of the house of Yahweh.”

Now we are back in Judah. King Jotham had actually been the caretaker of the Judah kingdom while his father suffered from leprosy. He was only 25 when his father died and he took over as king. He ruled for another 16 years yet the title of the Jerusalem Bible has only 5 years. His mother Jerusha is only mentioned here and nowhere else. There were 4 other people with the name of Zadok in the biblical literature. Since he had assisted his father while he was still alive, he was considered a good king, like his father. However, he did not destroy the high places of non-Yahweh worship in Judah. Nevertheless, he did put a gate on the house of Yahweh, the temple. Around this time, Isaiah the prophet will make his first appearance.

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