JOTHAM


JOTHAM
JOTHAM (Heb. יוֹתָם; "YHWH is perfect"; c. 758–743 B.C.E.), king of Judah; son of uzziah (Azariah) and Jerusha, daughter of Zadok (II Kings 15:32–33; II Chron. 27:1). Jotham became king at the age of 25 and, according to II Kings 15:33, reigned 16 years. This contradicts the statement three verses earlier that "hoshea son of Elah, made a conspiracy … in the twentieth year of Jotham son of Uzziah" (II Kings 15:30), indicating that Jotham reigned at least 20 years. This may be the result of a miscalculation by a late historian who did not take the coregency (below) into account (Cogan and Tadmor, 181). The concluding phrase is missing from the Lucianic recension of the Septuagint. Apparently Jotham died close to the time of his father's death. According to II Kings 15:5, he was co-regent with his father after the latter had contracted a dread skin disease (ẓaraʿat; traditionally but inaccurately rendered "leprosy"), and was isolated outside the city, while Jotham was "in charge of the palace" (al ha-bayit), and thus was actually second in rank to the king. According to II Chronicles 27, Jotham built cities and fortresses and engaged the Ammonites in battle to defend Judah's claims in Trans-Jordan. He was successful in subjugating the Ammonites to Judah and in collecting tribute from them for three years (II Chron. 27:5). The rule of Judah in Transjordan is attested indirectly by I Chronicles 5:17, which tells of the census of the tribes of Israel in the area during the reigns of Jotham king of Judah and Jeroboam king of Israel. The notice that "the Lord began to send Rezin … and Pekah … against Judah" (II Kings 15:37) may indicate that the King of Israel and the King of Aram were responding to Jotham's expansionist moves (Cogan and Tadmor, 182–83). The prosperity of the country during his reign enabled him to undertake projects of fortification throughout the country. The general description given by the Chronicler is that Jotham continued his father's work. He fortified the wall of the Ophel in Jerusalem (II Chron. 27:3) and undertook repairs and made additions in the Temple area (ibid., II Kings 15:35). The Chronicler contrasts the piety of Jotham with the impiety of his father Uzziah,   whose skin disease he attributes to Uzziah's attempt to usurp priestly functions (II Chron. 26:16–21). According to Josephus, Jotham built chambers in the Temple and possibly raised the height of the building. (Encyclopaedia Hebraica / S. David Sperling (2nd ed.) -In the Aggadah Jotham was one of the most righteous of the kings of Judah. He loyally observed the fifth commandment by being content to act as regent during his father's reign, without even aspiring to the throne. Moreover, he always gave a ruling in his father's name. Simeon b. Yohai referred to Jotham's piety in the statement: "I alone am able to exempt the world from judgment from the day I was born until now; were my son Eliezer with me, we could exempt it from creation until now; and were Jotham with us, we could exempt it from the creation of the world until its end" (Suk. 45b). The difficulties presented by the conflicting scriptural datings of the reigns of Amaziah and Jotham are explained by the statement that Jotham ruled for 20 years during the illness of his father, Uzziah. The scriptural reference to the 20th year of Jotham's reign (II Kings 15:30), as against the statement that he reigned only for 16 years (II Chron. 27:1), is resolved by pointing out that because of his piety four years were deducted from Ahab's reign and added to those of Jotham (SOR 22). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Bright, Hist, 240, 256; Aharoni, in: Tarbiz, 21 (1940), 94ff.; S. Yeivin, Luhot Kronologiyyim… (1962); E. Auerbach, Wueste und Gelobtes Land, 2 (1936), 85ff.; Tadmor, in: A. Malamat (ed.), Bi-Ymei Bayit Rishon (1961), 158ff.; EM, S.V. (includes bibliography). AGGADAH: Ginzberg, Legends, index; I. Ḥasida, Ishei ha-Tanakh (1964), 197. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB; 1988); S. Japhet, I & II Chronicles (1993), 889–93; J. Kuntz, in: ABD, 3:1021–22.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • JOTHAM — (Heb. יוֹתָם; YHWH is perfect ), the youngest son of gideon the judge. Jotham was the only one to survive the massacre conceived by his half brother abimelech , whose hired assassins slew 70 of the 71 sons of Gideon (Jerubbaal) on one stone (Judg …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Jotham — ( God is perfect ; also Yotam Hebrew: יותם) is the name of two people of the Hebrew Bible:1. The youngest of Gideon s seventy sons. He escaped when the rest were put to death by the order of Abimelech (Judges 9:5). When the citizens of Shechem… …   Wikipedia

  • Jotham — Jotham, Sohn des Königs Usias von Juda, wurde, während sein Vater aussätzig war, Reichsverweser in Juda u. folgte demselben 757 als König; er st. 741 vor Beendigung des Kriegs mit Israel u. Syrien; sein Nachfolger war sein ihn unähnlicher Sohn… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Jotham — Jotham, 1) Sohn des Richters Gideon, entging nach Richt. 9 dem Blutbade, das sein Halbbruder Abimelech den übrigen Gideonssöhnen bereitet hatte. Er trat dem Brudermörder, den man in Sichem zum Könige gewählt hatte, in einer am Berge Gerisim… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Jotham — Jotham, König des Reichs Juda 740 735 v. Chr., führte schon unter seinem aussätzigen Vater Usia die Regentschaft; unter ihm trat der Prophet Jesaias auf …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Jotham —    Jehovah is perfect.    1) The youngest of Gideon s seventy sons. He escaped when the rest were put to death by the order of Abimelech (Judg. 9:5). When the citizens of Shechem and the whole house of Millo were gathered together by the plain of …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Jotham — This most interesting and unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a variant form of the patronymic Judson or Jutson. The male given names Jud(d) or Jut(t) are themselves pet forms of the very popular medieval name Jordan, from …   Surnames reference

  • Jotham —    1) (fl. c. 12th cent BCE)    Israelite, youngest son of Gideon. He was the sole survivor of Abimelech s massacre in which all his brothers died (Judges 9). He escaped to Mount Gerizim where he denounced the Shechemites for accepting Abimelech… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Jotham — Jọtham   [hebräisch eigentlich »Jahwe ist vollkommen«], biblische Gestalt aus der Richterzeit Israels; nach Buch der Richter 9,5 der jüngste Sohn Gideons; die ihm zugeschriebene Fabel (Buch der Richter 9, 7 15) warnt vor der Einführung des… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Jotham — 1) The youngest son of Jerubbaal (Gideon) who protested when the men of Shechem chose Abimelech to be their ruler (Judg. 9:7–21). 2) Son of Uzziah of Judah, king 750–734 BCE and therefore a contemporary of Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah [[➝  …   Dictionary of the Bible


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