Fausset's Bible Dictionary


1. Gideon's youngest son; escaped when his 69 brothers were killed at Ophrah by their half brother Abimelech. Upon the latter being made king, Jotham from Mount Gerizim, which rises 800 ft. above the valley of Shechem on the S. side of the city, uttered against him and the Shechemites the parable or fable (the oldest extant) of the bramble and the trees. (See FABLE.) The olive, fig, and vine, the most valuable products of Palestine, represent the nobler persons like Gideon, who bear fruit to God's glory and man's good, and wish no transference to kingly positions ("to float about restless and insecure", nuwah, instead of being rooted in the soil: Jdg_9:9). The bramble, good for nothing but to burn, represents Abimelech who can do nothing but harm. The bramble's hollow pretentiousness appears in his invitation, "trust in my shadow!" It could only scratch, not shelter from the heat. Easily catching fire, it can set on fire the noblest trees of Lebanon; the worthless can cause fatal hurt to the noblest (Exo_22:5). Jotham fled to Beer and dwelt there, out of Abimelech's way.

2. King Jotham, son of Uzziah or Azariah and Jerushah. He was regent during Uzziah's leprosy (2Ch_26:21); at the age of 25 he succeeded him, and reigned for 16 years in Jerusalem (758-742 B.C.). A contemporary of Isaiah. He did right before the Lord; but did not remove the high places, for "the people did yet corruptly," sacrificing and burning incense still on them (2 Kings 15; 2 Chronicles 27), He built the higher gate of the house of Jehovah, i.e. the N. gate of the inner or upper court (see Eze_8:3; Eze_8:5; Eze_8:14; Eze_8:16; Eze_9:2; Eze_40:38-43), and built much at the wall of the Ophel (the S. slope of the temple mountain, a wall from which passed to the W. mountain, commonly called Zion), and cities on Judah's mountains, and castles in the forests to protect the herds, as Uzziah had done (2Ch_26:10). (See JERUSALEM.) He imposed on Ammon, after subduing them, a heavy tribute for three years.

3. 1Ch_2:47.


Taken from: Fausset's Bible Dictionary by Andrew Robert Fausset (1821-1910)