JOST, yest, ISAAK MARCUS: German Jewish historian; b. at Bernburg (23 m. s. of Magdeburg) Feb. 22, 1793; d. at Frankfort Nov. 22, 1860. He studied at the Samson school at Wolfenbüttel, at the gymnasium at Brunswick, and at the universities of Göttingen and Berlin (Ph.D., 1816), became principal of the Bock school in Berlin in 1826, and in 1835 was called to the Jewish Realschule (Philanthropin) at Frankfort. His principal works are, Geschichte der Israeliten seit der Zeit der Maccabäer bis auf unsere Tage (10 vols., Berlin, 1820-47); Allgemeine Geschichte des israelitischen Volkes (2 vols., 1831-32); a German translation of the Mishnah, with Hebrew commentary (6 vols., 1832-34); and Geschichte des Judenthums und seiner Sekten (3 vols., Leipsic, 1857-59). He also prepared school text-books, wrote political tracts in the interest of Judaism, made many contributions to the Jewish press, and to almanacs and year-books, edited the Israelitische Annalen, 1839-1841, and, in collaboration with Michael Creizenach, edited Zion, 1841-42. He holds high rank as historian, though he has been criticized for his rationalistic attitude toward the narratives in the Talmudic sources.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: JE, vii, 296-297, where further literature is given.

JOTHAM, jo'tham:

1. The youngest son of Gideon (Jerubbaal), who alone escaped the massacre of the Gideon family by his half-brother Abimelech, uttered his famous parable of the trees which sought a king, and then fled to Beer (Judges ix. 5-21).

2. Tenth king of Judah, son and successor of Uzziah. His dates, according to the old chronology, are 756-740 B.C., according to Peake (DB, ii. 789) 751-735 B.C. Confusion in the chronology of Israel is marked about this period, since II Kings xv. 30 assigns to Jotham at least twenty years, while data from the Assyrian annals allow only twelve years for his reign and that of Ahaz. It is supposed that the regnal years accredited to Jotham include those of his regency during his father's disability. Of his reign little is reported in the Book of Kings except that he "built the higher gate of the house of the Lord." The Chronicler adds that he built much of the wall of Ophel, also cities and fortresses; and that he subdued the Ammonites and imposed a heavy tribute upon them. The Book of Kings notes also that in his days the coalition between Syria and Israel against Judah began to be effective, the object being apparently to force Judah into the combination against the Assyrians, who were beginning to press heavily upon the Mediterranean region. The time seemed ripe for such plans, since Tiglath-Pileser was at the time engaged in the East. The great prophet of the times was Isaiah, and the picture in Isa. ii. 5 indicates that, in spite of apparent prosperity in the land, the internal conditions were not favorable.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: 1. The commentaries on Judges, particularly those by Moore and Budde.
2. Sources are: II Kings xv. 5, 32-38; II Chron. xxvii. Consult the pertinent sections in the literature given under AHAB, and the articles in the Bible dictionaries.


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