Inspired by Jake's comment

Rashi to Yebamoth 63a, describing Naamah the Ammonitess' prolific progeny (which began in the Davidic line with her son, Rehoboam), mentions Hezekiah, Asa, and Jehoshaphat, whom he lists as 'wholly righteous'. What about Jotham and Josiah1?

Jotham has no stated faults, other than the high places, but Asa and Jehoshaphat also have this fault. Josiah may have erred by not heeding the word of God from the mouth of Pharaoh Necho, but each of the 3 mentioned kings made mistakes too. Hezekiah showed off his wealth to a Babylonian king, (allusion in Chronicles). Asa imprisoned an seer for rebuking him, and consulted physicians about a foot disease, instead of turning towards God. Jehoshaphat attempted to ally with the wicked Northern Monarchs multiple times.

Why does Rashi leave out Jotham and Josiah? are there flaws in them that are not stated in-text? Is there something exceptional about Hezekiah, Asa, and Jehoshaphat that sets them apart even from other righteous kings?

1. Amaziah turned to idols and was deposed. Uziah/Azariah was stricken with leprosy for a misguided attempt at seizing the priesthood, and he lived out his days in this state, which I could accept as meaning he was not fully forgiven.

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    Actually, from a Midrashic perspective, omitting Josiah is more surprising, as Vayiqra Rabah 30:3, and Yalqut Shim'oni on Tehilim 102 (Remez 855), mention him, along with the other three, as one of the righteous decedents of David.
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 16:31
  • Radak to chron 27 says that maybe Jotham refused to go to the Temple because of what had befallen his father and he instead used the high places. According that, Jotham would have been perpetually sinning, as opposed to other kings occasional faults. This interpretation is very hard to acccept though, given the juxtaposion between he and the nation, who in kings clearly uses the high places during his reign. Additionally, the wholeidea is based on the phrase in the verse that says he was like his father, except he didnt go into the temple, which pretty clearly alludes to Uziah's mistake.
    – Baby Seal
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 21:12
  • Also, on Sukkah 45b Simeon ben Yohai says that with Jotham's, (not Hezekiah, Asa, or Jehoshaphat's), help, he and his son could attone for all of the sins in the world, from beginning to end, which i think speaks pretty clearly to Jotham's righteousness.
    – Baby Seal
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 21:19
  • I love how you (meaning mechon-mamre) called bamos 'high places' Commented May 20, 2014 at 0:28
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    In a way, this question is asked by the Rashash (R' Shmuel Strashun), although he doesn't answer it. He points out that Rashi (Sukkah 45b, sv. יותם בן עוזיהו) declares Yotam to have been completely righteous, to have exemplified the mitzva of honouring one's father and of having been possessed of greater humility than any other king. He notes that Rashi doesn't mention Yotam here (Yevamot 63a), but doesn't suggest why.
    – Shimon bM
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 5:11


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