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Two Chronicles Twenty Six

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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2 Chronicles 26:1 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.

Uzziah. Uzziah is the same as Azariah (2 Kings 14:21; 15:1). His name is mentioned by Tiglath-Pilezer on one of the Assyrian inscriptions.

2 Chronicles 26:2 He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.

2 Chronicles 26:3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 26:4 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.

which was right. It is striking that many of Judah's kings, beginning with Solomon and including such stalwarts as Asa, Joash and Amaziah, started their reigns doing “right in the sight of the Lord,” then later descended into compromise with paganism or into outright rebellion against God's Word. This same phenomenon is often noted, of course, among modern Christian leaders—not only among political leaders (like the kings of Judah)—but among religious and educational leaders, and in other fields as well.

2 Chronicles 26:5 And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.

Zechariah. Nothing more than this is known about this particular prophet Zechariah. One can speculate, however, that he was a namesake of the priest unjustly executed by Uzziah's grandfather, King Joash. Like Jehoiada's influence on Joash, Zechariah kept Uzziah true to God as long as he lived. He is not to be confused with the man who wrote the prophetic book of Zechariah; the latter prophesied in the days of the returning exiles.

sought the Lord. Uzziah's rebellion, after a particularly long and successful reign, was halted by the sudden judgment of lifelong leprosy (2 Chronicles 26:21). The principle that material prosperity accompanies faithfulness to God, and vice versa, was apparently applicable to the kings of Judah and Israel in most cases. This principle may possibly apply to modern heads of state as well, in many cases, but certainly cannot be applied to Christians in general (witness all the martyrs listed in Hebrews 11). God's true rewards for his faithful servants await the future life.

2 Chronicles 26:6 And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines.

2 Chronicles 26:7 And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gurbaal, and the Mehunims.

2 Chronicles 26:8 And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.

2 Chronicles 26:9 Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.

2 Chronicles 26:10 Also he built towers in the desert, and digged many wells: for he had much cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains: husbandmen also, and vine dressers in the mountains, and in Carmel: for he loved husbandry.

he built towers. A number of remains of desert towers dating from Uzziah's time have been excavated by archaeologists.

2 Chronicles 26:11 Moreover Uzziah had an host of fighting men, that went out to war by bands, according to the number of their account by the hand of Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the ruler, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king's captains.

2 Chronicles 26:12 The whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour were two thousand and six hundred.

2 Chronicles 26:13 And under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.

2 Chronicles 26:14 And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones.

habergeons. See note on Exodus 28:32.

2 Chronicles 26:15 And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.

2 Chronicles 26:16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.

2 Chronicles 26:17 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men:

2 Chronicles 26:18 And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God.

appertaineth not unto thee. See Numbers 16:39, 40. Only the priests were allowed by the law to burn incense on the altar. Note also Numbers 3:10, 38.

2 Chronicles 26:19 Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar.

2 Chronicles 26:20 And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.

2 Chronicles 26:21 And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land.

2 Chronicles 26:22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.

Isaiah the prophet. Note Isaiah 1:1. Here is the first reference in Chronicles to the great prophet Isaiah, who was destined to prophesy through the reign of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah and probably into the reign of Manasseh.

2 Chronicles 26:23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.