Uzziah becomes king of Judah. His pride is his downfall.
VERSE 1. All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the place of his father Amaziah.
Uzziah. He is sometimes referred to as Azariah.
sixteen years old. Uzziah is only 16 years old when he is installed as king.
in the place of his father Amaziah. Amaziah was so despicable that his own people assassinated him. Now they install his son Uzziah as their king.
Two questions come to mind:
- Will Uzziah be as despicable as his father?
- Will they assassinate Uzziah too?
VERSE 2. He built Eloth and restored it to Judah. After that the king slept with his fathers.
VERSE 3. Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jechiliah, of Jerusalem.
he reigned fifty-two years. That is an extraordinarily long time.
VERSE 4. He did that which was right in the LORD’s eyes, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.
VERSE 5. He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the vision of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.
He set himself to seek God. This is our primary calling in life!
Seeking the Lord and exploring the faith is a never-ending process!
Seeking the kingdom of God is to be our number one priority. Yet for many of us, our use of time and money show that it is a low priority. Read more »
VERSE 6. He went out and fought against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in the country of Ashdod, and among the Philistines.
fought against the Philistines. Uzziah continued the pattern of attacking nearby nations. If nothing else, it boosts his own popularity.
VERSE 7. God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur Baal, and the Meunim.
VERSE 8. The Ammonites gave tribute to Uzziah. His name spread abroad even to the entrance of Egypt, for he grew exceedingly strong.
VERSE 9. Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.
built towers in Jerusalem. These are like the towers of a fortress.
VERSE 10. He built towers in the wilderness, and dug out many cisterns, for he had much livestock, both in the lowlands and in the plains. He had farmers and vineyard keepers in the mountains and in the fruitful fields, for he loved farming.
dug out many cisterns. Uzziah undertook massive agricultural projects in the desert, as well as in the foothills and on the plains.
VERSE 11. Moreover Uzziah had an army of fighting men who went out to war by bands, according to the number of their reckoning made by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king’s captains.
VERSE 12. The whole number of the heads of fathers’ households, even the mighty men of valor, was two thousand six hundred.
VERSE 13. Under their hand was an army, three hundred seven thousand five hundred, who made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.
VERSE 14. Uzziah prepared for them, even for all the army, shields, spears, helmets, coats of mail, bows, and stones for slinging.
VERSE 15. In Jerusalem, he made devices, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and on the battlements, with which to shoot arrows and great stones. His name spread far abroad, because he was marvelously helped until he was strong.
devices … to shoot arrows and great stones. That is, catapults.
VERSE 16. But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, so that he did corruptly and he trespassed against the LORD his God, for he went into the LORD’s temple to burn incense on the altar of incense.
his heart was lifted up. That is, he became arrogant.
Uzziah’s great power led to great pride. That was his downfall.
Proverbs 16:18. Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (New International Version)
he went into the LORD’s temple to burn incense. Burning incense could only be done by priests.
What he did was forbidden. So he was stricken with leprosy.
VERSE 17. Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him eighty priests of the LORD, who were valiant men.
VERSE 18. They resisted Uzziah the king, and said to him, “It isn’t for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed. It will not be for your honor from the LORD God.”
They resisted Uzziah the king. These priests are standing up for the Law. It is righteous that they do this.
VERSE 19. Then Uzziah was angry. He had a censer in his hand to burn incense, and while he was angry with the priests, the leprosy broke out on his forehead before the priests in the LORD’s house, beside the altar of incense.
VERSE 20. Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead; and they thrust him out quickly from there. Indeed, he himself also hurried to go out, because the LORD had struck him.
VERSE 21. Uzziah the king was a leper to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the LORD’s house. Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.
Jotham his son was over the king’s house. Due to his leprosy, Uzziah has to be quarantined. He has to surrender the kingship to his son Jotham.
VERSE 22. Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, wrote.
VERSE 23. So Uzziah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the field of burial which belonged to the kings, for they said, “He is a leper.” Jotham his son reigned in his place.
Uzziah slept with his fathers. That is, Uzziah died.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.