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Kings of Judah

One of Amaziah's sons, whom the people made king of Judah in his father's stead (2Kg 14:21; 2Chr 26:1). His long reign of about fifty-two years was "the most prosperous excepting that of Jehoshaphat since the time of Solomon." He was a vigorous and able ruler, and "his name spread abroad, even to the entering in of Egypt" (2Chr 26:8, 2Chr 26:14). In the earlier part of his reign, under the influence of Zechariah, he was faithful to Jehovah, and "did that which was right in the sight of the Lord" (2Kg 15:3; 2Chr 26:4f); but toward the close of his long life "his heart was lifted up to his destruction," and he wantonly invaded the priest's office (2Chr 26:16), and entering the sanctuary proceeded to offer incense on the golden altar. Azariah the high priest saw the tendency of such a daring act on the part of the king, and with a band of eighty priests he withstood him (2Chr 26:17), saying, "It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense."

Uzziah was suddenly struck with leprosy while in the act of offering incense (2Chr 26:19ff), and he was driven from the temple and compelled to reside in "a several house" to the day of his death (2Kg 15:5, 2Kg 15:27; 2Chr 26:3). He was buried in a separate grave "in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings" (2Kg 15:7; 2Chr 26:23). "That lonely grave in the royal necropolis would eloquently testify to coming generations that all earthly monarchy must bow before the inviolable order of the divine will, and that no interference could be tolerated with that unfolding of the purposes of God, which, in the fulness of time, would reveal the Christ, the true High Priest and King for evermore" (Dr. Green's Kingdom of Israel, etc.).

Ruled from 767 to 740/39.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

Son of Amaziah; called also Azariah (comp. 2Kg 15:1, 13, 30). He was king of Judah, and began to rule, at the age of sixteen, in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of Jeroboam II. The Kings record (ib. xv. 2) states that his reign extended through fifty-two years (788-737 B.C.), and that he was righteous as his father had been, though he did not take away the high places, but allowed the people to sacrifice and burn incense at them. II Chron. xxvi. relates how Uzziah conquered the Philistines and the Arabians, and received tribute from the Ammonites; how herefortified his country, reorganized and reequipped his army, and personally engaged in agricultural pursuits. His success as king, administrator, and commander-in-chief of the army made him ruler over the largest realm of Judah since the disruption of the kingdom. His power and authority over the peoples of this realm help to explain to a certain extent the political situation in the reign of Judah's later kings, and probably also in 739, when Tiglathpileser III. conquered nineteen districts in northern Syria which had belonged to Uzziah (Azri-ia-u).

Uzziah's strength became his weakness; for he attempted to usurp the power of the priesthood in burning incense in the Temple of Yhwh. While in the act he was smitten with leprosy; and he was subsequently forced to dwell in a leper's house until the day of his death (2Chr 26:21). While he was in this condition Jotham, his son, ruled in his stead. The total number of years, fifty-two, attributed to Uzziah's reign include the period from his accession to his death.

This entry includes text from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.
Facts about Uzziah (King of Judah)RDF feed
Child of Amaziah  +
Rule end 740  +
Rule start 767  +
Ruler of Judah  +


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