2 Chronicles
Introduction 1-5 Uzziah king of Judah 6-15 Military and Agricultural Prosperity 16-18 Uzziah Becomes Proud 19-21 Uzziah Becomes a Leper 22-23 The Death of Uzziah
Introduction

In this chapter and the ten following chapters we have the history of Uzziah and ten other kings. In the days of these kings most prophesy prophets of whom we have a bible book. This concerns both the so-called great and little prophets. What is written in the books of these prophets sheds light on these eleven chapters. It is highly recommended to read and take to heart the books of the prophets.

In this chapter we have again two parts. The first part shows an ascending line, containing the power and prosperity of Uzziah (verses 1-151And all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who [was] sixteen years old, and made him king in the place of his father Amaziah.2He built Eloth and restored it to Judah after the king slept with his fathers.3Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Jechiliah of Jerusalem.4He did right in the sight of the LORD according to all that his father Amaziah had done.5He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God prospered him.6Now he went out and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath and the wall of Jabneh and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in [the area of] Ashdod and among the Philistines.7God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur-baal, and the Meunites.8The Ammonites also gave tribute to Uzziah, and his fame extended to the border of Egypt, for he became very strong.9Moreover, Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate and at the Valley Gate and at the corner buttress and fortified them.10He built towers in the wilderness and hewed many cisterns, for he had much livestock, both in the lowland and in the plain. [He also had] plowmen and vinedressers in the hill country and the fertile fields, for he loved the soil.11Moreover, Uzziah had an army ready for battle, which entered combat by divisions according to the number of their muster, prepared by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the official, under the direction of Hananiah, one of the king’s officers.12The total number of the heads of the households, of valiant warriors, was 2,600.13Under their direction was an elite army of 307,500, who could wage war with great power, to help the king against the enemy.14Moreover, Uzziah prepared for all the army shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows and sling stones.15In Jerusalem he made engines [of war] invented by skillful men to be on the towers and on the corners for the purpose of shooting arrows and great stones. Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he [was] strong.). The second part shows a descending line, containing the pride, sickness and death of Uzziah (verses 16-2316But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.17Then Azariah the priest entered after him and with him eighty priests of the LORD, valiant men.18They opposed Uzziah the king and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful and will have no honor from the LORD God.”19But Uzziah, with a censer in his hand for burning incense, was enraged; and while he was enraged with the priests, the leprosy broke out on his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, beside the altar of incense.20Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he [was] leprous on his forehead; and they hurried him out of there, and he himself also hastened to get out because the LORD had smitten him.21King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death; and he lived in a separate 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.22Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first to last, the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, has written.23So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the grave which belonged to the kings, for they said, “He is a leper.” And Jotham his son became king in his place.).


Uzziah king of Judah

1And all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who [was] sixteen years old, and made him king in the place of his father Amaziah. 2He built Eloth and restored it to Judah after the king slept with his fathers. 3Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Jechiliah of Jerusalem. 4He did right in the sight of the LORD according to all that his father Amaziah had done. 5He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God prospered him.

When Amaziah is killed, Uzziah becomes king (verse 11And all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who [was] sixteen years old, and made him king in the place of his father Amaziah.). He becomes that in a special way, namely because “all the people of Judah” make him king. This remarkable state of affairs may indicate that in Jerusalem there are other thoughts regarding the succession. But God here uses the will of the people to keep a lamp burning for David’s house. Uzziah – also called Azariah (2Kgs 15:1-71In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah became king.2He was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.3He did right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.4Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.5The LORD struck the king, so that he was a leper to the day of his death. And he lived in a separate house, while Jotham the king’s son was over the household, judging the people of the land.6Now the rest of the acts of Azariah and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?7And Azariah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David, and Jotham his son became king in his place.) – is only sixteen years old when he becomes king.

The first act described of Uzziah is that he builds the port of Eloth or Elath and brings it back under the authority of Judah (verse 22He built Eloth and restored it to Judah after the king slept with his fathers.). Eloth is important for sea trade. The fact that he does this “after the king slept with his fathers” probably refers to the death of the king of Edom. Restoration of lost territory can only take place if the LORD is recognized in His authority.

God is the God of restoration. When He gives restoration, it is to make us spiritually stronger through it. We also see this with Peter, who after his restoration is used by the Lord to strengthen his brothers (Lk 22:31-3231“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded [permission] to sift you like wheat;32but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”). Peter was restored by Him after his denial of the Lord and strengthened his brothers in their faith through his letters.

Again it is said that Uzziah is sixteen years old when he becomes king (verse 33Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Jechiliah of Jerusalem.; verse 11And all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who [was] sixteen years old, and made him king in the place of his father Amaziah.). That emphasizes his age. It shows that God attaches great value to young people who want to live for Him. We have other examples of this in Joshua, Samuel, Solomon, Joash and Timothy. Uzziah is, apart from Manasseh, the longest reigning king. He reigns no less than fifty-two years, from 791-740 BC. His mother’s name is also mentioned, together with the place where she comes from. As is customary with mothers, she has had a great influence on his development. She will also have helped him to do his job well during his first years in reign.

The reign of Uzziah is described by comparing it with the reign of his father (verse 44He did right in the sight of the LORD according to all that his father Amaziah had done.). He does, like his father Amaziah, what is right in the sight of the LORD. This is, as with his father, the first part of his life, for at the end of his life he, like his father, departs from the LORD.

Uzziah is doing well as long as he seeks the LORD (verse 55He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God prospered him.). He is helped by someone, as happened with his grandfather Joash (2Chr 24:22Joash did what was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.). Uzziah has someone in Zechariah “who had understanding through the vision of God”. Zechariah must have had a special relationship with God. The right teaching comes from fellowship with God in the sanctuary, not from a theological college. It is a great blessing for Uzziah to have such a man next to him. Such a situation is a rarity (2Chr 15:33For many days Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law.).

There is a task for older, spiritual believers to teach young believers to see God by reading His Word, for He reveals Himself in His Word. It is also necessary to teach young believers to seek God in prayer. It is to be hoped that young believers recognize the great privilege of such exhortations and act accordingly. There is also a great responsibility here for fathers in relation to their children.


Military and Agricultural Prosperity

6Now he went out and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath and the wall of Jabneh and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in [the area of] Ashdod and among the Philistines. 7God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur-baal, and the Meunites. 8The Ammonites also gave tribute to Uzziah, and his fame extended to the border of Egypt, for he became very strong. 9Moreover, Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate and at the Valley Gate and at the corner buttress and fortified them. 10He built towers in the wilderness and hewed many cisterns, for he had much livestock, both in the lowland and in the plain. [He also had] plowmen and vinedressers in the hill country and the fertile fields, for he loved the soil. 11Moreover, Uzziah had an army ready for battle, which entered combat by divisions according to the number of their muster, prepared by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the official, under the direction of Hananiah, one of the king’s officers. 12The total number of the heads of the households, of valiant warriors, was 2,600. 13Under their direction was an elite army of 307,500, who could wage war with great power, to help the king against the enemy. 14Moreover, Uzziah prepared for all the army shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows and sling stones. 15In Jerusalem he made engines [of war] invented by skillful men to be on the towers and on the corners for the purpose of shooting arrows and great stones. Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he [was] strong.

The LORD blesses him further with victories and prosperity. He has military and agricultural blessing. First there is military blessing. Uzziah’s first acts of war are directed against the Philistines (verse 66Now he went out and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath and the wall of Jabneh and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in [the area of] Ashdod and among the Philistines.). These enemies are closest to him. They live in the border area and are a constant threat. They are a picture of the nominal Christians, people who are also a great threat to the true Christians, because they are so close to the true Christians in their confession, while their hearts are far from the truth.

Uzziah breaks down the walls of some cities of the Philistines. In the spiritual sense, it suggests that the arguments that nominal Christians use for their erroneous teachings and wrong practices are unmasked and rejected by God’s Word. We can think of the foolish reasoning that God is love and that ‘thus’ all love is from God. This is without shame applied to, for example, a homo-sexual relationship. But God’s Word condemns such a relationship. Uzziah is helped by God (verse 77God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur-baal, and the Meunites.). We can also count on His help when we resist the enemies of God and His Word. Such action compels respect (verse 88The Ammonites also gave tribute to Uzziah, and his fame extended to the border of Egypt, for he became very strong.).

After dealing with the threats from outside Uzziah focuses on his land. He also starts there with buildings to protect God’s center of worship. Hostile powers are particularly concerned with this. Therefore Uzziah builds some towers in Jerusalem and fortifies them (verse 99Moreover, Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate and at the Valley Gate and at the corner buttress and fortified them.). Towers are lookout points to signal possible danger from afar, so that precautions can be taken. We can compare these towers to the warnings in the New Testament where we are told to look out for or heed people with wrong teachings and practices (Acts 20:2828Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.; 1Tim 4:1616Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.).

Uzziah is not only active in the city and for God’s sanctuary, but also in the wilderness (verse 10a10He built towers in the wilderness and hewed many cisterns, for he had much livestock, both in the lowland and in the plain. [He also had] plowmen and vinedressers in the hill country and the fertile fields, for he loved the soil.). Our lives do not only take place in the sanctuary, but also in the world. Towers are also needed in the wilderness, which means that vigilance is required in our daily lives (1Pet 5:88Be of sober [spirit], be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.). Furthermore, Uzziah hews many cisterns in the wilderness to water the much livestock he has. We also need the refreshment from God’s Word to keep our service to the Lord in offering sacrifices – for which livestock, among other things, serve – fresh. That takes effort, we have to ‘hew’ or dig for it into the Word of God.

The life of Uzziah not only consists of defending and surviving in the wilderness, but his heart also goes out to the hill country and the fertile fields (verse 10b10He built towers in the wilderness and hewed many cisterns, for he had much livestock, both in the lowland and in the plain. [He also had] plowmen and vinedressers in the hill country and the fertile fields, for he loved the soil.). His heart goes out to the same as where God’s heart goes out to (Deu 11:1212a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year.). He loves God, He loves the land and He loves the people. Uzziah is a king-farmer with plowmen and vinedressers who he uses on the hill country and the fertile fields. It is his concern to harvest the rich fruit of the land as a sacrifice to God (Deu 26:6-116And the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, and imposed hard labor on us.7Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction and our toil and our oppression;8and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with great terror and with signs and wonders;9and He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.10Now behold, I have brought the first of the produce of the ground which You, O LORD have given me.’ And you shall set it down before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God;11and you and the Levite and the alien who is among you shall rejoice in all the good which the LORD your God has given you and your household.) and as food for the people (Ecc 5:88If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight; for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them.).

In this way the Lord also wants to use us as plowmen and vinedressers. This happens when we occupy ourselves with His Word in order to gather from it the rich fruit for which we want to worship Him and share it with His own. That works food and joy.

Then the chronicler returns to Uzziah’s army (verse 1111Moreover, Uzziah had an army ready for battle, which entered combat by divisions according to the number of their muster, prepared by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the official, under the direction of Hananiah, one of the king’s officers.). Thereby the reference to Uzziah’s love of agriculture is enclosed by two communications about his military strength. It tells us that we can only enjoy the riches of the land, the fruits it produces – these are for us the blessings of the heavenly places in Christ (Eph 1:33Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ,) – if we are capable fighters for the truth. We must be strong “in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2Tim 2:11You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.) and “as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2Tim 2:33Suffer hardship with [me], as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.) fight the battle.

In battle, “the total number of the heads of the households” (verse 1212The total number of the heads of the households, of valiant warriors, was 2,600.) is needed, no one may be missing, no one may evade it. These are those who occupy a responsible place in God’s people. They are themselves valiant warriors and have command over “an elite army …, who could wage war with great power” (verse 1313Under their direction was an elite army of 307,500, who could wage war with great power, to help the king against the enemy.). It is also important in the spiritual struggle we are facing that there are good examples and good followers. The entire army must “help the king against the enemy”. Thus the Lord Jesus uses the believers to resist the enemy in his attempts to attack the church and deprive it of its blessings.

Uzziah has prepared for all the army – there is emphatically “all the army” – with all possible weapons to defend and attack (verse 1414Moreover, Uzziah prepared for all the army shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows and sling stones.). The weapons made available to us by the Lord Jesus are not carnal, but spiritual (2Cor 10:3-53For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,4for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.5[We are] destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and [we are] taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,; Eph 6:10-1810Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places].13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.14Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,15and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil [one].17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,). Uzziah pays special attention to Jerusalem in order to strengthen the city with engines of war (verse 15a15In Jerusalem he made engines [of war] invented by skillful men to be on the towers and on the corners for the purpose of shooting arrows and great stones. Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he [was] strong.). Jerusalem is the center of worship and therefore the great target of enemy attacks. Uzziah realizes that and for that reason makes a fortress of the city. A place of worship is therefore also a protected and therefore safe place.

The tools of war are “invented by skillful men”. It requires a special ability to devise a spiritual defense system for attacks on the center of Christian life, the worship of the Father. This defense system is found in the Word of God. If we arm ourselves with God’s Word, we will see the attacks coming and we will also know how to repel them. Every believer must know his own weaknesses and be particularly vigilant there.

All the activities of Uzziah that we have seen before, give him a fame that is widely known. He owes this not to himself and his efforts, but to the LORD who “marvelously helped” him. That has brought him to a height of fame and power. The last words of verse 15b15In Jerusalem he made engines [of war] invented by skillful men to be on the towers and on the corners for the purpose of shooting arrows and great stones. Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he [was] strong., introduced with the word “until”, are a turning point and herald a dramatic change.


Uzziah Becomes Proud

16But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. 17Then Azariah the priest entered after him and with him eighty priests of the LORD, valiant men. 18They opposed Uzziah the king and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful and will have no honor from the LORD God.”

Man often does not know how to deal with adversity or prosperity. Uzziah forgets that he owes his prosperity and strength to the LORD. When he has become strong, his heart becomes proud (verse 1616But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.). And “pride [goes] before destruction” (Pro 16:18b18Pride [goes] before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
). Pride leads to destruction. Uzziah believes that he can enter the sanctuary and behave as a king-priest. Authority and power in the realm of the kingship given to him by God leads to the temptation to be able to exercise authority and power in a realm that God has not given him.

In his audacity he moderates himself to the fact that he can burn incense. This happens in the sanctuary. He does so without having received any instruction from God. On the contrary, it is contrary to God’s statutes. God has determined that only priests may enter the sanctuary. God’s Word says he acts “corruptly”. Uzziah’s sin is different from that of his father and grandfather. Joash and Amaziah have transgressed by idolatry, removing, as it were, themselves from the sanctuary. Uzziah, on the other hand, enters the sanctuary and thereby becomes an offender. We are always inclined to fall into extremes.

Uzziah is sooner in the sanctuary than the priests. But the priests, under Azariah’s request, follow him (verse 1717Then Azariah the priest entered after him and with him eighty priests of the LORD, valiant men.). They are called “valiant men”. Men who stand up for the glory of God are valiant men, especially when they stand up against the most powerful man of Judah. No man, however distinguished, should be allowed to grasp what God has not given him.

The pride of Uzziah manifests itself in the field of service to God. We can compare that with the revolt of Korah, Dathan and Abiram (Num 16:1-31Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took [action],2and they rose up before Moses, together with some of the sons of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, chosen in the assembly, men of renown.3They assembled together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You have gone far enough, for all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?”). Uzziah places himself on a pedestal. This is happening today everywhere in Christianity where Christians adopt a religious position and conduct themselves in a religious manner, without taking into account God’s regulations.

Boldly, the priests oppose Uzziah the king (verse 1818They opposed Uzziah the king and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful and will have no honor from the LORD God.”). They point out to him what the LORD has determined about the incense. He should not go into the sanctuary and command him to leave. That he is there proves that he is unfaithful to the LORD. They will not be misled by all the good things Uzziah has done for the LORD. These good things are no excuse for the priests not to point out to Uzziah his unfaithfulness.

That is a lesson for us. We are inclined not to blame one who has done much good. But it is not about how we look at someone and his actions, but about how God judges certain actions. There is praise for the good, and there is admonition for the wrong.


Uzziah Becomes a Leper

19But Uzziah, with a censer in his hand for burning incense, was enraged; and while he was enraged with the priests, the leprosy broke out on his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, beside the altar of incense. 20Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he [was] leprous on his forehead; and they hurried him out of there, and he himself also hastened to get out because the LORD had smitten him. 21King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death; and he lived in a separate 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.

Uzziah is furious at the priests who reprimand him (verse 1919But Uzziah, with a censer in his hand for burning incense, was enraged; and while he was enraged with the priests, the leprosy broke out on his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, beside the altar of incense.). There he stands, with the censer in his hand and planning to do something beautiful. If he is busy there with a religious act, something he feels good about, he is told by a few ‘sharpeners’ that he may not do this! He, the great man, blessed by God! Where do they get the audacity from? For him, the priests are people who take the Bible far too literally. They leave you no room to experience faith in your own way.

Uzziah cannot be persuaded. In reality he resists God’s statutes. While he erupts in anger against the priests, leprosy breaks out in him, on his forehead. The forehead speaks of the thinking of man, his mind. It symbolizes that the mind rules over the things of God. It represents the over-estimation of human reason in serving God.

Uzziah has his own thoughts about what he can do in the service of God and follows these thoughts. The conditions under which the leprosy breaks out are described in more detail. It happens “before the priests in the house of the LORD, beside the altar of incense”. The circumstances in which he sinned make his sin very serious.

God could have smitten Uzziah with all kinds of illnesses or even death, but He smites him with leprosy. Leprosy is a picture of the sin that breaks out in man. In the Old Testament we encounter three persons with whom leprosy breaks out. First there is Miriam. She moderates herself to have the same authority as Moses (Num 12:1-101Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman);2and they said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?” And the LORD heard it.3(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.)4Suddenly the LORD said to Moses and Aaron and to Miriam, “You three come out to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them came out.5Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tent, and He called Aaron and Miriam. When they had both come forward,6He said,
“Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision.
I shall speak with him in a dream.
7“Not so, with My servant Moses,
He is faithful in all My household;
8With him I speak mouth to mouth,
Even openly, and not in dark sayings,
And he beholds the form of the LORD.
Why then were you not afraid
To speak against My servant, against Moses?”
9So the anger of the LORD burned against them and He departed.10But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miriam [was] leprous, as [white as] snow. As Aaron turned toward Miriam, behold, she [was] leprous.
). We also see it with Gehazi. Gehazi is not satisfied with being a servant; he wants to be lord (2Kgs 5:20-2720But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, thought, “Behold, my master has spared this Naaman the Aramean, by not receiving from his hands what he brought. As the LORD lives, I will run after him and take something from him.”21So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw one running after him, he came down from the chariot to meet him and said, “Is all well?”22He said, “All is well. My master has sent me, saying, ‘Behold, just now two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothes.’”23Naaman said, “Be pleased to take two talents.” And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags with two changes of clothes and gave them to two of his servants; and they carried [them] before him.24When he came to the hill, he took them from their hand and deposited them in the house, and he sent the men away, and they departed.25But he went in and stood before his master. And Elisha said to him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant went nowhere.”26Then he said to him, “Did not my heart go [with you], when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to receive money and to receive clothes and olive groves and vineyards and sheep and oxen and male and female servants?27Therefore, the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever.” So he went out from his presence a leper [as white] as snow.). Here we see it with Uzziah. In all three cases, pride plays a role.

The chief priest Azariah hurry him out (verse 2020Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he [was] leprous on his forehead; and they hurried him out of there, and he himself also hastened to get out because the LORD had smitten him.). Also “all the priests”, with Azariah, turn against Uzziah. This is also how it should be if in the church’s own self-will becomes public. All members of the church, all of whom are priests, should have the same aversion to sin as the Lord Jesus, the true Chief Priest. Because of the location Uzziah also realizes that he has committed a foolishness. He does not resist his eviction, but participates in it by rushing to leave the LORD’s house.

Azariah means ‘the LORD is my help’. Uzziah means ‘the LORD is my strength’. The name of his father Amaziah means ‘whom the LORD has strengthened’. The name of his mother Jechiliah (verse 33Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Jechiliah of Jerusalem.) means ‘fortified by the LORD’. Everything with Uzziah speaks of the power of the LORD. If he had remained aware of this and had not relied on his own strength, he would not have had to live in separation until the day of his death (verse 2121King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death; and he lived in a separate 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.). He is deprived of the service to God and also of fellowship with the members of God’s people (Lev 13:4646He shall remain unclean all the days during which he has the infection; he is unclean. He shall live alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.). During this time of separation, he was able to think a lot about what he had done, in order to come to terms with God.


The Death of Uzziah

22Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first to last, the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, has written. 23So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the grave which belonged to the kings, for they said, “He is a leper.” And Jotham his son became king in his place.

For the rest of Uzziah’s history, the chronicler does not refer as usual to the archives of the kings, the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, but to what Isaiah wrote about him (verse 2222Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first to last, the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, has written.). Isaiah investigated the long reign of Uzziah and described it. In the book of Isaiah, the Holy Spirit has only written down from that description what is useful for us to know.

When Uzziah dies, he is buried in a place resulting from his leprosy (verse 2323So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the grave which belonged to the kings, for they said, “He is a leper.” And Jotham his son became king in his place.). He is not buried with the kings, but “in the field of the grave which belonged to the kings”, probably an adjacent field. His son Jotham becomes king in his place.

In the year of Uzziah’s death Isaiah, one of the greatest prophets of Israel, is called to his service (Isa 1:11The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
; 6:11In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.). On that occasion Isaiah sees the glory of the LORD, that is the glory of the Lord Jesus (Isa 6:11In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.; Jn 12:4141These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him.). In the light of that glory is not only Uzziah, but the whole people and also Isaiah unclean. But there is also reconciliation (Isa 6:5-75Then I said,
“Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”
6Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs.7He touched my mouth [with it] and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”
).

We can find a lot in the book of the prophet Isaiah about the time that comes in Israel after Uzziah’s death and about the spiritual state of the people. The prophet Hosea also preaches at that time and his prophecy also sheds light on the spiritual condition of the people (Hos 1:11The word of the LORD which came to Hosea the son of Beeri, during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.).


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