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2002 11 11
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Chapter 26


All the people of Judah chose Uzziah, though he was but sixteen years of age, and proclaimed him king to succeed his father Amaziah.


He rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah; this was after King Amaziah had gone to rest with his ancestors.


Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother, named Jecoliah, was from Jerusalem.


He pleased the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done.


1 He was prepared to seek God as long as Zechariah lived, who taught him to fear God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.


He went out and fought the Philistines and razed the walls of Gath, Jabneh and Ashdod (and built cities in the district of Ashdod and in Philistia).


God helped him against the Philistines, against the Arabs who dwelt in Gurbaal, and against the Meunites.


The Ammonites paid tribute to Uzziah and his fame spread as far as Egypt, for he grew stronger and stronger.


Moreover, Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate, and at the Angle, and he fortified them.


He built towers in the desert and dug numerous cisterns, for he had many cattle. He had plowmen in the foothills and the plains, and vinedressers in the highlands and the garden land. He was a lover of the soil.


Uzziah also had a standing army of fit soldiers divided into bands according to the number in which they were mustered by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the recorder, under the command of Hananiah, one of the king's officials.


The entire number of family heads over these valiant warriors was two thousand six hundred,


and at their disposal was a mighty army of three hundred seven thousand five hundred fighting men of great valor to help the king against his enemies.


Uzziah provided for them - for the entire army - bucklers, lances, helmets, breastplates, bows and slingstones.


He also built machines in Jerusalem, devices contrived to stand on the towers and at the angles of the walls to shoot arrows and cast large stones. His fame spread far and wide, and his power was ascribed to the marvelous help he had received.


But after he had become strong, he became proud to his own destruction and broke faith with the LORD, his God. He entered the temple of the LORD to make an offering on the altar of incense.


But Azariah the priest, and with him eighty other priests of the LORD, courageous men, followed him.


They opposed King Uzziah, saying to him: "It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who have been consecrated for this purpose. Leave the sanctuary, for you have broken faith and no longer have a part in the glory that comes from the LORD God."


Uzziah, who was holding a censer for burning the incense, became angry, but at the moment he showed his anger to the priests, while they were looking at him in the house of the LORD beside the altar of incense, leprosy broke out on his forehead.


Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests examined him, and when they saw that his forehead was leprous, they expelled him from the temple. He himself fled willingly, for the LORD had afflicted him.


King Uzziah remained a leper to the day of his death. As a leper he dwelt in a segregated house, for he was excluded from the house of the LORD. Therefore his son Jotham was regent of the palace and ruled the people of the land.


The prophet Isaiah, son of Amos, wrote the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last.


Uzziah rested with his ancestors; he was buried with them in the field adjoining the royal cemetery, for they said, "He was a leper." His son Jotham succeeded him as king.



1 [5] Zechariah: this person, not otherwise identified, is referred to in language suggesting a pious layman rather than a priest or prophet; cf 2 Chron 29:1.

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