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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 26

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes


Almost the entirety of this chapter is additional to the narrative in Kings (marginal reference). It is not too much to say that we are indebted to Chronicles for our whole conception of the character of Uzziah, and for nearly our whole knowledge of the events of his reign.

Verse 1

Uzziah - This form of the name is found uniformly in Chronicles (except 1 Chronicles 3:12) and in the prophets. The writer of Kings prefers the form Azariah. Uzziah has been regarded as a phonetic corruption of the real name used by the common people.

Verse 5

Who had understanding in the visions of God - Another reading, supported by the Septuagint, and some ancient versions, is: “who instructed him in the fear of God.”

Verse 6

Uzziah’s expedition was the natural sequel to the Edomite war of Amaziah 2 Chronicles 25:11, which crushed the most formidable of all the tribes of the south. On Jabneh see Joshua 15:11 note; and on Ashdod see Joshua 13:3 note.

Verse 7

On the Mehunims or Maonites, see Judges 10:12 note.

Verse 10

He built towers in the desert - Refuges for the flocks and the herdsmen in the wild pasture country on the borders of the holy land, especially toward the south and southeast.

Wells - The marginal translation is preferable. Judaea depends largely for its water-supply on reservoirs in which the rain-fall is stored. These are generally cut in the natural rock, and covered at top.

For he had much cattle ... - Some prefer, “for he had much cattle there, and in the low country, and on the dawns,” with allusion to three pasture districts:

(1) The “wilderness,” or high tract to the south and southeast, extending from the western shores of the Dead Sea to the vicinity of Beersheba;

(2) The “low country,” or maritime plain on the west, between the hills of Judaea and the sea; and

(3) The “downs,” or rich grazing land beyond the Jordan, on the plateau of Gilead. Uzziah’s possession of this last-named district must have been connected with the submission of the Ammonites (see 2 Chronicles 26:8).

In the mountains, and in Carmel - These terms describe Judaea Proper - the hilly tract between the low maritime plain on the one side, and the wilderness and Jordan valley on the other. By “Carmel” we must understand, not the mountain of that name, which belonged to Samaria, but the cultivated portions of the Judaean hill-tract (see the margin).

Verse 13

Compare 2 Chronicles 25:5. It will be seen that Uzziah had not added much to the military strength of the nation by his conquests. His army exceeds that of his father Amaziah by 7,500 men only.

Verse 14

The sling was used in war by the Assyrians, the Egyptians, the Persians, the Greeks, Romans, and others. Its employment by the Benjamites appears from Judges 20:16, and by the ten tribes, a century before Uzziah, from 2 Kings 3:25.

Verse 15

Uzziah’s engines seem to have corresponded respectively to the Roman balista and catapulta. The balista, which threw stones, was known to the Assyrians as early as the time of Sardanapalus I, the contemporary of Jehoshaphat. The catapult is not represented either on the Assyrian or the Egyptian sculptures. It would seem on the whole most probable that both kinds of engines were invented in Assyria and introduced from thence into Palestine.

Verse 16

To his destruction - Rather, “to do wickedly.” Uzziah appears to have deliberately determined to invade the priest’s office (marginal reference “m”), thus repeating the sin of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram Numbers 16:1-35.

Verse 20

Death was denounced by the Law against those who invaded the office of the priest; and death had been the actual punishment of Korah and his company. Uzziah feared lest from him also the extreme penalty should be exacted, and therefore hasted to quit the sacred building where his bare presence was a capital crime.

Verse 21

A several house - See the marginal reference “q” note; and compare Psalms 88:0, which is supposed by some to refer to Uzziah.

Verse 22

The acts of Uzziah ... did Isaiah ... write - Most critics regard Isaiah as about 20 when Uzziah died. He must, then, have written his history of Uzziah’s reign from documents and accounts of others, rather than from his own knowledge.

Verse 23

In the field of the burial - i. e. in the same piece of ground, but in a separate sepulchre. As the Law separated off the leper from his fellows during life Leviticus 13:46, so Jewish feeling required that he should remain separate even in death.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 26". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/2-chronicles-26.html. 1870.
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