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Tuesday, June 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 26

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.

Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah - (see the notes at 2 Kings 14:21-22; 2 Kings 15:1-3.)

Verse 2

He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.

He built Eloth - or, 'He it was who built Eloth.' The account of the fortifications of this port on the Red Sea, which Uzziah restored to the kingdom of Judah (2 Chronicles 33:13), is placed before the chronological notices (2 Chronicles 26:3), either on account of the importance attached to the conquest of Eloth, or from the desire of the historian to introduce Uzziah as the king who was known as the conqueror of Eloth. Besides, it indicates that the conquest occurred in the early part of his reign, that it was important as a port, and that Hebrew merchants maintained the old trade between it and the countries of the East (Bertheau).

Verses 3-4

Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 5

And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.

He sought God in the days of Zechariah - a wise and pious counselor, who was skilled in understanding the meaning and lessons of the ancient prophecies, and who wielded a salutary influence over Uzziah.

Verse 6

And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines.

Went forth and warred against the Philistines. He overcame them in many engagements dismantled their towns, and erected fortified cities in various parts of the country, to keep them in subjection.

Jabneh - the same as Jabneel (Joshua 15:11).

Gur-baal - is thought by some to be Gerar, and by others Gebal.

Verse 7

And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gurbaal, and the Mehunims.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 8

And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.

The Ammonites gave gifts. The countries east of the Jordan became tributary to him, and by the rapid succession and extent of his victories his kingdom extended to the Egyptian frontier (cf. Isaiah 16:1-5, with 2 Kings 3:4).

Verse 9

Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.

Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem ... - whence resistance could be made or missiles discharged against assailants. The sites of the principal of these towers were-at the corner gate (2 Chronicles 25:23), the northwest corner of the city; at the valley gate on the west, where the Joppa gate now is; at the "turning" - a curve in the city wall on the eastern side of Zion. The town at this point commanded the horse-gate, which defended Zion and the temple hill on the southeast (Bertheau).

Verse 10

Also he built towers in the desert, and digged many wells: for he had much cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains: husbandmen also, and vine dressers in the mountains, and in Carmel: for he loved husbandry.

Also he built towers in the desert - for the threefold purpose of defense, of observation and of shelter to his cattle (cf. tower of Edar, or of the flock, Genesis 35:21; 2 Kings 17:9; Isaiah 5:2). He dug also a great many wells, because he loved and encouraged all branches agriculture. Some of these 'were in the desert' - i:e., in the district to the southeast of Jerusalem, on the west of the Dead Sea-an extensive grazing district.

In the low country - the Shephelah, lying between the mountains of Judah and the Mediterranean.

And in the plains - east of the Jordan within the terirtory of Reuben (Deut. 6:43; Joshua 20:8).

In Carmel. This mountain being within the boundary of Israel, did not belong to Uzziah; and as it is here placed in opposition to the vine-bearing mountains, it is probably used, not as a proper name, but to signify, as the word denotes, 'fruitful field' (margin). Thus, he cultivated the art of peace.

Verse 11

Moreover Uzziah had an host of fighting men, that went out to war by bands, according to the number of their account by the hand of Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the ruler, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king's captains. An host of fighting men, that went out to war by bands. He raised a strong body of militia, divided into companies or regiments of uniform amount, which served in rotation. The enumeration was performed by two functionaries expert in the drawing up of military muster rolls, under the superintendence of Hananiah, one of the high officers of the crow. The army consisted of 307,500 picked men, under the command of 2,000 gallant officers, chiefs or heads of fathers' houses, so that each father's house formed a distinct band. They were fully equipped with every kind of military accoutrements, from brasen helmets, a habergeon, or coat of mail, to a sling for stones.

Verses 12-14

The whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour were two thousand and six hundred.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 15

And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.

Made ... engines, invented by cunning men ... to shoot arrows and great stones - catapults contrived by [ howsheeb (H3427)], an artificer. This is the first notice that occurs in history of the use of machines for throwing projectiles. The invention is apparently ascribed to the reign of Uzziah, and Pliny expressly says they originated in Syria.

He was marvelously helped, until he was strong. He conducted himself as became the viceroy of the Divine King, and prospered.

Verse 16

But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense. He transgressed against the Lord ... - (see the note at 2 Kings 15:5.) This daring and wicked act is in both records traced to the intoxicating influence of overweening pride and vanity. But here the additional circumstances are stated, that his entrance was opposed, and strong remonstrances made (1 Chronicles 6:10), by the high priest, who was accompanied by 80 inferior priests.

Verse 17

And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men:

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 18

And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God.

It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, [ lo' (H3808) lªkaa (H3807a) ... lªhaqTiyr (H6999)] - it is not to thee (not thy province) to burn incense. Rage and threats were the only answers he deigned to return; but God took care to vindicate the sacredness of the priestly office, and at the moment of the king's lifting the censer, struck him with leprosy. The earthquake mentioned, Amos 1:1; Zechariah 14:4-5, is said to have been felt at the moment (Josephus, 'Antiquities,' b. 9:, ch. 10:, sec. 4).

Verses 19-20

Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 21

And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several 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.

Dwelt in a several house - in an infirmary; i:e., was excommunicated from communion with Judah (Bertheau).

Verse 22

Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 23

So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.

They buried him ... in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings. He was interred, not in, but near, the grave of the kings, as the corpse of a leper would have polluted it.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 26". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/2-chronicles-26.html. 1871-8.
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