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2Ch 26:1 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who [was] sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.
Ver. 1. Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah. ] In this and the next ten chapters we have the histories of Uzziah and ten more kings of Judah, in whose days prophesied the most of the prophets, both major and minor: a to whose writings these eleven chapters lend not a little light, and are therefore diligently to be read and heeded.
2Ch 26:2 He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.
Ver. 2. He built Eloth, &c. ] See 2 Kings 14:22 .
2Ch 26:3 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.
Ver. 3. Sixteen years old. ] See 2 Kings 15:2 .
2Ch 26:4 And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.
Ver. 4. And he did that which was right. ] See 2 Chronicles 25:2 2 Kings 15:3 .
2Ch 26:5 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.
Ver. 5. And he sought God. ] Heb., Full in consulendo Deo, i.e., He was wholly taken up in consulting with God.
In the days of Zechariah. ] Who was, saith Jerome, son to Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada. He had a daughter, say others, a called Abijah, who became wife to king Ahaz, and mother to Hezekiah.
Who had understanding in the visions of God. ] Was a skilful seer or prophet. Some render it, Who made to understand in the fear of God.
And as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper. ] So fared it also with that great prince of late years, who, while he stood to the true religion, was Bonus orbi, good of bereft, and prospered in all his enterprises: but afterwards was Orbus boni, bereft of good, and sped accordingly, as one wittily descanted upon his name.
a Salian. Cajetan. Dion.
2Ch 26:6 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.
Ver. 6. And the wall of Jabneh. ] Which was a strong city by the seaside, not more than three hours’ travel from Gath, saith Adrichomius.
2Ch 26:7 And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gurbaal, and the Mehunims.
Ver. 7. That dwelt in Gurbaal. ] Which is the same with Gerar, saith the Gloss: where Abimelech once reigned, and Abraham sojourned.
And the Mehunims. ] Called by profane authors Scenites.
2Ch 26:8 And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad [even] to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened [himself] exceedingly.
Ver. 8. For he strengthened himself exceedingly. ] Heb., Fortificatus est usque in excelsum: and this tumoured him up, his good and his blood rising together, as they say.
2Ch 26:9 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.
Ver. 9. Moreover Uzziah built towers. ] He repaired those great breaches made by Joash. 2Ch 25:23
2Ch 26:10 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.
Ver. 10. For he loved husbandry. ] So did the ancient patriarchs and the old Romans, who held it commendation enough for a man to be called and counted a good ploughman; and sent for senators, yea, generals from the plough, as Cincinnatus, Senanus, and others. a Solomon saith that the king’s throne is upheld by husbandry: and Socrates called it Amaltheae cornu, the horn of plenty.
a Cicero De Senect. Antoninus Pius was a great lover of husbandry.
2Ch 26:11 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.
Ver. 11. Moreover Uzziah had a host. ] Like as Jehoshaphat had afore him, 2 Chronicles 17:14 ; 2Ch 17:19 whom perhaps he made his pattern for imitation: as Themistocles did Miltiades; as Alexander did Achilles; as Caesar did Alexander, &c.
2Ch 26:12 The whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour [were] two thousand and six hundred.
Ver. 12. Were two thousand and six hundred. ] All these were commanders. What a huge host then had he! for we may not think that here - as was said of Alcibiades’s army - they were all leaders, no learners.
2Ch 26:13 And under their hand [was] an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.
Ver. 13. Three hundred thousand. ] This was far short of Jehoshaphat’s eleven hundred thousand. 2Ch 17:14-18 Honestum est ei qui in primis non potest, in secundis tertiisve consistere. a
2Ch 26:14 And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings [to cast] stones.
Ver. 14. And habergeons. ] Back and breastpieces. Christ appointeth his soldiers no armour for the back, Eph 6:10-17 because they may not at all turn their backs upon the enemy: "Resist the devil and he will flee."
2Ch 26:15 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.
Ver. 15. And he made in Jerusalem engines. ] These were anciently much in use, but laid by ever since great guns were invented.
Invented by cunning men. ] Heb., Excogitata excogitatione excogitantis, invented by the invention of the inventor. This is an emphatical Hebraism.
For he was marvellously helped (by God) till he was strong.] And then he served him a slippery trick, as we say. Hypocrites have God in admiration only for advantage; when they have what they would have, they start aside like a broken bow. Hos 7:16 2Ch 12:1
2Ch 26:16 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.
Ver. 16. But when he was strong. ] See on 2 Chronicles 26:15 .
And went into the temple of the Lord. ] Where none might come but priests. Perhaps he affected to be, as the kings of the heathens were, high priests also. His "pride," as a great swelling, "budded" Eze 7:10 and broke out into so many sores of ambition, presumption, pragmaticalness, pertinacy, &c., till it had undone him; so that on his tomb might well have been written, as was upon Funccius the chronologer’s by his own appointment,
“ Disce meo exemplo propriis intendere rebus:
Et fuge ceu pestem την πολυπραγμοσυνην . ”
2Ch 26:17 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, [that were] valiant men:
Ver. 17. That were valiant men. ] Men of great strength and good mettle. Levites did great exploits when put upon it, as Exodus 32:26 , &c. "They out of Zebulun, that handled the pen of the writer" - scribes and scholars - also bore arms in some cases. Jdg 5:14
2Ch 26:18 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.
Ver. 18. And they withstood Uzziah the king. ] Wherein they became an example of courage and piety, to ministers especially, who must withstand the torrent of vices, and not spare to reprove the greatest, if need be; as Nathan did David, as John Baptist did Herod, as Ambrose did Theodosius. This emperor, when he was at Thessalonica, in revenge of certain of his judges slain there in an uproar and tumult of the people, made a great slaughter among them by his soldiers, who destroyed seven thousand of the citizens. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, heard hereof to his great grief; and when the emperor, afterwards returning to Milan, would have come, as his manner had been, to the holy assembly, he stoutly withstood him, saying, Quibus oculis intuebere templum illius qui est omnium Dominus, &c.? With what face canst thou look him in the face who is Lord of all? With what feet canst thou enter his house, whom thou hast so deeply displeased? How canst thou receive his body with those hands of thine so drenched in Christian blood? Or drink his blood with that mouth that commanded such an inhuman slaughter? Recede igitur, et ne conare novo scelere scelus ante editum augers, &c. Depart, therefore, and go not about to add one wickedness to another; but stand thou excommunicated, till by repentance thou hast obtained pardon of God, and given satisfaction to his offended people. The good emperor - who having been religiously bred, knew well what was fit for a king to do, and what for a bishop - returned hereupon to his palace, after that he had acknowledged the greatness of his sin, where also he spent eight months in weeping and lamentation; and then coming to Ambrose, he begged pardon and absolution; which after many rebukes, at length he obtained. a
It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah. ] Chrysostom b much admiring this speech, Vide, saith he, libertatem: Vide mentem servire nesciam: Vide linguam caelos attingentem: Vide libertatera incoercibilem: Vide hominis corpus et angel; mentem, &c. See what a gallant spirit this man was of, and of what a bold speech; he had the body of a man, but the mind of an angel, &c.
b Hom. iv., De Verb. Isaiae.
2Ch 26:19 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.
Ver. 19. Then Uzziah was wroth. ] See on 2 Chronicles 24:21 ; 2 Chronicles 24:20 .
The leprosy even rose up in his forehead. ] Let our lay preachers look to it, though not presently punished, as here God will maintain his own order set by himself in Church or State, and take an order, sooner or later, with such as violate the same. See 2 Kings 15:5 .
Before the priests. ] To show that he sideth with them.
From beside the incense altar. ] Or, From upon; which showeth, saith one, a that by some visible sign - as by some vapour or ashes stirred up, &c., against Uzziah’s face - God manifested that this leprosy was immediately sent from him. Josephus saith that that terrible earthquake Amo 1:1 Zec 14:5 happened at this time, with other prodigies.
2Ch 26:20 And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he [was] leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.
Ver. 20. Yea, he himself also hasted. ] As Esther 6:12 .
2Ch 26:21 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.
Ver. 21. A leper until the day of his death. ] Some leprosy was curable, and some not.
2Ch 26:22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.
Ver. 22. Did Isaiah … write.] Partly in his prophecy, and partly in the Second Book of Kings.
2Ch 26:23 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.
Ver. 23. See on 2 Kings 15:5 ; 2 Kings 15:8 .
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 26". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13