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2 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 26
Uzziah is made king; reigneth well in the days of Zechariah, and prospereth, 2 Chronicles 26:1-15.
He invadeth the priest’s office; is smitten with a leprosy, 2 Chronicles 26:16-21.
He dieth, and Jotham succeedeth him, 2 Chronicles 26:22,2 Chronicles 26:23.
Uzziah; called also Azariah, 2 Kings 14:21; both names signifying the same thing, God’s strength, or help. See of this, and 2 Chronicles 26:2-4, on 2 Kings 14:21,2 Kings 14:22; 2 Kings 15:2,2 Kings 15:3.
To wit, for a time, but not perfectly nor constantly, which was Amaziah’s case also.
He sought God, i.e. he persisted in the true religion and worship of God.
In the days of Zechariah; as long as he lived. Compare 2 Chronicles 24:2. who had understanding; who was a very knowing and experienced person. Or, who made him understanding; or, who instructed him; who was his tutor and teacher, and had great authority and influence upon him; and so restrained him from those exorbitancies to which he was otherwise inclined.
In the visions of God; either,
1. In prophetical visions, which he either received from God himself, or understood and explained the prophetical visions of others, which was a special gift of God; of which see Genesis 41:15; Daniel 1:17; Daniel 2:19. Or,
2. In the law and word of God, which sometimes cometh under that name, as Proverbs 29:18; Isaiah 22:1,Isaiah 22:5.
Gath had been taken by Hazael in the days of Joash his grandfather, 2 Kings 12:17, but was either relinquished by him, because it lay so far from his other dominions; or retaken by the Philistines, who had now repaired its fortifications, and kept it.
He built towers in the desert; partly to guard his cattle from the inroads and depredations which the Arabians were accustomed to make; and partly to give notice of the approach of any enemy, and to give some stop to their march on that side.
That went out to war by bands, i.e. some bands at one time, and some at another, as occasion required. See Poole "1 Chronicles 27:1", See Poole "2 Chronicles 13:14".
But when he was strong; when he was strengthened in his kingdom, and free from the fear of any enemy.
Into the temple of the Lord; into the holy place, where the altar of incense stood, and into which none but the priests might enter, much less offer incense.
They withstood Uzziah; Heb. stood up against Uzziah; not by force, or laying hands upon him to restrain him, for in the next verse you still find the censer in his hand; but only by admonition and reproof, which here follows.
Neither shall it be for thine honour from the Lord God; expect that God will punish thee, or put some brand of infamy upon thee, for this presumption. But this they express modestly, and by a figure called meiosis, where more is meant than is expressed, because they considered that he to whom they spake, though an offender, was their lord and sovereign.
Uzziah was wroth with the priests. The leprosy even rose up in his forehead; so as he could not hide his shame; though it is probable it was also in the rest of his body.
From beside the incense altar; by a stroke from an invisible hand coming from the altar, that he might be assured that this was the effect of God’s just displeasure against him.
They thrust him out; not by force, as was noted on 2 Chronicles 26:18, which needed not, for he voluntarily hasted away, as it follows; but by vehement persuasions and denunciations of God’s further judgments upon him, if he did not depart. Some suppose that the earthquake, mentioned Amos 1:1; Zechariah 14:5, happened upon this occasion, as another token of God’s displeasure against this unparalled arrogancy.
Unto the day of his death: God would have this leprosy to be incurable, as a lasting monument of his anger against such presumptuous invaders of the priest’s office.
Dwelt in a several house; as he was obliged to do by law, Leviticus 13:16, which he durst not now resist, being under the hand and stroke of God, and under the fear of further and worse plagues, if he did so.
For he was cut off; so the following words are a reason of the former; he dwelt in a several house, because he might not come into the temple or courts, nor consequently into any public assembly, or the society of others. Or, and therefore, as the Hebrew chi often signifies; and the particle and is oft understood. So it is an inference from the next foregoing words, He was a leper, and therefore he was cut off, &c. He who could not content himself with God’s allowance, but usurped the priest’s place and office, is now deprived of the privilege of the meanest of his people. A just and most suitable judgment.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 26". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13