Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, July 17th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
Attention!
For 10¢ a day you can enjoy StudyLight.org ads
free while helping to build churches and support pastors in Uganda.
Click here to learn more!

Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 26

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

Second Chronicles Chapter 26

2 Chronicles 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."

The last lesson ended with the death of Amaziah. The name "Uzziah" means strength of Jehovah. Uzziah was spoken of as Azariah, as well. He was very young, when he became king at the death of his father. That was not unusual in these days.

2 Chronicles 26:2 "He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers."

Eloth was at the head of the gulf of Akaba. Judah had lost this city under the rule of Amaziah. It appears it was in ruins when they got it back, and now, Uzziah would build it back.

2 Chronicles 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."

He will rule longer than his father, or his grandfather. He, also, will be 68 at the end of his reign over Judah. "Jecoliah" means Jehovah is strong. This indicates that his mother was, probably, a Godly woman, and taught him about the LORD.

2 Chronicles 26:4 "And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did."

In the beginning of Amaziah’s reign, he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, but in the latter part of his reign he worshipped false gods. Uzziah, it appears, at this point, was a Godly man, also.

2 Chronicles 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."

Zechariah was a prophet of God, who understood visions that God gave. It appears as if he greatly influenced the life of Uzziah. He kept Uzziah seeking the will of the LORD. As long as Uzziah was obedient to the will of God, he greatly prospered.

2 Chronicles 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."

God was with Uzziah. The Philistines were God’s enemies, as well as enemies of Uzziah. It appears, Uzziah took these walled cities for the LORD. Ashdod was a very prominent location, because it was on the way to Egypt. We see that Uzziah built other cities around these, and fortified all of them, so the enemy could not get to him from this side.

2 Chronicles 26:7 "And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gur-baal, and the Mehunims."

2 Chronicles 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."

As long as Uzziah had faith in God, he could not fail. God helped him against the Arabs, Philistines, Ammonites, and all of their other enemies. When Jerusalem was attacked, it was usually from the direction of Egypt. Now, God had helped Uzziah get this area under his control. These lands he overcame, were glad to give gifts to Uzziah in exchange for letting them live.

2 Chronicles 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."

Jerusalem was fortified better than any of the other cities. The temple of the LORD was there. These towers were lifted up from the wall, so the men could see from afar. They were extra precautions made to protect Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 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."

This was an area near the Dead Sea. Water that was drinkable was not available here. The wells were dug to feed the cattle, and to water the gardens. Mount Carmel is a very green small mountain. It would be an excellent place for grazing sheep. It would, also, be an ideal place for growing grapes, or anything else.

2 Chronicles 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."

Uzziah was so blessed at this time, that he had plenty of men for harvesting the crops, and also, had plenty of men for battle, if necessary. Jeiel seemed to be the record keeper. Maaseiah was a steward, who helped arrange the armies that went out. Hananiah was a captain in the army of Uzziah.

2 Chronicles 26:12 "The whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour [were] two thousand and six hundred."

This is saying, there were 2,600 officers in this army of men.

2 Chronicles 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."

This is speaking of the men in the army, who were not officers. 307,500 men were the regular army.

2 Chronicles 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."

These are items used in war. A habergeon is a breastplate. The army of Uzziah was well equipped in the weapons of war.

2 Chronicles 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."

The engine, here, is speaking of an invention of a catapult to throw the stones great distances. He was marvellously helped by God, would be a correct statement. As long as he stayed true to the LORD, he was greatly blessed.

2 Chronicles 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."

His strength from blessings from the LORD caused him to think very highly of himself. He decided he could burn his own incense before the LORD, instead of taking it and letting the priest do this for him. It was forbidden for him to burn the incense, since he was not a Levite and had not been anointed to be priest.

2 Chronicles 26:17 "And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, [that were] valiant men:"

2 Chronicles 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."

The high priest Azariah, and the 80 priests with him, tried to stop Uzziah from committing this terrible act. The king was not authorized of God to burn incense. The priests stood face to face with the king, and told him not to do this. They asked him to leave, and he would not.

2 Chronicles 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."

Uzziah was determined to burn the incense. He became very angry with the priests. When he reached the incense burner, leprosy came on his forehead. His mind was perverted to do this thing. Leprosy symbolizes sin.

2 Chronicles 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."

The priests removed the king bodily, and he was, now, willing to go, because the leprosy had come upon him. The LORD had marked him with the leprosy for his willful sin.

2 Chronicles 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."

Uzziah’s son, Jotham, became acting king, when Uzziah had to leave the king’s house, because of his leprosy. No one with leprosy could enter the house of the LORD, so he was cut off from there, as well.

2 Chronicles 26:22 "Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write."

This is verified in Isaiah 1:1 "The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah." Isaiah 6:1 "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple."

2 Chronicles 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."

It appears, that his actual burial, even though it was near that of his fathers, and was, indeed, in Jerusalem, was not in the exact spot. The fact that he was a leper caused his separation, even in death.

2 Chronicles 26 Questions

1. How old was Uzziah, when he became king?

2. What does "Uzziah" mean?

3. What did Uzziah build and restore to Judah?

4. How many years did Uzziah reign?

5. Who was the mother of Uzziah?

6. What did her name mean?

7. 2 Chronicles 26:4 says, he did ________ in the sight of the LORD.

8. What special understanding did Zechariah have?

9. What caused him to prosper? 10. Who did Uzziah war against? 11. Why was Ashdod an important city?

12. When Uzziah placed his faith in God, God helped him against whom?

13. What did Uzziah build at Jerusalem?

14. Why did they dig wells?

15. Who was the scribe under Uzziah?

16. How many officers did he have over his army?

17. How large was the regular army?

18. What is a habergeon?

19. What were some of the things Uzziah prepared for his army?

20. What are the engines, in verse 15, speaking of?

21. What did Uzziah do, that would mean his destruction?

22. Who were the only ones allowed to burn incense before the LORD?

23. Who tried to stop him?

24. What happened to Uzziah, when he became angry at the priest for trying to stop him?

25. Leprosy symbolizes ______.

26. How long did his leprosy continue?

27. Where did he live, while he had the leprosy?

28. Who reigned in his stead?

29. Uzziah was cut off from the house of the _________.

30. Where was he buried?

Verses 1-5

2Ch 26:1-5

2 Chronicles 26:1-5

THE REIGN OF UZZIAH (AZARIAH IN KINGS) OVER JUDAH

UZZIAH (783-742 B.C.)

UZZIAH SUCCEEDS AMAZIAH AS KING

"And all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah. He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers. Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Jechiliah, of Jerusalem. And he did that which was right in the eyes of Jehovah, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. And he set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the vision of God: and as long as he sought Jehovah, God made him to prosper."

"Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign" (2 Chronicles 26:3). The youth of Uzziah probably accounts for the fact that the conspirators against Amaziah waited so long to murder him; for they had surely determined to do so as soon as he worshipped the gods of Edom, an event that took place when Uzziah was an infant.

"He did that which was right in the eyes of Jehovah" (2 Chronicles 26:4). As in the case of his father, this only means that he began well. Later in the chapter, we learn of the corruption that fell upon him.

His was a long and powerful reign indeed. "He successfully defended Judah against the belligerent Ammonites, Philistines and Arabians, developed a strong standing army, and rebuilt the nation’s fortifications. He even reopened the Red Sea port of Eloth, and promoted commerce." Eloth is the same as Ezion-geber.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 26:1. The people . . . made him king. It means they went through the ceremonies of anointing him. The fact of his being the son of the last preceding king was what entitled him to the throne. The name Uzziah and Azariah are used interchangeably, so the reader should not be confused by the use of either. It is significant that "all the people of Judah" had a part in placing Uzziah on the throne. It shows the unity of the nation in the sentiment in favor of him.

2 Chronicles 26:2. Eloth was a city in the land of Edom, and it is sometimes spelled Elath. It seems to have been at one time taken over by the king of Judah, then allowed to fall into bad repair and slip out . of the use of the nation. Uzziah built it, which means he repaired it so that its usefulness was again made available.

2 Chronicles 26:3. Uzziah (or Azariah) began to reign when but a youth, and had one of the long terms. His mother’s name is given because his father had more than one wife.

2 Chronicles 26:4-5. It is very necessary to consider the two verses together, for that will include the reference to the good priest Zechariah. In that dispensation the Lord depended upon the priests to be spokesmen to hold the people in the line of duty by their work of instruction and warning. See Leviticus 10:11; Deuteronomy 17:9; Malachi 2:7. They were not left to their mere human knowledge, but had understanding in the vision of God. It is affirmed that God made the king to prosper while he relied on him.

Verses 6-15

2Ch 26:6-15

2 Chronicles 26:6-15

THE RECORD OF UZZIAH’S MIGHTY ACHIEVEMENTS

"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 he built cities in the country of Ashdod, and among the Philistines. And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Ammonites that dwelt in Gur-baal, and the Meunim. And the Ammonites gave tribute to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad, even to the entrance of Egypt; for he waxed exceeding strong. 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. And he built towers in the wilderness, and hewed out many cisterns, for he had much cattle; in the lowland also, and in the plain: and he had husbandmen and vinedressers in the mountains and in the fruitful fields; for he loved husbandry. Moreover Uzziah had an army of fighting men, that went out to war by bands, according to the number of their reckoning by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king’s captains. The whole number of the heads of the fathers’ houses, even the mighty men of valor, was two thousand and six hundred. 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. And Uzziah prepared for them, even for all the host, shields, and spears, and helmets, and coats of mail, and bows, and stones for slinging. And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by skillful men, to be upon the towers and upon the battlements, wherewith to shoot arrows and great stones. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong."

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 26:6. The walls of cities were regarded as their main fortification. In breaking down the walls of these Philistine cities, Uzziah was weakening their defense. At the same time he was destroying their strength, he was erecting towns in the territory of the same people, which could be used for his own opposition against them.

2 Chronicles 26:7. In 2 Chronicles 26:5 it is said that God prospered Uzziah when he sought unto him. Hence we read that when he went about the work described, God helped him to the desired end. He also gave him success against the Arabians, a people descended from Ishmael, who were hostile against the children of Israel.

2 Chronicles 26:8. The Ammonites were descendants from Lot, and, although related by blood, were always at enmity with the people of God. But Uzziah brought them into subjection, for they gave gifts, which means they paid taxes for the support of the government. Uzziah was so successful in his government that he became known by the people as far away as the borderland of Egypt.

2 Chronicles 26:9. The walls of Jerusalem had a number of gates and each had a special name. Not all of them had any particular meaning, however, but were given as a mark of distinction for purposes of reference. The towers were a sort of lookouts for observation uses, and they were located at the various gates. The king also reinforced the turning or corners of the wall, which made them more firm against attack, when the enemy brought his battering-ram to bear.

2 Chronicles 26:10. An enemy would not always come against the walls of a city for battle, but would pitch his camp in the desert or open field, hence Uzziah built some towers in such places. He digged many wells to care for his cattle from time to time. These wells were made all over the territory, both in the low and high ground. These preparations were not all for military uses alone, for he loved husbandry or agriculture.

2 Chronicles 26:11. While interested in agriculture, Uzziah knew he should be prepared against invasion by the enemy, hence he provided himself with a host or large company of fighting men. They were not a big crowd of men with no systematic method of operation. They were organized for service under the command of special men in the cabinet of the king. Jeiel was ordinarily employed as a recorder and MAASEIAH was a ruler or leader among the people in peacetime activities. But these men took charge also of the troops when it was necessary to go out in the military line. Hannaiah was one of them, being one of his captains.

2 Chronicles 26:12-13. The numerical strength of the king’s army was 2,600 men at the head, and 307,500 men under them. This was a mighty array of forces and helped the king in his stand against the heathen nations about him.

2 Chronicles 26:14. No body of soldiers can be of service to their superior without weapons, so the king furnished all his men the necessary armaments. The shields were large plates of metal that could be held up against the missles of the enemy, and the spears were long poles with sharp heads to hurl by the hand against the foe. Helmets were caps with metal plates for the protection of the head. Habergeons were coats made of leaves of metal, so arranged that the wearer was protected, yet was free to move his body as necessity demanded. They might be compared to the feathers of a large bird, but made with strong metal.

2 Chronicles 26:15. These engines were instruments of a military nature only, and the name was never used in the Bible as we use it now. They could hurl large stones or other forms of ammunition, and do so with great force. Uzziah placed these engines on top of the towers mentioned in a previous verse. He placed them also on the bulwarks or fortified walls about the city. He used them to hurl two kinds of missiles, large stones and darts. All of this equipment helped the king so much that be became generally known as a strong man.

Verses 16-23

2Ch 26:16-23

2 Chronicles 26:16-23

THE PRESUMPTION, SIN, AND PUNISHMENT OF UZZIAH

"But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, so that he did corruptly; and he trespassed against Jehovah his God; for he went into the temple of Jehovah to burn incense upon the altar of incense. And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of Jehovah, that were valiant men: and they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It pertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto Jehovah, 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 honor from Jehovah God. Then Uzziah was wroth; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense; and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy brake forth in his forehead before the priests in the house of Jehovah, beside the altar of incense. 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 quickly from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because Jehovah had smitten him. And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a separate house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of Jehovah: and Jothan his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land. Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write. So Uzziah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers, in the field of burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper; and Jotham his son reigned in his stead."

This writer has diligently studied the Bible, and the commentaries that men have written concerning it, for the greater part of a long lifetime; and the most unbelievable, the most ridiculous, and the most fraudulent comments we have encountered regarding God’s Word are such as the following from Jacob M. Meyers:

"The misfortune that befell the king, his leprosy, was due directly to his violation of the priestly prerogatives set up by the P Code."

This explanation offered here in Anchor Bible harmonizes completely with what many modern liberal and radical scholars teach; but there are some Gargantuan reasons why their position regarding that imaginary P Code must be rejected by believers. Throughout our commentaries we have continually stressed the weak and precarious grounds which underlie the speculation that postulates any such code. Throughout the Holy Bible, it is referred to again and again as the Law of God given through Moses; and that is what Uzziah violated. The Bible verse that teaches this is not in Deuteronomy but in Exodus 29:29. If it had been only a man-made prerogative, fraudulently invented and imposed upon God’s people by unscrupulous priests, which Uzziah violated, GOD WOULD NOT HAVE PUNISHED HIM BY STRIKING HIM WITH LEPROSY! If the P Code inventors want us to believe their fairy tale, let them explain why God smote Uzziah with leprosy.

Oh yes, their defense is merely to deny what is written here; but this circumstantially reported episode is obviously that of nearly a hundred eye-witnesses! The king himself renounced his authority on account of it; and it was officially attested and proved by his burial, not in the tombs of the kings, but in a field nearby. All the critics on earth cannot get rid of what is written here.

Furthermore, the allegation, made to back up their speculations, that David, Solomon, and Ahaz indeed sometimes offered incense in the temple, while true enough, is not relevant. In a million years their violations of God’s Word could not justify Uzziah’s doing so. Throughout the Samuels, the Kings, and the Chronicles, the sins of David and Solomon read like a complete anthology of human wickedness. We challenge the liberal and radical commentators to name one sin of any description that either Solomon or David, or both of them, did not commit.

What Uzziah actually violated here was the divine instructions of God himself through Moses in the Pentateuch (Exodus 29:29). Saul lost his kingship for failing to respect those very restrictions; and that was centuries prior to the alleged date of the imaginary P Code.

And speaking of the P Code, Where is it? Who has ever seen it? And just what was in it? It is our opinion that no genuine scholar has any right to appeal to imaginary documents.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 26:16. We have here a situation expressed the opposite of what Paul used in 2 Corinthians 12:10, where he says, "when I am weak, then am I strong." Uzziah was strong in worldly accomplishments and possessions. Instead of showing appreciation by making proper use of his advantages, he became vain or weak in mind, and overestimated his rights. He presumed to act in a service that had been specifically assigned to another class of men, the priests of God. The handling of sacrifices was generally done by the priests, yet it could be done lawfully by others and frequently was so done. But the burning of incense was the exclusive work of the priests, and they were from the family of Aaron, who was of the tribe of Levi. See Exodus 28:1; Exodus 1; Exodus 29:29-30; Numbers 18:8.

2 Chronicles 26:17. Azariah the priest should not be confused with the same form that is sometimes used for the king Uzziah. This priest took 80 valiant or brave other priests with him and went into the temple after the king. Surely, the presence of this large group of men ought to impress the king with their dignity. It should induce him to give respectful attention. He knew that his proper place as king was in the palace, and that these other men were in their allotted place, the temple. But when a man presumes to go beyond his bounds, he is not likely to listen to reason.

2 Chronicles 26:18. All of these men withstood Uzziah, which means that they stood against him in his unlawful actions. They made a kindly but firm speech to the king, and gave him the reason for their opposition to his doings. It was not because he was not a good man morally, nor because he did not know how such work ought to be done, nor because it was not the right time and place for such service. It was because he was not the right official for it. The words burn incense give us the direct key to the work and rights that distinguish the priests from all other servants of God. Uzziah was informed of this, and was told further that he would be dishonored for his trespass.

2 Chronicles 26:19-21. If a man is shown to have committed a sin, and he is humble enough to acknowledge the sin, God is always gracious and willing to pardon. The sin of Uzziah at first was in presuming to perform an unathorized service. But the sin for which he was punished was his attitude toward it when he was rebuked. An authorized man of God declared to him the error he was committing and admonished him to cease. Not only that, he was told it would result in his dishonor and destruction. If a legitimate physician advises a man of a dangerous disease present in his body and points out the remedy, the victim generally feels grateful for the information, even though it is bad news. But Uzziah was so unreasonable that he resented being shown his own danger, and gave way to anger. The words of Solomon (Proverbs 15:10) were verified by the conduct of this king: "Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die." Leprosy was not a disease that was suddenly fatal, but it was a loathsome one, and subjected the victims to great humility. The law of Moses required a leper to be in perpetual quarantine. (Leviticus 13:45-46.) Realizing his condition, Uzziah was quick to get out of the temple and go into the perpetual isolation required by the law. While he lived he was technically the king, although not permitted to act as such. During the remainder of his days the affairs of the kingdom were administered by his son Jotham.

2 Chronicles 26:22. Isaiah was one of the writing prophets. He lived at the same time with Uzziah and naturally would have something to say about him. See Isaiah 1:1; Isaiah 6:1.

2 Chronicles 26:23. Slept with his fathers is commented upon at 1 Kings 2:10. The kings usually had special sepulchres set aside for their bodies. Uzziah was a king, but because they said, he is a leper, his body was honored only by being buried in the general field of the burying ground, not in the spot of the kings’ sepulchres.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Chronicles 26". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/2-chronicles-26.html.
 
adsfree-icon
Ads FreeProfile