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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Azariah

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or UZZIAH, king of Judah, son of Amaziah. He began to reign at the age of sixteen years, and reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem; his mother's name being Jecholiah, 2 Kings 15. Azariah did that which was right in the sight of the Lord; nevertheless he did not destroy the high places; and, against the express prohibition of God, the people continued to sacrifice there. Having taken upon him to offer incense in the temple, which office belonged entirely to the priests, he was struck with a leprosy, and continued without the city, separated from other men until the day of his death, 2 Chronicles 26. Josephus says, that upon this occasion a great earthquake happened; and that the temple opening at the top, a ray of light darted upon the king's forehead, the very moment he took the censer into his hand, and he instantly became a leper; nay, that the earthquake was so very violent, that it tore in sunder a mountain west of Jerusalem, and rolled one half of it over and over to the distance of four furlongs, till at length it was stopped by another mountain which stood over against it; but choked up the highway, and covered the king's gardens with dust. This is what Josephus adds to the history related in the Chronicles; but the truth of it may be justly suspected. We know, indeed, that there was a very great earthquake in the reign of Uzziah; for Amos 1:1 , and Zechariah 14:5 , make mention of it: however, it is not certain that it happened at the very time that Uzziah took upon him to offer incense.

During the time that Uzziah was a leper, his son Jotham, as his father's viceroy, took the public administration upon himself, and succeeded him after his death, which happened in the fifty-second year of his reign. A.M. 3246. He was not buried in the royal sepulchre; but in the same field, at some distance, on account of his leprosy.

The first part of Uzziah's reign was very successful: he obtained great advantages over the Philistines, Ammonites, and Arabians. He made additions to the fortifications at Jerusalem, and always kept an army on foot of three hundred and seven thousand men, and upwards, 2 Chronicles 26; and he had great magazines, well stored with all sorts of arms, as well offensive as defensive; and he was a great lover of agriculture.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Azariah'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/wtd/a/azariah.html. 1831-2.

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