2 Chronicles 26

Uzziah Succeeds Amaziah in Judah

Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. He built Eloth and restored it to Judah after the king [Amaziah] slept with his fathers [in death]. Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jechiliah of Jerusalem. He did right in the sight of the Lord, in accordance with everything that his father Amaziah had done. He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding [a]through the vision of God; and as long as he sought (inquired of, longing for) the Lord, God caused him to prosper.

Uzziah Succeeds in War

He went out and made war against the Philistines, and broke through the wall of Gath, the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities near Ashdod and [elsewhere] among the Philistines. God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabs who lived in Gur-baal, and the Meunites. The Ammonites paid tribute (money) to Uzziah, and his fame spread abroad, even as far as the border of Egypt, for he became very strong. Uzziah also built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, the Valley Gate, and at the corner buttress [of the wall], and fortified them. He also built towers in the wilderness and dug many cisterns, for he had a great deal of livestock, both in the lowlands and in the plain. He also had farmers and vinedressers in the hill country and in the fertile fields, for he loved the soil. Moreover, Uzziah had an army ready for battle, which went into combat by divisions according to the number of their muster as recorded by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the official, under the direction of Hananiah, one of the king’s commanders. The total number of the heads of the fathers’ households, of valiant men, was 2,600. Under their command was an army of 307,500, who could wage war with great power, to help the king against the enemy. Moreover, Uzziah prepared shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows, and sling stones for the entire army. In Jerusalem he made machines of war invented by skillful men to be put on the towers and on the [corner] battlements for the purpose of shooting arrows and large stones. And his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped until he was strong.

Pride Is Uzziah’s Undoing

But when Uzziah became strong, he became so proud [of himself and his accomplishments] that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful and sinned against the Lord his God, for he went [b]into the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. Then Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him eighty priests of the Lord, men of courage. They opposed King Uzziah and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron who have been consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful and will have no honor from the Lord God.” Then Uzziah, with a censer in his hand to burn incense, was enraged; and while he was enraged with the priests, [c]leprosy broke out on his forehead before the priests in the house of the Lord, beside the incense altar. As Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked toward him, behold, he was leprous on his forehead; and they hurried him out of there, and he also hurried to get out because the Lord had stricken him. King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death; and, being a leper, he lived in a separate house, for he was excluded from the house of the Lord. And his son Jotham took charge of the king’s household, judging and governing the people of the land.

Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, from the first to the last, Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, has written. So Uzziah slept with his fathers [in death], and they buried him with his fathers in the burial field of the kings [outside the royal tombs], for they said, “He is a leper.” And his son Jotham became king in his place.

  1. 2 Chronicles 26:5 Many mss read in the fear of God.
  2. 2 Chronicles 26:16 Only priests were permitted to enter the temple proper and perform such ceremonies.
  3. 2 Chronicles 26:19 Or possibly a skin disease, because the Hebrew word is a general term that can refer to true leprosy (Hansen’s disease) or lesser skin diseases. In any case, it was a severe judgment from God because the disease rendered Uzziah ceremonially unclean, limiting his contact with other people and banning him from participation in worship services (see v 21).

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2 Chronicles 27

Jotham Succeeds Uzziah in Judah

Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok. He did right in the sight of the Lord, in accordance with everything that his father Uzziah had done; however, he did not enter the temple of the Lord. But the people continued behaving corruptly. He built the upper gate of the house of the Lord, and did extensive building on the wall of Ophel. Moreover, he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and in the forests he built fortresses and towers. He also fought with the king of the Ammonites and prevailed over them. As a result the Ammonites gave him during that year a hundred talents of silver and ten thousand measures each of wheat and of barley. The Ammonites also paid him that much in the second year and third year. So Jotham grew powerful, because he directed his ways before the Lord his God. Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars and his ways, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. And Jotham slept with his fathers [in death], and they buried him in the City of David. Ahaz his son became king in his place.

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2 Chronicles 28

Ahaz Succeeds Jotham in Judah

Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do right in the sight of the Lord, as his father (forefather) David had done. Instead he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and even made cast images for the Baals. And he burned incense in the Valley of Ben-hinnom and burned his sons [as an offering], in accordance with the repulsive acts of the [pagan] nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons (descendants) of Israel. He also sacrificed and burned incense on the high places [of pagan worship], on the hills and under every green tree.

Judah Is Invaded

Therefore the Lord his God handed over Ahaz to the king of Aram (Syria), who defeated him and led away a great number [of the people] as captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also handed over to the king of Israel, who struck Judah with a great slaughter. For Pekah son of Remaliah killed 120,000 in Judah in one day, all courageous men, because they had abandoned (turned away from) the Lord God of their fathers. And Zichri, a warrior of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son, and Azrikam the governor of the house, and Elkanah, who was second [in power] to the king.

And the sons of Israel led away captive 200,000 of their kinsmen [of Judah]—women, sons, and daughters—and they also took a great quantity of spoil from them and brought it to Samaria. But a prophet of the Lord was there, whose name was Oded; and he went out to meet the army that was returning to Samaria and said to them, “Behold, because the Lord, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, He handed them over to you; but you have killed them in a rage that has reached as far as heaven. And now you intend to subjugate the people of Judah and Jerusalem as male and female slaves for yourselves. But are you yourselves not guilty of transgressions against the Lord your God? Now therefore, hear me and return the captives whom you have captured from your brothers (fellow descendants of Israel, i.e. Jacob), for the burning anger of the Lord is against you.” Then some of the heads of the Ephraimites (Israel)—Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai—took a stand against those who were returning from the battle, and said to them, “You must not bring the captives in here; for we are guilty before the Lord already, and what you intend to do will add more to our sins and our guilt. For our guilt is so great that His burning anger is against Israel.” So the armed men [of Israel] left the captives and the spoil [of Judah] before the officers and all the assembly. Then the men who were designated by name rose up and took the captives, and from the spoil they clothed all those who were naked; they clothed them and gave them sandals, and fed them and gave them [something to] drink, anointed them [with oil, as was a host’s duty], and led all the feeble ones on donkeys, and they brought them to Jericho, the City of Palm Trees, to their brothers (fellow descendants of Israel, i.e. Jacob). Then they returned to Samaria.

Compromise with Assyria

At that time King Ahaz sent word to the king of Assyria [to ask him] for help. For the Edomites had come again and attacked Judah and led away captives. The Philistines had also invaded the cities of the low country and of the Negev (the South country) of Judah, and had taken Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, and Soco with their villages, and also Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages, and they settled there. For the Lord humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for Ahaz had allowed unrestrained and undisciplined behavior in Judah and had been very unfaithful to the Lord. So Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria came against him and harassed him instead of strengthening and supporting him. Although Ahaz took a portion [of treasure] from the house of the Lord and from the house (palace) of the king and from the leaders, and gave it [as tribute] to the king of Assyria, it did not help Ahaz.

In the time of his distress, this same King Ahaz became yet more unfaithful to the Lord. For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, which had defeated him, and he said, “Since the gods of the kings of Aram (Syria) helped them, I will sacrifice to them so that they may help me.” But they became the ruin and downfall of him and all of Israel. Then Ahaz collected the utensils of the house of God and he cut them in pieces; and he shut the doors of the house of the Lord and made altars for himself in every corner of Jerusalem. In every city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, provoking to anger the Lord, the God of his fathers. Now the rest of his acts and of all his ways, from the first to the last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. And Ahaz slept with his fathers [in death], and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem, but they did not bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel. And his son Hezekiah reigned in his place.

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