2 Chronicles 26

1 All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the place of his father Amaziah. 2 He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers. 3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jechiliah, of Jerusalem. 4 He did that which was right in the LORD’s eyes, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. 5 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 the LORD, God made him prosper. 6 He went out and fought against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in the country of Ashdod, and amongst the Philistines. 7 God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur Baal, and the Meunim. 8 The Ammonites gave tribute to Uzziah. His name spread abroad even to the entrance of Egypt; for he grew exceedingly strong. 9 Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them. 10 He built towers in the wilderness, and dug out many cisterns, for he had much livestock; in the lowland also, and in the plain. He had farmers and vineyard keepers in the mountains and in the fruitful fields, for he loved farming. 11 Moreover Uzziah had an army of fighting men, who went out to war by bands, according to the number of their reckoning made by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king’s captains. 12 The whole number of the heads of fathers’ households, even the mighty men of valor, was two thousand and six hundred. 13 Under their hand was an army, three hundred and seven thousand and five hundred, who made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy. 14 Uzziah prepared for them, even for all the army, shields, spears, helmets, coats of mail, bows, and stones for slinging. 15 In Jerusalem, he made devices, invented by skilful men, to be on the towers and on the battlements, with which to shoot arrows and great stones. His name spread far abroad, because he was marvelously helped until he was strong. 16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, so that he did corruptly, and he trespassed against the LORD his God; for he went into the LORD’s temple to burn incense on the altar of incense. 17 Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him eighty priests of the LORD, who were valiant men. 18 They resisted Uzziah the king, and said to him, “It isn’t for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed. It will not be for your honor from the LORD God.” 19 Then Uzziah was angry. He had a censer in his hand to burn incense, and while he was angry with the priests, the leprosy broke out on his forehead before the priests in the LORD’s house, beside the altar of incense. 20 Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked at him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out quickly from there. Yes, he himself also hurried to go out, because the LORD had struck him. 21 Uzziah the king was a leper to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the LORD’s house. Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land. 22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, wrote. 23 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.” Jotham his son reigned in his place.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–15

As long as Uzziah sought the Lord, and minded religion, God made him to prosper. Those only prosper whom God makes to prosper; for prosperity is his gift. Many have owned, that as long as they sought the Lord, and kept close to their duty, they prospered; but when they forsook God, every thing went cross. God never continues either to bless the indolent or to withhold his blessing from the diligent. He will never suffer any to seek his face in vain. Uzziah’s name was famed throughout all the neighbouring countries. A name with God and good people makes truly honourable. He did not delight in war, nor addict himself to sports, but delighted in husbandry.

Verses 16–23

The transgression of the kings before Uzziah was, forsaking the temple of the Lord, and burning incense upon idolatrous altars. But his transgression was, going into the holy place, and attempting to burn incense upon the altar of God. See how hard it is to avoid one extreme, and not run into another. Pride of heart was at the bottom of his sin; a lust that ruins many. Instead of lifting up the name God in gratitude to him who had done so much for him, his heart was lifted up to his hurt. Men’s pretending to forbidden knowledge, and seeking things too high for them, are owing to pride of heart. The incense of our prayers must be, by faith, put into the hands of our Lord Jesus, the great High Priest of our profession, else we cannot expect it to be accepted by God, Re 8:3. Though Uzziah strove with the priests, he would not strive with his Maker. But he was punished for his transgression; he continued a leper to his death, shut out from society. The punishment answered the sin as face to face in a glass. Pride was at the bottom of his transgression, and thus God humbled him, and put dishonour upon him. Those that covet forbidden honours, forfeit allowed ones. Adam, by catching at the tree of knowledge which he might not eat of, debarred himself of the tree of life which he might have eaten of. Let all that read say, The Lord is righteous. And when the Lord sees good to throw prosperous and useful men aside, as broken vessels, if he raises up others to fill their places, they may rejoice to renounce all worldly concerns, and employ their remaining days in preparation for death.

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