The Agora
Bible Commentary
2 Chronicles

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2 Chronicles 26

2Ch 26:1

2Ch 26,27: "Uzziah gained great help from his contemporaries, such as Zechariah (2Ch 26:5). There was also Amos (Amo 1:1), Hosea (Hos 1:1), and Isaiah (Isa 1:1; esp Isa 6:1). but the king usurped his authority in the matter of the temple, and received the physical consequences of his folly. The record sets out: [1] Uzziah reigns by popular acclaim: vv 1-4. [2] His great prosperity: v 5. [3] His international successes: vv 6-8. [4] The mighty fortifications: vv 9,10. [5] His powerful army: vv 11-15. [6] His abject folly: vv 16-21. [7] His reign summarised: vv 22,23. [8] Jotham's good reign: 2Ch 27:1,2. [9] Preparations for defence: vv. 3,4. [10] International relationships: vv 5,6. [11] His reign summarised: vv 7-9.

"Uzziah was appointed king by the people, when the throne was left vacant in Jerusalem through the foolish affinity of Jehoshaphat in allowing his son Jehoram to marry Athaliah, and by the flight of Amaziah, whose name is excluded in the chronology of Matthew. Jehoshaphat thus confused the marriage covenant and compromised the ecclesia by associating with those of the north -- and the effects were now being felt in Judah. Compromise always brings confusion and conflict. Like so many others, Uzziah commenced well (2Ch 26:5), but allowed pride to overtake him (v 16). Uzziah's sin was mentally conceived before it was actually committed. The leprosy he received thus appropriately struck him in the forehead. Ct his leprous forehead with the forehead of the High Priest with the same name, who bore the mitre: Yahweh Kadesh, Holiness to Yahweh (Exo 28:36-38). Leprosy was a living death, figurative of sin's flesh. Thus in the sight of the startled priests, the sign of pollution was clearly manifest. In the following reign of Jotham gave encouragement to the faithful. He exceeded his father in righteousness (2Ch 27:6), but his reign ended in growing international troubles as a turbulent period of history was about to overshadow the ecclesia in Judea" (GEM).

2Ch 26: Uzziah as a type of modern Israel: The life of Uzziah was one of great achievement through divine blessing and was only marred in the last ten years of his reign by a foolish act of presumption by which he lost everything. (Uzziah attempted to enter the Temple to offer sacrifice to God, thus usurping the role of the High Priest in Israel. Possibly this was a misguided attempt to demonstrate that he was the Messiah -- which Scripture promises will be a king and a priest!)

The king who sought to become Israel's Messiah in the end became a remarkable type of modern Israel. (Some modern Israelis believe the nation itself IS the "Messiah".) The following is a brief list of the achievements of Uzziah and the way they foreshadowed the success of the State of Israel in recent years. The humbling of Uzziah is also clearly used in the Bible as a type of the humbling of the Jews by the events of Armageddon. The events of 2Ch 26 in chronological order are: (1) Uzziah captured and rebuilt Elath into a trading port. So Israel did in 1956. Elath today is a trading port of the utmost importance. (2) He captured the Shephelah and the Negev. Israel captured these areas in 1948 and 1949. (3) He defeated both the Arabs and the peoples of modern Jordan. In successive wars, modern Israel has also in part defeated both peoples. (4) He fortified Jerusalem against attack. All new buildings in Jerusalem today are specially constructed to withstand modern warfare. (5) He built a prosperous agricultural society. The 'miracle' of modern Israel's agricultural prosperity is world-famous. (6) Uzziah found water supplies in the wilderness. Israel's innovative 'Water Carrier' has brought water to barren parts. (7) Uzziah had an army of 300,000 trained in guerrilla warfare. Israel's army is approximately 300,000 and is perhaps the world's best guerrilla force. (8) He developed a unique missile capacity (engines for throwing missiles: v 15). Israel invariably updates missile systems purchased from the super-powers. (9) He was helped by God to achieve his military and economic success. Modern Israel has indisputably been helped by God. (10) Uzziah attributed his success to his own strength and abilities. Israel today believes its success is by its own strength. (11) Uzziah was humbled by an earthquake. Israel will be humbled by the events of Armageddon, including an earthquake likened to that which occurred in the days of Uzziah (Zec 14:5). (12) Smitten and humbled, Uzziah dwelt in a house apart to contemplate his sin. So the remnant of Israel will dwell apart until they realize the extent of their iniquities and pride (Zec 12:12-14). (GN 1995).

2Ch 26:6

There were 5 major Philistine cities (1Sa 6:17; Josh 13:3), but in later days the prophets carefully leave Gath out of the picture (Amo 1:6-8; Zeph 2:4; Jer 25:20; Zec 9:5,6). Why? Uzziah, in his war against the Philistines, smashed up Gath, Jabneh and Ashdod (2Ch 26:6). The last of these was evidently strategic enough to warrant rebuilding (Isa 20:1), but the other two disappeared from history -- and from prophecy also.

2Ch 26:10

During Uzziah's day, there was a grievous famine in the Land: Hos 2:9,12; 4:3, etc; Amo 1:2; 4:6,9, etc.

2Ch 26:16

AFTER UZZIAH BECAME POWERFUL, HIS PRIDE LED TO HIS DOWNFALL: Cp Deu 32:15,16. The same thing might be said of David and Hezekiah.

AND ENTERED THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD TO BURN INCENSE ON THE ALTAR OF INCENSE: The king who wanted to be a priest. A King-Priest! Did Uzziah begin to think of himself as the Messiah?

2Ch 26:19

LEPROSY BROKE OUT ON HIS FOREHEAD: Ct the High Priest, with "holiness" on his forehead: Exo 28:36-38. The one who exalted himself to be a priest will be revealed as the worst kind of sham. And now the disease in his forehead revealed that it was his THINKING which was at fault.

2Ch 26:23

UZZIAH RESTED WITH HIS FATHERS AND WAS BURIED: In the year king Uzziah died (Isa 6), the prophet Isaiah saw the great vision in the Temple, of the Glory of the LORD -- suggesting the Messiah, the great King-Priest who was to come: the one whom Uzziah unsuccessfully tried to imitate.

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