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2Ch 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-
Those who conspired against Amaziah were apparently stopped by the people from taking power. And they insisted upon the line of David continuing, through Uzziah. Despite their general unspirituality. "Uzziah", 'strength of Jehovah', has a very similar meaning to the name of his father Amaziah, 'power of Jehovah'. Yet Amaziah had not lived up to that (see on 2 Chron. 25:15. He may have named his son similarly in a hope that he would succeed where he failed.

2Ch 26:2 He built Eloth and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers-
Amaziah his father had defeated Edom, and Eloth was in Edom. This explains the comment that Uzziah did this after his father died. But in doing so he was really living out the ghost of his father and fulfilling parental expectation; for he repeated the works for Yahweh which his father had done (:4). Those raised in believing families must ever probe the degree to which their faith and works are possibly just living out parental expectation.

2Ch 26:3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jechiliah of Jerusalem-
This means that he was born about the time that his father Amaziah turned away from Yahweh (2 Chron. 25:25-27). His spirituality may therefore have been due to his mother, 'Yah will enable'.

2Ch 26:4 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that his father Amaziah had done-
God's judgment of Amaziah was that he did what was right, but his heart was not consistently with God. So the meaning of this may be that Uzziah likewise did what was right, he did something which were right, as Amaziah did. But there is no comment at this point about the all important judgment of God about his state of heart. And I suggested on :2 that be began by simply living out parental expectation. See on :16. We note from 2 Kings 15:4 that "the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places". "Taken away" is the same word as 'depart from' in 2 Kings 15:9. The way of Jeroboam was not departed from, and so the high places were not departed from. The suggestion is that they were associated with the calf worship.

2Ch 26:5 He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the vision of God. As long as he sought Yahweh, God made him to prosper-
This Zechariah may be the anonymous prophet who had rebuked his father Amaziah. Joash did right before God whilst the priest Jehoiada was alive, and then apostatized; Uzziah did likewise, with Zechariah the priest (2 Chron. 24:2; 26:5). He didn’t reflect upon the personal implications of Divine history. And we too must appreciate that there are Bible characters whose experiences are framed in terms directly relevant to us- for our learning. Interestingly, straight after Jehoiada died, the princes of the land came to Joash with a request, which he wrongly listened to. This has great similarities with the tragic mistake made by Rehoboam after Solomon died (2 Chron. 10:3,4 cp. 24:17). So Joash was given chance after chance to be directed back to previous examples and be instructed by them- but he went on in his own way. And Uzziah failed in a similar way.

2Ch 26:6 He went forth and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh and Ashdod; and he built cities in the country of Ashdod and among the Philistines-
In Amaziah's time, the walls of Jerusalem had been broken down, and Uzziah would have remembered growing up with this shameful reminder every day of his youth, as he surveyed the broken down walls which represented his father's humiliation (2 Chron. 25:23). His apparent zeal against the Philistines and breaking down of their walls must surely be read in this light. And we must ask to what degree our works for the Lord are merely psychological reactions and responses to our experiences, and to what degree they are purely motivated by faith.

2Ch 26:7 God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur Baal and the Meunim-
Gur Baal is 'the abode of Baal' and we wonder whether this reflected Uzziah's zeal for Yahweh as opposed to Baal. The Angelic elohim “helped” Uzziah in his battles; and yet within the same context we read that his human armies “helped” him (2 Chron. 26:7,13). The Angelic armies in Heaven are seen reflected in the human armies of Israel upon earth. The human armies are described as helping Uzziah with “mighty power”, a phrase elsewhere used about the mighty power which God alone gives (the same two words occur in this context in Dt. 8:18; Zech. 4:6). The allusion is to the meaning of Uzziah's name, 'strength of Yah'. And David learnt all this in practice, when he reflected how human armies alone lack this ‘mighty power’- all human strength is not strength at all unless it’s operating in tandem with God’s Angelic strength: “There is no king saved by the multitude of a host: A mighty man is not delivered by great strength” (Ps. 33:16).

2Ch 26:8 The Ammonites gave tribute to Uzziah. His name spread abroad even to the entrance of Egypt; for he grew extremely strong-
Ammon was far east of Jordan, and to control them as far as Egypt was very considerable influence and power.

2Ch 26:9 Moreover, Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate and the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them-
This would have been to try to permanently reverse the shameful breaking down of the walls of Jerusalem which he had grown up beholding (2 Chron. 25:23; see on :6). But as discussed on :6, we wonder whether his apparent zeal in doing this was true zeal for God, or rather merely psychological reaction and response to his earlier shame based experiences. And we must enquire of our own motives in the same way.

2Ch 26:10 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-
We see similarities with Solomon's descriptions of all the things he tried doing in Ecclesiastes. But like Solomon, Uzziah did all these things because he loved doing them, serving God in so far as it reinforced his own personality type and interests. And again we must enquire of the motives for our works, and to what extent we are truly carrying a cross for the Lord Jesus rather than serving Him in ways convenient to us.

2Ch 26:11 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-
All these men had God's Name in their names, but there was a total lack of understanding that an Israel obedient to the covenant would defeat far greater forces despite their small numbers. And again, they had failed to learn the lesson from David's numbering of Israel's fighting men.

2Ch 26:12 The whole number of the heads of fathers’ households, even the mighty men of valour, was two thousand six hundred-
We get the impression of a highly organized army with wonderful military technology. But all this was to be revealed as ultimately the opposite of true spirituality.

2Ch 26:13 Under their hand was an army, three hundred and seven thousand five hundred, who made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy-
Uzziah was forgetting the meaning of his name, 'power of Yah'. Be aware that 'thousand' often refers to a military division rather than a literal 1000. 

2Ch 26:14 Uzziah prepared for them, even for all the army, shields, spears, helmets, coats of armour, bows and stones for slinging-
Here and in :15 we get the impression that Uzziah loved technology and science, and perhaps invented new weaponry which was previously unknown in the area. But this was all  revelling in human strength. It was a denial of his name which reflected his intended spiritual achievement, 'power of 'Yah'.

2Ch 26:15 He made in Jerusalem engines, 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; for he was marvellously helped, until he was strong-
This continues a theme, of the kings of Judah strengthening or fortifying themselves, often when they first became king; but then having that human strength tested by God or removed. The same word is used repeatedly (1 Chron. 11:10; 2 Chron. 11:11,17; 12:13; 13:21; 17:1; 23:1; 25:3,11; 26:8,15; 29:3; 32:5). The lesson of course was that it is God's Angelic eyes who run to and fro in the land promised to Abraham, "to shew Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward him" (2 Chron. 16:9).

2Ch 26:16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, so that he did corruptly, and he trespassed against Yahweh his God; for he went into Yahweh’s temple to burn incense on the altar of incense-
After several verses describing his strength, we come to this intended anticlimax. Although he did right things (:4), it is faith and the state of a man's inner heart which are the critical issues in God's judgments of a person. And pride in the heart is a sin which no number of good works can somehow compensate for. 

2Ch 26:17 Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him eighty priests of Yahweh, who were valiant men-
To resist a proud and very powerful king was a brave act. It is perhaps because of this that they are called "valiant". They "resisted Uzziah" (18), literally they withstood him, physically barring his access to the incense altar. 

2Ch 26:18 They resisted Uzziah the king, and said to him, It isn’t for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to Yahweh, but for the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary; for you have trespassed; neither shall it be for your honour from Yahweh God-
We observe that David acted as a priest, and was blessed for it. He saw beyond the veil of mere legislation, to the spirit of things. But Uzziah's motives were pride, self glorification rather than glorifying God. And so the same external actions were judged so differently by God. And we are not to judge because we cannot judge, seeing we see only the outward actions and not the heart. It seems as noted on :17 that Uzziah didn't actually get to the incense altar, although he had the censer in his hand (:19). But he was still counted as having committed the sin. Because intentions are counted as the sin, as the Lord makes clear in Mt. 5-7.

2Ch 26:19 Then Uzziah was angry; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense; and while he was angry with the priests, the leprosy broke forth in his forehead before the priests in the house of Yahweh, beside the altar of incense-
The idea of him being beside the altar but before the priests confirms the suggestion on :17 that they literally blocked his access to the altar. The leprosy in his forehead represented the disease of his mind. It broke forth as his anger broke forth. This was the anger of hurt pride, and revealed that he had no spiritual sincerity at all. If he had truly wanted God's glory through offering incense, if he truly saw in it a symbol of acceptable prayer to Him, then it would have made no difference who placed the censer on the altar.

2Ch 26:20 Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked on him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out quickly from there. Yes, he himself hurried also to go out, because Yahweh had struck him-
Death was the prescribed penalty for a non priest coming to the altar (Num. 18:7). And he was refusing to give any weight to the Biblical precedent of the destruction of the rebels who offered incense (Num. 16:35). We wonder whether there was also an earthquake at this time. Isaiah was contemporary with him (Is. 1:1), and we wonder whether this earthquake is the scene of Is. 6:1.

2Ch 26:21 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 house of Yahweh; and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land-
This living in a separate house indicates obedience to God's law. For Naaman was a leper and yet had an active place in Syrian society, and Uzziah and Judah might have adopted their attitude to leprosy. The fact Uzziah didn't seek to get around this could perhaps indicate that he accepted his judgment and may have repented. But see on :23.

2Ch 26:22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, wrote-
We wonder why the record of such a book is retained in the inspired text, when we don't have access to the book. We can conclude that this was written for the exiles, who maybe did have access to this book.

2Ch 26:23 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
They were hyper sensitive to the Mosaic legislation about leprosy (see on :21), and yet Isaiah says that Judah at that time were spiritually so leprous, and they didn't even realize it. They focused upon external obedience to the law when it concerned others, but failed to see that they in essence were just as bad as those whom they were carefully separate from. And this again is an abiding lesson for us. We note that sleeping with fathers doesn't have to mean being buried next to them.