2 Kings 15:1-7

Azariah or Uzziah, King of Judah

Second Chronicles 26 gives us the detailed history of Azariah or Uzziah, who succeeded Amaziah, his father. His mother was of Jerusalem. His reign was long, beginning when he was still very young. "And he did what was right in the sight of Jehovah, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. Only,' the account adds, "the high places were not removed: the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places" ever the habitual refrain for Judah, just as with the calves of Jeroboam for Israel. The prophet Micah alludes to these two characters to explain the judgment of God upon his people. "For the transgression of Jacob is all this " he says, "and for the sins of the house of Israel. Whence is the transgression of Jacob? is it not from Samaria? And whence are the high places of Judah? are they not from Jerusalem?"(Micah 1: 5).

Our account of the reign of Uzziah contains the same hiatus that we have already noted with regard to Amaziah.

Like the idolatry of the latter, the sin of Uzziah, reported in 2 Chronicles 26, is passed over in silence. We have above said that the reason is evident. It is a matter of bringing out, without weakening it by the account of their faults and of their inconsistencies, the piety of the kings of Judah, con­trasting this with the idolatry of the kings of Israel which cried to the Lord for vengeance. Here we find only, "And Jehovah smote the king, so that he was a leper to the day of his death, and dwelt in a separate house," (v. 5) without the cause of his judgment being mentioned.

In fact, Uzziah, blessed at the beginning for his faith­fulness, but puffed up by the enormous success of his career, had thought he could usurp the high priest's place in offer­ing incense upon the golden altar himself. This act may recall the rebellion of the Levite, Korah, long before, who wanted to take Aaron's place. But with Uzziah this evil had another character. The idea of his dignity, of his consider­able importance as king, led him, the civil power, to usurp the religious authority. This sin forms one of the numer­ous elements of present‑day Christendom. The Lord judges Uzziah by striking him with leprosy. He is expelled from the temple by the priests and remained excluded from the congregation of Israel until his death. This authority, of which he was so proud and the honor of which he had not attributed to the Lord, is removed from him and entrusted to his son Jotham years before his death. It was impossible to tolerate fleshly pretensions-terrible defilement when one brought these into the house of God-and Uzziah dies, separated from the blessings of this house for having dis­regarded the dignity of the high priesthood (type of that of Christ), which the Lord had established there.