2 Chronicles 26:5
And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) And he sought God.And he continued to seek God (the Hebrew is an expression peculiar to the chronicler).

In the days of Zechariah.—An otherwise unknown prophet.

Who had understanding in the visions of God.—Literally, the skilled in seeing God—a surprising epithet, occurring nowhere else. Some Hebrew MSS., and the LXX., Syriac, and Arabic versions, and the Targum, read, “in the fear of God.” This is doubtless correct; and the text should be rendered. “who had understanding (or gave instruction) in the fear of God.” So the famous Rabbis, Rashi and Kimchi, long since suggested. Zechariah was thus the guide and counsellor of king Uzziah, and that not only in religious matters, but in what we should call the political sphere; for in those days the distinction between things sacred and secular, civil and ecclesiastical, between Church and State, religion and common life, was wholly unknown.

And as long as he sought.—Literally, in the days of his seeking.

The Lord, God . . .—Such a mode of speech reveals the chronicler’s own hand.

Instead of this verse, 2Kings 15:4 makes the deduction usual in its estimate of the character of a reign: “Only the high places were not taken away; the people still used to sacrifice and burn incense on the high places.”

The power and prosperity of Uzziah are accounted for by the chronicler on the ground that he sought God during the life of Zechariah; although afterwards he offended by rashly intruding upon the priest’s office, and was punished with leprosy (2Chronicles 26:16-21).

2 Chronicles 26:5. He sought God in the days of Zechariah — Who was probably the son of that Zechariah whom his grand-father Joash slew. Who had understanding in the visions of God — Either the visions with which he himself was favoured, or the visions of the preceding prophets. He was well skilled in prophecy, and conversed much with the heavenly world; was an intelligent, devout, and good man; and had such influence on Uzziah, that while he lived he sought God, sought his favour, direction, and aid; trusted in him, cleaved to him, and persisted in his worship, and in the true religion. Happy are the great men who have such about them, and are willing to be advised by them: but unhappy those who seek God only while they have such with them, and have not a principle in themselves to bear them out to the end.26:1-15 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.Who had understanding in the visions of God - Another reading, supported by the Septuagint, and some ancient versions, is: "who instructed him in the fear of God." 5. he sought God in the days of Zechariah—a wise and pious counsellor, who was skilled in understanding the meaning and lessons of the ancient prophecies, and who wielded a salutary influence over Uzziah. He sought God, i.e. he persisted in the true religion and worship of God.

In the days of Zechariah; as long as he lived. Compare 2 Chronicles 24:2. who had understanding; who was a very knowing and experienced person. Or, who made him understanding; or, who instructed him; who was his tutor and teacher, and had great authority and influence upon him; and so restrained him from those exorbitancies to which he was otherwise inclined.

In the visions of God; either,

1. In prophetical visions, which he either received from God himself, or understood and explained the prophetical visions of others, which was a special gift of God; of which see Genesis 41:15 Daniel 1:17 2:19. Or,

2. In the law and word of God, which sometimes cometh under that name, as Proverbs 29:18 Isaiah 22:1,5. And he sought God in the days of Zechariah,.... Not that Zechariah, the last of the prophets save one, he lived three hundred years after this; nor he that Joash slew; but, as it may seem, a son of his, perhaps the same with him in Isaiah 8:2,

who had understanding in the visions of God: who either had prophetic visions granted to him, or had divine wisdom to interpret such that others had; or, as others think, had a gift of interpreting the prophecies of others, the writings of Moses and David, &c. to which the Targum seems to agree; which paraphrases it,"who taught in the fear of the Lord;''with which agree the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions; some copies read "in the fear of God"; as an ancient manuscript mentioned by Junius, and so the Talmud (l):

and, as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper; in his kingdom, and against his enemies; even so long as he abode by the word, worship, and ordinances of God, of which instances are given, as follow.

(l) Vid. Buxtorf. Lex. in rad.

And he sought God in the days of {c} Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as {d} he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.

(c) This was not the Zechariah that was the son of Jehoiada, but some other prophet of that name.

(d) For God never forsakes any who seek him, and therefore man is the cause of his own destruction.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5–10 (not in Kings). The Prosperity of Uzziah

5. Zechariah] Nothing is known (apart from this passage) of this Zechariah. He is hardly to be identified with the author of Zechariah 12-14, though there is an allusion to Uzziah’s reign in Zechariah 14:5.

who had understanding] R.V. mg., “who gave instruction”; Heb. mçbîn, a word applied to a leader of song (1 Chronicles 15:22, “skilful”; ib. 1 Chronicles 25:7, “conning”; Ch 25:8, “teacher”).

in the visions of God] Read, in the fear of God (so LXX., Targ. Pesh.), making a slight correction of the Heb. text.Verse 5 - In the days of Zechariah. Twice in the foregoing chapter we have read of "a man of God" and "a prophet" whose names are not given. The chariness of the narrative in this exact respect is not very explicable, for if the simple reason be assumed to be that they were not of much repute, now when the name of Zechariah is given, all that we can say is that nothing else is known of him. Had understanding; Hebrew, הַמֵּבִין. There seems no reason to divest this hiph. conjugation form of its stricter signification, "gave understanding "(see Isaiah 40:14). In the visions of God; Hebrew, בִּרְאות. Some slight discrepancy in the usual fuller writing of the word in some manuscripts lends a little ground of preference for the reading, which a few manuscripts evidently had (see Septuagint Version, ἐν φόβῳ,), of בִּירְאַת; i.e. "in the fear of God" (Proverbs 1:7; Isaiah 11:3); either reading in either of these sub-clauses leaves an undisturbed good meaning to the description of Zechariah. On the conspiracy against Amaziah, his death, etc., see the commentary on 2 Kings 14:17. יהוּדה בּעיר, in the city of Judah, is surprising, since everywhere else "the city of David" is mentioned as the burial-place, and even in our passage all the ancient versions have "in the city of David." יהוּדה would therefore seem to be an orthographical error for דויד, occasioned by the immediately following יהוּדה.
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