Matthew Poole's Commentary
Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.Uzziah is made king; reigneth well in the days of Zechariah, and prospereth, 2 Chronicles 26:1-15. He invadeth the priest’s office; is smitten with a leprosy, 2 Chronicles 26:16-21. He dieth, and Jotham succeedeth him, 2 Chronicles 26:22,23.
Uzziah; called also Azariah, 2 Kings 14:21; both names signifying the same thing, God’s strength, or help. See of this, and 2 Chronicles 26:2-4, on 2 Kings 14:21,22 15:2,3.
He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.No text from Poole on this verse.
Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.To wit, for a time, but not perfectly nor constantly, which was Amaziah’s case also.
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.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 went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines.Gath had been taken by Hazael in the days of Joash his grandfather, 2 Kings 12:17, but was either relinquished by him, because it lay so far from his other dominions; or retaken by the Philistines, who had now repaired its fortifications, and kept it.
And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gurbaal, and the Mehunims.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.No text from Poole on this verse.
Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.No text from Poole on this verse.
Also he built towers in the desert, and digged many wells: for he had much cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains: husbandmen also, and vine dressers in the mountains, and in Carmel: for he loved husbandry.He built towers in the desert; partly to guard his cattle from the inroads and depredations which the Arabians were accustomed to make; and partly to give notice of the approach of any enemy, and to give some stop to their march on that side.
Moreover Uzziah had an host of fighting men, that went out to war by bands, according to the number of their account by the hand of Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the ruler, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king's captains.That went out to war by bands, i.e. some bands at one time, and some at another, as occasion required. See Poole "1 Chronicles 27:1", See Poole "2 Chronicles 13:14".
The whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour were two thousand and six hundred.No text from Poole on this verse.
And under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.No text from Poole on this verse.
And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.No text from Poole on this verse.
But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.But when he was strong; when he was strengthened in his kingdom, and free from the fear of any enemy.
Into the temple of the Lord; into the holy place, where the altar of incense stood, and into which none but the priests might enter, much less offer incense.
And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men:No text from Poole on this verse.
And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God.They withstood Uzziah; Heb. stood up against Uzziah; not by force, or laying hands upon him to restrain him, for in the next verse you still find the censer in his hand; but only by admonition and reproof, which here follows.
Neither shall it be for thine honour from the Lord God; expect that God will punish thee, or put some brand of infamy upon thee, for this presumption. But this they express modestly, and by a figure called meiosis, where more is meant than is expressed, because they considered that he to whom they spake, though an offender, was their lord and sovereign.
Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar.Uzziah was wroth with the priests. The leprosy even rose up in his forehead; so as he could not hide his shame; though it is probable it was also in the rest of his body.
From beside the incense altar; by a stroke from an invisible hand coming from the altar, that he might be assured that this was the effect of God’s just displeasure against him.
And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.They thrust him out; not by force, as was noted on 2 Chronicles 26:18, which needed not, for he voluntarily hasted away, as it follows; but by vehement persuasions and denunciations of God’s further judgments upon him, if he did not depart. Some suppose that the earthquake, mentioned Amos 1:1 Zechariah 14:5, happened upon this occasion, as another token of God’s displeasure against this unparalled arrogancy.
And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land.Unto the day of his death: God would have this leprosy to be incurable, as a lasting monument of his anger against such presumptuous invaders of the priest’s office.
Dwelt in a several house; as he was obliged to do by law, Leviticus 13:16, which he durst not now resist, being under the hand and stroke of God, and under the fear of further and worse plagues, if he did so.
For he was cut off; so the following words are a reason of the former; he dwelt in a several house, because he might not come into the temple or courts, nor consequently into any public assembly, or the society of others. Or, and therefore, as the Hebrew chi often signifies; and the particle and is oft understood. So it is an inference from the next foregoing words, He was a leper, and therefore he was cut off, &c. He who could not content himself with God’s allowance, but usurped the priest’s place and office, is now deprived of the privilege of the meanest of his people. A just and most suitable judgment.
Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.No text from Poole on this verse.
So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.No text from Poole on this verse.