Uzziah, son of Amaziah

“Now all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah.” (2Ch 26:1)

Uzziah relied on the counsel of Zechariah the prophet (2Ch 26:5), and the Lord blessed him with a long and prosperous reign of fifty-two years in Jerusalem. He regained and rebuilt the Red Sea port city of Elath. He built a well outfitted standing army exceeding 310,000 mighty men. He dug many wells, and developed extensive farmlands and vineyards. He constructed new watch towers in the land and advanced Jerusalem's fortifications. His engineers developed innovative war engines that fired arrows and stones. The Philistines, Arabians, and Ammonites whom had rebelled against Judah in the days of Jehoram (2Ch 21:8-17) were once again conquered. His fame spread abroad “...even to the entering in of Egypt.”

“But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction...” (2Ch 26:16). Despite the opposition of Azariah and eighty other priests who pleaded with him not to do so, Uzziah went into the temple to burn incense on the altar. Because of this illegal intrusion (Num 3:10; 18:7) into the office of priest, the Lord immediately struck him with leprousy and he was forced to dwell in a separate house apart from the royal quarters until the day of his death. His son Jotham co-ruled in his stead.

“So Uzziah rested 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.' Then Jotham his son reigned in his place.” (2Ch 26:23)

HISTORICAL NOTE: Josephus (Ant. 9. 225) records a Jewish tradition that the violent earthquake referred to in Amos 1:1 and Zechariah 14:5, occured at the very moment of Uzziah's sin.