Uzziah, King of Judah

King Uzziah Reigned over Judah and Obeyed God for a Time, but fell because of Self-Righteousness

Crown for King
At age 16, Uzziah was made king of Judah after his father, Amaziah, was assassinated. Uzziah reigned 52 years and did what was right and good in God's sight. He sought after God, and as long as he did, God prospered him and the nation. Isaiah, Hosea and Zechariah prophesied during the life and times of Uzziah.

Uzziah warred against the Philistines, the Arabians and the Mehunims. The Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah and his name was respected even as far as Egypt. Uzziah built towers at Jerusalem and repaired the walls that had been broken down just before he became king. He built towers in the desert and dug numerous wells because he had abundant livestock. He also loved agriculture and had many farming and planting vineyards in the mountains and fields.

King Uzziah had a large, organized army, with 2,600 officers, and 307,500 men in the ranks. Uzziah equipped them with shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows and slings to cast stones. He had catapults constructed and mounted on the towers in Jerusalem to shoot arrows and throw large stones. His fame and strength were known throughout the region.

But when Uzziah had become strong, he also became self-righteous. One day, he decided to go into the temple to burn incense on the altar of incense, something only the priests were allowed to do. Azariah, the chief priest, went in after him, and with him were 80 other priests of the Lord. They stopped King Uzziah, and said, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the Lord God.”

Uzziah became furious with the priests, and all of a sudden, leprosy broke out on his forehead. Azariah the priest and all the other priests saw that he was leprous and began to force him out of the temple. Uzziah, realizing that the Lord had afflicted him, hurried to leave.

Uzziah never recovered from leprosy. He spent the rest of his life in isolation, cut off from ever again going to the temple. Jotham, Uzziah's son, acted as king during Uzziah's absence. He reigned as Judah's king after the death of Uzziah. (2 Kings 14:21, 22; 15:1-7; 2 Chronicles 26:1-23)

Written by: Pete Miller