Uzziah’s Projects. 1a All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was only sixteen years old, and made him king to succeed Amaziah his father. 2It was he who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah, after the king rested with his ancestors. 3Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah, from Jerusalem. 4He did what was right in the LORD’s sight, just as his father Amaziah had done.
5He was prepared to seek God as long as Zechariah* lived,b who taught him to fear God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper. 6He went out and fought the Philistines and razed the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod, and built cities in the district of Ashdod and in Philistia.c 7God helped him against the Philistines, against the Arabians who dwelt in Gurbaal, and against the Meunites. 8The Ammonites paid tribute to Uzziah and his fame spread as far as Egypt, for he grew stronger and stronger. 9Moreover, Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate, and at the Angle, and he fortified them. 10He built towers in the wilderness and dug numerous cisterns, for he had many cattle. He had plowmen in the Shephelah and the plains, farmers and vinedressers in the highlands and the garden land. He was a lover of the soil.
11Uzziah also had a standing army of fit soldiers divided into bands according to the number in which they were mustered by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the recorder, under the command of Hananiah, one of the king’s officials. 12The entire number of family heads over these valiant warriors was two thousand six hundred, 13and at their disposal was a mighty army of three hundred seven thousand five hundred fighting men of great valor to help the king against his enemies. 14Uzziah provided for them—for the entire army—bucklers, lances, helmets, breastplates, bows, and slingstones. 15He also built machines in Jerusalem, devices designed to stand on the towers and at the angles of the walls to shoot arrows and cast large stones. His name spread far and wide; the help he received was wondrous, so strong did he become.
Pride and Fall. 16But after he had become strong, he became arrogant to his own destruction and acted treacherously with the LORD, his God. He entered the temple of the LORD to make an offering on the altar of incense. 17But Azariah the priest, and with him eighty other priests of the LORD, courageous men, followed him. 18They stood up to King Uzziah, saying to him: “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who have been consecrated for this purpose.d Leave the sanctuary, for you have acted treacherously and no longer have a part in the glory that comes from the LORD God.” 19Uzziah, who was holding a censer for burning the incense, became angry. But at the very moment he showed his anger to the priests, while they were looking at him in the house of the LORD beside the altar of incense, leprosy broke out on his forehead.e 20Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests examined him, and when they saw that his forehead was leprous, they rushed him out. He let himself be expelled, for the LORD had afflicted him. 21f King Uzziah remained a leper till the day he died. As a leper he lived in a house apart, for he was excluded from the house of the LORD. Therefore his son Jotham was master of the palace and ruled the people of the land.
22The rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, were written by Isaiah the prophet, son of Amoz. 23Uzziah rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the field adjoining the royal cemetery, for they said, “He was a leper.” His son Jotham succeeded him as king.
* [26:5] Zechariah: not otherwise identified, but cf. 29:1.
a. [26:1–4] 2 Kgs 14:21–22; 15:1–3.
b. [26:5] 2 Chr 24:2.