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Sunday, August 24 2014

2 Chronicles 26: As In The Days of Uzziah

"Ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee"

Azariah was the son and royal successor of King Amaziah (note carefully the very close, but different, rendering of the names Amaziah and his son Azariah) of Judah (see Amaziah's Lesson).

"14:18 And the rest of the acts of Amaziah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 14:19 Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there. 14:20 And they brought him on horses: and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in The City of David.

14:21 And all the people of Judah took Azariah, which was sixteen years old, and made him king [see Royal Democracy] instead of his father Amaziah." (2 Kings 14:18-21 KJV)

Azariah is also recorded in Bible History as Uzziah, which is a foreshortened version of Azariah (he's recorded as "Azariah" in 2 Kings and "Uzziah" in 2 Chronicles).

"26:1 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah." (2 Chronicles 26:1 KJV)

Uzziah had a long reign of 52 years, most of which was to the good, for "as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper." Much of that understanding was given to Uzziah by the prophet Zechariah (see the Fact Finder question below).

Judea

"26:1 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah. 26:2 He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers [see The Sleep Of Death]. 26:3 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.

26:4 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD [Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God], according to all that his father Amaziah did. 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." (2 Chronicles 26:1-5 KJV)

When Uzziah obeyed the LORD, he was given military success in his defense of the kingdom of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah).

"26:6 And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath [see Gath of the Philistines], and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines. 26:7 And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gurbaal, and the Mehunims. 26:8 And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.

26:9 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. 26:10 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." (2 Chronicles 26:6-10 KJV)

Uzziah's army continued to grow, beyond legitimate needs for defense. It began to be a manifestation of Uzziah's growing arrogance, ignoring that his strength and prosperity was from the LORD, "for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong." Uzziah made the classic mistake of building an army to the size that it became a threat to the legitimate sovereignty of other nations, thereby setting off a profligate "arms race" that demanded ever-increasing military spending for "defense."

"26:11 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. 26:12 The whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour were two thousand and six hundred. 26:13 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. 26:14 And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones. 26:15 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." (2 Chronicles 26:11-15 KJV)

Uzziah's arrogance reached its peak when he entered the Temple of the LORD and began doing things that only Levites were authorized, by the LORD, to do (see The Prophecy Of The Blood Upon The Anointed One and When Were The Levites Set Apart?). Uzziah had made himself the head of state of the kingdom of the LORD, now he also made himself the high priest of the Temple of the LORD, for "when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God." For his arrogance and blasphemy, the LORD struck Uzziah with leprosy.

"26:16 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. 26:17 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men: 26:18 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.

26:19 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. 26:20 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.

26:21 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." (2 Chronicles 26:16-21 KJV)

Uzziah died and was buried as a leper (see also Heal The Sick, Cleanse The Lepers).

"26:22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write. 26:23 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." (2 Chronicles 26:22-23 KJV)

The Mount Of Olives
A number of prophets of the LORD refer to Uzziah, including Isaiah (see Isaiah: Visions Of The Messiah), Hosea (see Hosea: A Wife And Children Of Whoredoms) and Amos (see Amos: A Shepherd Of Tekoa).

"1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah." (Isaiah 1:1 KJV)

"6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple." (Isaiah 6:1 KJV)

"1:1 The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel." (Hosea 1:1 KJV)

"1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake." (Amos 1:1 KJV)

As mentioned above, the prophet Zechariah was also known to Uzziah. Zechariah refers (as does Amos, quoted above) to the great earthquake that occurred during the reign of Uzziah. Zechariah refers to such an earthquake in his prophecy of the return of Jesus Christ, which will split the Mount of Olives on that day.

"14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 14:5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee." (Zechariah 14:4-5 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did the prophets of the "Old" Testament see and understand the yet-future return of Jesus Christ?
See Zechariah: He Shall Stand Upon The Mount Of Olives


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This Day In History, August 24

49 BC: Forces under Gaius Scribonius Curio (a general of Julius Caesar; see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) was defeated at the Second Battle of the Bagradas River by the Numidians under Publius Attius Varus and King Juba of Numidia. Curio committed suicide to avoid capture.

79: The cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae were destroyed and thousands of people killed by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy.

410: Alaric, leading his Visigoth army (the Visigoths and Ostrogoths were branches of the Germanic people known collectively as the Goths), entered and sacked Rome. The city had not been captured by a foreign enemy for nearly 800 years.

455: The Vandals (an East Germanic tribe), led by King Genseric, began to plunder Rome. The era marked the end of the original Roman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) and the beginning of the so-called "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

Europe

1185: The Sack of Thessalonica by the Normans.

1200: King John of England, signee of the first Magna Carta, married Isabella of Angouleme in Bordeaux Cathedral.

1215: Pope Innocent III declared the Magna Carta invalid.

1294: German King Adolf of Nassau formed an alliance with King Edward I of England against France.

1298: Albert (Albrecht) was crowned German king at Aachen.

1349: Six thousand Jews were murdered in Mainz, Germany after being blamed for the bubonic plague. Ironically, the most of those Jews were healthier than their self-righteous persecutors because they observed the LORD's Biblical hygiene and dietary laws that protected them from infections (see Bacteria, Sexual Abominations and What Makes Creatures Clean or Unclean?).

1456: The printing of the Gutenberg Bible was completed.

1516: Sultan Selim I defeated the Mameluke army near Aleppo, thus securing Syria for the Ottoman (Turkish) empire (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1561: Willem of Orange married duchess Anna of Saxony.

1662: The Act of Uniformity introduced a book of Common Prayer in Britain.

1680: Colonel Thomas Blood, the Irish adventurer who stole the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London in 1671, died. Captured after the theft, he insisted on seeing the king, Charles II, who pardoned him.

1814: During the War of 1812 (1812-1815), British Marines burned the original White House in Washington D.C. in retaliation for the U.S. looting and burning of the Parliament Building in York (now known as Toronto) earlier in the year.

1909: Work began for the Panama Canal.

1912: Alaska became a U.S. territory after being purchased from Russia.

1922: Arab states meeting at Nablus rejected the British mandate for Palestine given by the League of Nations.

1949: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was established.

1950: Operation Magic Carpet - 45,000 Yemenite Jews transported to Israel.

1968: France became the fifth nuclear power when it exploded a hydrogen bomb near Fugataufa Atoll, midway between Australia and South America.

1989: Poland became the first country in the Soviet Bloc to appoint a non-Communist Prime Minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, since the late 1940s.

1991: Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as the head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

2006: The International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefined the term "planet." The changed resulted in Pluto now classified as a "dwarf planet."


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