2 Chronicles 26

Uzziah becomes king of Judah

1 Then all the people in Judah took Uzziah and they chose him to be king instead. He was Amaziah's son and he was 16 years old. 2 He built Elath again after King Amaziah had died. And he made it a part of Judah again.

26:1Amaziah died in about 767 BC. But Uzziah ruled in Jerusalem from about 790 BC. That was about 23 years before Amaziah died.

Uzziah gives pleasure to the Lord

3 Uzziah was 16 years old when he became king. And he ruled in Jerusalem for 52 years. His mother's name was Jecoliah and she was from Jerusalem. 4 He did the things that gave pleasure to the Lord. He was doing as his father, Amaziah had done. 5 He tried to obey God all the time that Zechariah was alive. Zechariah was wise because God showed things to him. All the time that Uzziah tried to obey the Lord, God caused everything to go well for him.

God helps Uzziah to win fights

6 Uzziah went and he attacked the Philistines. He destroyed the walls of Gath, Jabneh and Ashdod. Then he built new towns near Ashdod and in other places among the people called Philistines. 7 God helped him to win fights against the Philistines and against the Arabs who lived in Gur-Baal. And God helped him against the people called Meunites. 8 The people from Ammon paid taxes to Uzziah. He had become very powerful. So all the people everywhere from Judah to Egypt knew that Uzziah was great.

Uzziah makes Jerusalem strong and his men work on the land

9 Uzziah built tall buildings to keep Jerusalem safe. He built them at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate and at the corner of the wall. He made them strong and he put men with weapons in them. 10 He also built buildings like that in the desert. He dug big holes there to contain water because he had many animals. They were near the lowest part of the hills and on the flat land. He had men who worked in the fields. And he had men who worked in vineyards on the hills. He loved to use the ground to plant things. So, many men worked for him in places where food plants could grow well.

Uzziah's army

11 Uzziah had an army of soldiers who were ready for war. Jeiel was the king's secretary and Maaseiah was the king's officer. These men counted the soldiers and they put them into groups. And the soldiers fought in those groups. Hananiah, an officer of the king, was over them. 12 The number of leaders of the soldiers' clans was 2,600. 13 They ruled an army of 307,500 men who were ready to fight. They were a powerful army to help the king against his enemies. 14 Uzziah gave to all the soldiers enough shields and spears. He gave to them special strong hats and clothes to keep their bodies safe. And he gave bows to them. He even gave stones to them for their things that could shoot stones. 15 Clever men in Jerusalem had new ideas about machines to throw arrows or big stones. Uzziah put them on the tall buildings that he had built on the walls. And he put them at the corners of the walls. God helped him a lot until he became powerful. So the people in places that were a long way away knew a lot about Uzziah.

Uzziah forgets what God has done for him

16 So Uzziah was powerful. But then he began to think that he was more important than anyone. So he began to do wrong things. And he sinned against the Lord his God. He went into the Lord's temple to burn special oils with sweet smells on the altar for special oils. 17 Azariah and 80 other brave priests of the Lord went in after him. 18 They told King Uzziah that he was wrong. They said to him, ‘It is not right for you, Uzziah to burn special oils with sweet smells in front of the Lord. God has chosen only Aaron's descendants, the priests, to burn special oils. Go out of this Holy Place because you have sinned. The Lord God will not give honour to you because of this.’

The Lord causes Uzziah to have an illness on his skin

19 Then Uzziah was angry. In his hand, he was holding the thing that priests burn oils with sweet smells in. He was standing by the altar for special oils in the Lord's house. And the priests were there as well. When he was angry with the priests, immediately an illness appeared on the skin at the front of his head. 20 And Azariah the most important priest and all the priests turned towards Uzziah. They looked at him and they saw the illness on the skin at the front of his head. So they quickly took him out of there. And he himself also rushed out of the temple because the Lord had punished him with this illness.

The end of King Uzziah's life

21 King Uzziah had the illness on his skin until the day that he died. Because of the illness he had to live in a house by himself. And he could not go into the Lord's house. Jotham his son was over the king's house and he ruled the people in his country. 22 Amoz's son, the prophet Isaiah, has written about Uzziah. He has recorded all the other things that Uzziah did as king. He has recorded them from the first thing to the last thing. 23 Uzziah died. His servants buried him in a field that belonged to the kings. They did not bury him in the same place as his ancestors because people said, ‘He had the illness called leprosy.’

26:23Leprosy is a bad illness of the skin.

Then his son Jotham ruled Judah instead.