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SECTION LXXXII.

THE REIGN OF UZZIAH (CALLED ALSO AZARIAR)

KING OF JUDAH.

From 2 Chronicles, Chap. xxvi. AFTER the death of: Amaziah all the people of Judah took Uzziah his song - who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father.

In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Uzziah son of Amaziah, king of Judahy to seign.' Hii

Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did in the beginning of his reign.

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, Gow made him to prospeř,

And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and God helped him against the Philistines.

And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah : ånd his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt: for he strengthened himself exceedingly.

Also he built towers in Jerusalem, and in the desert, and digged many wells for he had much cattle, and vine dressers; for he loved husbandry.

And he had an host of fighting mên the whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty valour were two thousand and six hundred.

And under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred that made

men of

* 2 Kings, xv, I.

war

up

to his

war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy,

And Uzziah prepared for them, throughout all the host, shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones.

And he made in Jerusalem engines invented by cunning men 19 be on the towers and upon the bulwårks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal And his name spread far abroad: for he was marvellously helped till he was strong But when he was strong, his heart was

lifted destruction: for he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn in., cense upon the altår of incense.

And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscote priests of the LORD that were valiant men: 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 ho. nour from the LORD God.

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.

And Azariah the high priest, and all the priests looked

upon him, and behold, he was leprous: in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence : yea, him, self hasted also to go out; because the Lord had smitten him. .. And Uzziah the king was a leper anto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper ; for

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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.

Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet the son of Amos 'write.

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.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.

The reign and character of Uzziah bear so great a re. semblance to those of former kings, that it is needless to enlarge much upon them. He does not appear to have been at any time given to idolatrous practices, but to have grown careless in the discharge of his religique duties, after the death of Zechariah. Who this good man was, to whom the king was so much indebted, we are not cold; but some imagine he was the son of that Zechariah who was murdered by king Joash.

Uzziah was the means of raising the kingdom of Judah, through the blessing of God, 10 : such a pitch of eminence as it had not known for a number of years ; for he attended to every particular which constitutes tke. temporal greatness of a nation. From the punishment inflicted upon this king we learn that it is a very presumptuous act for any who are not properly consecrated to invade the priest's office; and we find that Uzziah was humbled in a most exemplary manner : he could no. longer contest with the priests, for they had an undoubted right to exclude all lepers from the congregation, and even from society. . We understand, from some passages in Scripture, that in the days of Uzziah there was a terrible earthquake (foretold by Amos two years before), a plague of locusts, and a great drought, mixed with dreadful Bashes of fire. .

SECTION LXXXIII.

PART OF THE PROPHECY OF ISAIAH,

From Chap. i.

The vision of Isaiah the son of Amos, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

Hear, O heavens; and give ear, 0 earth : for the Lord hath spoken : I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib : but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider;

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers, children that are corrupters ! They have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy ONE OF ISRAEL unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should

ye
be stricken

any
more?

ye

will revolt more and more ; the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.

From the sole of the foot oven unto the head there is no soundness.in it; but wounds and bruises, and putri fying sores ; they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fore

your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and. it is desolate as overthrown by strangers.

And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.

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Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

Hear the word of the Lord ye rulers of Sodom ; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah ; to what purpose is the mul itude of your sacrifices unto me ? saith the lokÒ I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts ; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he

goats. When ye, come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand to tread my courts ? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moods and sabbaths, the calling of assenblies, I cannot away with ; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting

Your new moons and your appointed feașts my soul hateth ; they are å trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.

. When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea,

when

ye
make
many prayers,

I will not hear : your hands are full of blood.

make

you

clean ; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes ; cease to do evil ; learn to do well : seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

and let us reason together, saith the LORD : though your sins be as scarkt, they shall be white as snow : though they be red as crimson, they shall be as wool.

If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land ; but if

ye
refuse and rebel,

ye

shall be devuured with the sword : for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. How is the faithful city become an harlot ! it was full

of

Wash you,

Come now,

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