Uzziah of Judah was the king of the ancient Kingdom of Judah, and one of Amaziah's
sons, whom the people appointed to replace his father. He is one of the kings
mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.
His long reign of about fifty-two years was "the most prosperous excepting
that of Jehoshaphat since the time of Solomon." He was a vigorous and able
ruler, and "his name spread abroad, even to the entering in of Egypt" (2
Chr. 26:8, 14). In the earlier part of his reign, under the influence of Zechariah,
he was faithful to the Lord and "did that which was right in the sight of
the Lord" but toward the close of his long life "his heart was lifted
up to his destruction," and he wantonly invaded the priest's office (2 Chr.
26:16), and entering the sanctuary proceeded to offer incense on the golden altar.
Azariah the High Priest saw the tendency of such a daring act on the part of
the king, and with a band of eighty priests he withstood him saying, "It
appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense." Uzziah
was suddenly struck with leprosy while in the act of offering incense
and he was driven from the Temple and compelled to reside in "a several
house" to the day of his death (2 Chr. 26:3).
In 1931 an archeological find, now known as the Uzziah Tablet was discovered
by Professor E.I. Sukenik of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The Funerary Inscription of King Uzziah was found in the collection of the Russian
Convent on the Mount of Olives, but there is no record of the place from which
it was removed. The Aramaic inscription is incised on a stone tablet (35 x 34
cm.) and the style of the script dates it to the latter part of the Second Temple
period. It tells of the reburial of the remains of Uzziah, King of Judah (733
Inscription on the Uzziah Tablet:
"Hither were brought the bones of Uzziah King of Judah and do not open"
2 Chronicles 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
Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king
I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne,
high and lifted up, and his train filled
Amos 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