Uzziah is the name of two men in the Old Testament. The word is a a contracted form of Azari'ah - "the Lord is my strength".
1. King of Judah, and one of Amaziah's sons, whom the people appoionted to replace his father (2 Kings 14:21; 2 Chronicles 26:1). Albright has dated his reign to 783 - 742 BC, while Thiele offers the dates 767 - 740 BC.
His long reign of about fifty-two years was "the most prosperous excepting that of Jehosaphat 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 Jehovah, and "did that which was right in the sight of the Lord" (2 Kings 15:3; 2 Chr. 26:4, 5); 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 (2 Chr. 26:17), saying, "It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense." Uzziah was suddenly struck with leprosy while in the act of offering incense (26:19-21), and he was driven from the temple and compelled to reside in "a several house" to the day of his death (2 Kings 15:5, 27; 2 Chr. 26:3).
He was buried in a separate grave "in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings" (2 Kings 15:7; 2 Chr. 26:23). "That lonely grave in the royal necropolis would eloquently testify to coming generations that all earthly monarchy must bow before the inviolable order of the divine will, and that no interference could be tolerated with that unfolding of the purposes of God, which, in the fulness of time, would reveal the Christ, the true High priest and King for evermore" (Dr. Green's Kingdom of Israel).
- This article is adapted from the public domain Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897). Please update and revise as necessary.