II Chronicles – Chapter 26

State of the Art

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

The people installed Amatzyahu’s son Uziyahu to rule in his stead. Uziyahu’s reign got off to a good start. He emulated his father’s good qualities and always sought G-d’s word in his actions, inquiring of the prophet Zecharyahu. G-d caused Uziyahu to be successful and he thrived against his enemies. Uziyahu built towers and wells, and he was good for agriculture. He equipped his army with such cutting-edge technology as chain mail, catapults and siege engines.

Uziyahu’s fame and reputation spread, but this went to his head. He became so full of himself that he decided to offer the incense in the Temple, even though he wasn’t a kohein. The kohanim tried to stop him, but he wouldn’t have it. G-d took matters in His own “hands” and He struck Uziyahu with leprosy. When the kohanim saw this, they hustled Uziyahu out of the Temple.

Uziyahu remained a leper until his death. He was never able to return to the Temple and his son Yosam had to take over his rule. When he died, he had to be buried separate from the rest of the royal graves, because of the leprosy.

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