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Evaluation no. 3 of KINGDOM of PRIESTS by Eugene H. Merrill
Uzziah of Judah
Continuing with this intriguing challenge of Bible and Theology is the story about Uzziah of Judah. My first glance of this section came with it a false familiarity of knowledge that this was the one who touched the Ark of the Covenant and died (Uzzah). However, as I began to read I realized I was, in fact, past that time period; which maybe my first recognition of developing a ‘bird’s eye-view’ of biblical times I so desperately desire. Interesting is the idea that “The people of Judah took Uzziah and made him king” over his father Amaziah. This act alone sounds like something that would take place in today’s society. But as we read on the suggestion comes that this is a coregency of kingship. Like in many other biblical and archaeological studies this too leaves us hypothesizing.
In 2 Chronicles 26:5 we have hope this was a God-fearing king governing the land. My surprise came as my eyes moved through the pages and read that Zechariah was executed for rebuking the king. As the story of Uzziah continues with intrigue the attention to military matters this king pays creates a perception of his character. Uzziah’s interest in military matters is emphasized. Apparently, in other times these men were expected to bring their own weapons to war. However, under the leadership of this king ‘the men were provided with the most up-to-date hardware, including both siege engines that permitted the scaling of enemy walls and platforms from which his men could lob missiles into enemy cities’. (Merrill, 2008) A focus of annihilation seemed to be what this king had in mind; but as we read on it notes Uzziah was also a famous builder. He constructed defensive facilities in and around Jerusalem. Moreover, this king’s most significant achievement was his placement of settlements in the deserts and the Shephelah, a feat of engineering and agricultural technology that would provide a model for later generations. Unfortunately, in the end the successes of Uzziah contributed to his demise as arrogance and pride carried him to the staircase leading to the afterlife.