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Why he Died a Leper

Updated on March 3, 2020

Over three decades ago I become interested in the Bible, having drank from the heavenly cup once, I have not been tired to drink more



“It is human to err, it is divine to forgive”, is the common saying of the people. The divine would forgive if the person who erred accepts his or her errors and asks for forgiveness but when someone has neither accepted his error nor asks for forgiveness then the blame shouldn’t be laid on the door step of the divine again, but on the doorstep of the person who has erred.

Humanity is in this precarious position because our fore parents did not see what they do as being wrong, in the stead of admitting their errors and perhaps asking for pardon from Elohim what they were doing was passing the bulk of the blames on someone else. What they did then is what we are still doing today, we hardly accept our error, but we can shift the blame, we can point accusing fingers at people for how we have done what we did.

I shall want us again to drink from the cistern of ever refreshing word of knowledge which is the bible by looking at a King in the southern Protectorate of Israel called Judah who started well but did not end well. He erred along the line and was punished by God for that.

The Coronation of the Youth

Amaziah the King of Judah gave birth to many children but out of those children he gave birth to one of them was chosen to become the king of the people of God after King Amaziah’s demise. And the person chosen to become the king was Uzziah.

Uzziah was a youth when he was crowned the King as the bible says he was 16 years old by then.

Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah. (2 Ch 26:1 see also 2 Ki. 14:21)

The town was agog when he was crowned, especially the youths for they have been seeking for a time when another youth would get to the seat of power and here now is a teenager ascending to the throne of his fathers.

Uzziah was the longest reigning king outside Manasseh for he reigned for 51 years. (2 Ki 21:1)

Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. (2 Ch 26:3)


The Meaning of the Name Uzziah

Five people bear the name Uzziah in the bible. Uzziah is written in Hebrew as “עזּיּהוּ עזּיּה”, Romanized form is ‛ûzzı̂yâh ‛ûzzı̂yâhû (pronounced as ooz-zee-yaw', ooz-zee-yaw'-hoo) which means strength of Jah.

The strength of Jehovah really helped him in all he was doing when he ascended the throne as he was obeying the injunctions of the priests and the prophet’s counsels at his early days of rulership in Judah.

Impressive Leadership

After ascending the throne, he did well as he lived up to the expectations of the people, he did not disappoint them when he ascends the throne. He was an impressive leader as he follows the rules of the land, obeying the mosaic laws to the letters and the instructions of the elders unlike Rehoboam the son of King Solomon who did not listen to the elders when he get to the seat of leadership.

And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.

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, God made him to prosper. (2 Ch 26:4-5)

When we have impressive leader on the seat of authority directing the people, it is sure that the town would be at peace as the bible says that when the righteous rules the people rejoice. The people will rejoice because the righteous would do what the Lord loves, the righteous would not usurp judgment, the righteous would fear the Lord and give correct judgment, he would not be respecter of persons in judgement.

Do I need to add that, one of the things that makes a community, a society a good one is when people give correct judgment, but when people are usurping judgments, manipulating judgments to favor themselves and their cronies, the community would be in chaos.

When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. (Pro 29:2)

Good judgment is the attribute of God, and it is expected to be the attribute of a good leader, someone who wants his town or country to be in peace.

He was seeking the Lord during the days of Zechariah and as long as he sought the Lord the Lord makes him prosper.

Some scholars conjectured that this Zechariah was the son of the Zechariah whom his grandfather, Joash slew. He understood vision either that of himself or of others. He was an intelligent man, a sincere man, good man and this man is believed the have great influence over the king.

It is always great to have someone who understands visions and the word of God by one side for he will be putting one through so many confusing sections. This was what the man was doing for him and little wonder he prospers as long as he listens to him?

His prosperity was shown in so many inventions which he made during his days, he has several warriors too defending the country and those working within the town to prevent marauders from harassing the citizens of the country.

It therefore was not surprising that during his period the land witnessed remarkable turn around and everything prospers for all and sundry then.


His Error

What was surprising about this man was that he did not err when he has not been established, when he has not gotten the grip over the country, but he erred after he has gotten grip over the land.

His error again was not like the error of other kings for he did not murder innocent people, he did not oppress the people of the land, he did not persecute anyone his name was not associated with those kings who were subsumed in idolatry. Many of the kings before him even King David who was the man after the heart of the Lord did err in these aspects. He perhaps may have learnt from them and avoided to fall into such errors.

But despite scaling through those, he fell by going to far, because he has been seen to be upright with the Lord, with his fame going to other lands he presumed he can do what others have not done, maybe because of his zeal for the Lord he decides to offer sacrifices on the altar of the Lord which was contrary to the law of the Lord which he has been following all the while.

The devil usually knows where to hide and attack those who are following the rules of the Lord and this is how it starts, it starts when the person becomes proud which essentially was what happened to this King.

The bible says his heart was lifted, to his destruction. This shows that he perhaps has been nursing the ambition to do something like this for long, for such do happen with the Kings of the prophets of Aserah (1 Kings 18:19) or maybe due to other factors.

But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense. (2 Ch 26:16)

Meanwhile as he was nursing this ambition he has been cautioned repeatedly by Zechariah who was instructing him, but alas he went behind his back to carry out what was in his heart, for now, he believes no one could stop him because he has doing everything the right way before and believed the priests would overlook that for him.


Going Too Far: Burning Incense

He thought he wanted to do God a service, because the priests were not doing it right, he lay aside the law of the Lord thinking he would be appreciated by the Lord in this instance, and what he did was transgressing the Law, though other Kings have blessed the people in the name of the Lord in the temple but they did burn incense unto the Lord for that was the exclusive role God appointed to the Levites.

In addition to given them (Priests) the exclusivity to burn incense the fire must be from the Lord, it is not an ordinary fire, this he overlooks because of the pride that has filled his heart.

It is a lesson to all of us that if we reject the word of God, God himself will arise to stop us when we are doing what is wrong to his wills.

Earthquake | Source

He was Stopped

When he went too far, the priests entered and stopped him they showed him that he has exceeded his boundaries, but he was not satisfied with what they were saying and was arguing with them

And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore 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 honour 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 chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him. (2 Ch 26:17-20)

Instead of listening to them, Josephus says he was threatening them and was of the mind that anyone who comes nigh to where he was to stop him from offering the incense on the altar such a person would be killed. When he has made up his mind to do something like this to the priests of God, then the earth shook and the roof of where he was opened and through the cleft of it, the beam of sun radiated directly upon his face and immediately leprosy appeared. This earthquake was said to be the one documented in the book of Amos 1:1 and Zechariah 14:5.

The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake. (Amo 1:1)

The priests couldn’t stop him because of the power he wields because of the people, security who may have accompanied him to the temple, but he was stopped by God himself.

It is a lesson to all of us that if we reject the word of God, God himself will arise to stop us when we are doing what is wrong to his wills.


Living in Quarantined House

He left the temple when he discovered that leprosy has appeared on him for the place where lepers are living, in seclusion from the society and town.

And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.

And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for 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.

At this place he was till the day of his death and was not buried among the sepulcher of the kings of Judah because it is tarnishing.

Albeit, I believe assuming he had a repentant heart when he was there, if he could accept his error, that he indeed has done what the Lord did not approve of him to do, he would have been healed by God and would have been brought back to the palace.

King Ahab repented when prophet Elijah told him what he did that was wrong, though worshiping idols, though following his wife to do evil yet God had compassion on him and overturned the evil he has said through his prophet that would happen during his days.

The devil often blindfolded our eyes, spiritual eyes to seeing our errors, as it has happened to this King and we shall continue to walk in the way he has not approved to our shame. God’s arms are still outstretched to welcome anyone who dares to come to him to himself.

Uzziah started well and was the envious of all,

but the devil waited till he acquire all he wishes to acquire before he allowed the pride in him to manifest and when it manifested he fails to have another thought about that until he dies without restoration which left the people with no other choice other than burying him where he ought not to be buried.



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