Geo-Political Introduction

HISTORICAL INFORMATION

King Uzziah

-The first verse of the Book of Isaiah states that Isaiah prophesied during the reign of Uzziah.
-The Gospel of Matthew lists Uzziah of Judah in the genealogy of Jesus.

1-Name: Uzziah /əˈzaɪə/; Hebrew: עֻזִּיָּהוּ ‘Uzzîyāhū, means Yah (God) is my strength; from the Greek: Οζίας; and Latin: Ozias), also the name is known as Azariah (/ˈæzəˈraɪə/; from Hebrew: עֲזַרְיָה Greek: Αζαρις; and finally Latin: Azarias.

Not to be confused with Uzzah. (According to James F. Driscoll, the second form of his name most likely is the result of a copyist’s error.)[1]

2-Historical Period: Uzziah lived and died in the middle of the VIIIth century BC (8th). His reign was dated to 783 – 742 BC by William F. Albright. Uzziah becomes co-regent with his father; Amaziah in 792/791 BC, according to Edwin R. Thiele’s chronology. Then in 768/767 BC (and after his father’s death) sole ruler of Judah.

Born on: approximately 799 BC

Died on: around 740/739 BC

3-Historical Events: Uzziah was a king over the Kingdom of Judah. He was also the son of Amaziah, son of Joash, son of Ahaziah, Son of King Joram and  Queen Athaliah who tried to kill all her grandchildren to become sole regent, but failed when Joash was hidden by his aunt, then appointed as a boy-king (2 Chronicles 26:1).

Uzziah was 16 when he became king co-regent along with his father Amaziah. He governed the kingdom with his father for 24 years until the year 759 BC. Then he reigned on his own until 791 BC. Therefore, in total, he reigned for 52 years.

Consequently, if we wanted to work out King Uzziah’s date of birth approximately, we can then add the date in which he stopped being a co-regent alongside his father (759 BC), the number of years he spent doing so (24) and his age (16 years): 759 + 24 + 16 = 799 BC

Chronicles and Kings tell us that Uzziah was a good king, to begin with. They connected this goodness with the fact that Uzziah took the advice of some godly people. We will discuss these people in the section to follow. However, this goodness could have lasted during Uzziah’s father’s life, for he reigned with him for 24 years. Unfortunately, Uzziah changed soon after and had to pay a heavy price for that.

The king’s disobedient life led him to experience physical disease in the form of leprosy (2 Kings 15:5, 2 Chronicles 26:19-21). Thiele dates Uzziah’s being struck with leprosy to 751/750 BC (so only 8 or 9 years after he became sole king), at which time his son Jotham took over the government, with Uzziah living on until 740/739 BC.

Summary of events: King father: Joram (died) – King Ahaziah (followed him and died) – Queen-mother; Athaliah appointed herself a queen after trying to kill all her grandchildren – King Joram’s daughter; Jehosheba, hid her nephew; the heir to the throne who was a small child in the temple- Aunt Jehosheba was married to the priest Jehoiada who brought Joash up as his son, along with his real son; the prophet Zechariah. King Joash became corrupt after his uncle died and allowed the killing of Zechariah when he opposed him. Then, Joash was also killed.

Joash’s son; Amaziah became his successor. According to some sources, Isaiah’s father; Amos, was linked to the descendants of King Amaziah. But this is not certain as there are no available clear references that confirm this.