Uzzi'ah (Heb. Uzz'iyah, עֻזַּיָּה, strength of Jehovah but in the prolonged form Uzziya'hu, עֻזַּיָּהוּ, except in 2 Kings 15:13, 3.0; 1Ch 6:24; Ezr 10:21; Ne 11:4; Ho 1:1; Am 1:1; Zec 14:5]; Sept. usually Ο᾿ζίας, but with many v.r.; Vulg. Ozias or, Azias), the name of five Hebrews. SEE UZZIA.
1. A Kohathite Levite, son of Uriel and father of Shaul among Samuel's ancestors (1Ch 6:24 [Heb. 19]). B.C. cir. 1515. He is apparently the same with JAZARIAH SEE JAZARIAH (q.v.) the son of Joel and father of Zephaniah in the parallel list (ver. 36).
2. The father of Jehioathan, David's overseer of depositories in kind (1Ch 27:25). B.C. cir. 1053. 3. The tenth king of the separate kingdom of Judah, B.C. 808-756. Like No.1 above, he is sometimes called AZARIAH SEE AZARIAH (q.v.). By Josephus (Ant. 9:10, 3:sq.), and in the New Test. (Mt 1:8-9) the name occurs in the same Greek form as in the Sept. (Ο᾿ζίας). The date of the beginning of Uzziah's reign (2Ki 15:1) in the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboalim 11 is reconciled by Usher and others with the statement that Uzziah's father, Amaziah, whose whole reign was twenty-nine years only came to the throne in the second year of Joash (14, 1); and by the supposition that Jeroboam's reign had two commencements, the first not mentioned in Scripture, on his association with his father, Joash, during the Syrian war, B.C. 835. Keil, after Capellus and Grotius, more violently supposes that the number כז is an error of the Hebrew copyists for יט יו יג, so that instead of twenty-seventh of Jeroboam we ought to read thirteenth, fourteenth, etc.
After the murder of Amaziah, his son Uzziah was chosen by the people to occupy the vacant throne, at the age of sixteen; and for the greater part of his reign of fifty-two years he lived in the fear of God, and showed himself a wise, active, and pious ruler. He began his reign by a successful expedition against his father's enemies, the Edomites, who had revolted from Judah in Jehoram's time, eighty years before, 4pd penetrated as far as the head of the Gulf of Akiaba, where he took the important place of, Elatli, fortified it, and probably established it as a mart for foreign commerce, which Jehoshaphat-had failed to do. This success is recorded in 2 Kings (2Ki 14:22), but from 2 Chronicles (2Ch 26:1, etc.) we learn much more. Uzziah waged other victorious wars in the South, especially against the Mehunim (q.v.), or people of Maali, and the Arabs of Guirbaal. A fortified town named Maan still exists in Arabia, Petrsea, south of the Dead Sea. The situation of Gurbaal (q.v.) is unknown. (For conjectures more or less probable, see Ewald, Gesch. 1, 321.) . Such enemies would hardly maintain a long resistance after the defeat of so formidable a tribe as the Edomites. Towards the west, Uzziah fought with equal success against the Philistines, leveled to the ground the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod, and founded new fortified cities in the Philistine territory. Nor was he less vigorous in defensive than offensive operations. He strengthened the walls of Jerusalem at their weakest- point's, furnished them with formidable engines of war, and equipped an army of 307, 500 men with the best inventions of military art. He was also a great patron of agriculture, dug wells, built towers in, the wilderness for the protection of the flocks, and cultivated rich vineyards and arable land on his own account. He never deserted the worship of the true God, and was much influenced by Zechariah, a prophet who is only mentioned in connection with him (2Ch 26:5); for, as he probably died before Uzziah, he is thought not to have been the same as the Zechariah of Isa 8:2. So the southern kingdom was raised to a condition of prosperity which it had not known since the death of Solomon; and as the power of Israel was gradually falling away in the latter period of Jehu's dynasty, that of Judah extended itself over the Ammonites and Moabites, and other tribes beyond Jordan, from whom Uzziah exacted tribute. See 2Ch 26:8, and Isa 16:1-5, from which it would appear that the annual tribute of sheep (2Ki 3:4) was revived either during this reign, or soon after. The end of Uzziah was less prosperous than his beginning. Elated with his splendid career, he determined to burn incense on the altar of God, but was opposed by the high-priest Azariah and eighty others. (See Ex 30:7-8; Nu 16:40; Nu 18:7.) The king was enraged at their resistance, and, as he pressed forward with his censer, was suddenly smitten with leprosy, a disease which, according to Gerlach (ad loc.), is often brought but by violent excitement. In 2Ki 15:5 we are merely told that "the Lord smote the king, so that he was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in several house; but his invasion of the priestly office is not specified. This catastrophe compelled Uzziah to reside outside the city, so that the kingdom was administered till his death by his son, Jotham as regent. Uzziah was buried "with his fathers," yet apparently not actually in the royal sepulchers (2Ch 26:23). During his reign an earthquake (q.v.) occurred, which, though not mentioned in the historical books, was apparently very serious in its consequences, for it is alluded to as a chronological epoch by Amos (Am 1:1), and mentioned in Zec 14:5 as a convulsion from which the people "fled." Josephus (Ant.' 9:10, 4) connects it with Uzziah's sacrilegious attempt to offer incense, and this is likely, as it agrees with other chronological data. SEE AMOS.
The first six chapters of Isaiah's prophecies belong to this reign, and we are told (2Ch 26:22) that a full account of it was written by that prophet. Some notices of the state of Judah at this time may also be obtained from the contemporary prophets Hosea and Amos, though both of these labored more particularly in Israel. We gather from their writings (Ho 4:15; Ho 6:11; Am 6:1), as well as from the early chapters of Isaiah, that though the condition of the southern kingdom was far superior, morally and religiously, to that of the northern, yet that it was by no means free from the vices which are apt to accompany wealth and prosperity. At the same time, Hosea conceives bright hopes of the blessings which were to arise from it; and though doubtless these hopes pointed to something far higher than the brilliancy of Uzziah's administration, and though the return of the Israelites to "David their king" can only be adequately explained of Christ's kingdom, yet the prophet, in contemplating the condition of Judah, at this time, was plainly cheered by the thought that there God was really honored, aid his worship visibly maintained, and that therefore with it was bound up every hope that his promises to his people would at last be fulfilled (Ho 1:7; Ho 3:3). It is to be observed, with reference to the general character of Uzziah's reign, that the writer of the second book of Chronicles distinctly states that his lawless attempt to burn incense was the only exception to the excellence of his administration (2Ch 27:2). SEE JUDAH, KINGDOM OF.
4. Son of Zechariah and father of Athaiah, the last afdescendant of Perez the son of Judah resident in Jerusalem after the Exile (Ne 11:4). B.C. ante 536.
5. A priest of the "sons" of Harim who renounced his Gentile wife married after the return from Babylon (Ezr 10:21). B.C. 458.