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Biography

Uzziah (or Ozias) - Strength of the Lord. Called Azariah (2 Kgs. 14:21); king of Judah (2 Chr. 26:1); builds Elath (2 Kgs. 14:22; 2 Chr. 26:2); influenced by Zechariah (2 Chr. 26:5); defeats the Philistines (26:6); fortifies Jerusalem (26:9); smitten with leprosy (2 Kgs. 15:5; 2 Chr. 26:19); earthquake in his reign (Isa. 6:1; Amos 1:1; Zech. 14:5); called Ozias (Matt. 1:8).

Uzziah (/əˈzaɪə/; Hebrew: עֻזִּיָּהוּ‬ ‘Uzzîyāhū, meaning Yah is my strength;[1] Greek: Ὀζίας; Latin: Ozias), also known as Azariah (/ˈæzəˈraɪə/; Hebrew: עֲזַרְיָה‬ Greek: Αζαρις; Latin: Azarias), was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Judah, and one of Amaziah's sons. (2 Chronicles 26:1) Uzziah was 16 when he became king of Judah and reigned for 52 years. The first 24 years of his reign were as co-regent with his father, Amaziah.

Archaeologist William F. Albright has dated Uzziah's reign to 783 – 742 BC.[citation needed] Edwin R. Thiele's chronology has Uzziah becoming coregent with his father Amaziah in 792/791 BC,[2] and sole ruler of Judah after his father's death in 768/767 BC. Uzziah was struck with leprosy for disobeying God (2 Kings 15:5, 2 Chronicles 26:19-21). Thiele dates Uzziah's being struck with leprosy to 751/750 BC, at which time his son Jotham took over the government, with Uzziah living on until 740/739 BC.[2] Pekah became king of Israel in the last year of Uzziah's reign.

Great Earthquake of 760 B.C.

1 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. (Book of Amos 1:1)

A major earthquake is referred to in the book of the prophet Amos. Amos dated his prophecy to "two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel" (Amos 1:1, NIV). Over 200 years later, the prophet Zechariah predicted a future earthquake from which the people would flee as they fled in the days of Uzziah (Zechariah 14:5). Geologists believe they have found evidence of this major earthquake in sites throughout Israel and Jordan.[6] The geologists write:

Masonry walls best display the earthquake, especially walls with broken ashlars, walls with displaced rows of stones, walls still standing but leaning or bowed, and walls collapsed with large sections still lying course-on-course. Debris at six sites (Hazor, Deir 'Alla, Gezer, Lachish, Tell Judeideh, and 'En Haseva) is tightly confined stratigraphically to the middle of the eighth century B.C., with dating errors of ~30 years.... The earthquake was at least magnitude 7.8, but likely was 8.2.... This severe geologic disaster has been linked historically to a speech delivered at the city of Bethel by a shepherd-farmer named Amos of Tekoa."

An exact date for this earthquake would be of considerable interest to archaeologists and historians, because it would allow a synchronization of the earthquake at all the sites affected by it in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Currently, the stratigraphic evidence at Gezer dates the earthquake at 760 BC, plus or minus 25 years, while Yadin and Finkelstein date the earthquake level at Hazor to 760 BC based on stratigraphic analysis of the destruction debris. Similarly, Ussishkin dated the "sudden destruction" level at Lachish to approximately 760 BC.

Marriage and Family



Children


Offspring of Uzziah and unknown parent
Name Birth Death Joined with
Jotham of Judah 9999 Land of Canaan 735 Land of Canaan

Siblings


Offspring of Jehoram and Athaliah bat Ahab
Name Birth Death Joined with
Uzziah of Judah 9999 Land of Canaan 739 Land of Canaan
Jehoahaz of Judah
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Jehoram
9th King of Judah
Coregent: 791 – 767 BC
Sole reign: 767 – 750 BC
Coregent: 750 – 740 BC
Succeeded by
Jotham

References


Footnotes (including sources)

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