Sunday School Lesson 30: 2 Chronicles 29-30; 32; 34

As the Old Testament tells the history, Hezekiah was the 13th king after David and the 11th king of Judah: David, then Solomon, then Rehoboam (who was king at the time of the split between Judah and Israel, and became the first king of Judah), then Abijah, then Asa, then Jehoshaphat, Joram, Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and finally Hezekiah. Hezekiah reigned from 715 B.C. to 687 B.C.

King Uzziah was a successful king, but at the end of his career he came into conflict with the temple priests. Whether the description of the conflict that we see in 2 Chronicles 26:16-23 is accurate is debatable, for it is clear that, as king, David had the right to offer sacrifice and to use the Urim and Thummim. (See 1 Samuel 23:9-12; 24:7-8; and 2 Samuel 24:25. The Urim and Thummim were attached to the ephod mentioned in 1 Samuel 23 and 24.) In addition, David tells us that he was given the Melchizedek priesthood (Psalm 110:4). There can be little doubt that the king of Israel was originally a priest-king. (See 1 Chronicles 29:23, which says that Solomon sat on “the throne of the Lord.”) So it seems likely that Uzziah was not doing anything improper when he made offering in the temple. If so, then the story in chapter 29, that Uzziah was stricken with leprosy because he dared to act as a priest in the temple, was written or edited later to justify excluding the king from priesthood functions. (Notice that 2 Kings 15:1-5 gives a different reason for Uzziah’s (Azariah’s) leprosy.)

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