II Chronicles 26:19
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19  Uzziyahu, holding the censer and ready to burn incense, got angry; but as he got angry with the Kohanim, leprosy broke out on his forehead in front of the Kohanim in the House of Hashem beside the incense mizbayach.

va-yiz-AF u-zi-YA-hu uv-ya-DO mik-TE-ret l’-hak-TEER uv-za-PO im ha-ko-ha-NEEM v’-ha-tza-RA-at za-r’-KHA v’-mitz-KHO lif-NAY ha-ko-ha-NEEM b’-VAYT a-do-NAI may-AL l’-miz-BAKH ha-k’-TO-ret

יט  וַיִּזְעַף עֻזִּיָּהוּ וּבְיָדוֹ מִקְטֶרֶת לְהַקְטִיר וּבְזַעְפּוֹ עִם־הַכֹּהֲנִים וְהַצָּרַעַת זָרְחָה בְמִצְחוֹ לִפְנֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים בְּבֵית יְהֹוָה מֵעַל לְמִזְבַּח הַקְּטֹרֶת׃

 26:19   Leprosy broke out on his forehead

Rashi (1040-1105)

Emboldened by his success, Uzziyahu is not satisfied with being just a king; he wishes to be a Kohen as well. Since he is not a descendant of the house of Levi, he is barred from priesthood and his attempt to offer a sacrifice of incense defiles the Beit Hamikdash. Therefore, he contracts a form of ritual impurity even while attemp­ting to bring a sacrifice in the Temple, a place in which ritual impurity is usually barred. Rashi (Isaiah 6:4) writes that this action causes the earthquake that shook the Land of Israel in the days of Uzziyahu (see Amos 1:1 and Zechariah 14:5). This shows the spiritual sensitivity of Eretz Yisrael. Not only is Uzziyahu punished, but the land itself reacts to the violation of God’s command.

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II Chronicles 26
II Chronicles 27

Comments ( 2 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • Doesn't it make one wonder what is it that that causes these great men to fall away from following Hashem. Bellesmoma is right, 'pride does indeed come before a fall'. The saddest thing for me is that history seems to repeat itself over and over again with the Kings. They start their reign well and then seem to fall away from Hashem, for whatever reason. In British history, when the British warred against each other as they did, all cultures seem to have their own leaders/Lords/knights etc. Well, in a battle there was the standard bearer. He held the flag of his leader, he stood up the front of the battle and he was the one who was targeted by the opposing side. They knew that if the standard bearer went down, the soldiers wouldn't see the standard and they would not fight on.

    I wonder with these kings whether as a standard bearer, they were attacked so that people turned away from following Hashem? It has happened here when pastors become greater than the message they preach, and they come under attack and 'fall'. The enemy wants nothing better than to destroy the people of G-d and G-d's kingdom.

    Thank you Bellesmoma:-)

  • Pride is an incredibly dangerous characteristic. It is wrong to think we are on equal or better footing than G-d. G-d is G-d and we are NOT! If G-d says only Levite priests may deal with the incense, then who are we to think or act otherwise. Uzziah is a great reminder for all G-d's people. Pride does come before the fall.


II Chronicles 26:19

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