“In the year
That King Uzziah died,
I saw Yahweh
Sitting on a throne,
High and lofty.”
Now we have the call of Isaiah. Should this not have been at the beginning of this book? Here it is found with a series of oracles about the war with the Assyrians. King Uzziah, also known as King Azariah, had been King of Judah from around 792-742 BCE, about 50 years. He ruled first with his father King Joash and then with his son King Jotham, when he was struck with leprosy, as noted in 2 Kings, chapter 15, and 2 Chronicles, chapter 26. In this vision, Isaiah saw Yahweh sitting on his high lofty throne in the Temple in the year aht King Uzziah had died, 742 BCE.
“All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old and made him king to succeed his father King Amaziah. He built Eloth and restored it to Judah, after the king slept with his ancestors. King Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began to reign. He reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. He did what was right in the sight of Yahweh, just as his father King Amaziah had done. He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought Yahweh, God made him prosper.”
Once again, this biblical chronicler used 2 Kings, chapter 15 as his basic text. King Uzziah ruled for a long time. The text says 52 years but the title and most charts put it at 42 years. He may have been a regent king ruling with his father, since his father King Amaziah was so unpopular. Also there is a question about his name. Here he is referred to as King Uzziah, but in 2 Kings, he was named King Azariah. This is the problem with names that are so close except for a consonant or two. He was 16 when he came to rule. His mother’s name was Jecoliah who was from Jerusalem, like his grandmother. Thus their names were similar. He was a righteous king who followed Yahweh. The text mentions that he followed his father, Azariah, but we just saw that his father was unfaithful to Yahweh. Nevertheless, King Uzziah conquered Elath, which was near the Red Sea. As usual there was no reference to the kingdom of Israel as in 2 Kings. Also there was no mention of the fact that the high places of worship still existed.