of Judah - Isaiah 1
King Uzziah ruled the Kingdom of Judah
for 52 years, from approximately 792-740 B.C. In the earlier
part of his reign he was faithful
to the Lord and "did that which was right in the sight
of the Lord" but toward the close of his long life "his
heart was lifted up to his destruction," and he wantonly
invaded the priest's office (2nd Chronicles 26), and entering
the sanctuary proceeded to offer incense on the golden altar.
This act was strictly reserved for the priests only.
“So you shall appoint to Aaron and his sons, and they
shall attend to the priesthood; but the outsider whom comes near
shall be put to death” – Numbers 3:10 | Exodus 28:43
The high priest saw the tendency of such
a daring act on the part of the king, and with a band of eighty
priests he withstood
him saying, "It is not for you Uzziah, to burn incense to
the Lord but it is consecrated for the priests" Uzziah became
angry with the priests and he was suddenly struck with leprosy
while in the act of offering incense. Uzziah was driven from
the temple and compelled to reside in a secluded house until
the day of his death. (2 Chronicles 26:3).
The Uzziah Tablet
In 1931 an archeological find, now known as the Uzziah Tablet
was discovered by Professor E.I. Sukenik of the Hebrew University
The Funerary Inscription of King Uzziah
was found in the collection of the Russian Convent on the Mount
of Olives. The Aramaic inscription
is incised on a stone tablet (35 x 34 cm.) and the style of the
script dates it to the latter part of the Second Temple period.
It tells of the reburial of the remains of Uzziah, King of Judah.
The Inscription on the Uzziah Tablet reads: "Hither were
brought the bones of Uzziah, King of Judah and do not open" (Leprosy).
Seal of Shebnayau, Servant of Uzziah
This reddish-brown, oval-shaped stamped
seal has two convex sides, each containing a different carving.
The scene on one side
depicts a man wearing a long garment, possibly of Assyrian
style, and holding a staff or scepter in his left hand. His
right arm is raised. The Hebrew inscription behind him reads “Belonging
to Shebnayau.” The carving on the other side has two
winged solar discs, one at the top and one at the bottom. Between
the two discs is a two-line inscription that reads, “Belonging
to Shebnayau, servant of Uzziah.” The term “servant” was
commonly used as a title for a high royal official. It is very
possible that this “Shebna” is the same man described
in Isaiah 22:15 as a “steward over his masters house” – (During
the reigns of King Uzziah and King Hezekiah)