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2 Chronicles 26:16 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, so that he did corruptly, and he trespassed against Jehovah his God; for he went into the temple of Jehovah to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to [his] destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to [his] destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— But when he became strong his heart was lifted up to [his] downfall; and he transgressed against Jehovah his God, and went into the temple of Jehovah to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— But, when he became strong, uplifted was his heart, unto ruin, for he acted unfaithfully against Yahweh his God,—and entered into the temple of Yahweh, to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And at his being strong his heart hath been high unto destruction, and he trespasseth against Jehovah his God, and goeth in unto the temple of Jehovah to make perfume upon the altar of perfume.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— But when he was made strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction, and he neglected the Lord his God: and going into the temple of the Lord, he had a mind to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— But when he was strong, his heart was lifted vp to [his] destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD, to burne incense vpon the altar of incense.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction; and he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the Lord to turn incense on the altar of incense.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to [his] destruction: for he transgressed against Yahweh his Elohim, and went into the temple of Yahweh to burn incense upon the altar of incense.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
But when he was strong, y2393
[2393] Standard
Feminine of H2391; prevailing power.
(2394) Complement
Feminine of H2392; vehemence (usually in a bad sense).
his heart 3820
{3820} Prime
A form of H3824; the heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything.
was lifted up 1361
{1361} Prime
A primitive root; to soar, that is, be lofty; figuratively to be haughty.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
to x5704
(5704) Complement
Properly the same as H5703 (used as a preposition, adverb or conjugation; especially with a preposition); as far (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with).
[his] destruction: 7843
{7843} Prime
A primitive root; to decay, that is, (causatively) ruin (literally or figuratively).
<8687> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 1162
for he transgressed 4603
{4603} Prime
A primitive root; properly to cover up; used only figuratively to act covertly, that is, treacherously.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
against Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
his lhm אֱלֹהִים, 430
{0430} Prime
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
and went 935
{0935} Prime
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
into x413
(0413) Complement
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
the temple 1964
{1964} Prime
Probably from H3201 (in the sense of capacity); a large public building, such as a palace or temple.
of Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
to burn incense 6999
{6999} Prime
A primitive root (rather identical with H7000 through the idea of fumigation in a close place and perhaps thus driving out the occupants); to smoke, that is, turn into fragrance by fire (especially as an act of worship).
<8687> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 1162
upon x5921
(5921) Complement
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the altar 4196
{4196} Prime
From H2076; an altar.
of incense. 7004
{7004} Prime
From H6999; a fumigation.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

2 Chronicles 26:16-21

_ _ 2 Chronicles 26:16-21. He invades the priest’s office, and is smitten with leprosy.

_ _ he transgressed against the Lord, etc. — (See on 2 Kings 15:5). This daring and wicked act is in both records traced to the intoxicating influence of overweening pride and vanity. But here the additional circumstances are stated, that his entrance was opposed, and strong remonstrances made (1 Chronicles 6:10) by the high priest, who was accompanied by eighty inferior priests. Rage and threats were the only answers he deigned to return, but God took care to vindicate the sacredness of the priestly office. At the moment the king lifted the censer, He struck him with leprosy. The earthquake mentioned (Amos 1:1) is said to have been felt at the moment [Josephus].

Matthew Henry's Commentary

2 Chronicles 26:16-23

_ _ Here is the only blot we find on the name of king Uzziah, and it is such a one as lies not on any other of the kings. Whoredom, murder, oppression, persecution, and especially idolatry, gave characters to the bad kings and some of them blemishes to the good ones, David himself not excepted, witness the matter of Uriah. But we find not Uzziah charged with any of these; and yet he transgressed against the Lord his God, and fell under the marks of his displeasure in consequence, not, as other kings, in vexatious wars or rebellions, but an incurable disease.

_ _ I. His sin was invading the priest's office. The good way is one; by-paths are many. The transgression of his predecessors was forsaking the temple of the Lord, flying off from it (2 Chronicles 24:18), and burning incense upon idolatrous altars, 2 Chronicles 25:14. His was intruding into the temple of the Lord further than was allowed him, and attempting him to burn incense upon the altar of God, for which, it is likely, he pretended an extraordinary zeal and affection. See how hard it is to avoid one extreme and not run into another.

_ _ 1. That which was at the bottom of his sin was pride of heart, a lust that ruins more than any other whatsoever (2 Chronicles 26:16): When he was strong (and he was marvellously helped by the good providence of God till he was so, 2 Chronicles 26:15), when he had grown very great and considerable in wealth, interest, and power, instead of lifting up the name of God in gratitude to him who had done so much for him, his heart was lifted up to his destruction. Thus the prosperity of fools, by puffing them up with pride, destroys them. Now that he had done so much business, and won so much honour, he began to think no business, no honour, too great or too good for him, no, not that of the priesthood Men's pretending to forbidden knowledge, and exercising themselves in things too high for them, are owing to the pride of their heart, and the fleshly mind they are vainly puffed up with.

_ _ 2. His sin was going into the temple of the Lord to burn incense, probably on some solemn feast day, or when he himself had some special occasion for supplicating the divine favour. What could move him to this piece of presumption, or put it into his head, I cannot conjecture. None of all his predecessors, not the best, not the worst, attempted it. The law, he knew, was express against him, and there was no usage or precedent for him. He could not pretend any necessity, as there was for David's eating the show-bread. (1.) Perhaps he fancied the priests did not do their office so dexterously, decently, and devoutly, as they ought, and he could do it better. Or, (2.) He observed that the idolatrous kings did themselves burn incense at the altars of their gods; his father did so, and Jeroboam (1 Kings 13:1), an ambition of which honour was perhaps one thing that tempted them from the house of God, where it was not permitted them; and he, being resolved to cleave to God's altar, would try to break through this restraint and come as near it as the idolatrous kings did to their altars. But it is called a transgression against the Lord his God. He was not content with the honours God had put upon him, but would usurp those that were forbidden him, like our first parents.

_ _ 3. He was opposed in this attempt by the chief priest and other priests that attended and assisted him, 2 Chronicles 26:17, 2 Chronicles 26:18. They were ready to burn incense for the king, according to the duty of their place; but, when he offered to do it himself, they plainly let him know that he meddled with that which did not belong to him, and that it was at his peril. They did not resist him by laying violent hands on him, though they were valiant men, but by reasoning with him and showing him, (1.) That it was not lawful for him to burn incense: “It appertaineth not to thee, O Uzziah! but to the priests, whose birthright it is, as sons of Aaron, and who are consecrated to the service.” Aaron and his sons were appointed by the law to burn incense, Exodus 30:7. See Deuteronomy 33:10; 1 Chronicles 23:13. David had blessed the people and Solomon and Jehoshaphat had prayed with them and preached to them. Uzziah might have done this, and it would have been to his praise; but as for burning incense, that service was to be performed by the priests only. The kingly and priestly offices were separated by the law of Moses, not to be united again but in the person of the Messiah. If Uzziah did intend to honour God, and gain acceptance with him, in what he did, he was quite out in his aim; for, being a service purely of divine institution, he could not expect it should be accepted unless it were done in the way and by the hands that God had appointed. (2.) That it was not safe. It shall not be for thy honour from the Lord God. More is implied: “It will be thy disgrace, and it is at thy peril.” The law runs expressly against all strangers that came nigh (Numbers 3:10, Numbers 18:7), that is, all that were not priests. Korah and his accomplices, though Levites, paid dearly for offering to burn incense, which was the work of the priests only, Numbers 16:35. The incense of our prayers must be by faith put into the hands of our Lord Jesus, the great high priest of our profession, else we cannot expect it should be accepted by God, Revelation 8:3.

_ _ 4. He fell into a passion with the priests that reproved him, and would push forward to do what he intended notwithstanding (2 Chronicles 26:19): Uzziah was wroth, and would not part with the censer out of his hand. He took it ill to be checked, and would not bear interference. Nitimur in vetitumWe are prone to do what is forbidden.

_ _ II. His punishment was an incurable leprosy, which rose up in his forehead while he was contending with the priests. If he had submitted to the priests' admonition, acknowledged his error, and gone back, all would have been well; but when he was wroth with the priests, and fell foul upon them, then God was wroth with him and smote him with a plague of leprosy. Josephus says that he threatened the priests with death if they opposed him, and that then the earth shook, the roof of the temple opened, and through the cleft a beam of the sun darted directly upon the king's face, wherein immediately the leprosy appeared. And some conjecture that that was the earthquake in the days of Uzziah which we read of Amos 1:1 and Zechariah 14:5. Now this sudden stroke, 1. Ended the controversy between him and the priests; for, when the leprosy appeared, they were emboldened to thrust him out of the temple; nay, he himself hasted to go out, because the Lord had smitten him with a disease which was in a particular manner a token of his displeasure, and which he knew secluded him from common converse with men, much more from the altar of God. He would not be convinced by what the priests said, but God took an effectual course to convince him. If presumptuous men will not be made to see their error by the judgments of God's mouth, they shall be made to see it by the judgments of his hand. It evinced some religious fear of God in the heart of this king, even in the midst of his transgression, that, as soon as he found God was angry with him, he not only let fall his attempt, but retired with the utmost precipitation. Though he strove with the priests, he would not strive with his Maker. 2. It remained a lasting punishment of his transgression; for he continued a leper to the day of his death, shut up in confinement, and shut out from society, and forced to leave it to his son to manage all his business, 2 Chronicles 26:21. Thus God gave an instance of his resisting the proud and of his jealousy for the purity and honour of his own institutions; thus he gave fair warning even to great and good men to know and keep their distance, and not to intrude into those things which they have not seen; and thus he gave Uzziah a loud and constant call to repentance, and a long space to repent, which we have reason to hope he improved. He had been a man of much business in the world; but being taken off from that, and confined to a separate house, he had leisure to think of another world and prepare for it. By this judgment upon the king God intended to possess the people with a great veneration for the temple, the priesthood, and other sacred things, which they had been apt to think meanly of. While the king was a leper, he was as good as dead, dead while he lived, and buried alive; and so the law was, in effect, answered, that the stranger who cometh nigh shall be put to death. The disgrace survived him; for, when he was dead, they would not bury him in the sepulchres of the kings because he was a leper, which stained all his other glory. 3. It was a punishment that answered the sin as face does face in a glass. (1.) Pride was at the bottom of his transgression, and thus God humbled him and put dishonour upon him. (2.) He invaded the office of the priests in contempt of them, and God struck him with a disease which in a particular manner made him subject to the inspection and sentence of the priests; for to them pertained the judgment of the leprosy, Deuteronomy 24:8. (3.) He thrust himself into the temple of God, whither the priests only had admission, and for that was thrust out of the very courts of the temple, into which the meanest of his subjects that was ceremonially clean had free access. (4.) He confronted the priests that faced him and opposed his presumption, and for that the leprosy rose in his forehead, which, in Miriam's case, is compared to her father's spitting in her face, Numbers 12:14. (5.) He invaded the dignity of the priesthood, which he had no right to, and for that he was deprived even of his royal dignity, which he had a right to. Those that covet forbidden honours forfeit allowed ones. Adam, by catching at the tree of knowledge of which he might not eat, debarred himself from the tree of life, of which he might have eaten. Let all that read it say, The Lord is righteous.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

2 Chronicles 26:16

Into Jerusalem — Into the holy place, where the altar of incense stood, and into which none but the priests might enter, much less offer incense.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

2 Chronicles 26:16

But when he was strong, his heart (i) was lifted up to [his] destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.

(i) Thus prosperity causes men to trust in themselves and by forgetting him who is the author of it, procure their own punishment.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
when he was:

2 Chronicles 25:19 Thou sayest, Lo, thou hast smitten the Edomites; and thine heart lifteth thee up to boast: abide now at home; why shouldest thou meddle to [thine] hurt, that thou shouldest fall, [even] thou, and Judah with thee?
2 Chronicles 32:25 But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit [done] unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem.
Deuteronomy 8:14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
Deuteronomy 8:17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of [mine] hand hath gotten me this wealth.
Deuteronomy 32:13-15 He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; ... But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered [with fatness]; then he forsook God [which] made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
Proverbs 16:18 Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul [which] is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

went into:

2 Kings 16:12-13 And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon. ... And he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, upon the altar.

to burn:

Numbers 16:1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took [men]:
Numbers 16:7 And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be [that] the man whom the LORD doth choose, he [shall be] holy: [ye take] too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.
Numbers 16:18 And they took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation with Moses and Aaron.
Numbers 16:35 And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.
1 Kings 12:33 So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, [even] in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.
1 Kings 13:1-4 And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. ... And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.
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Nu 16:1, 7, 18, 35. Dt 8:14, 17; 32:13. 1K 12:33; 13:1. 2K 16:12. 2Ch 25:19; 32:25. Pv 16:18. Hab 2:4. Col 2:18.

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