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Sunday, 23 June 2024 - San Giuseppe Cafasso ( Letture di oggi)

2 Chronicles 26


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1Al the people then chose Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in succession to hisfather Amaziah.2It was he who rebuilt Elath, recovering it for Judah, after the king had fal en asleep with his ancestors.3Uzziah was sixteen years old when he came to the throne and he reigned for fifty-two years inJerusalem. His mother's name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.4He did what is pleasing to Yahweh, just as his father Amaziah had done;5he consulted God throughout the lifetime of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. And aslong as he consulted Yahweh, God gave him success.6He went on campaign against the Philistines, demolished the wal s of Gath, the wal s of Jabneh andthe wal s of Ashdod, and built towns in the area of Ashdod and elsewhere in Philistine territory.7God helped him against the Philistines, the Arabs living at Gur-Baal and the Meunites.8The Meunites paid tribute to Uzziah and his fame spread as far as the frontier of Egypt, since he keptgrowing stronger and stronger.9Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem, at the Corner Gate, at the Val ey Gate and at the Angle, and fortifiedthem.10He built towers in the desert too, and dug many storage-wel s, for he had large herds in the lowlandsand on the tableland, and farmers and vine dressers in the hil s and fertile lands: for he loved the land.11Uzziah had a trained army ready to go on campaign, organised in companies manned as detailed bythe scribe Jeiel and the staff-officer Maaseiah, and commanded by Hananiah one of the king's generals.12The heads of families of the military champions numbered in al two thousand six hundred.13Under them was an army of three hundred and seven thousand five hundred men ready for war, apowerful force to support the king against the enemy.14Uzziah provided shields, spears, helmets, armour, bows and sling-stones for the entire army.15He also erected expertly contrived devices for the towers and angles of Jerusalem from which toshoot arrows and drop large stones. His fame spread far and wide, for he was miraculously helped to becomestrong.16But once he was strong, his arrogance was such that it led to his downfall; he was unfaithful toYahweh his God by entering the Temple of Yahweh to burn incense on the altar of incense.17Azariah the priest with eight brave priests of Yahweh followed him in;18confronting King Uzziah, they said to him, 'Uzziah, you are not al owed to burn incense to Yahweh;only the Aaronite priests consecrated for the purpose may burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have beenunfaithful and wil have no honour from Yahweh God.'19Uzziah, censer in hand to burn incense, flew into a rage. But while he was raging at the priests, avirulent skin-disease broke out on his forehead in the presence of the priests, in the Temple of Yahweh, there bythe altar of incense.20When Azariah the chief priest and al the other priests turned towards him, there was skin-disease onhis forehead and they hurried him outside, and he himself was equal y anxious to get out, because Yahweh hadstruck him.21King Uzziah was afflicted with skin-disease til his dying day. Because of this, he lived confined to hisroom and was excluded from the Temple of Yahweh, while Jotham his son, who was master of the palace,governed the people of the country.22The rest of the history of Uzziah, from first to last, has been written by the prophet Isaiah son ofAmoz.23Then Uzziah fell asleep with his ancestors and was buried with them in the field beside the burialground of the kings since, it was reasoned, he was afflicted with virulent skin-disease. His son Jotham thensucceeded him.