The Kaddish for King Uzziah

He had quietly slipped into the Holy Place to offer up prayers and find some solace. The smoke of incense drifted over and around the censor in the center of the darkened room, the burnished golden stand gleaming softly by candlelight. To his right stood the symbol of God’s Shekinah, solid gold almond blossoms and fruit ornately wrought along the six arms and sturdy base of the sacred menorah. Gently flickering flames, ever burning, shed a golden glow throughout the room. Underneath the heady spice of frankincense, myrhh, onycha, and galbanum, he could smell the rich aroma of the freshly baked Bread of the Presence.

The warm scent enveloped him as he looked at the loaf for Judah, the tribe of his cousin the king. The tribe of Messiah to come, the tribe of Israel’s Most Beloved.

His cousin had spent eleven long and lonely years in seclusion, for the Lord had struck him with leprosy for entering this very place. And now those years had come to their close.

Their prayer of mourning over his cousin, sung through their tears only a few hours earlier, now flowed like a river of sorrow through his mind.

Magnified and sanctified is the great name of God throughout the world, which was created according to Divine will. May the rule of peace be established speedily in our time, unto us and unto the entire household of Israel. And let us say: Amen.

May God’s great name be praised throughout all eternity. Glorified and celebrated, lauded and praised, acclaimed and honored, extolled and exalted ever be the name of thy Holy One, far beyond all song and psalm, beyond all hymns of glory which mortals can offer. And let us say: Amen.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, with life’s goodness for us and for all thy people Israel. And let us say: Amen.

May the One who brings peace to the universe bring peace to us and to all the people Israel. And let us say: Amen.

The Kaddish

Please, O Lord our God, Creator of the Cosmos, King of all kings, and Lord of all lords, please answer our prayers, Isaiah silently whispered. For Uzziah had been a good king, but corruption from Israel to the north had been seeping into Zion, and the young priest feared the worst for God’s people.

A copy (plaster, I think) of Zion Uzia. Found in the 19th century in a collection of a Russian church in the country. It is not known where it was originally taken from. [העתק (גבס, נדמה לי) של ציון עוזיה. נמצא במאה ה-19 באוסף של כנסייה רוסית בארץ. לא ידוע מאין זה נלקח במקור.] | By yoav dothan – Own work, GFDL,

Fulcrum Shift

Both in the Book of Isaiah, and in the life of the prophet Isaiah, Chapter Six represents a pivotal moment in time.

It was 740 BCE, the year King Uzziah died.

Only sixteen when he succeeded his father Amaziah to the throne, Uzziah went on to become a great king who reigned for fifty-two years, and restored Judah to a time of strength and prosperity. The Prophet Zechariah became the young king’s personal counselor, instructing Uzziah to reverence and obey God.

. . . as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper.

2 Chronicles 26:5 (NRSV)

God did indeed lavish blessing and success on both King Uzziah and the people of Judah, triumphant in war, lucrative in commerce and acquisitions, with agricultural abundance, Judah’s cities and towns built up, strong ramparts, robust armies, tribute from surrounding nations, and the City of God a jewel among the nations.

But it seems the people did not handle their affluence very well. They continued to affirm the traditional faith, but as their physical bounty grew, their sense of God’s presence and reality appeared to diminish in equal proportion.

Unfortunately, even King Uzziah lost sight of his place before God.

When he had become strong he grew proud, to his destruction.

For he acted unfaithfully toward the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to make offering on the altar of incense.

But the priest Azariah went in after him, with eighty priests of the Lord who were men of valor; they withstood King Uzziah and said to him,

“It is not for you, Uzziah, to make offering to the Lord, but for the priests the descendants of Aaron, who are consecrated to make offering. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have acted unfaithfully, and it will bring you no honor from the Lord God.”

Then Uzziah was enraged!

Now he had a censer in his hand to make offering, and when he became enraged with the priests a defiling disease broke out on his forehead, in the presence of the priests in the house of the Lord, by the altar of incense.

When the chief priest Azariah, and all the priests, looked at him, he was diseased on his forehead. They hurried him out, and he himself hurried to get out, because the Lord had struck him.

King Uzziah had a defiling disease to the day of his death, and being diseased lived in a separate house, for he was excluded from the house of the Lord. His son Jotham was in charge of the palace of the king, governing the people of the land.

2 Chronicles 26:16-21 (NRSV)

Imagining himself both King and High Priest, Uzziah had attempted to usurp the priestly role in the temple, and contracted leprosy. During the final eleven years of his reign, Jotham, his son, acted as co-regent while Uzziah went into seclusion.

Now, Uzziah’s death marked the end of an era.

Vision of God

Remember that Isaiah was probably Uzziah’s cousin. Because of the way Chapter Six introduces the timing of his vision, it is highly likely Isaiah had gone to the temple for the purpose of praying. His heart would surely have been heavy over the death of this good king. Isaiah would have wanted to lay before God his concerns about how the nation was even now slipping into moral and spiritual turpitude.

God met Isaiah in his sorrow, and in that moment of personal bereavement and spiritual concern, gave the young prophet a Christophany—a vision of Christ.

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw

the Lord

– sitting on a throne, high and lofty,

– and the hem of his robe filled the temple.

Isaiah 6:2 (NRSV)
| Anonymous Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons,

We know, from the apostle John, the Lord Isaiah saw was in fact Jesus Messiah. John, along with two other disciples, had also seen the Lord in His true glory when they were up on a mountain with Him. As Jesus was talking with two heavenly visitors, Elijah and Moses, beams of light had begun to glow from within Him so brightly it was indescribable.

John also saw Jesus in a vision, at the end of his life, and gave a fuller description of the risen King in Revelation, robed in white and gold, a pure and glowing white, blazing as if with fire, with a voice as loud and thundering as a waterfall.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet . . .

. . . Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw:

seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man,

– clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest.

– His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire;

– his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace,

– and his voice was like the sound of many waters.

– In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force.

Apostle John, Revelation 1:10, 12-16 (NRSV)
Revelation of Saint John the Divine | By Thomas Bathas – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Just as Isaiah, a priest (his familial connection to the king must have been maternal, and his father of the tribe of Levi), had entered the Holy Place, so John had been transported in his vision to the heavenly Holy Place. Both saw the golden lampstand that was kept always lit, symbol of God’s Shekinah and the ever-flowing Holy Spirit, and both saw Jesus in His royal robe.

Seraphim surround the divine throne in this illustration from the Petites Heures de Jean de Berry, a 14th-century illuminated manuscript, commissioned by John, Duke of Berry. | By Limbourg brothers – originally uploaded on en.wikipedia by Mirv (talk · contribs) at 27 April 2005. Filename was Seraphim – Petites Heures de Jean de Berry.jpg., Public Domain,

7 thoughts on “Isaiah 6: The Year of King Uzziah’s Death

  1. Off the subject strange things going on! Your site was blocked I just found out and I didn’t do it! Also for two day any new posting of mine doesn’t appear in the active in time Reader Feed which typically they do as soon as I post the article! I contact the Help at WP text message or returned an email that was probably sent by automation and get no response! We are not far from Totalitarian control with this current totally evil government just like the Evil China Empire is now!

    These people are criminals and cutthroat backstabbing minions at WP!

    Just thought you should know.
    See you later!

    1. Thank you for letting me know, Brother in Christ, I had wondered why readership was down, and that explains it. How did you find this out? I may need to pursue this on my end as well. Grace and peace, Joanne

      1. St. Kateri Tekakwitha
        a day ago

        3 Recent Views in the past 30 days1 Like
        (The like was my own) I just posted that a day prior But it doesn’t even come up in the Reader Feed of daily listings of all my follows!

        Under My Sites Posts I typically have that window open when doing anything on my site and that practically nonexistent views and the one like which was my own shows me clearly hardly anyone if anyone at all is viewing my latest posts! In the upper left corner of that page I click on Reader to see the current trend of any postings y those persons sites i follow in real time and I also follow myself sop anything I post will typically show up there immediately upon posting it and two days ago that all stopped! I immediately went to the lower right corner of that page to the large ? mark and clicked that for the help window to text a message to WP; and did that for that last couple of days getting what appears to be an automated response or different persons who don’t seem to get it or really listen nor care and not via a live chat there immediately as I used to when I had questions just like a live conversation but an email arrives later saying they are on it and in a couple of the emails I received there was dialog referring to my question and it was mostly rigmarole that didn’t say anything about what I requested which was that either a glitch in the programming needs attention by an analyst or someone in house is intentionally tampering with accounts and or a hacker is at work causing trouble! I called it “Shunting” of accounts to cancel free speech, perhaps cancel culture at work! This did happen to me several months ago and I started to make a lot of commotion and was going to file with the FTC or hire a lawyer or even look to file a Civil Rights Complaint with the DOJ and then some woman explained that it had been escalated to look into my problem and that day all went back to normal again so I dropped the concern; but here I am again! I found you were blocked from me because I didn’t see any daily posting listed in that Reader Feed by you and so I entered your site name in the search window and it came up blocked; so I of course went ahead and unblocked it! If anything pisses me off its lies and dishonesty along with any type of deception which is what we are faced with Big Time in this world now and China is huge in this but so is our own government and the people that are ingratiating themselves enormously at the public expense and they don’t care! I plan to be on a live chat by phone tonight with Ted Cruz in a Town Hall type forum and I hope I get to speak because I’ll be giving a mouthful of honest sentiment!

        I’ll keep you aware of any news here and I hope you can make sure everything is in order or if not we shall see what is what!
        Brother Lawrence

      2. Thank you so much, Brother on Christ, Lawrence! I hope you do get traction tonight. God be your guide and strength, and also give you the Lord’s speech (as the apostle Paul also asked for the assemblies to pray for these very things for himself in Ephesians 6:19-20)

        “That words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly as I ought to speak.”

        Grace and peace, Joanne

  2. Thank you Sister In Christ Joanne. I appreciate the positive information, support and prayer!
    Early this morning this was in my email from a news site that can have some factual good perspective on some things but we do know that already in California and Maryland pending legislation would give a woman the right to choose (that to me is an insane thing to make a legislative matter) to terminate her living child up to a month or more after birth! So first its abortion while still in utero then full term day of delivery as in New York already, but now people really believe this is proper?
    That was in this BPR report.
    Even left-wing types like Bill Maher is saying something in response to what so many Americans are believing or thinking about this madness!
    “Maher cited the Clinton-era leftist abortion mantra of “safe, legal, and rare,” arguing “that’s not where the Democrats are now” and that they “don’t say that anymore.” He then proceeded to blast the pro-choice caucus in the House, suggesting they change “choice” to “decision” and potentially use “pro-abortion” instead.
    He flatly stated that “No one should be pro-abortion.” bizpacreview
    I bring this up because I see things coming apart like they never have before and if America along with the human race isn’t totally coming unglued while running to the precipice than I can’t imagine what else would need to happen to make that obviously the case any better! The backdrop to this is the mass deception going on, even to where our Media are participants, and then the over the top across the board corruption is in all areas of governance like never before in history!
    Sorry to go off on this but let’s pray as I see it the greatest miracles ever are coming to change the current paradigm or that the Lord is about to return! This can’t go on this way!
    God bless you and yours.
    Brother in Christ,

      1. I agree and I’m calm now but I was so beside myself earlier and still will contemplate playing later but I’m shocked by what I see in this world now!
        But we always have Faith and Hope; God’s Truth will set us free, of that I have no doubt!
        Thank you my Sister in Christ Jesus!

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