Dr. Einar C. Erickson
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Noah took with him into the Ark the books of these teachings. When he came out of the Ark he ordained in his turn that the generations that came after him were to repeat the many things and the holy mysteries written in the books of Seth upon the majesty of the Father.

 

URIAH TO UZZIAH

INTRODUCTION

In the Book of Mormon Glossary of names there are only three names  listed under U:  URIM, and UZZIAH. These are Biblical names, but we are reviewing all of the names in the glossary so have included them.  URIM cannot be treated alone, so a two part study of the URIM and  THUMMIM, will be shortly added to this web site.

King David is mentioned in the Book of Mormon but was not included in the Glossary.  In discussing David one must also include URIAHUZZIAH is on par with Solomon. When studying the history of Israel, four kings stand out, Saul, David, Solomon and UZZIAH. There is deep pain, anguish and tragedy in all four of these kings. 

URIAH

Uriah was a Hittite Mercenary serving as an officer as one of the Mighty Men in David’s select “ Order of the “thirty”  commanded by Joab. (Buttrick p. 738; ) Many of the members were foreigners. (11 Sam. 23:39; 1 Chr, 11:41) Counting Joab there were 37 men in the special force. (Gardner p. 425) At the time David’s army was laying siege to the Ammonite capital, Rabbah. David had stayed in his own palace and was not in the battle. Which may have been deliberate on his part.  David spied on Uriah’s wife Bathshebah, as she was bathing, ordered her brought to him, and “lay with her” (2 Sam. 11:4) After he learned she was pregnant David brought Uriah back from the Battle and urged him to spend the night at home, even sending food and wine from the royal table.

Uriah, however kept his oath to abstain from intercourse during a war, so with the palace guard, he “slept at the door of the  king’s house.” (2 Sam. 11:9) Uriah was” conducting himself according to the military discipline for psychic integrity and strength in combat which forbade sexual intercourse to warriors consecrated for battle.” (1 Sam. 21:4; Buttrick p. 738)

David’s next ploy was to invite Uriah to the palace and see that he became drunk.  Uriah still did not go home. Finally David returned Uriah to the battlefield with a note for his  commander, Joab, instructing that  Uriah be placed in the thick of the battle, then be isolated from his comrades so the enemy would be sure to kill him. Uriah carried his own death warrant from David to Joab. No novice in palace intrigue, Joab obeyed David’s order even sent a messenger to the king with news of Uriah’s death.

After Bethsheba’s public mourning for her husband, David married her before their child, a son, unnamed in the Bible, was born. (11 Sam. 11) Although David may have tried to cover up his adultery, he was soon confronted by the prophet Nathan who told him Uriah’s murder would be punished by the death of the child, (Gardner p. 425) and the loss of the sealings Nathan had  given him because Nathan had the “keys of this power.” (D & C 132:39)

It is likely that Bethsheba was the daughter of another member of the ‘thirty,’ named Elam, (11 Sam 23:34) in which case she was a grand-daughter of Ahithophel. Whatever her family ties, the marriage placed her in the line of succession of her children as the mother of the heir to the kingdom. Her next son, Solomon, would then be in line for the throne. Was this just carnal happenstance in order to account for the reference in Mathew that in the line of Jesus, Solomon, her second son,  would be one of the ancestors of Christ? “Ðavid was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah.” (Matt. 1:6; Butterick p. 738) Does God always have a plan?

Nathan declared to David that his action was a sin against Yahweh. And David agreed with the prophet’s evaluation. (11 Sam. 12:1-15) As revealed to Joseph Smith “David hath fallen from his exaltation.”  (Largey ECRC p. 662)

“David’s wives and concubines were given to him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power [Sealing] and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of  Uriah and his wife  and therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world for I gave them unto another saith the Lord,” D&C 132:38-39)

David’s later years were characterized by tragedy and intrigue. The Bible continued to extol him as the ideal ruler, but the passages that do so were changed by Joseph (JST 1 Kings 11:4).  The Lord called the possession of many wives and concubines by  David as “Abominable” (Jacob 2:2-4) Murderers ”cannot have forgiveness. David sought repentance at the hand of God carefully with tears, for the murder of  Uriah, but he could only get it through hell. He got the promise that his soul should not be left in hell…Christ’s atonement does not afford forgiveness  for the sin of murder, but it does make it possible for murderers to satisfy the demands of justice through their own suffering paying the last farthing,” (Largey DCRC pp. 428, 662)

The name Uriah in Hittite-Hurian was originally, ARIYA, cf. Akkadian, U-RI-IA-A.  Which, when conformed to Hebrew is, Uriah, which means  ‘God is my light’ (Gardner p, 1612;  Douglas p. 1612).  

Uriah became a sojourner in Israel, and desired to worship Jehovah, to be able to join in the worship of Yahweh. He himself probably chose the Hebrew name to come close to the meaning he had for his original name. Hittite meanings include a reference to an oracle of god ‘to ask,  ‘to rise, to raise’, but literally denoting ‘to arouse the gods’. The exact match of the prefix ARI- is found in all three languages, Hittite, Hebrew  and Akkadian, with a different nick name or hypocoristicon for God:  -A, -AH,  and -Ya as the -suffix or ending. The Hittite dictionary discusses for three pages the ramifications of the prefix ARI-.  (Klockhorst pp. 200-203)  

David is mentioned in the Book of Mormon several times (2 Nephi 17:2, 13; From Isaiah 7, Jacob 1:15; 2:23-24; 2  Nephi 18:2,  from Isaiah 8) But was not included in the glossary. There are four others in the Bible that have the name URIAH. They are priests and prophets and often well known men. (Buttrick  pp.738-739; Pinegar p. 188) It is an honor to be called a Uriah because that means you have absolute integrity.

UZZIAH

UZZIAH, King of Judah about 783 to 742 BC, (2 Kings 14:21; 2 Chron. 26:1) ascending the throne when he was 16. (Gardner p.426) He is mentioned twice in the Book of Mormon in quotations taken from the prophet Isaiah. (2 Nephi 16:1; 17:1; Pinegar p.188)

          His throne name was UZZIAH, the Hebrew meaning of the name is ‘strength of God.’ (Mandel p. 528) He was also called Azariah, his personal name, meaning ‘my strength is Yahweh.’ (Gardner p. 426) He was the ninth king of Judah after the partition of the United Monarchy. He was the son of king Amaziah and his wife Jecoliah. He ruled the kingdom of Judah for fifty- two years including the years when he was co-regent with his father, during his youth, and with his son Jotham during his old age and the leprosy years. (Mandel p. 528) Other records and Annals indicate that according to the  Annals of Tiglathpileser III,  of Assyria,  Uzziah disappeared from scene about 742 BC, so the long and prosperous reign of Uzziah may have been ten years shorter, but he was the power behind the throne. Those last years were ruled by his son Jotham. His military actions included Arabia, Petra, and south into Egypt, (Buttrick p. 741.) He was a force to be reckoned with. 

His father’s wars left Judah weakened, the walls of the of Jerusalem  breached,  and the temple sacked of its treasures. Uzziah made peace the king Jeroboam II, and the two kingdoms enjoyed a rare time of mutual prosperity.  Uzziah strengthend the military defenses, promoted cattle and agriculture (2 Chron. 26:10),  reorganized the army, gained control of caravan routes, extended his borders into Philistia and Edom, opened Judah to widespread trade and built the port of Elath in the Gulf of Aqabah. (Buttrick pp.742-743) His religious assessment was favorable, he reigned righteously, (2 Kings 15:3; 2 Chron.26:4) but he did not destroy the altars in the high places or stop people from offering sacrifices there and took too much pride for his own accomplishments. (Gardner p. 426-427; Aharoni pp. 9)

In his earlier years Uzziah relied upon the prophet Zecheriah and he “did what was right in the eyes of God.“ Zecheriah “instructed him in the fear of God.” And more than most any other prophet could, except Isaiah, taught him about Christ.  (2 Chro.26:5; Clark p. 525) A list of 31 men, priest. Prophets and kings with the name Zecheriah has been compiled by Mandel. (Mandel pp. 538-541)  He was the prophet known to have taught UZZIAH. He is No. 27 on the list. (2 Chr. 26:5) He was a man with the understanding in visions of God, about 750 BC.

But pride had taken over the great king.  When Uzziah entered the temple and usurped the priestly role of burning incense reserved for Levites only, he was reprimanded by Azariah, the priest, and became so angry at the lack of respect that “leprosy broke out on his forehead.” (2 Chr. 26:19; Gardner p 427) 

With Leprosy he was limited in what he could do and where he could go. He was forced to live in seclusion for the rest of his life. (11 Kings  15:5; Gardner p, 426) In 1931 Archaeologists found a carved stone tablet on the Mount of Olives, on it, in Aramaic, was inscribed: “Hither were brought the bones of Uzziah, king of Judah—do not open.” (Buttrick pp. 243-244) His History was written by Isaiah. (2 Chr. 26:22; Isa. 1:1) His death is noted in 2 Kin.15:7; 2 Chr. 26:23. (Nave p.1353)

“The greatness and the glory of Uzziah’s  reign were exceeded only by Solomon himself. This period marked the Zenith of Judah’s power.” (Buttrick p. 744)

 

BIBlOGRAPHY

AHARONI, Yhanoni & Michael Avi-Yonah, The Macmillan Bible Atlas. Carta Ltd., New York, 1977

BLACK, Jeremy. Andrew George, Nicholas Postgate,  Concise Dictionary of Akkadian, Harrssowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2000

BUTTRICK, George A., The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Abingdon Press, New York, 1962

CLARK, J. Rueben Jr. The Gospels, Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah 1954

DOUGLAS, J. D., The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Inner Varsity Press, Tyndale House Pub., Hudder and Stoughton, Sydney, 1980

GARDNER, Joseph I., Who’s Who in the Bible, Reader’s Digest, Pleasantville, New York, 1994

KLOCHORST, Alwin, Etymological Dictionary of the Hittite Inherited Lexicon, Brill. Leiden, 2008

LARGEY, Dennis L. & Larry E. Dahl, DSCRC, Doctrine and Covenants Reference Companion, Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, Utah, 2012

MANDEL, David,   Who’s Who in the Tanakh, Ariel Books, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2004

NAVE, Orville J., Nave’s Topical Bible, Moody Press, Chicago, 1974

PINEGAR, Ed J., & Richard J, Allen, Book of Mormon Who’s Who, Covenant Communications, American Fork, Utah, 2007  

All research and opionions presented on this site are the sole responsibility of Dr. Einar C. Erickson, and should not be interpreted as official statements of the LDS doctrine, beliefs or practice.
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