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Uzza; Uzzah

UZZA; UZZAH

uz'-a, uz'-a ('uzzah (2 Samuel 6:6-8), otherwise `uzza' meaning uncertain):

(1) One of those who accompanied the ark on its journey from Kiriath-jearim toward David's citadel (2 Samuel 6:3-8, "Uzzah" = 1Ch 13:7-11, "Uzza"). From the text of 2 Samuel 6:3-8, as generally corrected with the help of Septuagint, it is supposed that Uzzah walked by the side of the ark while Ahio (or "his brother") went in front of it. The word which describes what happened to the oxen is variously translated; the Revised Version (British and American) has "stumbled"; others render it, "They let the oxen slip," "The oxen shook (the ark)." Uzzah, whatever it be that took place, caught hold of the ark; something else happened, and Uzzah died on the spot. If the word translated "rashness" (Revised Version margin) in 2 Samuel 6:7 (not "error" as English Versions of the Bible) is to be kept in the text, Uzzah would be considered guilty of too little reverence for the ark; but the words "for (his) rashness" are lacking in the Septuagint (Codex Vaticanus), while 1 Chronicles 13:10 has "because he put forth his hand to the ark," and further no such Hebrew word as we find here is known to us. The older commentators regarded the death as provoked by non-observance of the provisions about the ark as given in the Pentateuch, but it is generally believed today that these were not known in David's time.

What is clear is that Uzzah's act led to an accident of some kind, and the event was regarded by David as inauspicious, so that the journey with the ark was discontinued. We know how the Old Testament writers represent events as due to divine intervention where we would perhaps discern natural causes.

(2) The garden of Uzza (2 Kings 21:18,26). Manasseh the king is said (2 Kings 21:18) to have been "buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza"; and Amon (2 Kings 21:26) "was buried in his sepulchre in the garden of Uzza." It has been suggested that "Uzza"--"Uzziah" ('uzziyah) = Azariah" (compare 2 Kings 15:1-6). The garden of Manasseh would then be identical with that of Uzziah, by whom it was originally laid out. 2 Chronicles 33:20 does not mention the garden.

(3) Son of Shimei, a Merarite (1 Chronicles 6:29 (Hebrew 14)), the Revised Version (British and American) "Uzzah," the King James Version "Uzza."

(4) A descendant of Ehud, and head of a Benjamite family (1 Chronicles 8:7, "Uzza"). Hogg, JQR, 102 (1893) (see Curtis, Chron., 156-59), finds a proper name "Iglaam" in 1 Chronicles 8:6, and so reads "and Iglaam begot Uzza and Abishabar."

(5) Head of a Nethinim family that returned from Babylon (Ezra 2:49) = "Uzza" of Nehemiah 7:51.

David Francis Roberts


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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'UZZA; UZZAH'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.