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Ahaz (Hebrew: אָחָז, ʼĀḥāz, "has held"; Greek: Ἄχαζ, Ἀχάζ Akhaz; Latin: Achaz) was the twelfth king of Judah and the son of Jotham.

Biography[]

Early Life[]

Ahaz was born somewhere in 752 B.C to Jotham[1]. He was certainly not educated of the law enough and was influenced by the high places that were not destroyed during his father's reign.

His father was busy and probably left Ahaz independent as a child, and a choice. His father never taught him due to the constructions and victories in his father's path of success.

King of Judah[]

Ahaz became king in the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah[2]. He was 20 years old when he reigned and did evil in God's sight[3]. He even passed his infant child to the fire to his idols[4]. He offered sacrifices to every place in the hills and every green tree[5].

Handed Over to the Syrians[]

Since Ahaz was wicked in the sight of God, he delivered him to the hand of the king of Syria, The Syrians defeated him and deported many captives to Damascus. He was also handed over to the king of Israel, who thoroughly defeated him. In one day Pekah son of Remaliah killed 120,000 warriors in Judah, because they had abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors. Zikri, an Ephraimite warrior, killed the king’s son Maaseiah, Azrikam, the supervisor of the palace, and Elkanah, the king’s second-in-command. The Israelites seized from their brothers 200,000 wives, sons, and daughters. They also carried off a huge amount of plunder and took it back to Samaria[6].

Oded the Prophet arose up. He went to meet the army as they arrived in Samaria and said to them: “Look, because the Lord God of your ancestors was angry with Judah he handed them over to you. You have killed them so mercilessly that God has taken notice. And now you are planning to enslave the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Yet are you not also guilty before the Lord your God? Now listen to me! Send back those you have seized from your brothers, for the Lord is very angry at you!” So some of the Ephraimite family leaders, Azariah son of Jehochanan, Berechiah son of Meshillemoth, Jechizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai confronted those returning from the battle. They said to them, “Don’t bring those captives here! Are you planning on making us even more sinful and guilty before the Lord? Our guilt is already great, and the Lord is very angry at Israel.” So the soldiers released the captives and the plunder before the officials and the entire assembly. Men were assigned to take the prisoners and find clothes among the plunder for those who were naked. So they clothed them, supplied them with sandals, gave them food and drink, and provided them with oil to rub on their skin. They put the ones who couldn’t walk on donkeys. They brought them back to Jericho[7].


Pekah's Attempted Siege[]

At that time, Pekah king of Israel made a siege to Ahaz and they were unable to conquer the king in Jerusalem[8]. This was an opportunity for Pekah as he saw Ahaz was not like Jotham whom he also tried to conquer.

Allegiance with Tiglath-Pileser III[]

Ahaz was threatened by the Edomites and Philistines[9]. He therefore humbled himself to Tiglath-Pileser III, and made a deal with him to protect him from the king of Israel and Syria[10]. He took the silver and gold which was in the Lord's Temple and gave him as tribute, the king of Assyria accepted the request and destroyed Damascus and captured it and delivered Rezin and executed him, deporting the people to Kir[11].

Uriah's Death and Ahaz's Mockery[]

When Ahaz went to meet Tiglath-Pileser III, he commanded Uriah, to make an altar similar to Assyria's altar[12]. Uriah the priest built an altar conformity to the plans king Ahaz had sent from Damascus, when the king approached the altar, he made a sacrifice[13]. He offered his burnt sacrifice and his grain offering. He poured out his libation and sprinkled the blood from his peace offerings on the altar. He moved the bronze altar that stood in the Lord’s presence from the front of the temple(between the altar and the Lord’s temple) and put it on the north side of the new altar. King Ahaz ordered Uriah the priest, “On the large altar offer the morning burnt sacrifice, the evening grain offering, the royal burnt sacrifices and grain offering, the burnt sacrifice for all the people of the land, their grain offering, and their libations. Sprinkle all the blood of the burnt sacrifice and other sacrifices on it. The bronze altar will be for my personal use.” So Uriah the priest did exactly as King Ahaz ordered[14].

King Ahaz took off the frames of the movable stands, and removed the basins from them. He took “The Sea”down from the bronze bulls that supported it and put it on the stone pavement. He also removed the Sabbath awning that had been built in the temple and the king’s outer entranceway to the Lord’s temple, on account of the king of Assyria[15].

Isaiah's Prophecy[]

Isaiah was commanded by God to meet Ahaz with his son Shear Jashub, and meet Ahaz at the end of the conduit of the upper pool that is located on the road to the field where they wash and dry cloth. Tell him, ‘Make sure you stay calm! Don’t be afraid. Don’t be intimidated by these two stubs of smoking logs, or by the raging anger of Rezin, Syria, and the son of Remaliah. Syria has plotted with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah to bring about your demise. They say, “Let’s attack Judah, terrorize it, and conquer it. Then we’ll set up the son of Tabeel as its king." For this reason the Sovereign Lord says contrary[16].

Ahaz Received a Sign[]

God spoke to Ahaz “Ask for a confirming sign from the Lord your God. You can even ask for something miraculous.” But Ahaz responded, “I don’t want to ask; I don’t want to put the Lord to a test.” So Isaiah replied, “Pay attention, family of David. Do you consider it too insignificant to try the patience of men? Is that why you are also trying the patience of my God? Therefore Isaiah spoke of a sign and judgement of Assyria.

Death[]

He died, and was buried in the city of Jerusalem; they did not bring him to the tombs of the kings of Israel. His son Hezekiah replaced him as king[17].

References[]

  1. 2 Kings 15:38 (Link)
  2. 2 Kings 16:1 (Link)
  3. 2 Kings 16:2 (Link)
  4. 2 Kings 16:3 (Link)
  5. 2 Kings 16:4 (Link)
  6. 2 Chronicles 28:5-8 (Link)
  7. 2 Chronicles 28:9-15 (Link)
  8. 2 Kings 16:5 (Link)
  9. 2 Chronicles 28:17-19 (Link)
  10. 2 Kings 16:7 (Link)
  11. 2 Kings 16:8-9 (Link)
  12. 2 Kings 16:10 (Link)
  13. 2 Kings 16:11-12 (Link)
  14. 2 Kings 16:13-16 (Link)
  15. 2 Kings 16:17-18 (Link)
  16. Isaiah 7:3-9 (Link)
  17. 2 Chronicles 28:27 (Link)
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