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Kings of Judah


Ahaz from "Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum "

Ahaz (Hebrew: אחז, Modern {{{2}}} Tiberian {{{3}}}, lit. "has held"; Greek: Ἄχαζ; Latin: Achaz; an abbreviation of Jehoahaz, "God has held") was king of Judah, and the son and successor of Jotham[1]. He is one of the kings mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.

Ahaz was twenty when he became king of Judah and reigned for sixteen years. His reign commenced in the seventeenth year of the reign of Pekah of Israel.[2] Edwin Thiele concluded that Ahaz was coregent with Jotham from 736/735 BC, and that his sole reign began in 732/731 and ended in 716/715 BC.[3] William F. Albright has dated his reign to 735 – 715 BC.


His legacy

His reign is described in 2 Kings 16; Isaiah 7-9; and 2 Chronicles 28. He is said to have given himself up to a life of wickedness, introducing many pagan and idolatrous customs (Isaiah 8:19; 38:8; 2 Kings 23:12). Perhaps his wickedest deed was sacrificing his own son, likely to Rimmon. He also added an idolatrous altar into the Temple.[4] He ignored the remonstrances and warnings of the prophets Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah.

Role in destruction of Northern Kingdom

In c. 732 BCE, when Pekah, king of Israel, allied with Rezin, king of Aram, threatened Jerusalem, Ahaz appealed to Tiglath-Pileser III, the king of Assyria, for help. After Ahaz paid tribute to Tiglath-Pileser, (2 Kings 16:7-9) Tiglath-Pileser sacked Damascus and annexed Aram.[5] According to 2 Kings 16:9, the population of Aram was deported and Rezin executed. According to 2 Kings 15:29, Tiglath-Pileser also attacked Israel and "took Ijon, Abel Beth Maacah, Janoah, Kedesh and Hazor. He took Gilead and Galilee, including all the land of Naphtali, and deported the people to Assyria." Tiglath-Pileser also records this act in one of his inscriptions.[6]


He died at the age of 36 and was succeeded by his son, Hezekiah. Because of his wickedness he was "not brought into the sepulchre of the kings" (2 Chronicles 28:27). An insight into Ahaz's neglect of the worship of the Lord is found in the statement that on the first day of the month of Nisan that followed Ahaz's death, his son Hezekiah commissioned the priests and Levites to open and repair the doors of the Temple and to remove the defilements of the sanctuary, a task which took 16 days (2 Chronicles 29:3-20).

Chronological notes

There has been considerable academic debate about the actual dates of reigns of the Israelite kings. Scholars have endeavored to synchronize the chronology of events referred to in the Bible with those derived from other external sources.

The calendars for reckoning the years of kings in Judah and Israel were offset by six months, that of Judah starting in Tishri (in the fall) and that of Israel in Nisan (in the spring). Cross-synchronizations between the two kingdoms therefore often allow narrowing of the beginning and/or ending dates of a king to within a six-month range. For Ahaz, the Scriptural data allow dating the beginning of his coregency with Jotham to some time in the six-month interval beginning of Nisan 1 of 735 BC. By the Judean calendar that started the regnal year in Tishri (a fall month), this could be written as 736/735, or more simply 736 BC. His father was removed from responsibility by the pro-Assyrian faction at some time in the year that started in Tishri of 732 BC.[7] He died some time between Tishri 1 of 716 BC and Nisan 1 of 715 BC, i.e. in 716/715, or more simply 716 BC.

Rodger Young offers a possible explanation of why four extra years are assigned to Jotham in 2 Kings 15:30 and why Ahaz's 16 year reign (2 Kings 16:2) is measured from the time of Jotham's death in 732/731, instead of when Jotham was deposed in 736/735. Taking into account the factionalism of the time, Young writes:

[A]ny record such as 2 Kings 16:2 that recognized these last four years for Jotham must have come from the annals of the anti-Assyrian and anti-Ahaz court that prevailed after the death of Ahaz. Ahaz is given sixteen years in these annals, measuring from the start of his sole reign, instead of the twenty or twenty-one years that he would be credited with if the counting started from 736t [i.e. 736/735 BC], when he deposed Jotham.[8]

Preceded by
King of Judah
Coregency: 736 – 732 BC
Sole reign: 732 – 716 BC
Succeeded by


  1. ^ Isaiah  7:1
  2. ^ 2 Kings 15:38, 16:1, 16:2 and 2 Chronicles 28:1
  3. ^ Edwin Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, (1st ed.; New York: Macmillan, 1951; 2d ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965; 3rd ed.; Grand Rapids: Zondervan/Kregel, 1983). ISBN 082543825X, 9780825438257, 217.
  4. ^ 2 Kings 16
  5. ^ Lester L. Grabbe, Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? (New York: T&T Clark, 2007): 134
  6. ^ James B. Pritchard, ed., Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (3rd ed.; Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969) 283.
  7. ^ Edwin R. Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (2nd. ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1965) 127.
  8. ^ Rodger C. Young, "When Was Samaria Captured? The Need for Precision in Biblical Chronologies," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 47 (2004) 588, available here.

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

AHAZ (Heb. for "[Yahweh] holds"), son of Jotham, grandson of Uzziah or Azariah and king of Judah. After the death of Menahem, Pekah, king of Israel, and Rezin (rather Rasun), king of Syria, allied against Assyria, invaded Judah, and laid siege to Jerusalem in the hope of setting up one of their puppets upon the throne. At the same time the Edomites recovered Elath on the Gulf of Akabah (so read in 2 Kings xvi. 6; cp. also 2 Chron. xxviii. 16 sqq.) and Judah was isolated. Notwithstanding the counsel of Isaiah (Is. vii. I-17), Ahaz lost heart and used the temple funds to call in the aid of Tiglath-pileser IV., who after attacking the Philistines destroyed the power of Syria, taking care to exact heavy tribute from Judah, which led to further despoliation of the temple. It was as a vassal that Ahaz presented himself to the Assyrian king at Damascus, and he brought back religious innovations (2 Kings xvi. Io sqq.; for the priest Urijah see Is. viii. 2) and new ideas to which he proceeded to give effect. His buildings are referred to in 2 Kings xx. II, xxiii. 12; cf. perhaps Jer. xxii. 15: "art thou a true king because thou viest with Ahaz" (see the LXX.). Ahaz was succeeded by his son Hezekiah.

On the ritual changes which he introduced see W. R. Smith, Relig. of Semites (2), pp. 485 sqq.; and on his reign, idem, Prophets of Israel (2), pp. 415 sqq. On 2 Kings xvi. 3 (cf. 2 Chron. xxviii. 3) see Moloch. See further Isaiah and Jews.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




From Hebrew (achaz = 'the Lord owns')

Proper noun




  1. (Biblical) A king of Judah.


Related terms


See also

  • Achatius

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Meaning: possessor

  1. A grandson of Jonathan (1Chr 8:35; 9:42).
  2. Ahaz, King of Judah
This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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