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Ahaz [Ā'hăz]—jehovah hath seized or sustains.

  1. A Benjamite of the family of Saul (1 Chron. 8:35, 36; 9:41, 42).
  2. The son of Jotham, king of Judah and father of Hezekiah, Ahaz became the eleventh king of Judah and reigned for sixteen years (2 Kings 16). He is called Achaz in Matthew 1:9. An Assyrian inscription gives the name of the king as Jehoahaz. But the abbreviation Ahaz was commonly used and was found on the seal ring of one of his courtiers. Perhaps the consistent omission of the first part of the name Jeho, meaning “Jehovah” was deliberate because of the abhorrent apostasy of Ahaz.

The Man Who Rejected a Message of Hope

Let it not be forgotten that it was to king Ahaz that Isaiah’s first evangelistic announcement was made in the promise of Emmanuel. The prophet sent a message to terrified Ahaz, but he would not turn to God and trust His deliverance. In order to help restore the faith of the wavering king, Isaiah urged Ahaz to ask for a sign from Jehovah, but he refused and in rejecting the message of hope, forfeited his soul.

It is interesting to observe that Ahaz came between two good men—between his father, Jotham, and his son, Hezekiah.

Summarizing the chief aspects of the reign of Ahaz we note his:

I. Pursuit of the religious policy of Jehoram (2 Kings 8:18); of Ahaziah (2 Kings 8:27); of Joash (2 Chron. 24:18). The religious vices of Ahaz were possible because of a corrupt church and a corrupt state (Isa. 1:4, 13).

II. Rejection of David’s way to tread Jeroboam’s way. This bad ruler exceeded the idolatry of his time by burning his children in the fire (2 Chron. 28:3). Ahaz did honor to the gods of Assyria who were reckoned to be more powerful than Jehovah. The terrible slaughter of one hundred twenty thousand valiant men of Judah had no salutary effect upon Ahaz (2 Chron. 28:6).

Devotional content drawn from All the Men of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer. Used with permission.

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