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Uriah, Urijah, Urias [Ūrī'ah,U rī'jah, U rī'as]—jehovah is light.

  1. A high priest in Jerusalem, who built an altar according to the pattern provided by King Ahaz (2 Kings 16:10-16).
  2. A priest, father of Meremoth, who helped rebuild the wall of Jerusalem (Ezra 8:33; Neh. 3:4, 21).
  3. A priest who stood with Ezra as he read the law and addressed the people (Neh. 8:4).
  4. A priest whom Isaiah deemed worthy to act as a witness. He is described as “a faithful witness” (Isa. 8:2). See Revelation 1:4; 2:13.
  5. A prophet, the son of Shemaiah of Kirjath-jearim, whom Jehoiakin sent for into Egypt and slew him (Jer. 26:20-23).
  6. Uriah, or Urias (Matt. 1:6) was also the name of the Hittite, husband of Bath-sheba, and one of David’s thirty heroes (2 Sam. 11; 12:9-15; 23:39; 1 Kings 15:5; 1 Chron. 11:41).

As David’s general, Uriah distinguished himself by his loyalty and bravery in the army of the king. Alas, Uriah was barbarously, even murderously treated by the monarch he served! Failing to use Uriah as a shield for his sin against Uriah and Bath-sheba his wife, David had him killed in battle.

Thomas Goodwin points out that it was the “matter of Uriah,” even more than the matter of Bath-sheba, that awakened the anger of the Lord against David. That is to say, it was David’s sin of deliberation and determination, rather than his sin of sudden and intoxicating passion. But both sins matter and earn the judgment of God. Uriah had every right to disobey David in his deceitful commands. Through Nathan, the adulterer and murderer was brought back to God and wrote his confession in a penitential psalm (Ps. 51).

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

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