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AHAZ, King of Judah, and Abijah

HUSBAND:
AHAZ. (has held)(an abbreviation of Jehoahaz, God has held). [Ancestors].
Son of JOTHAM.

Ahaz was king of Judah, and the son and successor of Jotham. He took the throne at the age of twenty (2 Kings 16:2). William F. Albright has dated his reign to 735 – 715 BC, while Edwin Thiele dates the beginning of his coregency with Jotham in 736/735 BC, with his sole reign beginning in 732/731 and ending in 716/715 BC. His reign is described in 2 Kings 16; Isaiah 7-9; and 2 Chronicles 28. He is one the kings mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.

He is said to have given himself up to a life of wickedness, introducing many pagan and idolatrous customs (Isa. 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 (II Kings 16). He ignored the remonstrances and warnings of the prophets Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah, and appealed to Tiglath-Pileser III, the king of Assyria, for help against Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, Prince of Israel, who threatened Jerusalem. This brought a great injury to his kingdom, and his own humiliating subjection to the Assyrians (2 Kings 16:7, 9; 15:29).

He died at the age of 36 after reigning 16 years (2 Chronicles 28:1), 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

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.[3] 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 years of reign (2 Kings 16:2) are 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:

Any 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.

WIFE:
Abijah


CHILDREN of Ahaz and Abijah:
  1. HEZEKIAH, King of Judah. [Ancestors].


SOURCES:

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