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Achaz

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(AHAZ).

King of Juda, placed variously, 741-726 B.C., 744-728, 748-727, 724-709, 734-728. It seems to be certain that Theglathphalasar's first expedition against Damascus mentioned in the life of Achaz fell in 733 B.C., and the second in 731. Owing to his idolatry ( 2 Kings 16:3, 4 , 2 Chronicles 28:24 ), Achaz was conquered first by Rasin, King of Syria, and then by Phacee, King of Israel ( 2 Chronicles 28:5 ; 2 Kings 16:6 ). Now, Rasin and Phacee made an alliance in order to dethrone the house of David in Juda, and to make the son of Tabeel king ( Isaiah 7:26 ). The prophet Isaias offers to Achaz God's aid with the promise of safety in case of belief, but with the threat of punishment in case of unbelief (Is., vii, 1221). Achaz is unbelieving, seeks help from Theglathphalasar, offering at the same time rich presents from the temple treasury ( 2 Kings 16:7-8 ). The king of the Assyrians takes Damascus, afflicts Israel ( 2 Kings 15:29 ; 16:9 ), but reduces Juda to the necessity of buying its freedom ( 2 Kings 16:17 ; 2 Chronicles 28:20 ). Achaz was not improved by this affliction, but he introduced into the temple an altar modelled after that at Damascus ( 2 Kings 16:14 sq. ; 2 Chronicles 28:22-25 ). On account of the king's sin Juda was also oppressed by the Edomites and the Philistines ( 2 Chronicles 28:17 sq. ).

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