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Ahaz

AHAZ (ā'hăz, Heb. ’āhāz, he has grasped). Reigning over the southern kingdom of Judah, 735-715 b.c., Ahaz was a king of great significance. Historically during his reign and as a result of his policies, the people of God became vassals of Assyria and never again did the throne of David exist in its own sovereign right. Ahaz began that prolonged period of foreign domination that continued beyond the time of the coming of Christ. The dominant political power changed—Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome—but the vassalage did not. In addition, Ahaz is significant theologically, for his policies involved a denial of the way of faith. The essential cause of the demeaning of the throne of David and its enslavement was unbelief. The message of the reign of Ahaz remains as Isaiah summarized it: “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all” (Isa.7.9).