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URIAH, URIAS, URIJAH (ū-rī'a, ū-rī'ăs, ū-rī'ja, Heb. ’ûrîyâh, Jehovah is light)

URIAH yŏŏ rī’ ə (אֽוּרִיָּה, Jahweh is light). KJV URIJAH. 1. An officer in David’s army, who was one of the elite corps called “the Thirty,” most of whom seem to have been of foreign origin, and were prob. mercenaries (2 Sam 23:23-39). Some scholars have suggested that his name is Heb. equivalent of the Hurrian name Ariya. It seems more likely that he accepted Heb. citizenship, and that he accordingly adopted a Heb. name to indicate that he was a worshiper of Jehovah. Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam, also a member of the “Thirty” (2 Sam 23:34) was his wife. It is possible that she was the granddaughter of Ahithophel, David’s chief advisor.

In order to cover his adulterous connection with Bathsheba, David recalled Uriah from war in order that he might visit his wife, but he refused to do so, even though David tried to make him drunk. When David failed to make this device effective, he gave Uriah a sealed dispatch to Joab, the commander of the army, requesting that Uriah be placed in a dangerous position and that support be withdrawn. Joab complied, and Uriah was killed in battle. Upon his death, David married Bathsheba. The child conceived in adultery was born, but did not survive. A second child by Bathsheba was Solomon, who became David’s successor. Uriah is mentioned in the genealogy of Christ (Matt 1:6).

2. A priest who served as a witness to a prophecy of Isaiah (Isa 8:2), which was fulfilled later in the birth of his son, Mahershalal-hash-baz.

3. A chief priest during the reign of Ahaz, prob. identical with the priest mentioned in the preceding paragraph. When Ahaz returned from Damascus after an interview with Tiglath-pileser, the king of Assyria, on political affairs, he brought with him a model of an Assyrian altar. He requested Uriah to build a replica for use in the Temple (2 Kings 16:10-16). Uriah acceded to the demand.

4. A prophet, son of Shemaiah of Kirjathjearim. Uriah protested the policies of the king, who sentenced him to death. He escaped to Egypt, but was captured, brought back to Jerusalem, and executed (Jer 26:20-23).

5. The father of Meremoth (Ezra 8:33; Neh 3:4, 21).

6. One of the men who assisted Ezra in the public reading of the law (Neh 8:4).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

u-ri’-a, u-ri’-ja (’uriyah, in Jer 26:20 ’uriyahu, "flame of Yahweh" or "my light is Yahweh"; the Septuagint and the New Testament Our(e)ias, with variants; the King James Version has Urijah in 2Ki 16:10-16; Ne 3:4,21; 8:4; Jer 26:20):

(2) A priest under Ahaz, who carried into effect the latter’s commands to introduce an Assyrian altar into the Temple and to use it for the sacrifices (2Ki 16:10-16; see Altar). The same Uriah appears in Isa 8:2 as one of the two "faithful witnesses" taken by Isaiah in the matter of Maher-shalal-hash-baz. This description has seemed to many to conflict with Uriah’s compliancy in obeying Ahaz, but it must be remembered that

(a) "faithful witness" means simply "one whom the people will believe," and

(b) the articles in the sanctuary were not held as immutably sacred in the time of Ahaz as they were in later days.

The omission of Uriah’s name from the list in 1Ch 6:10-14 is probably without significance, as Chronicles records only nine names from Solomon to the exile, showing that there must be many omissions. The corresponding list in Josephus, Ant, X, viii, 6, contains 18 names, including Uriah’s.

(3) A son of Shemaiah, of Kiriath-jearim, and a contemporary of Jeremiah. He was a prophet, and his prophecy agreed with Jeremiah’s in regards. Jehoiakim, roused to anger, arrested him, even at the trouble of a pursuit into Egypt, put him to death and desecrated his body (Jer 20-23). The story is told partly in order to show the greatness of Jeremiah’s dangers, partly to bear record of the goodness of AHIKAM (which see), Jeremiah’s protector.

(4) A priest, the father of MEREMOTH (which see) (Ezr 8:33; Ne 3:4,21; 1 Esdras 8:62 ("Urias," the King James Version "Iri")).

(5) One of those on Ezra’s right hand reading of the Law (Ne 8:4; 1 Esdras 9:43 ("Urias")). Quite possibly identical with (4) above.