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Ahaz (āˈhăz) [key], d. c.727 B.C., king of Judah (c.731–727 B.C.), son of Jotham. His reign marked the end of the real independence of Judah. A coalition of Pekah of Israel and Rezin of Syria attacked him and nearly took Jerusalem. Ahaz appealed for help to Tiglathpileser III of Assyria, who defeated Ahaz's enemies but demanded tribute of Judah. Ahaz sent some Temple gold as payment. The greatest figure of that time in Judah was the prophet Isaiah, who opposed the Assyrian alliance. Ahaz is denounced in the Bible for his heathen abominations and his sacrilege with the Temple gold. In Ahaz's reign Judah lost Elath, its Red Sea port, permanently. Ahaz was succeeded by Hezekiah.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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