🔼The name Ahaz: Summary
- He Has Grasped, Possessor
- From the verb אחז (ahaz), to seize or grasp.
🔼The name Ahaz in the Bible
There are two men named Ahaz in the Bible. The most famous Ahaz is the son and successor of king Jotham of Judah (2 Kings 15:38), and the father of king Hezekiah (16:20), whose mother is named Abijah. This Ahaz is a notoriously ignominious fellow, who wrecks the kingdom by worshipping gods galore but not YHWH. He loots the temple and gives the consecrated utensils, and even the bronze bulls that carry Solomon's sea, to the king of Assyria, along for an entreaty for military assistance in his war against king Pekah of Israel. Desperate, he even sacrifices his own sons by burning them to idols, possibly the gods Molech, Adrammelech or Anammelech.
Amazingly, the prophet Isaiah records a conversation between YHWH and this lunatic, in which YHWH promises the sign of Immanuel: the maiden will be with child and bear a son (7:14). Ahaz' descendant Jesus Christ would be the fulfillment of this sign (Matthew 1:9 and 1:23). In The New Testament, Ahaz is known as Αξαζ (Achaz).
The other Ahaz is a son of Micah, son of Merib-baal, son of Jonathan, son of Saul (1 Chronicles 9:41). There is some controversy concerning this name because it is not clear whether it should be in 1 Chronicles 9:41 ("The sons of Micah were Pithon, Melech, Tahrea and Ahaz") or 9:41 (Ahaz became the father of Jarah). Most translations reflect the assumption that it should be both and one of the Ahazzes was mysteriously omitted (the KJV and ASV respectfully print brackets around our name in 9:41).
🔼Etymology of the name Ahaz
The name Ahaz comes from the verb אחז (ahaz), meaning to seize or grasp:
The verb אחז (ahaz) means to seize, grasp, take hold of or be (mechanically) attached to. Noun אחזה (ahuzza) means possession.
For a meaning of the name Ahaz, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads He Has Grasped. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names offers Possessor. BDB Theological Dictionary reads He Hath Grasped and states that the name Ahaz is an abbreviated form of Jehoahaz.