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Azariah IV

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Azariah is the name given to twenty-six different persons in the Old Testament. The most important are:

1. A noble in the court of Solomon. According to I Kings iv. 2, he was the son of Zadok the priest. I Chron. v. 35 makes him the son of Ahimaaz and grandson of Zadok. The same genealogical list states that he in turn had a grandson bearing the same name who "executed the priest's office in the house that Solomon built in Jerusalem." Since Zadok figured as a prominent priestly noble in the court of Solomon, it seems more likely that not his grandson, but his son, occupied a similar position, probably succeeding his father in the highpriestly office. In that case the reference in I Chron. would apply to Azariah, the son of Zadok, rather than to Azariah's grandson. Similarity of name may have been the cause of the displacement at the hand of some later copyist.

2. The grandson of the Azariah of Solomon's reign and father of Amariah, who was high priest during the reign of Jehoshaphat.

3. The second Book of Chronicles, in assigning a cause for the leprosy of King Uzziah, states that the king impiously attempted to burn incense on the altar, and that Azariah "the priest", with eighty attendant priests, opposed him, warning him that he as a layman had no right to burn incense to Yhwh. As a punishment for his impiety and his anger against the priests, Uzziah was at once smitten with leprosy. Josephus adds that an earthquake further evinced the divine disapproval. This tradition of Josephus clearly arose from an association of the earthquake in the reign of Uzziah, referred to in Amos i. 1 and Zech. xiv. 5, with the story of the chronicler. The older narrative of Kings simply states that "the Lord smote the king, so that he was a leper". The genealogical list in I Chron., purporting to give the complete line of high priests in Judah, assigns to the reign of Uzziah none bearing the name of Azariah. The point of view of the entire story in II Chronicles is not that of the days of the kingdom, when it was the duty of the king to present offerings and burn incense, but of the late post-exilic period when the chronicler wrote. It has a close kinship with other traditions peculiar to him or to his age, and frequently introduced into his ecclesiastical history. Its aim was clearly to explain the horrible affliction of one who figures in the earlier narratives as a just and benign ruler; and also to point a priestly moral.

4. According to II Chron. xxxi. 10, 13, a certain Azariah of the house of Zadok was chief priest and "ruler of the house of God" during the reign of Hezekiah. During his high-priesthood, chambers were built in the Temple to receive the oblations of the people.

5. The Levite Azariah, whose son Joel is described by the chronicler as active in carrying out the command of Hezekiah to cleanse the Temple.

6. Associated with the same traditional cleansing of the Temple in the days of Hezekiah was a third Azariah described as a Levite of the sons of Merari.

7. Son of the high priest Hilkiah, who was connected with the reformation of Josiah. It was his son Seraiah who was put to death by Nebuchadnezzar. Perhaps it was this Azariah who gave his name to the priestly clan that figured in the reformation of Ezra and Nehemiah.

8. Son of Nathan, chief of the officers of Solomon.

9. Son of Hoshaiah, one of the men who disregarded the words of Jeremiah, and persisted in going to Egypt, taking the prophet along with them.

10. The Hebrew name for Abed-nego, the companion of Daniel.

11. Son of Maaseian, who rebuilt part of the wall of Jerusalem in the days of Nehemiah.

12. A leader who came with Zerubbabel. In the parallel account of Ezra ii. 2 he is called "Seraiah."

13. One of those who explained the Law.

14. One of "those that sealed" the covenant with Nehemiah.

15. A member of the tribe of Judah who took part in the dedication of the wall.

16. Son of Ethan, mentioned in the genealogy of Judah.

17. A Jerahmeelite.

18. The same as Uzziah.

19. A Kohathite Levite.

20. A priest residing in Jerusalem.

21. Son of Oded, who, meeting the victorious army of Asa at Mareshah, on its return from the campaign against Zerah the Ethiopian, urged the necessity of a religious reform.

22 & 23. Two sons of Jehoshaphat

24. Son of Jeroham, captain of a hundred.

25. Son of Obed, also captain of a hundred.

26. Son of Johanan, an Ephraimite who refused to accept the booty taken by Israel from Judah. [1]