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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Uriah


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("light of Jehovah".) (See DAVID; NATHAN; BATHSHEBA.)

1. One of the 30 commanders of the 30 bands of David's army (1 Chronicles 11:41; 2 Samuel 23:19). A foreigner (as other of David's officers, Ittai of Gath, Ishbosheth the Canaanite, Zelek the Ammonite, 2 Samuel 23:37); a Hittite. Eliam son of Ahithophel being one of his fellow officers (2 Samuel 23:; 2 Samuel 23:39), Uriah naturally became acquainted with Bathsheba (an undesigned coincidence in Scripture confirming its truth) and married her. His tender devotion to her is implied in Nathan's comparison of her (2 Samuel 12:3) to the poor man's "one little ewe lamb ... which lay in his bosom as a daughter" (his all in all).

David's attempt to hide his sin by bringing Uriah home to his wife from the war with Ammon was foiled by Uriah's right sentiment as a soldier and chivalrous devotion to Israel and to God: "the ark and Israel and Judah abide in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house to eat, drink, and lie with my wife?" This answer was well fitted to pierce David's conscience, but desire of concealment at all costs urged David on. The greatest saint will fall into the deadliest sin, once that he ceases to lean on God and God withdraws His grace. Though entrapped into intoxication by David Uriah still retained sense of duty enough to keep his word and not go home.

On the third day David, by a letter which he consigned to Uriah's charge, bade his ready tool Joab set this brave soldier in the forefront of the fight. So he fell the victim of adulterous passion which was reckless of all honour, gratitude, and the fear of God; the once faithful man of God had now fallen so low as treacherously to murder his true hearted and loyal soldier and servant, whose high sense of honour so contrasts with David's baseness. Happily Uriah fell unconscious of his wife's dishonour; she "mourned" his death with the usual tokens of grief, but apparently with no sense of shame or remorse; her child's death probably first awakened her conscience. Keil thinks Uriah's answer implies some suspicion of the real state of the case, which was perhaps whispered to him on reaching Jerusalem; but the narrative rather leaves the impression of Uriah answering with guileless, unsuspicious frankness.

2. High priest under Ahaz (Isaiah 8:2; 2 Kings 16:10-16). (See AHAZ.) As high priest, made witness to Isaiah's prophecy concerning Maher-shalalhash-baz. An accomplice in Ahaz's idolatry, therefore not likely to assist God's prophet in getting up a prophecy after the event. He fashioned in unscrupulous subserviency an altar like the idolatrous pattern from Damascus furnished to him; this altar he put in the temple court E. of the place where God's altar had stood, and let Ahaz offer thereon his burnt offering, meat offering, drink offering, and blood of his peace offering; it was probably Abaz's pledge of submission to Assyria and its gods.

God's brazen altar Uriah put on the N. side of the Damascus altar, and Ahaz used it for his own private divinations. Uriah probably succeeded Azariah, high priest under Uzziah, and preceded the Azariah under Hezekiah. He is not named in the sacerdotal genealogy, 1 Chronicles 6:4-15; where a gap occurs between Amariah (1 Chronicles 6:11) and Shallum, father of Hilkiah (1 Chronicles 6:13). Uriah's line ended probably in Azariah his successor, and Hilkiah was descended through another branch from Amariah in Jehoshaphat's reign.

3. A priest of Hakkoz' family (KJV Koz), head of the seventh course (1 Chronicles 24:10); ancestor of Meremoth (Ezra 8:33; Nehemiah 3:4; Nehemiah 3:21).

4. Priest at Ezra's right when he read the law (Nehemiah 8:4).

5. Son of Shemaiah of Kirjath Jearim. Prophesied, as Jeremiah did, against the land and Jerusalem, so that the king sought to kill him; he escaped to Egypt; thence Elnathan brought him, and Jehoiakim killed him with the sword and cast his body among the graves of the common people (Jeremiah 26:20-23). His case was made a plea for not killing Jeremiah, as the notorious condition of the state showed that his murder did no good to Jehoiakim, but only added sin to sin and provoked God's vengeance. Uriah was faithful in delivering his message, faulty in leaving his work; so God permitted him to lose his life, whereas Jeremiah was saved. The path of duty is often the path of safety.


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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Uriah'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/fbd/u/uriah.html. 1949.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 26th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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