An exclamation of ridicule (Ps. 35:21; 40:15; 70:3). In Isa. “44:16 it signifies joyful surprise, as also in Job 39:25, R.V.”
“Father’s brother. (1.) The son of Omri, whom he succeeded as the” seventh king of Israel. His history is recorded in 1 Kings “16-22. His wife was Jezebel (q.v.), who exercised a very evil” influence over him. To the calf-worship introduced by Jeroboam he added the worship of Baal. He was severely admonished by Elijah (q.v.) for his wickedness. His anger was on this account “kindled against the prophet, and he sought to kill him. He” “undertook three campaigns against Ben-hadad II., king of” “Damascus. In the first two, which were defensive, he gained a” “complete victory over Ben-hadad, who fell into his hands, and” was afterwards released on the condition of his restoring all “the cities of Israel he then held, and granting certain other” “concessions to Ahab. After three years of peace, for some cause” Ahab renewed war (1 Kings 22:3) with Ben-hadad by assaulting the “city of Ramoth-gilead, although the prophet Micaiah warned him” “that he would not succeed, and that the 400 false prophets who” encouraged him were only leading him to his ruin. Micaiah was imprisoned for thus venturing to dissuade Ahab from his purpose. “Ahab went into the battle disguised, that he might if possible” “escape the notice of his enemies; but an arrow from a bow “drawn” “at a venture” pierced him, and though stayed up in his chariot” “for a time he died towards evening, and Elijah’s prophecy (1” Kings 21:19) was fulfilled. He reigned twenty-three years. “Because of his idolatry, lust, and covetousness, Ahab is” referred to as pre-eminently the type of a wicked king (2 Kings 8:18; 2 Chr. 22:3; Micah 6:16). “(2.) A false prophet referred to by Jeremiah (Jer. 29:21), of whom nothing further is known.
There are three kings designated by this name in Scripture. (1.) “The father of Darius the Mede, mentioned in Dan. 9:1. This was” “probably the Cyaxares I. known by this name in profane history,” the king of Media and the conqueror of Nineveh. “(2.) The king mentioned in Ezra 4:6, probably the Cambyses of “profane history, the son and successor of Cyrus (B.C. 529).” “(3.) The son of Darius Hystaspes, the king named in the Book of “Esther. He ruled over the kingdoms of Persia, Media, and” “Babylonia, “from India to Ethiopia.” This was in all probability” “the Xerxes of profane history, who succeeded his father Darius” (B.C. 485). In the LXX. version of the Book of Esther the name Artaxerxes occurs for Ahasuerus. He reigned for twenty-one years “(B.C. 486-465). He invaded Greece with an army, it is said, of” “more than 2,000,000 soldiers, only 5,000 of whom returned with” “him. Leonidas, with his famous 300, arrested his progress at the” “Pass of Thermopylae, and then he was defeated disastrously by” Themistocles at Salamis. It was after his return from this invasion that Esther was chosen as his queen.
“Water, the river (Ezra 8:21) by the banks of which the Jewish” exiles assembled under Ezra when about to return to Jerusalem from Babylon. In all probability this was one of the streams of Mesopotamia which flowed into the Euphrates somewhere in the “north-west of Babylonia. It has, however, been supposed to be” “the name of a place (Ezra 8:15) now called Hit, on the” “Euphrates, east of Damascus.”
Possessor. (1.) A grandson of Jonathan (1 Chr. 8:35; 9:42). “(2.) The son and successor of Jotham, king of Judah (2 Kings 16; Isa. 7-9; 2 Chr. 28). He gave himself up to a life of wickedness and idolatry. Notwithstanding the remonstrances and warnings of “Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah, he appealed for help against Rezin,” “king of Damascus, and Pekah, king of Israel, who threatened” “Jerusalem, to Tiglath-pileser, the king of Assyria, to the great” injury of his kingdom and his own humilating subjection to the “Assyrians (2 Kings 16:7, 9; 15:29). He also introduced among his” people many heathen and idolatrous customs (Isa. 8:19; 38:8; 2 “Kings 23:12). He died at the age of thirty-five years, after” “reigning sixteen years (B.C. 740-724), and was succeeded by his” “son Hezekiah. Because of his wickedness he was “not brought into” “the sepulchre of the kings.”
Held by Jehovah. (1.) The son and successor of Ahab. He followed “the counsels of his mother Jezebel, and imitated in wickedness” the ways of his father. In his reign the Moabites revolted from under his authority (2 Kings 3:5-7). He united with Jehoshaphat “in an attempt to revive maritime trade by the Red Sea, which” “proved a failure (2 Chr. 20:35-37). His messengers, sent to” consult the god of Ekron regarding his recovery from the effects “of a fall from the roof-gallery of his palace, were met on the” “way by Elijah, who sent them back to tell the king that he would” never rise from his bed (1 Kings 22:51; 2 Kings 1:18). “(2.) The son of Joram, or Jehoram, and sixth king of Judah. “Called Jehoahaz (2 Chr. 21:17; 25:23), and Azariah (2 Chr.” “22:6). Guided by his idolatrous mother Athaliah, his reign was” “disastrous (2 Kings 8:24-29; 9:29). He joined his uncle Jehoram,” “king of Israel, in an expedition against Hazael, king of” Damascus; but was wounded at the pass of Gur when attempting to “escape, and had strength only to reach Megiddo, where he died (2” Kings 9:22-28). He reigned only one year.