- This article is about the second of the high priests of Israel of this name. For other uses, see Azariah (disambiguation).
Azariah II (Hebrew: עזריה, ʼAzāryāh; "Name means::helped by YHWH") (ca. 836/5–fl. 781/0–756/5 BC) was the twentieth high priest of Israel. He is one of the few high priests who achieved his renown by protesting the sacrilegious act of his sovereign. Flavius Josephus called him "Joel", meaning "YHWH is God". The Seder 'Olam Zuṭa also calls him by that name.
Azariah's sister Jerushah married King Uzziah probably four years before he, Azariah, took the ephod. His date of birth is estimated from the approximate date of service of his son Zechariah II and the life and career of his father Zadok II.
Azariah took the ephod late in the reign of King Uzziah of Judah. He is not likely to have served as high priest earlier than his sister's marriage. He would have been fifty-one years old at that time and certainly old enough to have marriageable daughters of his own. That the king married the daughter of a high priest cannot be an accident. Nor would it be the only such marriage, for Azariah's granddaughter Abi would later marry Prince Ahaz, grandson of King Uzziah.
Azariah is remembered for one incident in his career that was a national tragedy. King Uzziah, in the forty-second year of his reign, conceived the wrongheaded notion that he could burn holy incense on the altar of incense in the Temple. Azariah gathered eighty priests behind him and confronted Uzziah. Azariah told him that he had not been consecrated to burn incense before God, and that he needed to leave the nave at once. Uzziah indignantly refused and, censer in hand, attempted to proceed.
At that moment he was stricken with leprosy up to his forehead. Azariah recognized the signs and acted swiftly. He and the other priests immediately hustled Uzziah out of the Temple. Uzziah did not resist; he was even in a hurry to leave the Temple himself.
Uzziah never recovered from his leprosy. He spent the next years of his life in quarantine. Prince Jotham administered the affairs of state in his place as pro-rex. (2_Kings 15:5 , 2_Chronicles 26:16-23 )
Azariah probably continued to serve until Uzziah died, and three years after that.
Successor of::Zadok II
|Member of::High priest
Flourit::3224 AM–Died::3249 AM
| Succeeded by|
Succeeded by::Zechariah II
- Josephus, Antiquities, 10.8.6.153
- Hirsch EG, "High priest," The Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906. Accessed January 2, 2009.
- Jones, Floyd N., The Chronology of the Old Testament, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2003, Chart 5.