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King Ahaziah was the king of Israel. He was born the son of Ahab, and like his father, is described as “evil in the eyes of the LORD” because he worshipped idols.
The only two events that the Bible mentions during his brief two-year reign are his failed venture with Jehoshaphat and his encounter with Elijah, who prophesied judgment on him for consulting Baal about an injury.
Many years earlier, King Solomon had launched trading ships from Ezion Geber on the Red Sea, at the extreme southern border of Israel, and they returned with gold, silver, and exotic goods from faraway lands (1 Kings 9:26–28; 10:11–12). It seems that Ahaziah and Jehoshaphat planned to do the same thing from Ezion Geber, but their ships were wrecked in port before they ever set sail (1 Kings 22:48–49).
Sometime later Ahaziah fell through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and severely injured himself. He sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub in the Philistine city of Ekron to see if he would recover. The prophet Elijah, however, intercepted his messengers and informed them that Ahaziah would die before ever leaving his bed. Elijah’s words came true, and Ahaziah died without leaving an heir—so his brother Joram was made king instead (2 Kings 1).
The name Baal-Zebub probably means “Lord of the Flies” and has become associated with Satan. The English title has gained renewed fame in recent decades with the publication of William Golding’s book by the same title.