A Hittite; husband of Bath-sheba, and one of David'spicked warriors. The scanty Biblical allusions to him are of value as illustrating the taboo under which warriors were constrained to abstain from sexual intercourse (II Sam. xi. 7-15; see Schwally, "Kriegsaltertümer," p. 48), through which circumstance David's plan to cover his illicit relations with Bath-sheba was frustrated. Sent back to camp, Uriah was placed, by David's secret orders, "in the forefront of the hottest battle," and fell at the siege of Rabbah.
Josephus ("Ant." vii. 8, § 1) adds many embellishments to the account of the death of Uriah, declaring that when the Ammonites made a sortie and repulsed the besiegers, Uriah remained on the field with a few others, exposing himself to danger more than all his comrades, and maintaining his position until the enemy had surrounded the little band of heroes and completely destroyed them.—In Rabbinical Literature:
The Rabbis, who naturally could not admit the existence of any flaw in David's character, regarded Uriah as the one at fault. They claimed that he had defied David, since, when the king commanded him to go home, he replied, "My lord Joab is encamped in the open fields," thus disregarding the royal bidding (Shab. 56a; Tos. to Ḳid. 43a, above).
2. High priest during the reign of Ahaz. According to Isa. viii. 2, he was taken as a faithful witness by Isaiah when the prophet married the mother of Maher-shalal-ḥash-baz. II Kings xvi. 10-16 states that Ahaz sent Uriah the pattern of an altar seen by him at Damascus after the conquest of the city by Tiglath-pileser, directing the prophet to erect a similar one in the Temple, for the offering of certain sacrifices. In the list of high priests given in I Chron. v. 30-40 Uriah's name does not occur, although it is interpolated in Josephus, "Ant." x. 8, § 6.
3. Son of Shemaiah of Kirjath-jearim; a prophet of the reign of Jehoiakim. Like Jeremiah, in foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem by the Assyrians he brought upon himself the anger of the king and the princes. In fear of death he fled to Egypt, whereupon Jehoiakim sent an embassy headed by Elnathan b. Achbor, which seized the prophet and brought him to Jerusalem, where he was beheaded by the express command of the king, his body being thrown into the graves of the common people (Jer. xxvi. 20-23).
4. Son of Koz (Neh. iii. 4), probably of the seventh class of priests (comp. I Chron. xxiv. 10). On the fourth day after the return of the exiles to Jerusalem, his son Meremoth weighed the gold, silver, and vessels brought back from Babylon (Ezra viii. 33).
5. One of the men who stood at the right hand of Ezra while the latter read the Law to the people (Neh. viii. 4).