Sacred Texts  Bible  Index 

Abimelech My father a king, or father of a king, a common name of the Philistine kings, as "Pharaoh" was of the Egyptian kings. (1.) The Philistine king of Gerar in the time of Abraham (Gen. 20:1-18). By an interposition of Providence, Sarah was delivered from his harem, and was restored to her husband Abraham. As a mark of respect he gave to Abraham valuable gifts, and offered him a settlement in any part of his country; while at the same time he delicately and yet severely rebuked him for having practiced a deception upon him in pretending that Sarah was only his sister. Among the gifts presented by the king were a thousand pieces of silver as a "covering of the eyes" for Sarah; i.e., either as an atoning gift and a testimony of her innocence in the sight of all, or rather for the purpose of procuring a veil for Sarah to conceal her beauty, and thus as a reproof to her for not having worn a veil which, as a married woman, she ought to have done. A few years after this Abimelech visited Abraham, who had removed southward beyond his territory, and there entered into a league of peace and friendship with him. This league was the first of which we have any record. It was confirmed by a mutual oath at Beer-sheba (Gen 21:22). (2.) A king of Gerar in the time of Isaac, probably the son of the preceding (Gen. 26:1-22). Isaac sought refuge in his territory during a famine, and there he acted a part with reference to his wife Rebekah similar to that of his father Abraham with reference to Sarah. Abimelech rebuked him for the deception, which he accidentally discovered. Isaac settled for a while here, and prospered. Abimelech desired him, however, to leave his territory, which Isaac did. Abimelech afterwards visited him when he was encamped at Beer-sheba, and expressed a desire to renew the covenant which had been entered into between their fathers (Gen 26:26). (3.) A son of Gideon (Jdg 9:1), who was proclaimed king after the death of his father (Judg. 8:33-9:6). One of his first acts was to murder his brothers, seventy in number, "on one stone," at Ophrah. Only one named Jotham escaped. He was an unprincipled, ambitious ruler, often engaged in war with his own subjects. When engaged in reducing the town of Thebez, which had revolted, he was struck mortally on his head by a mill-stone, thrown by the hand of a woman from the wall above. Perceiving that the wound was mortal, he desired his armour-bearer to thrust him through with his sword, that it might not be said he had perished by the hand of a woman (Jdg 9:50). (4.) The son of Abiathar, and high priest in the time of David (Ch1 18:16). In the parallel passage, Sa2 8:17, we have the name Ahimelech, and Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech. This most authorities consider the more correct reading. (5.) Achish, king of Gath, in the title of Ps. 34. (Compare Sa1 21:10.)

Abinadab Father of nobleness; i.e., "noble." (1.) A Levite of Kirjath-jearim, in whose house the ark of the covenant was deposited after having been brought back from the land of the Philistines (Sa1 7:1). It remained there twenty years, till it was at length removed by David (Sa1 7:1, Sa1 7:2; Ch1 13:7). (2.) The second of the eight sons of Jesse (Sa1 16:8). He was with Saul in the campaign against the Philistines in which Goliath was slain (Sa1 17:13). (3.) One of Saul's sons, who persisted with his father in the battle of Gilboa (Sa1 31:2; Ch1 10:2). (4.) One of Solomon's officers, who "provided victuals for the king and his household." He presided, for this purpose, over the district of Dor (Kg1 4:11).

Abinoam Father of kindness, the father of Barak (Jdg 4:6; Jdg 5:1).

Abiram Father of height; i.e., "proud." (1.) One of the sons of Eliab, who joined Korah in the conspiracy against Moses and Aaron. He and all the conspirators, with their families and possessions (except the children of Korah), were swallowed up by an earthquake (Num. 16:1-27; Num 26:9; Psa 106:17). (2.) The eldest son of Hiel the Bethelite, who perished prematurely in consequence of his father's undertaking to rebuild Jericho (Kg1 16:34), according to the words of Joshua (Kg1 6:26). (See JERICHO.)

Abishag Father of (i.e., "given to") error, a young woman of Shunem, distinguished for her beauty. She was chosen to minister to David in his old age. She became his wife (Kg1 1:3, Kg1 1:4, Kg1 1:15). After David's death Adonijah persuaded Bathsheba, Solomon's mother, to entreat the king to permit him to marry Abishag. Solomon suspected in this request an aspiration to the throne, and therefore caused him to be put to death (Kg1 2:17).

Abishai Father of (i.e., "desirous of") a gift, the eldest son of Zeruiah, David's sister. He was the brother of Joab and Asahel (Sa2 2:18; Ch1 2:16). Abishai was the only one who accompanied David when he went to the camp of Saul and took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster (Sa1 26:5). He had the command of one of the three divisions of David's army at the battle with Absalom (Sa2 18:2, Sa2 18:5, Sa2 18:12). He slew the Philistine giant Ishbi-benob, who threatened David's life (Sa2 21:15). He was the chief of the second rank of the three "mighties" (Sa2 23:18, Sa2 23:19; Ch1 11:20, Ch1 11:21); and on one occasion withstood 300 men, and slew them with his own spear (Sa2 23:18). Abishai is the name of the Semitic chief who offers gifts to the lord of Beni-Hassan.

Abishua Father of welfare; i.e., "fortunate." (1.) The grandson of Benjamin (Ch1 8:4). (2.) The son of Phinehas the high priest (Ch1 6:4, Ch1 6:5, Ch1 6:50; Ezr 7:5).

Abishur Father of the wall; i.e., "mason", one of the two sons of Shammai of the tribe of Judah (Ch1 2:28, Ch1 2:29).

Abital Father of dew; i.e., "fresh", David's fifth wife (Sa2 3:4).

Abitub Father of goodness, a Benjamite (Ch1 8:11).