AHIMELECH, ɑ̄-him´e-lec: High priest at the tabernacle in Nob.
He gave the showbread and Goliath’s sword to David, not knowing that the latter
was fleeing from Saul, and for this reason he, together with the entire priestly
family of eighty-five persons (LXX, thirty-five) and the whole city of Nob,
was slain by Doeg the Edomite at Saul’s command (I Sam. xxi.-xxii.). Only his
son Abiathar escaped and went to David. Ahimelech is called the son of Ahitub
(I Sam. xxii. 9, 20), and was therefore great-grandson
of Eli and a descendant of Ithamar. “Ahiah” (I Sam. xiv. 3)
is probably another name for Ahimelech; if not, Ahiah must have been an older
brother of the latter who officiated before him, or possibly the father of Ahimelech,
who, in this case, should be called the grandson of Ahitub. Abiathar served
David as priest during the latter’s exile (I Sam. xxii. 20-23,
6-12, xxx. 7-8) and throughout his reign, although Zadok of another
priestly line is always mentioned first (II Sam. xv. 24, xvii. 15,
xix. 11, xx. 25). He was deposed by Solomon for having favored the
succession of Adonijah (I Kings ii. 26-27, 35).