« Ahijah Ahimelech Ahithophel »


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, xxiii. 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).

C. von Orelli.

« Ahijah Ahimelech Ahithophel »
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