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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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ABIATHAR . Son of Ahimelech, who was head of the family of priests in charge of the sanctuary at Nob ( 1 Samuel 21:1 ). All except Abiathar were massacred by Saul ( 1 Samuel 22:20 ). When the rest obeyed the king’s summons, he may have remained at home to officiate. On hearing of the slaughter he took refuge with David, carrying with him the oracular ephod ( 1 Samuel 23:6; see also 1 Samuel 23:9; 1 Samuel 30:7 ). Abiathar and Zadok accompanied the outlaw in his prolonged wanderings. During Absalom’s rebellion they and their sons rendered yeoman service to the old king ( 2 Samuel 15:17 ). At 2 Samuel 8:17 (so also 1 Chronicles 18:16 [where, moreover, ‘A b imelech’ should be Ahimelech] 1 Chronicles 24:6 ) the names of Abiathar and his father have been transposed. Abiathar’s adhesion to Adonijah ( 1Ki 1:7; 1 Kings 1:19; 1 Kings 1:25 ) was of great importance, not only because of his position as priest, but also owing to his long friendship with king David. Solomon, therefore, as soon as he could safely do it, deposed Abiathar from the priesthood, warned him that any future misconduct would entail capital punishment, and relegated him to the seclusion of Anathoth ( 1 Kings 2:26 ). His sons ( 2 Samuel 8:17 ) lost the priestly office along with their father ( 1 Kings 2:27; cf. 1 Samuel 2:27-36 ). At Mark 2:26 the erroneous mention of Abiathar is due to his having been so intimately associated with the king in days subsequent to the one mentioned.

J. Taylor.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Abiathar'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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