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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Abimelech (a-bĭm'e-lĕk), father of the king, or royal father. This seems to have been the common title of several of the Philistine kings. 1. A king of Gerar, and contemporary with Abraham, who took Sarah into his harem, and thought to make her his wife; but being warned of God in a dream of Sarah's relationship to Abraham, that she was not his sister, but his wife, he restored her to her husband, with a present of a thousand pieces of silver, as "a covering of the eyes" for Sarah; that is, as an atoning present, and to be a testimony of her innocence in the eyes of all. Genesis 20:1 to Genesis 18:2. Another king of Gerar, probably son of the former, who rebuked Isaac for his dissimulation, in calling his wife his sister, and afterwards made a league with him at Beersheba. Genesis 26:6; Genesis 31:3. A son of Gideon, by his concubine, who, after the death of his father, persuaded the men of Shechem to make him king. He slew his father's 70 sons on one stone, leaving only Jotham, the youngest, alive, who hid himself. Three years afterwards the men of Shechem rose against Abimelech; he defeated them and destroyed their city, and sowed it with salt While attacking Thebez, he was mortally wounded by a piece of a millstone thrown upon his head by a woman from the top of the tower. That it might not be said, "a woman slew him," he called to his armor-bearer to thrust him through with his sword, and thus he died. This was the first attempt to establish a monarchy in Israel. Judges 9:5; Judges 9:54. 4. The name given in the title of Psalms 34:1-22 to Achish, king of Gath. 5. The name of "Ahimelech" is thus written in 1 Chronicles 18:16.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Abimelech'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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