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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Abisha´i, (father of gifts), a nephew of David by his sister Zeruiah, and brother of Joab and Asahel. The three brothers devoted themselves zealously to the interests of their uncle during his wanderings. Though David had more reliance upon the talents of Joab, he appears to have given more of his private confidence to Abishai, whom we find near his person on several critical occasions. He alone accompanied David to the camp of Saul (1 Samuel 26:5-9). He fled with him beyond the Jordan from Absalom, and commanded one of three divisions of the army which crushed that rebellion (2 Samuel 18:2). He rescued David when in imminent peril of his life from a giant named Ishbibenob (2 Samuel 21:15-17), and was also the chief of the three 'mighties,' who performed the chivalrous exploit of breaking through the host of the Philistines to procure David a draught of water from the well of his native Bethlehem (2 Samuel 23:14-17). Among the exploits of this hero it is mentioned that he withstood 300 men and slew them with his spear: but the occasion of this adventure, and the time and manner of his death, are equally unknown.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Abishai'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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