William Smith.

A dictionary of the Bible; comprising its antiquities, biography, geography, and natural history online

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believed to be the real source of the Barada, accord-
mg to the popular usage of the country, which
regards the most copious fountain, not the most
distant head, as the origin of a river. We meet
with other instances of the same mistake in the case
of the Jordan and the Orontes [Ain] ; it is to Dr.
Robinson that we are indebted for its discovery in the
present case (Rob. iii. 477). After flowing through
Damascus the Barada runs across the plain, leaTin<T
the remarkable Assyrian ruin Tell es-Salahiych on
its left bank, till it loses itself in the lake or mai^h
Bahret el-Kihliyeh. Mr. Porter calculates that
14 villages and 150,000 souls ai-e dependent on this
important river. For the couree of the Barada see
Porter, vol. i. chap. v. Jouni. of S. Lit. N.S. viii.,
Rob. iii. 446, 7. Lightfoot {Cent. Chor. iv.) and
Gesenius {Thes. 116) quote the naraep*]0")p as ap-
plied in the Lexicon ArucJi to the Amana. [G ."!

ABA'RIM (Milton accents ' Ab'arim), the
"mount," or "mountains of" (always with

b The Keri, with the Targum Jonathan and the
Syriac version, has Araanah. See margin of A. V.


the def. ai'ticle, OniVH "111, or HH, rh 6pos

ri 'AjSapt^, or 4y tijJ Trepav rov ^lopMvov,
= the mountains of the further parts, or possibly,
of the fords), a mountain or range of highlands
on the east of the Jordan, in the land of Moab
(Deut. xxxii. 49), facing Jericho, and forming the
eastern wall of the Jordan valley at that pai-t. Its
most elevated spot was " the Mount Nebo, ' head '
of ''the' Pisgah," from which Moses viewed the
Promised Land befoi'e his death. There is nothing
to prove that the Abarim were a range or tract of
any length, unless the Ije- Abarim (" heaps of A.")
named in Num. xxxiii. 44, and which were on the
south frontier of Moab, are to be taken as belonging
to them. . But it must be remembered that a word
derived from the same root as Abarim, viz. "l^i?,

is the term commonly applied to the whole of the
countiy on- the east of the Jordan.

These mountains are mentioned in Num. xxvii.
13. xxxiii. 47, 48, and Deut. xxxii. 49 ; also pro-
bably in Jer. xxii. 20, where the word is rendered
in the A. V. " passages."

In the absence of research on the E. of the Jordan
and of the Dead Sea, the topography of those regions
must remain to a great degree obscure. [G.]

AB'DA(X'^1V; Ai/Bccu; A'^da). 1. Father of

Adoniram (1 K. iv. G). 2. Son of Shammua (Neh.
xi. 17), called Obadiah in 1 Chr. ix. 16.

AB'DEEL C^N'^nV; Abdeet), father of She-
lerniah (Jer. xxxvi. 26).

AB'Dl C^nV; 'AjSat; Ab'di), name of three

men. 1. (1 Chr. vi. 44). 2. (2 Chi-, xsix. 12).

3. (Ezr. X. 26).

ABDI'AS, 2 Esdr. i. 39. [Obadiah.]
AB'DIELC^N^-nnV; 'A^GMA; Ahdiel), son oi
Guni(lChr. V. 15)."

AB'DON (fniy; 'A^Btiu; Ahdon). 1. A
judge of Israel (Judg. xii. 13, 15), perhaps the
same person as Bedan in 1 Sam. xii. 11. 2. Son
of Shashak (1 Chr. viii. 23). 3. First-born son of
Jehiel, son of Gibeon (1 Chr. %iii. 30, is. 35, 36).

4. Son of Micah, a contemporary of Josiah (2 Chr.
xxxiv. 20), called Achbor in 2K. xxii. 13.

AB'DOISr (I'Tn^V; 'K^Uv, Aa&^d>v, 'Va^^<L6\
a city in the tribe of Asher, given to the Gershonites
(Josh. xxi. 30 ; 1 Chr. vi. 74). No place of this
name, appears in the list of the towns of Asher
(Josh. xis. 24-31); but instead we find (28) plV,

"Hebron," * which is the same word, with the change
frequent inHebreWi^f 1 for 1. Indeed manyMSS.
have Abdon in Josh. xix. 28 (Ges. 980 ; Winer,
s. u.) ; but, on tlie other hand, all the ancient ver-
sions retain the R, except the Vatican LXX. which
has "E.\^^v (Alex, 'kxp^v). [G*.]

ABED'NEG0(i3rTO; 'A(5nemy6', Ahde-
nago), i.e. servant of Nego, perhaps the same as
Nebo, which was the Chaldaean name of the planet
Mercury, worshipped as the scribe and intei-preter of
the gods (Gesen.). Abednego was the Chaldaean name

^ The Am is here rendered by H. The H in the well-
known Hebron i-epresents Ch. Elsewhere (as Gaza,
Gomorrah) Ain is rendered by G in the Auth. Version.

b It is in favour of Gesenius' interpretation that the
Chaldee Targum always renders Abel by Mishor, which


given to Azariah, one of the three fi'iends of Daniel,
-mira^julously saved fi'om the buraing fierv furnace
(Dan. iii.). [Azariaii, No. 10.] [R. W. B,]

A'BEL (73S = ^ meadow, accordingtoGesenius,

who deiives it from a root signifying moisture like
that of grass ; see, however, the arguments in favour
of a diherent meaning of Lengerke, Kenaan, i. 358,
aiid Hengstenberg, Pent, ii. 319) ; the name of
sevei'al places in Palestine : —

1. A'bel-beth-ma'acha (HDVp IX^"^ 't?), a

town of some importance {-kSXis koX firtTpSiroAis,
" a city and a mother in Israel " 2 Sam. xx. 19),
in the extreme N. of Palestine ; named with Dan,
Cinneroth, Kedesh ; and as such failmg an early
prey to the invading kings of Syria (1 K. xv.
20) and Ass}a'ia .(2 K. xv. 29). In the parallel
passage, 2 Chr. xvi. 4, the name is changed to
Abel Malm, D**?^ 'N = "Abel on the waters." Here

Sheba was overtaken and besieged by Joab (2 Sam.
XX. 14, 15) ; and the city was saved by the exercise
on the part of one of its inhabitants of that sagacity
for which it was proverbial (18). In verses 14
and 18 it is simply Abel, and in 14 is apparently
distmguished from Beth-maacha. If the derivation
of Gesenius be the correct one, the situation of Abel
was probably in the Ard el-JIuleh, the marshy
meadow country which drains into the Sea of
Merom, whether at Abil (Robinson, iii. 372), or
more to the south (Stanley, S. and P. 390 ■note).
Eusebius and Jerome place it between Paneas and
Damascus ; but this has not been identified.

2. A'bel-miz'eaim (Miizraim), DpVP '^» ac-
cording to the etymology of the text, the mourning
of Egypt, Tre^flos Pdyvinov (this meaning, however,
requires a different pointing, P^K for ?i!<) : the
name given by the Cauaanites to the floor of Atad,
at which Joseph, his brothers, and the Egyptians
made their mourning for Jacob (Gen. 1, 11). It
was beyond (13i/ = on the east of) Jordan, though

placed by Jerome at Beth-Hogla (now Ain-Rajla),
near the river, on its west bank. [Atai),]

3. A'bel-shit'tim (with the article Q^tp^H 'N),
"the meadow of the acacias," in the "plains''
('nb"!!^ = the deserts) of Moab ; on the low level
of the Jordan valley, as contradistinguisheil from
the cultivated " fields " on the upper level of the
table-land. Here — their last resting-place before
crossing the Jordan — Israel " pitched from Beth-
jesimoth unto A. Shittim," Nimi. xxxiii, 49.
The place is most frequently mentioned by its
shoi-ter name of Sliittim. [Shittim.] In the days
of Josephus it was still known as Abila, — the town
embosomed in palms," (Httov vvv ttSAls- iffrlv
'A^iXiji <poiviK6<l>vToy 5" eo-rl rh xwpfoj/. Ant.
iv. 8, § 1), 60 stadia from the river (y. 1, §1).
The town and the palms have disappeared ; but the
acacia-groves, denoted by the name Shittim, still
remain, "marlring with a line of verdure the upper
terraces ai' the Jordan valley" (Stanley. >S'. and P.

4. A'bel-meho'lah (Mec/iolah, nViriD 'K

in later Hebrew lost its special significance, and was
used for a level spot or plain generally.

° It was amongst these palms, according to Jo-
sephus, that Deuteronomy was delivered by Moses.
See the passage above cited.'



" meadow of the dance "), named with Beth-shcan
(Scythopolis) and Jokneam (1 K. iv. 12),» and-
therefore in the N. part of the Jordan valley (Eus.
iv T$ aiXavC). To "the border (the 'lip' or
' brink ') of Abel-meholah," and to Beth-shittah
(the ' house of the acacia '), both places being evi-
dently down in the Jordan valley, the routed
Bedouin host fled from Gideon (Judg. vii. 22).
Here Elisha was found at his plough by Elijah
returning up the valley from Horeb (1 K. xix.
16-19). In Jerome's time the name had dwindled
to 'A^eX/ifa.

5. A'bel-cera'mim (D^pna 'N), in the A. V.
rendered " the plain of the vineyards," a place east-
ward of Jordan, beyond Aroer ; named as the point
to which Jephtha's pursuit of the Bene-Ammon
extended (Judg. xi. 33). A Kiifiri i,iiTre\o<p6pos
"AjSeX is mentioned by Eusebius at 6 (Jerome, 7)
miles beyond Philadelphia (Rabbah) ; and another,
olyo(f>6pos Ka.\ovfievi]t more to the N. 12 miles E.
from Gadara, below the Hieromax. Ruins bearing
the name of Abila are still fouhd in the same posi-
tion (Ritter, Syria, 1058). There were at lea.st
three places with the name of Aroer on the further
side of the Jordan. [Aroer.]

6. " The GREAT ' Abel,' in the field of Joshua
the Bethshemite" (1 Sam. vi. 18). By comparison
with 14 and 15, it would seem that J has been
here exchanged for ?, and that for 7DX should be
read ]3X = stone. So the LXX. and the Chaldee
Targum. Our translators, by the insertion of
" stone of," take a middle course. See, however,
Lengerke (358) and Herxheimer (1 Sam. vi. 18),
who hold by Abel as being the name subsequently
given to the spot in reference to the " mourning "
(•vSNn*) there, ver. 19. • In this case compare
Genil.'ll. [G.]

A'BEL, in Hebr. HBBEL (73n ; 'A/SeX ;
Ahel\ I.e. breath, vapour, transitoriness, probably
so called from the shortness of his life), the secx)nd
son of Adam, murdered by his brother Cain (Gen.
iv. 1-16). Jehovah showed respect for Abel's offer-
ing, but not for that of Cain, because, according
to the Epistle to the Hebrews (xi. 4), Abel " by
faith offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain."
The expression " sin," i. e. a sin-offeinng " lieth at
the door" (Gen. iv. 7), seems to imply that the
need of sacrifices of blood to obtain forgiveness was
already revealed. On account of Abel's faith, St.
Augustine makes Abel the type of the new regene-
rate man ; Cain that of the natural man {de Civ.
I)ei, XV. 1). St. Chrysostom observes that Abel
offered the iest of his, flock — Cain that which was
most readily procured (JJcmi. in Gen. xviii. 5).
Jesus Christ spoke of him as the first martyr
(Matt, xxiii. 3.5) ; so did the early church subse-
quently. For Christian traditions see Iren, v. 67 ;
OTirysost. Horn, in Gen. xix.'f CudrenTIfist. 8.
For those of the Rabbins and Mahommedajis. Eisen-
meTiger, Entdec/d. Jud. i. 462, 832; Hottinger,
Hist. Or. 24 ; Ei-sch & Gruber, EncyUop. s. v. ;
and the Kur-dn V. The place of his murder and
his grave are pointnd out near Damascus (Pococke,
b. ii. 168) ; and the neighbouring peasants tell a
curious tradition respecting his burial (StaiUey,
S. # P. p. 413).

The Orientjd Gnosticism of the Sabaeans made
Abel an incarnate Aeon, and the Gnostic or Mani-
chaean sect of the Abelitne in North Africa in the
time of Augustine (de Fiacres. 86, 87), sn called


themselves from a tradition that Abel, though mar-
ried, lived in continence. In order to avoid perpe-
tuating original sin, they followed his example, but in
order to keep up their sect, each married pair adopted
a male and female child, who in their turn vowed to
marry under the same conditions. [R. W. B.]

A'BEZ (|>aN, in pause 5>3S ; 'P«;8^s ; Abes),
a town in the possession of Issachar, named be-
tween Kishion and Remeth, in Josh. xix. 20, only.
Gesenius mentions as a possible derivation of the
name, that the Chaldee for tin is nV3K. Possibly,
however, the word is a corruption of fin, Thebez,

now TUbas, a town situated not far from Engannim
and Shunem (both towns of Issachar), and which
otherwise has entirely 'escaped mention in the list
in Joshua, [G.]

A'BI ('IN; 'AiSou; ^6s), mother of king Heze-
kiah (2 K. xviii. 2). The name is written Abijah
(n'3X) in 2 Chr. xxix. I . Her father's name was
Zechariah, He was perhaps the Zechariah mentioned
by Isaiah (viii. 2). [R. W. B.]


•in*lX; 'A$d; Abia). 1. Son of Becher, the

son of Benjamin (1 Chr. vii. 8). 2. Wife of Hez-
ron (1 Chr. ii. 24). 3. Second son of Samuel,
whom together with his eldest son Joel he made
judges in Beersheba (1 Sam. viii. 2 ; 1 Chr. vii. 28).
The coiTuptness of their administration was the
reason alleged by the Israelites for theu*' demanding
a king. 4. Mother of king Hezekiah. [Abi.]

For other persons of this name see Abijah.

[R. W. B.]

ABI-AL'BON. [Abiel.]

ABI'ASAPH, otherwise written EBI'ASAPH
(flDNnX, Ex. vi. 24, and eip»3X, 1 Chr. vi.

8, 22, ix. 19 ; 'Afida-ap, 'A$i(riif, 'APii<ra<\> ;
Abiasaph ; according to Simonis, " cyjvs patrem
abstulit Deus" with reference to the death of
Korah, as related in Num. xvi. ; but according to
Fiirst and Gesenius, father of gathering, i. e. the
gatherer; compare tlDN, Asaph, 1 Chr. vi. 39).
He was the head of one of the families of the
Korhites (a house of the Kohathites), but his pie-
cise genealogy is somewhat uncertain. In Ex. vi.
24, he appears at first sight to be represented as
one of the sons of Korah, and as the brother of
Assir and Elkauah. But in 1 Chr. vi. he appears
as the son of Elkanah, the son of Assir, the. son of
Korah. The natural inference from this would be
that in Ex. vi. 24 the expression " the sons of
Korah " merely means the families into which the
house of the Korhites was subdivided. But if so,
the verse in Exodus must be a later insertion than
the time of Moses, as in Moses' lifetime the gieat-
gnftidsou of Korah could not have been the head of
a family. Aid it is remarkable that the verse is
quite out of its place, and appears improperly to
separate ver. 25 and ver. 23, which both relate to
the house of Aaron. If, however, this inference is
not con-ect, then the Ebiasaph of 1 Chr. vi. is a
diflerent person fi'om the Abiasaph of Ex. vi., viz.
hLs great-nephew. But this does not seem pro-
bable. It appeal's from 1 Chr. ix. 19, that that
branch of the descendants of Abiasaph of which
Shallum was chief were porters, " keepers of the
gates of the tabernacle;" and fi-om ver. 31 that


Mattithiali, *' the Hvst-born of Shallum the Kovahite
liad the set office over the things that were made
in the pans," iii)pareiitly in the time of David.
From Neh. xii. 25 we learn that Abiasaph's family
was not extinct in the days of Nehemiah ; for the
family of Meshullam (which is the same as Shal-
lum), with Talmon and Akkub, still filled the office
of poiters, " keeping the ward at the threshold of
the gate." Other remarkable descendants of Abi-
asaph, according to the text of 1 Chr. vi. 33-37,
were Samuel the prophet and Elkanah his father
(1 Sam. i. 1), and Heman the singer; but Ebiasaph
seems to be improperly inseited in ver. 37.'* The
possessions of those Kohathites wlio were not de-
scended from Aaron, consisting of ten cities, lay in
the tribe of Ephraim, the half-tiibe of Manasseh,
and the tribe of Dan (Josh. xxi. 20-26 ; 1 Chr. vi.
61). The family of Elkanah the Kohathite resided
in Mount Ephraim (1 Sam. i. 1). [A. C. H.]

ABI'ATHAR (in^nN ; 'A^tdBap; Abiathar ;

but the version of Santes Pagninus has Ehiathar,
according to the Hebrew points* In Mark ii,
26, it is 'A/Siciffap. According to Simouis, the
name means " (cujus) pater snperstes mansit,
raoi-tua scil. matre ;" but according to Fiirst and
Gesenius, father of excellence., or abundance').
Abiathar was that one of all the sons of Ahimelech
the high priest who escaped the slaughter inflicted
upon his father's house by Said, at the instigation
of Doeg the Edomite (see title to Ps. lii. and the
psalm itself), in revenge for his having inquired of
the Lord for David, and given him the shew-bread
to eat, and the sword of Goliath the Philistine, as
is related in 1 Sam. xxii. We are there told that
when Doeg slew in Nob on that day fourscore and
rive persons that did wear a Imen ephod, " one of
the sous of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named
Abiathar, escaped and fled after David ;" and it is
added in xxiii. 6, that when he did so " he came
down with an ephod in his hand," and was thus
enabled to inquire of the Lord for David (1 Sam.
xxiii. 9, XXX. 7; 2 Sam. ii. 1, v. 19, &c.). The
fact of David having been the unwilling cause of
the death of all Abiathai-'s kindred, coupled with
his gratitude to his father Ahimelech for his kind-
ness to him, made him a fii-m and stedfast friend
to Abiathar all his life. Abiathar on his part was
fimily attached to David. He adhered to him in
his wanderings while pursued by Saul; he was
with him while he reigned in Hebron (2 Sam. ii.
1-3), the city of the house of Aaron (Josh. xxi.
10-13); he earned the ark before him when David
brought it up to Jei-usalem (1 Chr. xv. 11; IK.
ii. 26) ; he continued faithful to him in Absalom's
rebelUon (2 Sam. xv. 24, 29, 35, 36, xvii. 15-17,
xix. 11); and "was afflicted in all wherein David
was afflicted." He was also one of David's chief
counsellors (1 Chr. xxvii. 34). When, however,
Adonijah set himself up for David's successor on
the throne in opposition to Solomon, Abiathar,
either persuaded by Joab, or in rivalry to Zadok,
or under some influence which' cannot now be dis-
covered, sided with him, and was one of his chief
partisans, while Zadok was on Solomon's side. For
this Abiathar was banished to his native village,
Anathoth, in the tribe of Benjamin (Josh. xxi. 18j,
and naiTowly escaped with his life, which was

"■ See The Genealogies of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Chriaty by Lord Artliuv Ilifvcy, \), 210, and p.
214, nott;.


spared by Solomon only on the strength of iiis long
and faithful service to David his father. He was
no longer permitted to perform the functions or
enjoy the prerogatives of the high-priesthood. For
we are distinctly told that " Solomon thi-ust out
Abiathar from being priest to the Lord ;" and' that
" Zadok the priest did the king yai in the room^ of
Abiathar" (1 K. ii. 27, 35). So thiit it is difficult
to understand the assertion in 1 K. iv. 4, that in
Solomon's reign "Zadok and Abiathar weie the
priests ;" and still more difficult in connexion with
ver. 2, which tells us that " Azariah the son of
Zadok" was "the priest:" a declaration contiimed
by 1 Chr. vi. 10. It is probable that Abiathar did
not long survive David. He is- not mentioned again,
and he must have been far advanced in years at
Solomon's accession to the throne.

There are one or two other difficulties connected
with Abiathar, to which a brief reference must be
made before we conclude this article. (1.) In 2 Sam.
viii. 17, and in the duplicate passage 1 Chr. xviii.
16, and in 1 Chr. xxiv. 3, 6, 31, we have Ahime-
lech substituted for Abiathar, and Ahimelech the
son of Abiathar, instead of Abiathar the son of
Ahimelech, Whereas in 2 Sam. xx. 25, and in every
other passage in the 0. T., we are unifoimly told
that it was Abiathar who was priest with Zadok
in David's reign, and that he was the son of Ahi-
melech, and that Ahimelech was the son of Ahitub.
The difficulty is increased by finding Abiathai-
spoken of as the high-priest in whose time David
ate the shew-bread, in Mark ii. 26. (See Alford,
ad he.) However, the evidence in favom" of David's
friend being Abiathar the son of Ahimelech pre-
pondeiates so strongly, and the impossibility of any
rational reconciliation is so clear, that one can only
suppose, with Procopius of Gaza, that the eiTor was
a clerical one originally, and was propagated fiom
one passage to another. The mention o'^ Abiathar
by our Lord, in Mark ii. 26, might perhaps be ift:-
counted for, if Abiathar was the person who per-
suaded his father to allow David to have the biwid,
and if, as is probable, the loaves were Abiathai's
(Lev. xxiv. 9), and given by him with his own
hand to Daiad. It may also be remarked that our
Lord doubtless spoke of Abiathar as jHSn, " the

priest," the designation applied to Ahimelech
throughout 1 Sam. xx., and equally applicable to
Abiathar. The expression apxt-^pehs. is the Greek
translation of our Lord's words.

(2.) Another difficulty concerning Abiathar is to
deteimine his position relatively to Zadok, and to
account for the double high-priesthood, and for the
advancement of the line of Ithamar over that of
Eieazar. A theory has been invented that Abiathar
was David's, and Zadok Saul's high-priest, but it
seems to rest on no sohd ground. The facts of the
case are these : — Ahimelech, the son of Ahitub, the
son of Phluehas, the son of Eli, was high-priest in
the reign of Saul. On his death his son Abiathar
became high-priest. The first mention of Zadok is
in 1 Chr. xii. 28, where he is described as "' a
young man mighty of valour," and is said to have
joined David while he reigned in Hebron, in com-
pany with Jehoiada, " the leader of the Aaronites."
From this time we read, both in the books of
Samuel and Chronicles, of " Zadok and Abiathar
the priests," Zadok being always named fii-st. And
yet we are told that Solomon on his accession put
Zadok in the room of Abiathar. Perhajis the tine
state of the case was, that Abiathar was the first.


and Zadok the second priest; but that fi-om the
superior streogth. of the house of Eleazar (of which
Zadok was head), which enabled it to furnish 16
out of the 24 com-ses (1 Chr. xxiv.), Zadok acquired
considerable influence with David; and. that this,
added to hLs being the heir of the elder line, and
perhaps also to borae of the passages being written
after the line of Zadok were established in the high-
priesthood, led to the precedence given him over
Abiathar. We have already suggested the possi-
bility of jealousy of Zadok being one of the motives
which inclined Abiathar to join Adonijah's faction.
It is most remarkable how, firet, Saul's cniel
slaughter of the priests at Xob, and then the
political enor of the ^vise Abiathar, led to the ful-
fllmeut of God's denunciation against the house of
Eli, as the writer of 1 K. ii. 27 leads us to obsei-ve
when he says that " Solomon thrust out Abiathar
from being priest unto the Lord, that he might
fulfil the word of the Lord which He spake con-
cerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.*^ See dso Joseph.
Ant. ^ii. 1, §§3, 4. [A. C H.]

A'BLB. [MosTHS.]

AEI'DAH and ABI'DA (VTIX ; 'A$eidd ;

• Ainda), a son of Midian (Gen. xrr. 4 ; 1 Chr.
i. 33). . [E. S. P.]

A'BIDAjST (tTa^5; 'h^Mv; Abidaa), chief
of the tribe of Benjamin at the time of the Exodus
(Xum. i. 11, ii. Tl, vii. 60, 65, s. 24).

ATBIEL (^NnK ; 'Aj3i^\; AhieT). 1. The

father of lush, and consequently grandfather of Saul
(1 Sam. ix. 1), as well as of Abner, Saul's com-
mander-in-chief (1 Sam. xiv, 51). In the genealogy
in 1 Ghr. viii. 33, \x. o9, Ner is made the father of
Kish, and the name of Abiel is omitted , but the
coiTect genealogy according to Samuel is : —
* Abiel





2. Oae of David's 30 "mighty men" (1 Chi-,
xi. 32); called in 2 Sam. xxiii. 31, Abi-Albon, a
name which has the same meaning. [R. W, B.]

ABIE'ZER ("iry ^n«, father of help ; 'A0i-
efep, 'le^ ; familia Ezri, dom"S Abiezer).
1. Eldest son of Gilead, and descendant of ilachir
and ^fanasseh, and apparently at one time the lead-
ing'&mily of the tribe (Josh. xvii. 2 ; Sum. xxvi.
30, where the name is given in the contracted
form of "ITV^N, Jeezer). In the genealogies of
Chronicles, Abiezer is, in the present state of the
text, said to have sprung from the sister of Gilead
(1 Chr. vii. 18;. Originally, therefore, the family
was with the rest of the house of Gilead on the
east of Jordan ; but when first met with in the
history, some part at least of it had crossed the
Jordan gnd established itself at Ophrah, a place
which, though not yet identified, must have been
on the hills which overlook from the south the
wide plain of Esdraelon, the field of so many of the
battles of Palestine (Stanley, 246-7 ; Judg.Vi. 34).
Here, when the fortunes of his &mily wi-re at the
lowest — " my * thousand' is ' the poor one ' in 5Ia-
nasseh " (vi. 15^ — was bom the gi-eat Judge Gideon,
destined to raise his own house to almost royal dignity
(Stanley, 229 ), and to achieve for bis country one of
the most si^rnal deliverances recorded in their whole


histoiy. [GiDEOX; Opheah.] The name occui-s,
in addition to the passages above quoted, in Judg. vi.
34, viii. 2 ; and in an adjectival form (HTJ^n OS,
"the Abiezrito") in Judg. vi. 11, 24, viii. 32.

2. One of David's " mighty men " (2 Sam. xxiii.
27 ; 1 Chr. xi. 28, xivii. 12). [G.]

AB'IGAIL (b'-aUX, or ^V?^2; 'A^iyaia;
Abigail). 1. The beautiful wife of Nabal, a wealthy
owner of goats and sheep in Caiinel. When David's
messengei-s were slighted by Xabal, Abigail took the
blame upon herself, supplied David and his follow-
ers with provisions, and succeeded in appeasing his

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