Abiathar

Abiathar (אביתר, Ebyathar, Evyatar, "the [divine] father is pre-eminent"), in the Bible, son of Achimelech or Ahijah, priest at Nob, the fourth in descent from Eli. The only one of the priests to escape from Saul's massacre, he fled to David at Keilah, taking with him the ephod (1 Sam. xxii. 20 f., xxiii. 6, 9). He was of great service to David, especially at the time of the rebellion of Absalom (2 Sam. xv. 24, 29, 35, xx. 25). In 1 Kings iv. 4 Zadok and Abiathar are found acting together as priests under Solomon. In 1 Kings i. 7, 19, 25, however, Abiathar appears as a supporter of Adonijah, and in ii. 22 and 26 it is said that he was deposed by Solomon and banished to Anathoth. In 2 Sam. viii. 17 "Abiathar, the son of Achimelech" should be read, with the Syriac, for "Achimelech, the son of Abiathar." For a similar confusion see Gospel of Mark ii. 26.

When his father was slain with the priests of Nob, he escaped, and bearing with him the ephod, he joined David, who was then in the cave of Adullam (1 Sam. 22:20-23; 23:6). He remained with David, and became priest of the party of which he was the leader (1 Sam. 30:7).

When David ascended the throne of Judah, Abiathar was appointed high priest (1 Chr. 15:11; 1 Kings 2:26) and the "king's counselor" (1 Chr. 27:33-34). Meanwhile Zadok, of the house of Eleazar, had been made high priest.

These appointments continued in force till the end of David's reign (1 Kings 4:4). Abiathar was deposed (the sole historical instance of the deposition of a high priest) and banished to his home at Anathoth by Solomon, because he took part in the attempt to raise Adonijah to the throne. The priesthood thus passed from the house of Ithamar (1 Sam. 2:30-36; 1 Kings 1:19; 2:26, 27). Zadok now became sole high priest. In Mark 2:26, reference is made to an occurrence in "the days of Abiathar the high priest." But from 1 Sam. 22, we learn explicitly that this event took place when Achimelech, the father of Abiathar, was high priest. The apparent discrepancy is satisfactorily explained by interpreting the words in Mark as referring to the life-time of Abiathar, and not to the term of his holding the office of high priest. It is not implied in Mark that he was actual high priest at the time referred to. Others, however, think that the loaves belonged to Abiathar, who was at that time (Lev. 24:9) a priest, and that he either himself gave them to David, or persuaded his father to give them.

Other Spellings

*Ebyathar
*Evyatar
*Ebjatar

succession
office = High Priest of Israel
preceded = Ahimelech
succeeded = Zadok

References

*1911


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  • ABIATHAR — (Heb. אֶבְיָתָר; the divine father excels ), son of ahimelech son of Ahitub of the priestly house of Eli of Shiloh (I Sam. 22:20 ff.). Abiathar was one of David s two chief priests. When the priests of the village of Nob were massacred by order… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Abiathar — • Hebrew ebhyathar, Father of plenty, or, the great one is father Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Abiathar     Abiathar     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Abiathar — était un Grand Prêtre des Israélites, fils et successeur d Achimélech. Il s attacha à David, fut persécuté par Saül, et privé du sacerdoce par Salomon, parce qu il favorisait le parti d Adonias. Il est cité dans l évangile de Marc (2,23 28).… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Abiathar —    Father of abundance, or my father excels, the son of Ahimelech the high priest. He was the tenth high priest, and the fourth in descent from Eli. When his father was slain with the priests of Nob, he escaped, and bearing with him the ephod, he …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Abiathar — A priest in the army of King David (2 Sam. 20:25), who later supported Adonijah s unsuccessful bid for the throne against Solomon. The king (Solomon) banished Abiathar to his estate at Anathoth (1 Kgs. 2:26–7). Jeremiah (Jer. 1:1) may have been a …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • Abiathar — /euh buy euh theuhr/, n. a priest of Israel and a companion of David. I Sam. 22:20; II Sam. 15:24 36. * * * ▪ biblical figure       in the Old Testament, son of Ahimelech, priest of Nob. He was the sole survivor of a massacre carried out by Doeg …   Universalium

  • Abiathar — (fl. 11th 10th cent, BCE)    Israelite, chief priest at Nob. He was loyal to David during Absalom s unsuccessful rebellion. At the end of David s reign he supported Adonijah s claim to become king in opposition to Solomon. Solomon later banished… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Abiathar — /euh buy euh theuhr/, n. a priest of Israel and a companion of David. I Sam. 22:20; II Sam. 15:24 36 …   Useful english dictionary

  • ABIATHAR BEN ELIJAH HA-KOHEN — (C. 1040–1110), last of the Palestinian geonim. Abiathar studied under his father ELIJAH B. SOLOMON, president of the Palestinian academy, from 1062 to 1083. A responsum of Elijah addressed to Meshullam b. Moses of Mainz in 1070 was signed also… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Abiathar Crescas — was a 15th century Jewish physician and astrologer in the kingdom of Aragon (now part of Spain). He was head astrologer to King John of Aragon, father of King Ferdinand of Aragon. Crescas was a very prominent Jewish figure in Aragon. He could… …   Wikipedia

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