Ahab

Ahab

Ahab (or Ach'av or Hebrew Name|אַחְאָב|Aḥʼav|ʼAḥăʼāḇ, ʼAḫʼāḇ|"Brother of the father") was king of Israel and the son and successor of Omri ("1 Kings" 16:29-34). William F. Albright dated his reign to 869 BC-850 BC, while E. R. Thiele offered the dates 874 BC-853 BC.

Biography

He married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ithobaal I of Tyre, and the alliance was doubtless the means of procurin. During Ahab's reign, Moab, which had been conquered by his father, remained tributary; Judah, with whose king, Jehoshaphat, he was allied by marriage, was probably his vassal; only with Aram Damascus is he said to have had strained relations.

The one event mentioned by external sources is the Battle of Qarqar (perhaps at Apamea), where Shalmaneser III of Assyria fought a great confederation of princes from Cilicia, Northern Syria, Israel, Ammon and the tribes of the Syrian desert (853 BC). Here Ahab ("A-ha-ab-bu mat") ("Adad-'idri"), Ahab's contribution being reckoned at 2,000 chariots and 10,000 men. The numbers are comparatively large and possibly include forces from Tyre, Judah, Edom and Moab. The Assyrian king claimed a victory, but his immediate return and subsequent expeditions in 849 BC and 846 BC against a similar but unspecified coalition seem to show that he met with no lasting success. According to the Tanakh, however, Ahab with 7,000 troops had previously overthrown Ben-hadad and his thirty-two kings, who had come to lay siege to Samaria, and in the following year obtained a decisive victory over him at Aphek, probably in the plain of Sharon at Antipatris ("1 Kings" 20). A treaty was made whereby Ben-hadad restored the cities which his father had taken from Ahab's father (that is, Omri, but see 15:20, "2 Kings" 13:25), and trading facilities between Damascus and Samaria were granted.

A late popular story (20:35-42, akin in tone to 12:33-13:34) condemned Ahab for his leniency and foretold the destruction of the king and his land. Three years later, war broke out on the east of the Jordan River, and Ahab with Jehoshaphat of Judah went to recover Ramoth-Gilead and was mortally wounded (ch. 22). He was succeeded by his sons (Ahaziah and Jehoram).

It is very difficult to obtain any clear idea of the order of these events (the Septuagint places "1 Kings" 21 immediately after 19). How the hostile kings of Israel and Syria came to fight a common enemy, and how to correlate the Assyrian and Biblical records, are questions which have perplexed all recent writers. The reality of the difficulties will be apparent from the fact that it has been suggested that the Assyrian scribe wrote "Ahab" for his son "Jehoram", and that the very identification of the name with Ahab of Israel has been questioned.

Legacy

While the above passages from "1 Kings" view Ahab not unfavourably, there are others which are less friendly. The murder of Naboth (see Jezebel), an act of royal encroachment, stirred up popular resentment just as the new cult aroused the opposition of certain of the prophets. Indeed, he is referred to, for this and other things as being "more evil than all the kings before him".The latter found their champion in Elijah, whose history reflects the prophetic teaching of more than one age. His denunciation of the royal dynasty, and his emphatic insistence on the worship of Yahweh and Him alone, form the key note to a period which culminated in the accession of Jehu, an event in which Elijah's chosen disciple Elisha was the leading figure.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • AHAB — (Heb. אַחְאָב; paternal uncle ), son of omri and king of Israel (I Kings 16:29–22:40). Ahab reigned over the Israelite kingdom in Samaria for 22 years (c. 874–852 B.C.E.). Foreign Affairs Ahab continued his father s policy in the cultivation of… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • AHAB — Datos generales Origen Alemania Estado Activo Información artística Género(s) …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ahab — Ahab, 1) Sohn Omri s, folgte diesem 918 v. Chr. als König in Israel; durch seine Gemahlin Isebel zum Götzendienst verleitet, verfolgte er die Priester der Landesreligion u. Propheten, weswegen ihm Elias ernste Strafpredigten hielt. Er führte… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Ahab — (hebr., »Vatersbruder«), König von Israel, Sohn des Omri, 918–897, nach neuerer Annahme 874–853 v. Chr., behauptete die von seinem Vater erworbene Machtstellung. Mit Phönikien stand er in freundschaftlicher Verbindung und vermählte sich mit… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ahâb — Ahâb, König von Israel, um 900 v. Chr., durch seine Gemahlin Isebel Anbeter Baals und Verfolger der Jehovapropheten (Elias), fiel vor Rama in Gilead gegen Benhadad von Syrien; seine Familie rottete Jehu aus …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ahab — Ahab, König über Israel 918–897 v. Chr., vorzüglich durch seine phönic. Gemahlin Jesabel zum Götzendienste, zur Verfolgung der Propheten und Naboths Mord verleitet. Er wurde in einer Schlacht gegen den Syrer Benhadad tödtlich verwundet, sein Haus …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Ahab — [ā′hab΄] n. [Heb ach’av, lit., father s brother] Bible a wicked king of Israel of the 9th cent. B.C.: husband of Jezebel: 1 Kings 16:29 22:40 …   English World dictionary

  • AHAB — (Heb. אַחְאָב), son of Kolaiah, a false prophet in Babylon. He was among the persons exiled from Judah to Babylonia by Nebuchadnezzar together with King Joiachin. He and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah purported to be prophets and stirred up unrest… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Ahab — /ay hab/, n. 1. a king of Israel and husband of Jezebel, reigned 874? 853? B.C. I Kings 16 22. 2. captain of the ship Pequod and tragic hero of Melville s Moby Dick, obsessed with the pursuit of the white whale. * * * flourished 9th century BC… …   Universalium

  • Ahab — Den Namen Ahab tragen mehrere Personen: König Ahab von Israel, siehe: Ahab (König) ein Prophet aus dem Buch Jeremia, siehe: Ahab (Prophet) Kapitän Ahab aus Herman Melvilles Roman Moby Dick eine deutsche Doom Metal Band, siehe Ahab (Band) Siehe… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.