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 of Saul because they had aided David, Abiathar alone escaped. He then reported the massacre to David, who asked him to join him as his priest. He brought with him an ephod, which was used by the priests as an oracle. David twice asked Abiathar to use the ephod to ascertain God's command (I Sam. 23:6, 9 ff.; 30:7 ff.). When David became king, Abiathar's line was established as the priestly line of the royal court along with Zadok's (II Sam. 8:17). It has been suggested, therefore, that the listing of Ahimelech (Abimelech) son of Abiathar as David's priest (II Sam. 8:17; I Chron. 18:16) should be emended to read Abiathar son of Ahimelech, as in the Syriac version. During absalom 's revolt David was forced to leave Jerusalem, but he sent Abiathar and Zadok there to inform him of the happenings in Absalom's court (II Sam. 15:25, 34 ff.). There they had freedom of movement and thus were able to deliver messages to David about the rebel's intrigues (II Sam. 17:15). Abiathar carried David's message of reconciliation to Amasa and the elders of Judah (II Sam. 19:12) and also served as David's counselor (II Sam. 15:27, 29; 17:15 ff.; 19:12 ff.; I Chron. 27:33–34). During the struggle for succession to David's throne, Abiathar supported Adonijah (I Kings 1:7); hence Solomon, who was anointed by Zadok, banished Abiathar and his descendants to Anathoth and took away his privileges to act as priest in Jerusalem (I Kings 1:19, 25; 2:22, 26, 35). The prophet Jeremiah was descended from the priests of Anathoth and Jeremiah may have been a descendant of Abiathar (Jer. 1:1). -In the Aggadah Abiathar was indirectly responsible for the continuation of the line of David. Had Abiathar not been saved from the massacre of the priests of Nob, there would have been no jehoiada to save the sole survivor of the Davidic line from the massacre instigated by athaliah (Sanh. 95b). Abiathar's replacement by Zadok as high priest is explained by the fact that the Urim and Thummim would not answer him when he consulted them (Sot. 48b). The Zohar (I 63b) illustrates his straitened circumstances   thereafter (cf. I Kings 2:26) by the comment: "He who during David's lifetime lived in affluence and wealth, was reduced by Solomon to poverty." -BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Cogan, I Kings (AB) (2000), 177–78.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • 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,… …   Wikipedia

  • 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 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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