(’abhiyam, "father of sea," or, "father of west"). The name given in Kings (
The name has puzzled scholars. Some have proposed, by adding one letter, to change it into "father of his people." Others have observed that the Greek rendering in Kings is Abeiou. Either the Hebrew copy used by the Greek translator read ’abhiyahu, Abijah, or else the translator substituted the form of the name which was to him more familiar. A few existing copies of the Hebrew have the reading Abijah, and
Exploration has revealed the fact that the whole region near the eastern end of the Mediterranean was known as "the west." "Father of the west" is not an inapt name for Rehoboam to give to the boy who, he expects, will inherit the kingdom of Solomon and David. The effect of the secession of the ten tribes was to make that name a burlesque, and one does not wonder that it was superseded by Abijah, "My father is Yahweh."
Willis J. Beecher