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ABINADAB (a-bĭn'a-dăb, Heb. ’ăvînādhāv, the father is generous)

ABINADAB ə bĭn’ ə dăb (אֲבִ֣ינָדָ֔ב, my [the] father is generous [noble] or father of generosity [nobility]). 1. The second of Jesse’s eight sons (1 Sam 16:8; 1 Chron 2:13). When Goliath challenged the Israelites in the Valley of Elah and was killed by David, Abinadab, Eliab, and Shamma were in Saul’s army (1 Sam 17:13ff.).

2. One of the sons of Saul who died with his father and his two brothers on Mt. Gilboa in battle with the Philistines (1 Sam 31:2; 1 Chron 8:33; 9:39; 10:2).

3. The father of Eleazar, Ahio, and Uzzah at whose place on a hill at Kiriath-jearim the Ark remained after it was returned from the Philistines in the days of Samuel. Eleazar was chosen by the city fathers to have charge of the Ark. Uzzah and Ahio were among those who assisted David in his first attempt to bring the Ark to Jerusalem. Uzzah put his hand on the Ark to steady it when the oxen stumbled, and immediately died for his breach of the law of the Ark (2 Sam 6:6, 7).

4. The father of one of Solomon’s sons-in-law (1 Kings 4:11). Some scholars suggest that Ben-abinadab should be translated as a personal name rather than as son (ben) of Abinadab (see RSV). Ben-abinadab was married to Solomon’s daughter Taphath. He was in charge of Naphath-dor between Philistia and Phoenicia.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(’abhinadhabh, "father of willingness," or, "my father is willing." This is according to the ordinary usage of the second word in the name--"willing" rather than "munificent" or "noble"):

(1) The man in whose house the men of Kiriath-jearim placed the ark, after its return from the land of the Philistines, his house being either in Gibeah of Benjamin or "in the hill" (1Sa 7:1; 2Sa 6:3,4). To account for the ambiguity note that gibh`ah means hill, and that the place-name Gibeah ordinarily has the definite article. It is natural to think that Abinadab was himself a man of Kiriath-jearim, though the account does not explicitly say so. The record is that the men of Kiriath-jearim were summoned to take charge of the ark at a time when no one else dared to have it (1Sa 6:20,21); and the implication seems to be that they had no option to refuse. Possibly this was due to their being Gibeonites, and hereditary "bondmen" of "the house of my God" (Jos 9:17,23). However this may be, they "sanctified" Abinadab’s son Eleazar to have charge of the ark. According to the Hebrew and some of the Greek copies, the ark was in Gibeah in the middle of the reign of King Saul (1Sa 14:18).

About a century later, according to the Bible numbers, David went with great pomp to Kiriath-jearim, otherwise known as Baalah or Baale-judah, to bring the ark from Kiriath-jearim, out of the house of Abinadab in the hill (or, in Gibeah), and place it in Jerusalem (1Ch 13; 2Sa 6). The new cart was driven by two descendants of Abinadab. There may or may not have been another Abinadab then living, the head of the house.

(2) The second of the eight sons of Jesse, one of the three who were in Saul’s army when Goliath gave his challenge (1Sa 16:8; 17:13; 1Ch 2:13).

(3) One of the sons of King Saul (1Ch 8:33; 9:39; 10:2; 1Sa 31:2). He died in the battle of Gilboa, along with his father and brothers.

(4) In 1Ki 4:11 the King James Version has "the son of Abinadab," where the Revised Version (British and American) has BEN-ABINADAB, which see.

Willis J. Beecher

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