AMASAI (a-măs'ā-ī)

Chief of the captains and spokesman for some men of Benjamin and Judah who joined David at his stronghold at Ziklag. The Spirit came on Amasai, whereupon Amasai assured David of their loyalty to him (1Chr.12.18).A trumpeter among the priests in the procession bringing the ark to Jerusalem during the reign of David (1Chr.15.24).Father of Mahath, one of several Levites who sanctified themselves for the repairing of the temple during the time of Hezekiah (2Chr.29.12). Possibly identified with “Mahath, the son of Amasai, the son of Elkanah” in 1Chr.6.35-1Chr.6.36, which would make him a Levite in the line of Kohath and progenitor of Samuel. See also 1Chr.6.25.

AMASAI ə mā’ sī (עֲמָשַׂ֡י). 1. A descendant of Kohath, the son of Levi, by Elkanah (1 Chron 6:25). Somehow he also is linked with the genealogy of Heman the singer in 1 Chronicles 6:35 and thus is the father of Mahath.

2. One of the priests appointed by David to “blow the trumpets before the ark of God” (1 Chron 15:24).

3. The father of Mahath a Levite who served in the time of Hezekiah’s revival (2 Chron 29:12). Since Amasai ben Elkanah also has a son named Mahath (1 Chron 6:35) it might appear that they are the same persons except for the fact that the two references given in 1 Chronicles 6 refer to men serving during the time of Solomon rather than the times of Hezekiah given here.

4. The “chief of the captains” (i.e., the Thirty, David’s military elite, 1 Chron 12:18) who met him at Ziklag. Some identify him with Amasa, Absalom’s “captain of the host” (2 Sam 17:25) and others with Abishai, the brother of Joab (1 Chron 11:20; cf. 2 Sam 23:18; 1 Chron 2:16; 18:12). The problem remains, however, in that none of the three (Amasai, Amasa, or Abishai) appear in the lists of the Thirty given in 2 Samuel 23 and 1 Chronicles 11.


E. L. Curtis and A. A. Madsen, ICC, Chronicles (1952), 189, 199.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(`amasay, perhaps rather to be read `ammishay; so Wellhausen, IJG, II, 24, n.2):

(1) A name in the genealogy of Kohath, son of Elkanah, a Levite of the Kohathite family (compare 1Ch 6:25; 2Ch 29:12).

(2) Chief of the captains who met David at Ziklag and tendered him their allegiance. Some have identified him with Amasa and others with Abishai, who is called Abshai in 1Ch 11:20 m (compare 1Ch 18:12). The difficulty is that neither Amasa nor Abishai occupied the rank of the chief of thirty according to the lists in 2Sa 23 and 1Ch 11, the rank to which David is supposed to have appointed into (compare 1Ch 12:18).

(3) One of the trumpet-blowing priests who greeted David when he brought back the Ark of the Covenant (compare 1Ch 15:24).