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While David was in exile at Mahanaim, Barzillai provided him with food. After the rebellion had been quelled David invited Barzillai to be his guest at Jerusalem. Barzillai declined but sent Chimham instead. Apparently David granted Chimham a royal pension (1 Kings 2:7)—maybe even a piece of land near Bethlehem (Jer 41:17), because four centuries later Johanan ben Kareah and his band encamped at גֵּר֣וּת כְמוֹהֶם “the lodging (-place) of Chimham” (“Chimham’s Inn,” Am. Trans.; “the sheepfolds of Kimham,” Moffat).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(kimham (2Sa 19:37,38) or kimhan (2Sa 19:40) or kemohem (Jer 41:17 Kt.); this reading, however, may probably be safely ignored): One of the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, who supported David while the latter was in exile in Mahanaim (2Sa 19:37). After the death of Absalom, Barzillai was invited to spend the remainder of his life with the king; but he refused, and sent his son Chimham in his stead. From the mention of "the habitation of Chimham, which is by Beth-lehem" (Jer 41:17 the King James Version), it has been inferred that Chimham received a grant of land from David’s patrimony at Bethlehem, which retained his name for at least four centuries. It has been suggested that his name was probably Ahinoam (’achino`am).

Horace J. Wolf

See also

  • Geruth Kimham