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Ahimaaz

AHIMAAZ

AHIMAAZ (Heb. אֲחִימַעַץ; "the [or my] brother is counselor[?]"), name of three biblical personalities.

(1) Father-in-law of King Saul (i Sam. 14:50).

(2) Son of the priest *Zadok. When David fled Jerusalem because of the revolt of *Absalom, Ahimaaz, together with Jonathan, the son of David's other priest Abiathar, remained just outside the city. A messenger of their fathers delivered information about the rebels' plans to them, which they conveyed to David (ii Sam. 15:27–36; 17:15–22). Later, being a swift runner, he overtook and passed the messenger who was to report the outcome of the battle with Absalom to David. He thus reported the defeat of the rebels, but left to the messenger the unenviable task of informing the king that Absalom had been killed (ibid. 18:19–32).

(3) A son-in-law of Solomon, his prefect over the district of Naphtali (i Kings 4:15). Some identify him with Ahimaaz the son of Zadok (above). If that conjecture is correct, it is likely that his prefectship was bestowed on him because he was debarred from the priesthood, possibly because of a defect acquired in combat. According to i Chronicles 5:34–36, Azariah the great-grandson of Ahimaaz succeeded Zadok as a priest in Solomon's Temple, but it seems that the verses are corrupt and this Azariah is Ahimaaz' son. The name Ahimaaz probably also appears on a signet ring discovered at Tell Zakariyeh (ancient Azekah). It has not been satisfactorily explained. The name Maaz occurs in i Chronicles 2:27.

bibliography:

M.Z. Segal, Sifrei Shemu'el (1956), index, s.v.; Katzenstein, in: jbl, 31 (1962), 311 ff.; Diringer, Iscrizioni, 120–1. add. bibliography: H. Tawil, in: Beit Mikra, 44 (1999), 372–84.

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