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Ahitub

AHITUB

AHITUB (Heb. אֲחִיטוּב, אֲחִטוּב; "the [my] (divine) brother is good"), priest, son of Phinehas, the son of *Eli; brother of Ichabod and father of Ahimelech and Ahijah, who lived during Saul's reign (i Sam. 14:3; 22:9, 11–12, 20). The Bible gives no details about Ahitub, and it is not clear whether he survived the destruction of Shiloh and continued to officiate as priest or died together with his family in the war against the Philistines (cf. Ps. 78:64). Some scholars assume that Ahitub settled in Nob, made it a priestly town, and officiated there over 85 priests (i Sam. 22:18) until his son *Ahimelech succeeded him. In ii Samuel 8:17 and i Chronicles 18:16 he is named as father of *Zadok, but this may be an attempt to link the priestly Zadokite line with the legitimate Aaronide line of Shiloh (cf. i Chron. 5:33–34; 6:37–38). It is doubtful, however, whether the Ahitub mentioned in the line of priests (ibid. 5:37–38; 9:11) refers to the same man. In the last cited verse he is called "the ruler [nagid] of the House of God."

The name Aḥṭb is found in an ancient Egyptian inscription (12–18 dynasties); Ahūṭāb and Ahūṭābū appear in Akkadian; and Ahūṭāb on an Elephantine ostracon.

bibliography:

de Vaux, Anc Isr, 127–8, 372–5; Yeivin, in: Sefer Dinaburg (1949), 45 ff.; em, 1 (1965), 215–6 (incl. bibl.). add. bibliography: S. Japhet, i & ii Chronicles (1993), 351–52.

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