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ITTAI (Heb. אִתַּי), name of two biblical figures. The etymology of the name is uncertain.

(1) The Gittite, i.e., the man of Gath, leader of a unit of six hundred Gittite mercenaries in David's service. He is specifically referred to as a "foreigner" in ii Samuel 15:19, but swears fealty to David in words reminiscent of Ruth's pledge to Naomi. He and his unit joined David on his flight from Jerusalem on the outbreak of Absalom's rebellion (ii Sam. 15: 18–23), and in the battle with the rebels he commanded one of the three divisions in which David's forces were grouped (ii Sam. 18:2, 5).

(2) Also called Ithai (אִיתַי – i Chron. 11:31), son of Ribai of Gibeah, of the tribe of Benjamin and one of David's thirty "mighty men" (ii Sam. 23:29; i Chron. 1:31).


Maisler (Mazar), in: bjpes, 13 (1947), 112; Yeivin, in: Y. Liver (ed.), Historyah Ẓeva'it shel Ereẓ Yisrael … (1964), 161–2. add. bibliography: C. Ehrlich, in: abd, 3, 583.

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