KISH (Heb. קִיש), Benjaminite from Gibeah, father of King Saul. He is variously described as the son of Abiel (i Sam. 9:1), Jeiel (i Chron. 9:35), and Ner (i Chron. 8:33; 9:39). In i Chronicles 9:35 Jeiel is the keri for the ketiv Jeuel, the latter having the same vowel points as Abiel, indicating either Jeiel or Abiel. The correct reading is probably Abiel (cf. i Sam. 9:1). According to i Samuel 14:50–51, Ner is not the father of Kish but his brother, which agrees with i Chronicles 9:36 where Kish is mentioned before Ner, implying that Kish was the older brother of Ner. The Bible does not say very much about Kish, except that he was a man of wealth, possessing servants and asses (i Sam. 9:1–3). Saul is mentioned as "the son of Kish" in i Samuel 10:11, among other places. The sepulcher of Kish was at Zela, in the country of Benjamin (ii Sam. 21:14), which was probably the landed property of his family. Both Saul and his son Jonathan were to be buried at this place (ii Sam. 21:14).
The Akkadian adjective qīšu, "given as a present," "granted" (derived from the verb qâšu, "to deed," "grant") is attested in Akkadian personal names and provides a good etymology for the biblical name.
cad k, 280; D. Edelman, in: abd, 4:85–87.