1. Called, in Lu 1:5, Abia; founder of a family among the posterity of Aaron. When David divided the priests into twenty-four courses, to perform the temple-service, in turn, the eighth class was called after him, 1Ch 24:10. To this class of course Zacharias belonged.
2. Son of Jeroboam, the first king of Israel. He died young, and much beloved and lamented, for in him there was found some good thing towards the Lord, 1Ki 14:1-18.
3. Son of Rehoboam, the first king of Judah; called in, 1Ki 22:53, Abijam. He came to the throne A.M. 3046, and reigned only three years. In war with Jeroboam he gained a signal victory, 2Ch 13; yet he followed the evil example of his father. His mother Maachah, or Michaiah, was probably the granddaughter of Absalom, 1Ki 15:2; 2Ch 11:20; 13:2.
4. The mother of King Hezekiah, 2Ch 29:1.
father (i.e., "possessor or worshipper") of Jehovah.
(1.) 1Ch 7:8.
(2.) 1Ch 2:24.
(3.) The second son of Samuel (1Sa 8:2; 1Ch 6:28). His conduct, along with that of his brother, as a judge in Beer-sheba, to which office his father had appointed him, led to popular discontent, and ultimately provoked the people to demand a royal form of government.
(4.) A descendant of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, a chief of one of the twenty-four orders into which the priesthood was divided by David (1Ch 24:10). The order of Abijah was one of those which did not return from the Captivity (Ezr 2:36-39; Ne 7:39-42; 12:1).
(5.) The son of Rehoboam, whom he succeeded on the throne of Judah (1Ch 3:10). He is also called Abijam (1Ki 14:31; 15:1-8). He began his three years' reign (2Ch 12:16-13:1; 13:2) with a strenuous but unsuccessful effort to bring back the ten tribes to their allegiance. His address to "Jeroboam and all Israel," before encountering them in battle, is worthy of being specially noticed (2Ch 13:5-12). It was a very bloody battle, no fewer than 500,000 of the army of Israel having perished on the field. He is described as having walked "in all the sins of his father" (1Ki 15:3; 2Ch 11:20-22). It is said in 1Ki 15:2 that "his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom;" but in 2Ch 13:2 we read, "his mother's name was Michaiah, the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah." The explanation is that Maachah is just a variation of the name Michaiah, and that Abishalom is probably the same as Absalom, the son of David. It is probable that "Uriel of Gibeah" married Tamar, the daughter of Absalom (2Sa 14:27), and by her had Maachah. The word "daughter" in 1Ki 15:2 will thus, as it frequently elsewhere does, mean grand-daughter.
(6.) A son of Jeroboam, the first king of Israel. On account of his severe illness when a youth, his father sent his wife to consult the prophet Ahijah regarding his recovery. The prophet, though blind with old age, knew the wife of Jeroboam as soon as she approached, and under a divine impulse he announced to her that inasmuch as in Abijah alone of all the house of Jeroboam there was found "some good thing toward the Lord," he only would come to his grave in peace. As his mother crossed the threshold of the door on her return, the youth died, and "all Israel mourned for him" (1Ki 14:1-18).
(8.) One of the sons of Becher, the son of Benjamin (1Ch 7:8). "Abiah," A.V.
("father of Jehovah," i.e. one whose will is that of God), or ABIJAM 1Ki 15:1; 2Ch 13:1 (called Abijah in Chronicles, not in Kings, because in the former his character is not represented as contrary to Jah's will, as it is in the latter; Abia in Mt 1:7).
1. Son and successor of Rehoboam, king of Judah (Clinton, 959 s.c.; Hales, 973); in the 18th year of Jeroboam I of Israel (1Ki 14:31; 2Ch 12:16). He endeavored to recover the ten tribes to Judah, and made war on Jeroboam. His speech on mount Zemaraim in mount Ephraim, before the battle, urged on Jeroboam the justice of his cause, that God had given the kingdom to David and his sons forever "by a covenant of salt," and that Judah had the regular temple service and priesthood, whereas Israel had made golden calves their idols, and had cast out the priests; therefore "fight not ye against the Lord God of your fathers, for ye shall not prosper" (2 Chronicles 13).
Judah's appeal to God, in a crisis of the battle, when the enemy by an ambushment was both before and behind them, brought victory to their side; they took also Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephraim. 400,000 men are assigned to Abijah's army, 800,000 to Jeroboam's, of whom 500,000 fell. Kennicott thinks the numbers an error of transcribers for 40,000, 80,000, 50,000; and so Abarbanel. Elated by success, he multiplied his wives, like Solomon, and by his 14 wives had 22 sons and 16 daughters. Prosperity tempted him into the wickedness which is attributed to him in Kings; men may boast of temple privileges, yet love carnal practices (Jer 7:4-5). His reign lasted three years. His mother was Maachah (1Ki 15:2), or Michaiah (2Ch 13:2), doubtless named from her grandmother, Absalom's mother (2Sa 3:3). She was daughter of Uriel, of Gibeah, and granddaughter of Abishalom, or Absalom (1Ch 11:20). "Daughter" in Scripture often means granddaughter, a generation being skipped. Abijah thus was descended from David on both father's and mother's side. Uriel had married Tamar, Absalom's beautiful daughter (2Sa 14:27).
2. Son of Jeroboam I, "in whom alone of Jeroboam's house some good thing was found toward the Lord God of Israel" (1Ki 14:13); therefore, he alone was permitted to go down to the grave in peace. Jeroboam had sent his wife in disguise with a present to the prophet (See AHIJAH (see). Blind with age, he yet knew her and announced the tidings, sad to her but honoring to her son. So Abijah died, and "all Israel mourned for him."
3. 1Ch 24:10. Only four returned of the 24 courses of the priesthood, of which Abijah's course was not one (Ezr 2:36-39; Ne 7:39-42; 12:1). But the four were divided into the original 24, with the original names. Hence, Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, is described as "of the course of Abia" (Lu 1:5).
4. Wife of Ahaz, and mother of good Hezekiah; perhaps a descendant of the Zechariah slain between the temple and the altar (2Ch 24:21; 26:5; 29:1); certainly daughter of Zechariah, probably the one through whom Uzziah sought God.
1. Son and successor of Rehoboam (2Ch 13:1), also called Abijam (1Ki 14:31). The accounts of him in the Books of Kings and Chronicles are discrepant. The difference begins with the name of his mother, which 2 Ch. gives as Micaiah, daughter of Uriel of Gibeah, while 1Kings. makes her to have been Maacah, daughter of Abishalom. As the latter is also the name of Asa's mother (1Ki 15:10; 2Ch 15:16), there is probably some confusion in the text. Beyond this, the Book of Kings tells us only that he reigned three years, that he walked in the sins of his father, and that he had war with Jeroboam, king of Israel. 2. Samuel's second son (1Sa 8:2). The RV retains the spelling Abiah in 1Ch 6:28. 3. A son of Jeroboam I. who died in childhood (1Ki 14). 4. One of the 'heads of fathers' houses' of the sons of Eleazar, who gave his name to the 8th of the 24 courses of priests (1Ch 24:3,10; 2Ch 8:14). To this course Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, belonged (Lu 1:5). The name occurs also in the lists of priests who 'went up with Zerubbabel' (Ne 12:4), and of those who 'sealed unto the covenant' in the time of Nehemiah (Ne 10:7). 5. A son of Becher, son of Benjamin, 1Ch 7:8. 6. Wife of Hezron, eldest son of Perez, son of Judah, 1Ch 2:24, RV Abiah. 7. Wife of Ahaz, and mother of Hezekiah (2Ch 29:1), named Abi in 2Ki 18:2.
H. P. Smith.
1. Son and successor of Rehoboam, king of Judah. He began to reign in the eighteenth year of Jeroboam, king of Israel (B.C. 958) and reigned three years. He walked in the sin of his father Rehoboam, but for David's sake he was placed on the throne, that, as Jehovah had said, David might have 'a light alway before me in Jerusalem.' 1Ki 11:36; 15:4. "There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam," and Abijah by a patriotic address to Israel sought to recover the ten tribes. This could not be; for the rupture in the kingdom had been brought about by God on account of their wickedness. Nevertheless Abijah trusted in Jehovah while he did not fail to rebuke Israel touching the golden calves they had erected. God smote Jeroboam and all Israel, and there fell 500,000 chosen men of Israel. Abijah also took the cities of Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephrain; and Jeroboam was not able to recover strength all the days of Abijah. 2 Chr. 13. In the above war Israel had 800,000 chosen men, and Judah 400,000. These numbers, together with the number slain, have been much called in question by critics, who say they ought to be 80,000 and 40,000, and 50,000 slain; which numbers are to be found in some of the early Latin copies and also in some early copies of Josephus. But the numbers in the Hebrew scriptures must have the preference: and what is there improbable in the numbers when we compare them with the number of men 'that drew sword' when David last numbered the people? 1Ch 21:5. Israel had 1,100,000; Judah had 470,000 and this was without Levi and Benjamin, who were not counted. This was about fifty years before the battle, ample time (notwithstanding the loss at the pestilence that followed the numbering) for a large increase. In 2Sa 24:9, the number of fighting men in Israel is given as only 800,000. It is supposed that this does not include the standing army, which according to 1Ch 27:1, amounted to 24,000 x12 = 288,000, which with its officers would be about 300,000, and this added to 800,000 = 1,100,000. On the other hand, the fighting men of Judah are in Samuel said to be 500,000. David may have had 30,000 with him at Jerusalem, from whence Joab went out, which may be here included, but which are not included in 1Ch 21:5.
2. Son of Jeroboam I., king of Israel. His mother disguised herself and went to Ahijah the prophet to inquire whether her child should recover from his sickness. Jehovah revealed to the prophet who it was that came to him, and he told out to the mother the heavy judgement that should befall her husband and his house; but because there was "some good thing toward the Lord God of Israel" in Abijah, he should come to his grave peacefully. In mercy he was taken from the coming judgement. As his mother came to the threshold of the door the child died. 1Ki 14:1-17.
3. Descendant of Eleazar who gave his name to the eighth of the twenty-four courses of priests. 1Ch 24:10. The same is called ABIA in Lu 1:5.
2. The son of Rehoboam, king of Judah, and of Maachah, the daughter of Uriel, who succeeded his father, A.M. 3046, 2Ch 11:20; 13:2, &c. The Rabbins reproach this monarch with neglecting to destroy the profane altar which Jeroboam had erected at Bethel; and with not suppressing the worship of the golden calves there after his victory over that prince.