6 occurrences in 6 dictionaries

Reference: Abishai


A son of Zeruiah, David's sister, brother of Joab and Asahel, one of the bravest of David's mighty men, 1Ch 2:16, and always faithful to his royal uncle. He went with him alone to the tent of Saul, 1Sa 26:7-11; and was a leader in the war with Ish-bosheth, 2Sa 2.18,24, in the war with the Edomites, 1Ch 18:12-13, and with the Syrians and Ammonites,

2Sa 10:10. In a battle with the Philistines, he rescued David, and slew Ishbi-benob the giant, 2Sa 21:16-17. He lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, 2Sa 23:18; and was with David in the affairs of Shimei, Absalom, and Sheb, 2Sa 16:9; 18:2; 20:6-7.

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father of (i.e., "desirous of") a gift, the eldest son of Zeruiah, David's sister. He was the brother of Joab and Asahel (2Sa 2:18; 1Ch 2:16). Abishai was the only one who accompanied David when he went to the camp of Saul and took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster (1Sa 26:5-12). He had the command of one of the three divisions of David's army at the battle with Absalom (2Sa 18:2,5,12). He slew the Philistine giant Ishbi-benob, who threatened David's life (2Sa 21:15-17). He was the chief of the second rank of the three "mighties" (2Sa 23:18-19; 1Ch 11:20-21); and on one occasion withstood 300 men, and slew them with his own spear (2Sa 23:18). Abishai is the name of the Semitic chief who offers gifts to the lord of Beni-Hassan. See illustration facing page 10.

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("father of gifts".) Nephew of David by his sister Zeruiah; brother of Joab and Asahel. Joab was more of the experienced general, Abishai the devoted champion for David. Thus, when David proposed to Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai the perilous visit to Saul's camp, Abishai instantly volunteered, reckless of personal danger. His impulsive nature needed occasional checking, in his zeal for David. We find the consistency of character maintained throughout the history; the same spirit prompting the request at Hachilah," Let me smite Saul" (1Sa 26:8), as subsequently at Bahurim, when Shimei cursed David, prompted his exclamation "Why should this dead dog curse my Lord the king? let me take off his head" (2Sa 16:9).

He commanded one third of David's army at the battle with Absalom (2 Samuel 18), and rescued David when waxing faint and in imminent peril from the giant Ishbi-benob (2Sa 21:15-17). In the same war probably he, as chief of the three "mighties," chivalrously broke through the Philistine host to procure water for David from the well of his native Bethlehem (2Sa 23:14-17). Once he withstood 300 and slew them with his spear. In 2Sa 8:13 the victory over the 15,000 Edomites or Syrians in the Valley of Salt is ascribed to David; in 1Ch 18:12, to Abishai. Probably the commander in chief was David, but the victory actually gained by Abishai.

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Son of Zeruiah, David's step-sister (2Sa 17:25; 1Ch 2:16). His brothers were Joab and Asahel (2Sa 2:18). He was a hot-tempered, ruthless soldier. Accompanying David into Saul's camp, he would fain have killed the sleeper (1Sa 26:7). An editorial addition (2Sa 3:30) associates him with Joab in the blood-revenge taken on Abner. Abishai was second in command of the army (2Sa 10; 18), and if we make a slight necessary correction at 2Sa 23:18 f., we find that he was first of the famous thirty. He is credited with the slaughter of three hundred foes, and David once owed his life to Abishai's interposition (2Sa 23:18; 21:16 f.). Notwithstanding their relationship and their usefulness, there was a natural antipathy between the king and the two brothers (2Sa 3:39).

J. Taylor.

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Son of David's sister Zeruiah, and brother of Joab. He was one of David's officers and served him many years. He accompanied David into Saul's camp while he slept. 1Sa 26:6-9. With Joab he slew Abner. 2Sa 3:30. In his zeal for David he asked permission to slay Shimei. 2Sa 16:9; 19:21. In the rebellion of Absalom he commanded a third of David's army. 2Sa 18:2. He rescued David from Ishbi-benob the giant. 2Sa 21:17. He was captain of the second three of David's 'mighty men,' and slew three hundred men. 2Sa 23:18. To him is attributed the slaughter of eighteen thousand Syrians or Edomites in the valley of salt. 1Ch 18:12; 2Sa 8:13.

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ABISHAI, the son of Zeruiah, David's sister, who was one of the most valiant men of his time, and one of the principal generals in David's armies.