Kin of Gath, a city of the Philistines, to whom David twice fled for protection from Saul. On the first occasion, being recognized by the king's officers, and thinking his life in danger, he feigned madness, and by this device escaped, 1Sa 21:10. Several years after, he returned with a band of 600 men, and was welcomed by Achish as an enemy of Saul and of Israel. Achish gave him Ziklag for a residence; and being deceived as to the views and operations of David, expected his assistance in a war with Israel, but was persuaded by his officers to send him home to Ziklag, 1Sa 27-29.
angry, perhaps only a general title of royalty applicable to the Philistine kings.
(1.) The king with whom David sought refuge when he fled from Saul (1Sa 21:10-15). He is called Abimelech in the superscription of Ps. 34. It was probably this same king to whom David a second time repaired at the head of a band of 600 warriors, and who assigned him Ziklag, whence he carried on war against the surrounding tribes (1Sa 27:5-12). Achish had great confidence in the valour and fidelity of David (1Sa 28:1-2), but at the instigation of his courtiers did not permit him to go up to battle along with the Philistine hosts (1Sa 29:2-11). David remained with Achish a year and four months.
(2.) Another king of Gath, probably grandson of the foregoing, to whom the two servants of Shimei fled. This led Shimei to go to Gath in pursuit of them, and the consequence was that Solomon put him to death (1Ki 2:39-46).
King of Gath, son of Maoch; called Abimelech, i.e., not merely a king, but also son of a king in the title to Psalm 34: See ABIMELECH for the seeming discrepancy with 1Sa 21:10-13; 27:2. Twice David fled to him. On the first occasion, being recognized as the conqueror of the Philistines, he in fear reigned madness (as the Roman L. Junins Brutus did: Livy, 1:56), and so was let escape to the cave of Adullam. On the second he stayed at Gath, with 600 men, a year and four months, having had Ziklag assigned to him.
The unbelieving propensity to calculate probabilities, instead of trusting implicitly to God, misleads even believers into self sought positions of great spiritual danger. "I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul, there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines," said David. This false step on his part necessitated gross lying to the trustful Philistine king (1Sa 27:1,8-12). He finally escaped, only by God's undeserved providential interposition, from having to march with Achish against his own countrymen (1 Samuel 28; 29). Achish, or his son, is again mentioned (1Ki 2:40) as the receiver of Shimei when he left Jerusalem contrary to Solomon's command.
The king of Gath to whom David fled for refuge after the massacre of the priests at Nob (1Sa 21:10). In 1Sa 27:2 he is called 'the son of Maoch' (possibly = 'son of Maacah,' 1Ki 2:39). He received David with his band of 600 men, and assigned him the city of Ziklag in the S. of Judah. Despite the wishes of Achish, the other Phil. princes refused to let David take part in the final campaign against Saul. ['Achish' should be read for 'Abimelech' in Ps 34 (title).]
1. The Philistine king of Gath with whom David twice took shelter from Saul. The first time the servants of Achish reminded him that of David it had been said that he had slain his ten thousands. When David heard this he was afraid and feigned himself mad, and Achish sent him away. 1Sa 21:10-15. Psalm 34 was composed on this occasion, as we learn from its heading, in which Achish is called Abimelech. This has given occasion for critics to doubt its authenticity. But 'Abimelech' was used as a title rather than a proper name of the kings of the Philistines, as Pharaoh was of the kings of Egypt. The second occasion was when David's heart failed him, and he said, "I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul." Achish dealt well with David, gave him Ziklag to dwell in, and would have had him go to war with him against Israel, saying, "I will make thee keeper of my head for ever" 1 Sam. 27; 1Sa 28:2. The lords of the Philistines however objected, and Achish begged David to return. See DAVID.
2. Another king of Gath, to whom the servants of Shimei fled, which led to Shimei's death.1Ki 2:39-40.
(angry), a Philistine king of Gath, who in the title of the 34th Psalm is called Abimelech. David twice found a refuge with him when he fled from Saul. (B.C. 1061.) On the first occasion he was alarmed for his safety, feigned madness, and was sent away.