7 occurrences in 7 dictionaries

Reference: Ahithophel


A native of Giloh, originally one of David's most intimate and valued friends; but upon the defection and rebellion of Absalom, he espoused the cause of that prince, and became one of David's bitterest enemies. Being disappointed that Absalom did not follow his sagacious advice, and foreseeing the issue of the rebellion, he hanged himself, 2Sa 15:12; 17; Ps 55:12-14. Ahithophel seems to have been the grandfather of Bathsheba. 2Sa 23:34, compared with 2Sa 11:3.

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brother of insipidity or impiety, a man greatly renowned for his sagacity among the Jews. At the time of Absalom's revolt he deserted David (Ps 41:9; 55:12-14) and espoused the cause of Absalom (2Sa 15:12). David sent his old friend Hushai back to Absalom, in order that he might counteract the counsel of Ahithophel (2Sa 15:31-37). This end was so far gained that Ahithophel saw he had no longer any influence, and accordingly he at once left the camp of Absalom and returned to Giloh, his native place, where, after arranging his wordly affairs, he hanged himself, and was buried in the sepulchre of his fathers (2Sa 17:1-23). He was the type of Judas (Ps 41:9).

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(See ABSALOM.) Of Giloh, in the hill country of Judah. David's counselor, to whose treachery he touchingly alludes Ps 41:9; 55:12-14,20-21. His name means brother of foolishness, but his oracular wisdom was proverbial. David's prayer "turned his counsel" indeed into what his name indicated, "foolishness" (2Sa 15:31; Job 5:12-13; 1Co 1:20). Ahithophel was the mainspring of the rebellion. Absalom calculated on his adhesion from the first (2Sa 15:12); the history does not directly say why, but incidentally it comes out: he was father of Eliam (or by transposition Ammiel, 1Ch 3:5), the father of Bathsheba (2Sa 11:3; 23:34,39).

Uriah the Hittite and Eliam, being both of the king's guard (consisting of 37 officers), were intimate, and Uriah married the daughter of his brother officer. How natural Ahithophel's sense of wrong toward David, the murderer of his grandson by marriage and the corrupter of his granddaughter! The evident undesignedness of this coincidence confirms the veracity of the history. The people's loyalty too was naturally shaken toward one whose moral character they had ceased to respect. Ahithophel's proposal himself to pursue David that night with 12,000 men, and smite the king only, indicates the same personal hostility to David, deep sagacity and boldness. He failed from no want of shrewdness on his part, but from the folly of Absalom. His awful end shows that worldly wisdom apart from faith in God turns into suicidal madness (Isa 29:14). He was the type of Judas in his treachery and in his end. (See JUDAS.)

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David's counsellor (2Sa 15:12; 1Ch 27:33), whose advice was deemed infallible (2Sa 16:23). Being Bathsheba's grandfather, he had been alienated by David's criminal conduct (2Sa 11:3; 23:34), and readily joined Absalom (2Sa 15:12). Ahithophel advised the prince to take possession of the royal harem, thus declaring his father's deposition, and begged for a body of men with whom he might at once overtake and destroy the fugitive monarch (2Sa 17:1-3). Hushai thwarted this move (2Sa 17:11). Disgusted at the collapse of his influence, and foreseeing that this lack of enterprise meant the failure of the insurrection, Ahithophel withdrew, set his affairs in order, and hanged himself (2Sa 17:23).

J. Taylor.

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A Gilonite, grandfather of Bathsheba, and a very wise counsellor of David, of whom it is said that all his counsel was "as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God." He joined in the rebellion of Absalom, and advised him to go in publicly to David's concubines, and to let him make an immediate attack on David. The latter counsel not being followed, and a preference being given to the advice of Hushai, who was acting for David, Ahithophel returned to his house, set his household in order, and hanged himself. 2Sa 15:12-34; 16:15-23; 17:1-23; 23:34. He has generally been taken as foreshadowing Judas of the N.T.: cf. Ps 41:9; 55:12.

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(brother of foolishness), a native of Giloh, was a privy councillor of David, whose wisdom was highly esteemed, though his name had an exactly opposite signification.

2Sa 16:23

(B.C. 1055-1023.) He was the grandfather of Bathsheba. Comp.

2Sa 11:3

with 2Sam 23:34 Ahithophel joined the conspiracy of Absalom against David, and persuaded him to take possession of the royal harem,

2Sa 16:21

and recommended an immediate pursuit of David. His advice was wise; but Hushai advised otherwise. When Ahithophel saw that Hushai's advice prevailed, he despaired of success, and returning to his own home "put his household in order and hanged himself."

2Sa 17:1-23

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AHITHOPHEL, a native of Giloh, who, after having been David's counsellor, joined in the rebellion of Absalom, and assisted him with his advice. Hushai, the friend of David, was employed to counteract the counsels of Ahithophel, and to deprive Absalom, under a pretence of serving him, of the advantage that was likely to result from the measures which he proposed. One of these measures was calculated to render David irreconcilable, and was immediately adopted; and the other to secure, or to slay him. Before the last counsel was followed, Hushai's advice was desired; and he recommended their assembling together the whole force of Israel, putting Absalom at their head, and overwhelming David by their number. The treacherous counsel of Hushai was preferred to that of Ahithophel; with which the latter being disgusted he hastened to his house at Giloh, where he put an end to his life. He probably foresaw Absalom's defeat, and dreaded the punishment which would be inflicted on himself as a traitor, when David was resettled on the throne, A.M. 2981. B.C. 1023. 2Sa 15:17.

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