2. The father of Zeruiah and Abigail, David's half-sisters,
serpent. (1.) King of the Ammonites in the time of Saul. The inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead having been exposed to great danger from Nahash, sent messengers to Gibeah to inform Saul of their extremity. He promptly responded to the call, and gathering together an army he marched against Nahash. "And it came to pass that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them [the Ammonites] were not left together" (1Sa 11:1-11).
(2.) Another king of the Ammonites of the same name is mentioned, who showed kindness to David during his wanderings (2Sa 10:2). On his death David sent an embassy of sympathy to Hanun, his son and successor, at Rabbah Ammon, his capital. The grievous insult which was put upon these ambassadors led to a war against the Ammonites, who, with their allies the Syrians, were completely routed in a battle fought at "the entering in of the gate," probably of Medeba (2Sa 10:6-14). Again Hadarezer rallied the Syrian host, which was totally destroyed by the Israelite army under Joab in a decisive battle fought at Helam (2Sa 10:17), near to Hamath (1Ch 18:3). "So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more" (2Sa 10:19).
(3.) The father of Amasa, who was commander-in-chief of Abasolom's army (2Sa 17:25). Jesse's wife had apparently been first married to this man, to whom she bore Abigail and Zeruiah, who were thus David's sisters, but only on the mother's side (1Ch 2:16).
1. King of Ammon. Offered the citizens of Jabesh Gilead a covenant only on condition they should thrust out their right eyes, as a reproach upon all Israel (1 Samuel 11). Saul, enraged at this cruel demand, summoned all Israel, slew, and dispersed the Ammonite host. Among the causes which led Israel to desire a king had been the terror of Nahash's approach (1Sa 12:12). So successful had he been in his marauding campaigns that he self confidently thought it impossible any Israelite army could rescue Jabesh Gilead; so he gave them the seven days' respite they craved, the result of which was their deliverance, and his defeat by Saul. If he perished, then the Nahash who befriended David was his son. That father and son bore the same name makes it, likely that Nahash was a common title of the kings of Ammon, the serpent being the emblem of wisdom, the Egyptian Kneph also being the eternal Spirit represented as a serpent. Jewish tradition makes the service to David consist in Nahash having protected David's brother, when he escaped from the massacre perpetrated by the treacherous king of Moab on David's family, who had been entrusted to him (1Sa 22:3-4).
Nahash the younger would naturally help David in his wanderings from the face of Saul, their common foe. Hence at Nahash's death David sent a message of condolence to his son. (See HANUN.) The insult by that young king brought on him a terrible retribution (2 Samuel 10). Yet we read Nahash's son Shobi (2Sa 17:27-29) was one of the three trans-jordanic chieftains who rendered munificent hospitality to David in his hour of need, at Mahanaim, near Jabesh Gilead, when fleeing from Absalom. No forger would have introduced an incident so seemingly improbable at first sight. Reflection suggests the solution. The old kindness between Nahash and David, and the consciousness that Hanun his brother's insolence had caused the war which ended so disastrously for Ammon, doubtless led Shobi gladly to embrace the opportunity of showing practical sympathy toward David in his time of distress.
2. Father of the sisters Abigail and Zeruiah, whose mother on Nahash's death married Jesse, to whom she bore David (2Sa 17:25). 1Ch 2:16 accordingly names Abigail and Zeruiah as "David's sisters," but not as Jesse's daughters. Nahash is made by Stanley the king of Ammon, which is not impossible, considering Jesse's descent from Ruth a Moabitess, and also David's connection with Nahash of Ammon; but is improbable, since if the Nahash father of Abigail were the king of Ammon it would have been stated. Jewish tradition makes Nahash that same as Jesse. But if so, how is it that only in 2Sa 17:25 "Nahash" stands for Jesse, whereas in all other places "Jesse" is named as David's father.
1. A king of Ammon, who demanded the surrender of the men of Jabesh-gilead, with the loss of the right eye of each (1Sa 11:1 f.). So sure was he of their helplessness that he allowed them seven days' respite in which to appeal for help. Saul, newly designated as Israel's future king, was ploughing in the fields when the news was brought to him. He sacrificed the oxen sent parts of the sacrifice to his fellow-countrymen with a command to muster, and promptly destroyed the Ammonites. Probably this is the Nahash who was kind to Saul's enemy David (2Sa 10:2; 1Ch 19:1), and whos son Shobi (2Sa 17:27) brought supplies to David a Mahanaim. 2. Father of David's half-sisters, Abigai and Zeruiah, if the text of 2Sa 17:25 is correct, which is doubtful. According to Buchanan Gray, 'daughte of Nahash' may have crept into the text from 'son of Nahash' in 2Sa 17:27; cf. 1Ch 2:16.
J. H. Stevenson.
1. Ammonite king who encamped against Jabesh-gilead, and who tauntingly agreed to make its inhabitants tributary on condition that he should thrust out the right eye of each for a reproach on all Israel. Saul raised an army and the Ammonites were defeated. 1Sa 11:1-2; 12:12. Josephus relates that Nahash had successfully oppressed the tribes on the east of the Jordan, which gave him self-confidence in making his terms to Jabesh-gilead; and says that Nahash was slain. Perhaps the same as the father of Hanun who insulted David's ambassadors. 2Sa 10:2; 17:27; 1Ch 19:1-2.
2. Apparently father or mother of Abigail and Zeruiah. 2Sa 17:25. In 1Ch 2:16 Abigail and Zeruiah are called the sisters of Jesse's sons. The Rabbis say that Nahash was another name for Jesse (as in the margin); others suppose Nahash was Jesse's wife; and again others judge that Nahash was a former husband of Jesse's wife.
1. King of the Ammonites who dictated to the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead that cruel alternative of the loss of their right eyes or slavery which roused the swift wrath of Saul, and caused the destruction of the Ammonite force.
(B.C. 1092.) "Nahaph" would seem to have been the title of the king of the Ammonites rather than the name of an individual. Nahash the father of Hanun had rendered David some special and valuable service, which David was anxious for an opportunity of requiting.
2. A person mentioned once only--
--in stating the parentage of Amasa, the commander-in-chief of Absalom's army. Amasa is there said to have been the son of a certain Ithra by Abigail, "daughter of Nahash and sister to Zeruiah." (B.C. before 1023.)