Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 26

Abishai and Ahimelech the Hittite

1 Samuel 26:6

David needed to persuade Saul not to attack him or his men. So, David went, with two men whom he trusted, to Saulís camp. David went by night; Saul was asleep, and 3000 soldiers were camping round him, to protect him.

The two men whom David asked to join him that night are interesting. The man who accepted was Abishai.

Abishai was a relative of David. Abishaiís mother was Zeruiah, who was Davidís sister. David had a group of three men who were the strongest and most capable men in Israelís army. Abishai became the commander of those three men, although he was not one of them (2 Samuel 23:18-19).

Abishaiís brother was Joab, who became the leader of Davidís whole army (1 Chronicles 11:6). David considered Joab and Abishai the most powerful men in Israel (2 Samuel 3:39).

We know nothing about the other man, Ahimelech, except the nation that he came from. However that fact is very interesting. Ahimelech did not belong to Israelís people. He was one of the people called Hittites, who were among the original inhabitants of Canaan. Uriah, who was one of Davidís most loyal and skilled soldiers, also belonged to the Hittites (2 Samuel chapter 11; 2 Samuel 23:39).

David fought many wars against foreign nations (2 Samuel chapter 8); sometimes people wrongly imagine that David hated foreigners. In fact, David constantly made friends with foreigners. For example, he was friendly with King Nahash of Ammon (2 Samuel 10:1-2); and Zelek from Ammon was a leader in Davidís army (2 Samuel 23:37). Some of Davidís most important soldiers were the men called the Kerethites and Pelethites (2 Samuel 8:18); the Kerethites were from Philistia (Ezekiel 25:16). In fact, men from Philistia were among Davidís most loyal soldiers (2 Samuel 15:18-22). Araunah, who provided David with the land for Godís house, belonged to the people called Jebusites (2 Samuel 24:18-25). Many of these foreigners had accepted the real God as their God.

Next part: Contrast between the attitudes of Abishai and David (1 Samuel 26:7-9)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.