ab'-i-hal ('abhichayil; in some manuscripts 'abhihayil, when feminine, but best reading is the former: "father, or cause, of strength"): Five persons in the Old Testament are called by this name: (1) A Levite and the father of Zuriel, who in the Wilderness was head of the house of Merari, Levi's youngest son (Nu 3:35); (2) The wife of Abishur, a man of the tribe of Judah, in the line of Hazron and Jerahmeel (1Ch 2:29); (3) One of the heads of the tribe of Gad, who dwelt in Gilead of Bashan (1Ch 5:14); (4) Either a wife of Rehoboam, king of Judah, or mother of his wife Mahalath, according to the interpretation of the text (2Ch 11:18); probably the latter view is correct, since there is no conjunction in the text, and since (2Ch 11:19) contemplates only one wife as already mentioned. This being true, she was the wife of Jerimath, a son of David, and daughter of Eliab, David's eldest brother. It is interesting to note this frequent intermarriage in the Davidic house; (5) Father of Queen Esther, who became wife of Xerxes (Biblical Ahasuerus) king of Persia, after the removal of the former queen, Vashti, (Es 2:15; 9:29). He was uncle of Mordecai.

See a list of verses on ABIHAIL in the Bible.

Edward Mack

See also the McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia.

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