Abishai (biblical figure)
Abishai was the eldest son of Zeruiah, sister of the Biblical King David. His name means father of (i.e. desirous of) a gift. He was the brother of Joab and Asahel (2 Sam 2:18; 1 Chr 2:16), and a military leader under David.
He had the command of one of the three divisions of David's army at the battle with Absalom (2 Sam 18:2,5,12). He was the commander of the second rank of the three "mighty men" (2 Sam 23:18,19; 1 Chr 11:20,21). On one occasion, he withstood 300 men and slew them with his own spear (2 Sam 23:18).
Abishai was involved in David's battle with the Philistine giant Ishbi-benob, who threatened David's life; depending on the exact reading, Abishai either saved David by slaying the giant, or else helped David slay him (2 Sam 21:15-17). Some Jewish sources interpret this latter option as meaning Abishai's prayers saved David.
Other people with the name Abishai
- Bard, Kathryn A. An Introduction To The Archaeology Of Ancient Egypt. Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell Ltd, 2008. p. 190.
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