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 slew the Philistine giant Ishbi-benob, who threatened David's life (2 Sam 21:15-17). He once killed 300 men with his spear and helped with the killing of Absalom. Once, his brother, Asahel, who could run as fast as a gazelle, fought in battle with Abner, the general of Israel's army, and was killed by the back of his spear. Abishai, at this point, is so enraged at the murder of Asahel that he kills Abner at the later time with Joab, his brother.
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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