Ahijah the Shilonite

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For other individuals with this name, see Ahijah.
Gerard Hoet, Ahijah's prophecy to Jeroboam, 1728.

Ahijah the Shilonite (Hebrew: אחיה השילוני, Aḥiya[1] ('brother of Yah'[2]) Hashiloni), was a Levite prophet of Shiloh in the days of Solomon, as mentioned in the Hebrew Bible's 1 Kings. Ahijah encouraged a revolt against Solomon and foretold to Jeroboam that he would become king (1 Kings 11:29).[3]

The Hebrew Bible records two of his prophecies. In 1 Kings 11:31-39, he announced the separation of the Northern ten tribes from Solomon's united kingdom, forming the Northern Kingdom. In 1 Kings 14:6-16, Ahijah's prophecy, delivered to Jeroboam's wife, foretold the death of the king's son, the destruction of Jeroboam's dynasty, and the fall and captivity of Israel "beyond the River," a stock expression for the land east of the Euphrates.[4]

According to 2 Chronicles, Ahijah also authored a book, described as the Prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, which contained information about Solomon's reign.[5] This text, however, has not survived and is one of the lost texts mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.

Rabbinic tradition credits Ahijah with having lived a very long life,[6] linking his life-span with that of antediluvian patriarchs such as Methuselah and Noah.

References[edit]

  1. ^ According to "Ahijah", Jewish Encyclopedia, the name also appears in the expanded form אחיהו, Aḥiyahu.
  2. ^ See Gesenius, who interprets the name as "friend of Jehovah," taking the literal expression 'brother' as metaphorical for friendship. [1]
  3. ^ "Ahijah", Jewish Encyclopedia
  4. ^ Holman Bible Dictionary, "Beyond the River"
  5. ^ 2 Chronicles 9:29
  6. ^ TB Baba Batra 12lB