Ahijah the Shilonite

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Gerard Hoet, Ahijah's prophecy to Jeroboam, 1728.
Portrait from the Promptuarium Iconum Insigniorum, 1553

Ahijah the Shilonite (Hebrew: אחיה השילוני, Aḥiyah[1] "Yah is My Brother"[2]) was a Levite prophet of Shiloh in the days of Solomon, as mentioned in the Hebrew Bible's First Books of Kings. Ahijah 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 of Israel, forming the Northern Kingdom. In 1 Kings 14:6–16, Ahijah's prophecy, delivered to the wife of Jeroboam, foretold the death of the king's son, the destruction of the House of Jeroboam, and the fall and captivity of Israel "beyond the River", a stock expression for the land east of the Euphrates.[4]

According to the Second Book of 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 non-canonical books referenced in the Bible. In 1 Kings 11:41 it is referred to as the Acts of Solomon.

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


  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. ^ Babylonian Talmud, Bava Batra 121b