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Ahijah (Ithamarite)

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Ahiah or Ahijah (Hebrew אֲחִיָּ֣ה, brother of God) (fl. ca. 1097 BC–ca. 1067 BC) was the ninth High Priest of Israel and the first to serve as high priest in the United Kingdom of Israel.

Identity and family

Ahijah was the son of Ahitub, son of Phinehas, son of Eli. He was serving as high priest in the second full year of the reign of Saul.[1] (1_Samuel 14:3,18 )

Some commentators insist that this Ahijah is the same man as Ahimelech I, the high priest who was summarily executed after he helped David to flee from Saul.[2] However, he is more likely to be Ahimelech's older brother. The name Ahijah means brother of God, whereas the name Ahimelech means brother of the king.


Ahijah is mentioned in connection with one incident: the unauthorized but victorious action of Jonathan against a Philistine garrison, and the subsequent trial of Jonathan for eating honey when Saul had made everyone swear not to eat anything until the Philistines were vanquished.[3] (1_Samuel 14 )


  1. Levi GB and Ginzberg L, "Ahijah, Ahiah, Ahijahu," The Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906. Accessed January 4, 2009.
  2. Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Ahiah, or Ahijah'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". <>. 1901. Accessed January 4, 2009.
  3. Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 14". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". <>. 1832. Accessed January 4, 2009.

See also

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