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People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Ahithophel (a-hĭth'o-fĕl), brother of folly. A native of Giloh, a city of Judah, David's trusted counsellor, 1 Chronicles 27:33-34, who was induced to join the party of Absalom. 2 Samuel 15:12; 2 Samuel 15:31; 2 Samuel 15:34 His advice was intended to make the breach irreparable betwixt the father and the son; and, had his counsel immediately to pursue David been followed, it is possible that the king would have been cut off before he reached the Jordan. But by God's providence Hushai's counterplan was preferred by Absalom; and Ahithophel, foreseeing the defeat of the rebellion, retired to his own city and hanged himself. 2 Samuel 16:15; 2 Samuel 17:23. Some have endeavored to account for Ahithophel's treason by the supposition that, as it seems likely he was Bath-sheba's grandfather, he wished to revenge on David the evil done to her. But this is not reasonable. The success of Absalom would probably have been fatal to Bath-sheba; it would certainly have barred Solomon, Ahithophel's great-grandson, from the throne. Perhaps there may be a reference in Psalms 41:9; Psalms 55:12-14, to Ahithophel, and possibly through him to a yet worse traitor, Judas.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Ahithophel'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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