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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia


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—Biblical Data:

King of Gath in the time of David and Solomon (1Samuel 21 -xxix:1 1Kings 2 ). David, when fleeing from Saul, twice sought asylum with Achish, the first time incognito. He was, however, recognized, whereupon he feigned madness, and escaped (1Samuel 21:10-15 , 22:1 ). The second time he was also recognized, but was well treated as a supposed enemy of Saul (1Samuel 27 ). Achish led the Philistine attack on Israel which resulted in the death of Saul and his sons. He was also at the battle of Gilboa (1Samuel 28 -xxxi.). Two servants of Shimei fled to Achish (1Kings 2:39-46 ). The superscription to Psalm 34 reads "Abimelech," apparently by error for Achish.

D. G. L.

—In Rabbinical Literature:
The Haggadah elaborates David's insanity as follows: Among Achish's body-guard were the brothers of Goliath, who immediately sought to slay their brother's conqueror. Achish forbade this, pointing out that the combat had been a fair one. The brothers retorted that then, according to the terms of the agreement (ISam. xvii 9), Achish must relinquish his throne to David. The only way out of this complication was for David to feign madness, but just at that time a daughter of Achish became really insane, and her mania was augmented by David's actions therefore he was driven away (Midr. Teh. xxxiv.). L. G.

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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Achish'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901.

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