Who Was Abimelech In The Bible

Abimelech (,’ēmī’lĕkh) was the son of Gideon and his wife a maidservant named Ruhama. Abimelech was the first of Gideon’s descendants to become a polytheist, taking as his consort a woman from Shechem, in violation of God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Abimelech was an ancestor of Saul in the tribe of Benjamin who became the king of Israel. According to the book 1 Samuel, Abimelech was born at Ophrah in the land of Benjamin (1 Sam. 8:2).

One of the first things that should come to mind when reading the name Abimelech is the story of Abraham and Sarah in the book Genesis. But did you know that he was actually a big shot king in Scripture? Also, his name means my father is king or possibly king of my father — either way, Abimelech lived up to his name as he ruled over God’s people and had a daughter named after his mother. So take some time to learn more about the man who helped our patriarch back in biblical times.

Abimelech was a judge of Israel killed his own people in a fight with Abner and was so consumed with anger that he tried to kill his opponent, even though he had received protection from Saul. What kind of leader is this? See who it is in the following article!

Abimelech was the son of Gideon’s brother, Jotham. He was the king of Gerar and the Philistines. Not much is said of him in the Bible. he is mentioned in Genesis 20 as having an encounter with Abraham, but it is not very detailed. He was a bad king and had many enemies, just like his father King Gideon. There are several lessons we can learn from Abimelech’s life to be used for our benefit in today’s society.

Who Was Abimelech In The Bible

Abimelech was a son of Gideon, the King of Israel, and his concubine from Shechem.  He sought to rule over Shechem by killing all other sons of Gideon, who were all slain except for Gideon’s youngest son, Jotham.  Abimelech then became the King of Shechem, ruling for three years before a conspiracy arose against him.  He commanded by force, murdered his opposition, and led in such a manner that even his subjects sought to overthrow him.

A civil war broke out, leading to a battle at a town called Thebez where Abimelech surrounded the leaders of the city in a tower and approached with the intention of burning it down.  However, a woman in the tower heroically dropped a large rock on Abimelech’s head and cracked his skull.  Nearing death, he called out to a comrade to stab him as being killed by a woman was considered disgraceful in that time.  This was an appropriate end for Abimelech’s malevolent regime and the evil he had committed against his own brothers and people.  In contrast to the positive lead of his father, Abimelech focused on his own personal gain, hurting many in the process.  

Who Was Abimelech In The Bible

There are actually several men named Abimelech in the Bible. Some translations, such as the NIV, spell the name Abimelek. Either way, the name means “father of the king.”

Some of the Philistines kings are called “Abimelech.” For example, the king of Gerar who took Sarah into his harem is called “Abimelech” in Genesis 20:2. The same name is applied to the king of Gerar during Isaac’s sojourn there (Genesis 26:1). The king of Gath before whom David played the madman is also called “Abimelech” in the title of Psalm 34; however, 1 Samuel 21:11 identifies the king of Gath as Achish. This has led many scholars to believe that, among the Philistines at least, Abimelech was a title given the king, rather than a personal name—much as the Egyptians always called their king “Pharaoh.”

Another possible Abimelech in the Bible was a son of the high priest Abiathar, mentioned in 1 Chronicles 18:16. The NAS, KJV, and NET Bibles put the name as Abimelech. But the NIV, ESV, and HCS Bibles have Ahimelech (or Ahimelek). This Abimelech/Ahimelech was a priest who served in the time of King David.

But probably the most well-known Abimelech in the Bible is the headstrong and murderous son of Gideon in the book of Judges. Please see our article on this particular Abimelech for more information.

Leave a Reply