a-hī´ja (אחיּה, 'ăḥīyāh or אחיּהוּ, 'ăḥīyāhū, “brother (i.e., “friend”) of Yahweh,” “my brother is YHWH,” “Yah is brother.” In the King James Version the name sometimes appears as Ahiah):

(1) One of the five sons of Jerahmeel, who the great-grandson of Judah (1 Chronicles 2:25).

(2) One of the sons of Bela, a descendant of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 8:7). In A.V. called “Ahiah.”

(3) The son of Ahitub, priest in the time of King Saul (1 Samuel 14:3, 1 Samuel 14:18), Ichabod's brother; the same probably as Ahimelech, who was high priest at Nob in the reign of Saul (1 Samuel 22:11). Some, however, suppose that Ahimelech was the brother of Ahijah, and that they both officiated as high priests, Ahijah at Gibeah or Kirjath-Jearim, and Ahimelech at Nob. Either he is the same with Ahimelech, who is mentioned later, or he is the father or brother of Ahimelech. He is introduced to us when Saul has been so long on the throne that his son Jonathan is a man grown and a warrior. He is in attendance upon Saul, evidently as an official priest, “wearing an ephod.” When Saul wishes direction from God he asks the priest to bring hither the ark; but then, without waiting for the message, Saul counts the confusion in the Philistine camp a sufficient indication of the will of Providence, and hurries off to the attack. Some copies of the Greek here read “ephod” instead of “ark,” but the documentary evidence in favor of that reading is far from decisive. If the Hebrew reading is correct, then the seclusion of the ark, from the time of its return from Philistia to the time of David, was not so absolute as many have supposed. See Ahimelech I.

(4) A Pelonite, one of David's mighty men, according to the list in 1 Chronicles 11:36. The corresponding name in the list in 2 Samuel 23:34 is Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite.

(5) A Levite of David's time who had charge of certain treasures connected with the house of God (1 Chronicles 26:20). The Greek copies presuppose the slightly different text which would give in English “and their brethren,” instead of Ahijah. This is accepted by many scholars, and it is at least more plausible than most of the proposed corrections of the Hebrew text by the Greek.

(6) Son of Sinsha and brother of Elihoreph (1 Kings 4:3). The two brothers were scribes/secretaries of Solomon. Can the scribes Ahijah and Shemaiah (1 Chronicles 24:6) be identified with the men of the same names who, later, were known as distinguished prophets? Sinsha is probably the same with Shavsha (1 Chronicles 18:16; compare 2 Samuel 8:17; 2 Samuel 20:25), who was scribe under David, the office in this case descending from father to son.

(7) A prophet of Shiloh (1 Kings 11:29; 1 Kings 14:2), called the “Shilonite,” in the days of Rehoboam. We have on record two of his remarkable prophecies, (1 Kings 11:31-39), announcing the rending of the ten tribes from Solomon; and (1 Kings 14:6-16), delivered to Jeroboam's wife, foretelling the death of Abijah the king's son, the destruction of Jeroboam's house, and the captivity of Israel “beyond the river.” Jeroboam bears testimony to the high esteem in which he was held as a prophet of God (1 Kings 14:2, 1 Kings 14:3).

The distinguished prophet of Shiloh, who was interested in Jeroboam I. In Solomon's lifetime Ahijah clothed himself with a new robe, met Jeroboam outside Jerusalem, tore the robe into twelve pieces, and gave him ten, in token that he should become king of the ten tribes (1 Kings 11:29-39). Later, when Jeroboam had proved unfaithful to Yahweh, he sent his wife to Ahijah to ask in regard to their sick son. The prophet received her harshly, foretold the death of the son, and threatened the extermination of the house of Jeroboam (1 Kings 14). The narrative makes the impression that Ahijah was at this time a very old man (1 Kings 14:4). These incidents are differently narrated in the long addition at 1 Kings 12:24 found in some of the Greek copies. In that addition the account of the sick boy precedes that of the rent garment, and both are placed between the account of Jeroboam's return from Egypt and that of the secession of the ten tribes, an order in which it is impossible to think that the events occurred. Further, this addition attributes the incident of the rent garment to Shemaiah and not to Ahijah, and says that Ahijah was 60 years old.

Other notices speak of the fulfillment of the threatening prophecies spoken by Ahijah (2 Chronicles 10:15; 1 Kings 12:15; 1 Kings 15:29). In 2 Ch “the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite” is referred to as a source for the history of Solomon (2 Chronicles 9:29).

(8) The father of Baasha king of Israel (1 Kings 15:27, 1 Kings 15:33; 1 Kings 21:22; 2 Kings 9:9).

(9) A Levite of Nehemiah's time, who sealed the covenant (Nehemiah 10:26 the King James Version).

Todd Rubick,
May 5, 2012, 1:53 PM