Off Topic · The Bible

4 Important “A” Names, part 1

I have been pondering this for a couple of days now and have finally decided to write about it.  The  4 “A” names are from the Old Testament. I know I probably should have given you at least that clue..

The first mention of one of the A names was here in 1 Samuel 22: 20.   Saul was mad and killed all the High priests.  They fed David and gave him a sword.  They inquired of the Lord for him.  They were on David’s side.  They could see that David was a faithful man and had honored Saul.  Saul killed them all.  Here is the first mention of Abiathar, who is the man I want to focus on right now.

20 But one son of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David

this is what a High Priest of God would have looked like.
this is what a High Priest of God would have looked like.

He got out of town with an ephod, and the urim and thummim.  He made it to David.  David promised him that he could stay in safety.  Now Abiathar became David’s High Priest.  Whenever David needed to inquire of the Lord, he called Abiathar to him and so Abiathar became a trusted and important companion and advisor.   Zadok and Abiathar were partners  in the caring of the Ark of the covenant and the High Priestly duties.. It seemed that Abiathar was the one active in the public business and Zadok was his assistant.

Abiathar was also in the line of Eli.  The same Eli who 80 years before was prophesied to by Samuel that he would no longer have a descendant serving as a High Priest.

Abiathar and Zadok were King David’s most trusted advisors and were the ones used in negotiations when needed.

An interesting thing happened though at the end of David’s life.  David had appointed Solomon his son to be the next king.  Remember Solomon was Bathsheba’s son.  Bathsheba you will remember was David’s wife that he stole from Uriah.  Whom he had killed.  It was not a good time in David’s life and he was forgiven for that by God you will remember.  He confessed his sin before God when Nathan the prophet made him look at what he had done.  David was very repentant and his heart was broken before God.

I wonder…. Did Abiathar forgive him??  No he doesn’t need to.  He was High Priest and God and David made amends.  But I wonder, did Abiathar hold that against David and then Solomon for the rest of his life??

Look at what happened to make me wonder that:

David’s son Adonijah decided he was the next born son and so was in line to be the next king.  He appointed himself King as his father was on his deathbed.  David by now was bedridden and very old.   David’s captain of the army, Joab and Abiathar joined Adonijah.  Did they know Solomon was appointed by David to be king??  Probably.  They were David’s closest advisors and companions.  They should have.

As they were feasting on the sacrificed animals that Abiathar had sacrificed for the new king Adonijah, Abiathar’s son, Jonathan came to announce that Solomon had been appointed king.

This act that Joab and Abiathar have done is an act of treason against David.

I have been pondering this man for awhile now and have his name marked in my bible along with his actions and whatnot.

Once Solomon was set on the throne he deals with these men.  Joab was put to death, not only for this act but for another.  Abiathar was banished to his land in Anathoth, and all High Priestly duties were stripped from him.  He was dealt with more leniently because he carried the Ark of the Covenant before King David.  He is the only High Priest who was ever stripped from his duties by a king.  That just does not happen.  Note, here is where the line of Eli ends as High Priest.

Here are the first 2 important A names:  Abiathar- which is the one I am focusing on, and Adonijah.  David’s son who was going to just take the throne because it was his right.  Not because God directed him or David appointed him.  But because it was what he expected.

Abiathar was a great man and was even mentioned by Jesus in Mark 2.  Until the end.  Why?

I have been pondering that and there are 2 things I can come up with is this:  He never forgave David for his actions with Bathsheba and so in his eyes, Solomon was not an acceptable candidate for king, and this, he was a great man in the kingdom.  He thought he knew better.

Unforgiveness has a price.  So does pride.

In this case, unforgiveness could have caused a man to lose his position and that of his descendants.  He was wise in his own eyes.  He decided what was the best plan rather than asking God.

Now, it does not say anything like this in any of the bible references and commentaries that I read, and I read several.   It just says that Abiathar and Joab went with Adonijah and Zadok and Nathan were with David and Solomon.


It seems that Joab and Abiathar were at the top of their game.  They were doing very well in David’s courts and enjoyed notoriety.  They were David’s companions and advisors.

Why would they turn against David in this time??  It seems to me that the answer could simply be pride and unforgiveness.

Just like that Joab and Abiathar lose their postions.

Why am I thinking of Abiathar lately??  What is my point here by writing about this important A name?

1. Jesus finds him important enough to mention in Mark 2.  Why was he mentioned and not his father who was the actual High Priest in the refence Jesus makes?  I can’t answer that except to say that Jesus mentioned him for a reason.  Maybe just so that we learn something from looking him up in the Old Testament and finding out more about him.  Something we need to learn.

2.  What if what were find is a tragic story of a man at the top of his game, makes a prideful mistake and is stripped of his authority and notoriety?

The lesson for us here is this.  Be careful that you do not get so prideful in your own eyes that you make bad decisions.  Be careful to not keep a record of wrongs that would wrongfully disqualify the right person.  Stay humble.  Stay in a place of love and humility.  Stay in a place where you can be teachable.   Stay in a place of yieldedness towards God.

Think of Mother Theresa.  I have this on my kitchen window so I can read it when I, or anyone else, is doing dishes.  It says, among other things; “Do not want to manage other people’s affairs, Pass over the mistakes of others, Yield to the will of others, Never stand on one’s dignity.”  In this case it seems that Abiathar did not follow these things and chose to manage David’s affairs, hold onto the mistakes of King David, and he stood on his own dignity.

Be careful friends to learn the lessons of Abiathar.

Adonijah was the second important A name here.  Next time I write on an important A name it will be about Absalom and Abishai, who actually is my favorite of the A names.

Until then, think about Abiathar and see what else God shows you.  Please feel free to post in the comments what you learn about him.

Blessings on your day!!



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