Ahijah the Shilonite

Ahijah the Shilonite (Hebrew: אחיה השילוני, Aḥiya [1] ('brother of Yah'[2]) Hashiloni), was a Levite prophet of Shiloh in the days of Solomon, as mentioned in the Hebrew Bible's 1 Kings. Ahijah foretold to Jeroboam that he would become king (1 Kings 11:29).[3]

The Hebrew Bible records two of his prophecies. In 1 Kings 11:31-39, he announced the separation of the Northern ten tribes from Solomon's united kingdom, forming the Northern Kingdom. In 1 Kings 14:6-16, Ahijah's prophecy, delivered to Jeroboam's wife, foretold the death of the king's son, the destruction of Jeroboam's dynasty, and the fall and captivity of Israel "beyond the River", a stock expression for the land east of the Euphrates.[4]

According to 2 Chronicles, Ahijah also authored a book, described as the Prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, which contained information about Solomon's reign.[5] This text, however, has not survived and is one of the lost texts mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. In 1 Kings 11:41 it is referred to as the "Book of the Acts of Solomon".

Rabbinic tradition credits Ahijah with having lived a very long life, linking his life-span with that of antediluvian patriarchs such as Methuselah and Adam.[6]

References

  1. According to "Ahijah", Jewish Encyclopedia, the name also appears in the expanded form אחיהו, Aḥiyahu.
  2. See Gesenius, who interprets the name as "friend of Jehovah," taking the literal expression 'brother' as metaphorical for friendship.
  3. "Ahijah", Jewish Encyclopedia
  4. Holman Bible Dictionary, "Beyond the River"
  5. 2 Chronicles 9:29
  6. Babylonian Talmud, Baba Batra 121b
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