Skeptics Annotated Bible A Response

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#4 - Was Abiathar the father or the son of Ahimelech?

response by Dave Marr Dan of Israel

The skeptics' problem:
Abiathar was the son of Ahimelech.

"And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahibub, named Abiathar." 1 Sam.22:20
"Abiathar the son of Ahimelech." 1 Sam.23:6

Abiathar was the father of Ahimelech.

"Ahimelech the son of Abiathar." 2 Sam.8:17, 1 Chr.18:16, 1 Chr.24:6

The resolution of this dilemma is quite simple. A man named Abiathar was the father of Ahimelech, who is the priest in the account. Ahimelech had a son, and named him Abiathar, after his grandfather. As we know, this is still a common practice, when a certain family name will be used generation after generation. Also, an important understanding to grasp is that ancestral lines, or chronologies, listed in the Bible will usually just give names without descriptions- hence no distinction is made between the two Abiathars in 2 Sam.8:17, 1 Chr.18:16, 1 Chr.24:6.