Nahash

Nahash [N] [H] [S]

serpent.

  • King of the Ammonites in the time of Saul. The inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead having been exposed to great danger from Nahash, sent messengers to Gibeah to inform Saul of their extremity. He promptly responded to the call, and gathering together an army he marched against Nahash. "And it came to pass that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them [the Ammonites] were not left together" ( 1 Samuel 11:1-11 ).

  • Another king of the Ammonites of the same name is mentioned, who showed kindness to David during his wanderings ( 2 Samuel 10:2 ). On his death David sent an embassy of sympathy to Hanun, his son and successor, at Rabbah Ammon, his capital. The grievous insult which was put upon these ambassadors led to a war against the Ammonites, who, with their allies the Syrians, were completely routed in a battle fought at "the entering in of the gate," probably of Medeba ( 2 Samuel 10:6-14 ). Again Hadarezer rallied the Syrian host, which was totally destroyed by the Israelite army under Joab in a decisive battle fought at Helam ( 2 Samuel 10:17 ), near to Hamath ( 1 Chronicles 18:3 ). "So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more" ( 2 Samuel 10:19 ).

  • The father of Amasa, who was commander-in-chief of Abasolom's army ( 2 Samuel 17:25 ). Jesse's wife had apparently been first married to this man, to whom she bore Abigail and Zeruiah, who were thus David's sisters, but only on the mother's side ( 1 Chronicles 2:16 ).

    These dictionary topics are from
    M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
    published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names
    [S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Nahash". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

  • Nahash [N] [E] [S]

    snake; serpent
    Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names. Public Domain. Copy freely.

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
    [S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

    Bibliography Information

    Hitchcock, Roswell D. "Entry for 'Nahash'". "An Interpreting Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names". . New York, N.Y., 1869.

    Nahash [N] [E] [H]

    (serpent ).

    1. King of the Ammonites who dictated to the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead that cruel alternative of the loss of their right eyes or slavery which roused the swift wrath of Saul, and caused the destruction of the Ammonite force. ( 1 Samuel 11:2-11 ) (B.C. 1092.) "Nahaph" would seem to have been the title of the king of the Ammonites rather than the name of an individual. Nahash the father of Hanun had rendered David some special and valuable service, which David was anxious for an opportunity of requiting. ( 2 Samuel 10:2 )
    2. A person mentioned once only-- ( 2 Samuel 17:25 ) --in stating the parentage of Amasa, the commander-in-chief of Absaloms army. Amasa is there said to have been the son of a certain Ithra by Abigail, "daughter of Nahash and sister to Zeruiah." (B.C. before 1023.)

    [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
    [E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
    [H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names

    Bibliography Information

    Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Nahash'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.

    NAHASH

    na'-hash (nachash, "serpent"; Naas):

    (1) The father of Abigail and Zeruiah, the sisters of David (2 Samuel 17:25; compare 1 Chronicles 2:16). The text in 2 S, where this reference is made, is hopelessly corrupt; for that reason there are various explanations. The rabbis maintain that Nahash is another name for Jesse, David's father. Others think that Nahash was the name of Jesse's wife; but it is not probable that Nahash could have been the name of a woman. Others explain the passage by making Nahash the first husband of Jesse's wife, so that Abigail and Zeruiah were half-sisters to King David.

    (2) A king of Ammon, who, at the very beginning of Saul's reign, attacked Jabesh-gilead so successfully, that the inhabitants sued for peace at almost any cost, for they were willing to pay tribute and serve the Ammonites (1 Samuel 11:1). The harsh king, not satisfied with tribute and slavery, demanded in addition that the right eye of every man should be put out, as "a reproach upon Israel." They were given seven days to comply with these cruel terms. Before the expiration of this time, Saul, the newly anointed king, appeared on the scene with an army which utterly routed the Ammonites (1 Samuel 11:1), and, according to Josephus, killed King Nahash (Ant., VI, v, 3).

    If the Nahash of 2 Samuel 10:2 be the same as the king mentioned in 1 Samuel 11, this statement of Josephus cannot be true, for he lived till the early part of David's reign, 40 or more years later. It is, of course, possible that Nahash, the father of Hanun, was a son or grandson of the king defeated at Jabesh-gilead by Saul. There is but little agreement among commentators in regard to this matter. Some writers go so far as to claim that "all passages in which this name (Nahash) is found refer to the same individual."

    (3) A resident of Rabbath-ammon, the capital of Ammon (2 Samuel 17:27). Perhaps the same as Nahash (2), which see. His son Shobi, with other trans-Jordanic chieftains, welcomed David at Mahanaim with sympathy and substantial gifts when the old king was fleeing before his rebel son Absalom. Some believe that Shobi was a brother of Hanun, king of Ammon (2 Samuel 10:1).

    W. W. Davies


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography Information
    Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'NAHASH'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.