sham'-a (shammah):

(1) The son of Reuel, the son of Esau, a tribal chief of Edom (Genesis 36:13,17; 1 Chronicles 1:37, Some).

(2) The third son of Jesse and brother of David. Together with his two other brothers he fought under Saul in the campaign against the Philistines and was with the army in the valley of Elah when David slew Goliath (1 Samuel 17:13). One redactor states that he was a witness of the anointing of David by Samuel (1 Samuel 16:1-13). He was the father of Jonadab, the friend of Amnon (2 Samuel 13:3), and that Jonathan whose victory over a Philistine giant is narrated in 2 Samuel 21:20 was also his son. His name is rendered as "Shammah" (1 Samuel 16:9; 17:13), "Shimeah" (2 Samuel 13:3,12), "Shimei" (2 Samuel 21:21), and "Shimea" (1 Chronicles 2:13; 20:7).

(3) The son of Agee, a Hararite, one of the "three mighty men" of David (2 Samuel 23:11, Septuagint Samaia), who held the field against the Philistines. The parallel passage (1 Chronicles 11:10) ascribes this deed to Eleazar, the son of Dodo. The succeeding incident (2 Samuel 23:13), namely, the famous act of three of David's heroes who risked their lives to bring their leader water from the well of Bethlehem, has frequently been credited to Shammah and two other members of "the three"; but the three warriors are plainly said (2 Samuel 23:13) to belong to "the thirty"; 2 Samuel 23:33 should read "Jonathan, son of Shammah, the Hararite." Jonathan, one of David's "thirty," was a son of Shammah; the word "son" has been accidentally omitted (Driver, Budde, Kittel, etc.). The parallel passage (1 Chronicles 11:34) has "son of Shagee," which is probably, a misreading for "son of Agee." Lucian's version, "son of Shammah," is most plausible. "Shimei the son of Ela" (1 Kings 4:18) should also appear in this passage if Lucian's reading of "Ela" for "Agee" (2 Samuel 23:11) be correct.

(4) A Harodite (2 Samuel 23:25,33), i.e. probably a native of `Ain-charod (`Ain Jalud, Judges 7:1; see HAROD). One of "the thirty" and captain of Solomon's 5th monthly course. In the parallel lists (1 Chronicles 11:27) he is called "the Harorite" (this last being a scribal error for Harodite) and "Shamhuth the Izrahate" (1 Chronicles 27:8).

Horace J. Wolf

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