Achish is a name used in the Hebrew Bible for two Philistine rulers of Gath. It may mean "angry,"Fact|date=May 2008 and is perhaps only a general title of royalty, applicable to the Philistine kings. The two kings of Gath, which is identified by most scholars as Tell es-Safi, are:

* The monarch with whom David sought refuge when he fled from Saul (1 Sam. 21:10-15). He is called Abimelech (meaning "father of the king") in the superscription of Ps. 34. It was probably this same king, or his son with the same name, to whom David a second time repaired at the head of a band of 600 warriors. The king assigned David to Ziklag, whence he carried on war against the surrounding tribes (1 Sam. 27:5-12). Achish had great confidence in the valour and fidelity of David (1 Sam. 28:1,2), but at the instigation of his courtiers did not permit him to go up to battle along with the Philistine hosts (1 Sam. 29:2-11). David remained with Achish a year and four months.

* Another king of Gath, probably grandson of the foregoing, to whom the two servants of Shimei fled. This led Shimei to go to Gath in pursuit of them, and the consequence was that Solomon put him to death (1 Kings 2:39-46).

In the 7th century BCE royal inscription from Tel Miqne-Ekron the name Achish appears, along with four other names of the local kings of Ekron. A similar name (IKAUSU) appears as a king of Ekron in 7th century BCE Assyrian inscriptions. This apparently refers to the same king of Ekron.

This appears to indicate that either the name Achish was a common name for Philistine kings, used both at Gath and Ekron, or, as Naveh has suggested, that the editor of the biblical text used a known name of a Philistine king from the end of the Iron Age (Achish of Ekron) as the name of a king(s) of Gath in narratives relating to earlier periods.

Achish and Anchises

Achish seems to have a linguistic similarity with the name Anchises (Αγχίσης) of ancient Greek mythology. Fact|date=May 2008 Mount Ide, (Ίδη) or Pselorites (Ψηλορείτης) is located in Crete, and according to one theory the Philistines may originate from Crete.

Achish and Suwardata

In his book "Pharaohs and Kings", D. Rohl suggests "Achish" may be an abbreviation of "Akishimige", a Hurrian name meaning "Gift of the Sun God," equivalent to the name "Suwardata" in the Amarna Letters.

Achish in Israeli popular culture

*The King of Gath is the subject of a modern Israeli popular riddle: "Beveiti ko lo naim, kol male meshuga'im". ("In my house it's so unpleasant, all full of crazy men.") This rhyming couplet refers comically to the king's complaint in I Samuel 21:15 that his palace is overrun with madmen. David was feigning madness to escape from Gath, where his situation was turning precarious.

Achish in film

*Achish king of Gath appears in the movie "King David (film)", (1985), starring Richard Gere. The film differs from the Biblical story, and shows David pretending to be insane in order to gain admittance to the presence of King Achish, rather than to flee from him.

ee also

*David Rohl

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • ACHISH — (Heb. אָכִישׁ), philistine king of gath , mentioned at the end of Saul s reign. In I Samuel 27:2, his father s name is given as Maoch. Achish s realm was extensive and included the city of Ziklag and its environs (I Sam. 27:6). Fugitives from… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Achish —    Angry, perhaps only a general title of royalty applicable to the Philistine kings.    1) The king with whom David sought refuge when he fled from Saul (1 Sam. 21:10 15). He is called Abimelech in the superscription of Ps. 34. It was probably… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Achish — /ay kish/, n. the king of the Philistine city of Gath, who twice gave refuge to David. I Sam. 21:10 15. * * * …   Universalium

  • Achish — /ay kish/, n. the king of the Philistine city of Gath, who twice gave refuge to David. I Sam. 21:10 15 …   Useful english dictionary

  • DAVID — (Heb. דָּוִד), youngest son of Jesse of the Ephrathite family that lived in Beth Lehem in Judah (I Sam. 16:1; 20:27–28; I Chron. 2:13–15; cf. Micah 5:1). In the Bible SOURCES I Samuel 16–II Kings 2 is our main source for David, supplemented by I… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Books of Samuel — The Books of Samuel (Hebrew: Sefer Sh muel ספר שמואל) are part of the Tanakh (part of Judaism s Hebrew Bible) and also of the Christian Old Testament. The work was originally written in Hebrew, and the Book(s) of Samuel originally formed a single …   Wikipedia

  • 1 Samuel 27 — 1 And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of… …   The King James version of the Bible

  • 1 Samuel 29 — 1 Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel. 2 And the lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds, and by thousands: but David and his men passed on in the… …   The King James version of the Bible

  • PHILISTINES — (Heb. פְּלִשְׁתִּים), a people of Aegean origin occupying the south coast of Palestine, called Philistia (פְּלֶשֶׁת, peleshet) in the Bible, and often at war with the Israelites. The name Philistine is first found in the Egyptian form prst as one …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • David — This article is about the biblical king. For other uses, see David (disambiguation). Daud , Dawood , and King David redirect here. For other uses, see Daud (disambiguation), Dawood (disambiguation), and King David (disambiguation). King David… …   Wikipedia

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