(3.) The second son of Samuel (1 Sam. 8:2; 1 Chr. 6:28). His conduct, along with that of his brother, as a judge in Beer-sheba, to which office his father had appointed him, led to popular discontent, and ultimately provoked the people to demand a royal form of government.
(4.) A descendant of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, a chief of one of the twenty-four orders into which the priesthood was divided by David (1 Chr. 24:10). The order of Abijah was one of those which did not return from the Captivity (Ezra 2:36–39; Neh. 7:39–42; 12:1).
(5.) The son of Rehoboam, whom he succeeded on the throne of Judah (1 Chr. 3:10). He is also called Abijam (1 Kings 14:31; 15:1–8). He began his three years’ reign (2 Chr. 12:16; 13:1,2) with a strenuous but unsuccessful effort to bring back the ten tribes to their allegiance. His address to “Jeroboam and all Israel,” before encountering them in battle, is worthy of being specially noticed (2 Chr. 13:5–12). It was a very bloody battle, no fewer than 500,000 of the army of Israel having perished on the field. He is described as having walked “in all the sins of his father” (1 Kings 15:3; 2 Chr. 11:20–22). It is said in 1 Kings 15:2 that “his mother’s name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom;” but in 2 Chr. 13:2 we read, “his mother’s name was Michaiah, the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.” The explanation is that Maachah is just a variation of the name Michaiah, and that Abishalom is probably the same as Absalom, the son of David. It is probable that “Uriel of Gibeah” married Tamar, the daughter of Absalom (2 Sam. 14:27), and by her had Maachah. The word “daughter” in 1 Kings 15:2 will thus, as it frequently elsewhere does, mean grand-daughter.
(6.) A son of Jeroboam, the first king of Israel. On account of his severe illness when a youth, his father sent his wife to consult the prophet Ahijah regarding his recovery. The prophet, though blind with old age, knew the wife of Jeroboam as soon as she approached, and under a divine impulse he announced to her that inasmuch as in Abijah alone of all the house of Jeroboam there was found “some good thing toward the Lord,” he only would come to his grave in peace. As his mother crossed the threshold of the door on her return, the youth died, and “all Israel mourned for him” (1 Kings 14:1–18).
(8.) One of the sons of Becher, the son of Benjamin (1 Chr. 7:8). “Abiah,” A.V.