Abimelech (also spelled Abimelek or Avimelech; Hebrew: / , Modern Aviméle? / Avimále? Tiberian 'A?îméle? / 'A?îm?le?, "father/leader of a king; my father/leader, a king") was the name of multiple Philistine kings mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.
The name or title Abimelech is formed from Hebrew words for "father" and "king," and may be interpreted in a variety of ways, including "Father-King", "My father is king," or "Father of a king." In the Pentateuch, it is used as a title for kings in the land of Canaan.
At the time of the Amarna tablets (mid-14th century BC), there was an Egyptian governor of Tyre similarly named Abimilki, who is sometimes speculated to be connected with one or more of the biblical Abimelechs.
Abimelech was most prominently the name of a polytheistic king of Gerar who is mentioned in two of the three wife-sister narratives in Genesis, in connection with both Abraham (chap. 20) and Isaac (chap. 26).
King Abimelech of Gerar also appears in an extra-biblical tradition recounted in texts such as the Kitab al-Magall, the Cave of Treasures and the Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan, as one of 12 regional kings in Abraham's time said to have built the city of Jerusalem for Melchizedek.
Apart from the king (or kings) of Gerar, the Bible also records this name for:
Other literary references include:
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Easton, Matthew George (1897). Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons. Missing or empty