AHIKAM, one of the four persons of distinction whom Josiah sent to consult Huldah, the prophetess (2 Kings xxii. 12-14). Ahikam and his family are honourably distinguished for their protection of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. xxvi. 24 ; xxxix. 14).
AHIldIAAZ brother of anger, i. e., irascible; Sept. ' Axcgcias, I. Father of Ahinoam, Saul's wife (I Sam. xiv. so). 2. Son and successor of Zadok, who was joint high-priest in the reign of David, and sole high-priest in that of Solomon. His history chiefly belongs to the time of David, to whom he rendered an important service during the revolt of Absalom. David having refused to allow the ark of God to be taken from Jerusalem when he fled thence, the high-priests, Zadok and Abiathar, necessarily remained in attendance upon it ; but their sons, Ahimaaz and Jonathan, con cealed themselves outside the city, to be in readiness to bear off to David any important information respecting the movements and designs of Absalom which they might receive from within. Accord ingly, Hushai having communicated to the priests the result of the council of war, in which his own advice was preferred to that of Ahithophel [AnsALoit], they instantly sent a girl (probably to avoid suspicion) to direct Ahimaaz and Jonathan to speed away with the intelligence. The transac tion, however, was witnessed and betrayed by a lad, and the messengers were so hotly pursued that they took refuge in a dry well, over which the woman of the house placed a covering, and spread thereon parched corn. She told the pursuers that the messengers had passed on in haste ; and when all was safe, she released them, on which they made their way to David (2 Sam. xv. 24-37xvii.
15-21). As may be inferred from his being Chosen for this service, Ahimaaz was swift of foot. Of this we have a notable example soon after, when, on the defeat and death of Absalom, he prevailed on Joab to allow him to carry the tidings to David. Another messenger, Cushi, had previously been despatched, but Ahimaaz outstripped him, and first came in with the news. He was known afar off by the manner of his running, and the king said, He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings ;' and this favourable character is justified by the delicacy with which he waived that part of his intelligence concerning the death of Absalom, which he knew would greatly distress so fond a father as David (2 Sam. xviii. 19-33).—J. K.
3. A son-in-law of Solomon, and one of the twelve officers whose duty it was to provide victuals for the king and his household (I Kings iv. 7, 15), each for a month. Rosennniiller calls these officers head collectors of taxes (Alt. tr. N. Morgenland 166), and Ewald thinks they were stewards of the royal domains; but Thenius (Exeg: crlb. in loc.) holds that they were officers of higher rank, of whose duties the supply of the royal table formed only a part. Josephus calls them iryeuoves (Ant. yua'. viii. 2, 4). The province of Ahimaaz was in Naphtali. By some this Ahimaaz is identified with No. 2, but this is improbable.—W. L. A.