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and his second, Chileab,
of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite;
and the third, Absalom,
the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; Bible

“Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.” Chileab had a second name, “Daniel” (1 Chron. 3:1).

Abigail had been the wife of Nabal, who was evil and whom David was going to kill, but Abigail interceded for her husband and household and kept David from killing Nabal (1 Sam. 25:2-35). Nabal died, likely of a stroke (1 Sam. 25:37-38), and then David sent and took Abigail as a wife (1 Sam. 25:39-42). Abigail’s son, David’s second son, was likely first named “Daniel” (thus the name in 1 Chron. 3:1). “Daniel” is a compound of “God” (el) and the verb “judge” and would have meant something like, “God has judged,” with the idea being, “God has judged me and found me innocent.” Thus, Daniel was likely given his name because David felt himself innocent in Nabal’s death and in the fact he had taken Nabal’s wife as his own. David noted as much when he said that Yahweh had pleaded his case in the death of Nabal (1 Sam. 25:39).

It is likely that in time “Daniel” was given the name “Chileab,” which means “like the father” (Jewish Study Bible: Tanakh Translation, Jewish Publication Society), which would have happened if Chileab was known to be like his father in certain ways. Nothing is known about Chileab other than that he was David’s second son. He almost certainly died young. Neither Absalom, David’s third son, or Adonijah, David’s fourth son, saw Chileab as being in the way in their bids for David’s throne, which Chileab would have been had he been alive.


Commentary for: 2 Samuel 3:3