Abdon in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
ab'-don (`abhdon, perhaps "service"; Abdon):
(1) A judge of Israel for eight years (Jdg 12:13-15). The
account says that he was the son of Hillel the Pirathonite,
and that he was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim.
No mention is made of great public services rendered by him,
but it is said that he had seventy well-mounted sons and
grandsons. So far as we can judge, he was placed in office
as a wealthy elderly man, and performed the routine duties
acceptably. Very likely his two next predecessors Ibzan and
Elon were men of the same type.
An effort has been made to identify Abdon with the Bedan
mentioned in 1 Sam 12:11, but the identification is
A certain importance attaches to Abdon from the fact that he
is the last judge mentioned in the continuous account (Jdg
2:6 through 13:1) in the Book of Jgs. After the account of
him follows the statement that Israel was delivered into the
hands of the Philistines forty years, and with that
statement the continuous account closes and the series of
personal stories begins--the stories of Samson, of Micah and
his Levite, of the Benjamite civil war, followed in our
English Bibles by the stories of Ruth and of the childhood
of Samuel. With the close of this last story (1 Sam 4:18)
the narrative of public affairs is resumed, at a point when
Israel is making a desperate effort, at the close of the
forty years of Eli, to throw off the Philistine yoke. A
large part of one's views of the history of the period of
the Judges will depend on the way in which he combines these
events. My own view is that the forty years of Jdg 13:1 and
of 1 Sam 4:18 are the same; that at the death of Abdon the
Philistines asserted themselves as overlords of Israel; that
it was a part of their policy to suppress nationality in
Israel; that they abolished the office of judge, and changed
the high-priesthood to another family, making Eli high
priest; that Eli was sufficiently competent so that many of
the functions of national judge drifted into his hands. It
should be noted that the regaining of independence was
signalized by the reestablishment of the office of judge,
with Samuel as incumbent (1 Sam 7:6 and context). This view
takes into the account that the narrative concerning Samson
is detachable, like the narratives that follow, Samson
belonging to an earlier period.
(2) The son of Jeiel and his wife Maacah (1 Ch 8:30; 9:36).
Jeiel is described as the "father of Gibeon," perhaps the
founder of the Israelirish community there. This Abdon is
described as brother to Ner, the grandfather of King Saul.
(3) One of the messengers sent by King Josiah to Huldah the
prophetess (2 Ch 34:20); called Achbor in 2 Ki 22:12.
(4) One of many men of Benjamin mentioned as dwelling in
Jerusalem (1 Ch 8:23), possibly in Nehemiah's time, though
the date is not clear.