ABISHAI, a-bish'a-ai: Elder brother of Joab and Asahel (I Chron, ii. 16); like them the son of Zeruiah, David's sister (or half-sister; cf. II Sam. xvii. 25, where Zeruiah's sister Abigail is called daughter of Nahash, not of Jesse). His father is not mentioned. He was David's companion in his time of persecution (I Sam. xxvi. 6 sqq.), saved his life (II Sam. xxi. 17), and served him faithfully to the end of his reign. He was the first among the "thirty" in the catalogue of David's mighty men (xxiii. 18-19, reading "thirty," instead of "three;" cf. Wellhausen, Der Text der Bucher Samuelis, Gottingen, 1871, and Klostermann's commentary on Samuel ad loc.). While Joab was commander-in-chief Abishai often commanded a division of the army (against the Ammonites, II Sam. x. 10-14; against Edom, I Chron. xviii. 12; against Absalom, II Sam. xviii. 2; against Sheba, II Sam. xx. 6). He was valiant and true, but severe and passionate toward David's enemies (cf. I Sam. xxvi. 8; II Sam. iii. 30, xvi. 9, xix. 21). C. VON ORELLI.