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- This article is about the priest in Jerusalem during the reign of David. For the high priest who was summarily executed, see Ahimelech I. For other uses, see Ahimelech (disambiguation).
Ahimelech and Zadok took charge of a division of labor among the Aaronids. They divided the descendants of Eleazar and Ithamar into twenty-four "courses," two per month. Each "course" would take its turn for ministration inside the Holy place, first of the Tabernacle (after David had had it set up in Jerusalem) and then of the Temple of Jerusalem (1_Chronicles 24:1-19 ).
Many scholars suggest that the names Abiathar and Ahimelech were transposed in the passages mentioning Ahimelech's term of service, and that the "Ahimelech" mentioned is actually Ahimelech I, the high priest who was executed for treason by Saul (1_Samuel 22:6-19 ). This suggestion has two problems:
- It ignores the meticulous fact-checking that every copyist performed when copying an Old Testament manuscript, and also ignores God's promise to preserve His Word providentially forever. (See Biblical inerrancy).
- Abiathar is not mentioned in the passage describing the appointment of the courses.