(A·biʹel) [(My) Father Is God].
1. A son of Zeror, and descendant of Becorath and Aphiah, of the tribe of Benjamin. A comparison of 1 Chronicles 8:29-33 and 9:35-39 with 1 Samuel 9:1, 2 and 14:50, 51 gives basis for believing that Abiel is also called “Jeiel” in the Chronicles account, since Jeiel is there shown to be the father of Ner, who became the father of Kish, Saul’s father. First Samuel 14:50, 51 also shows Abiel (or Jeiel) to be the father of Ner. The record in Chronicles indicates that Jeiel (or Abiel) had nine other sons, of whom one was named Kish, and this older Kish would thus be the uncle of the son of Ner who bore the same name.
Assuming Abiel and Jeiel both to be names of the same person, we arrive at a genealogy such as is set forth in this chart.
(For fully formatted text, see publication)
Aphiah (a descendant of Benjamin)
Abiel or Jeiel
Abdon Zur Kish Baal Ner Nadab Gedor Ahio Zechariah Mikloth
Therefore, when we read at 1 Samuel 9:1 that Kish (that is, the second Kish, the father of Saul) was “the son of Abiel,” it appears that the meaning is that he was the grandson of Abiel, as is often the case in Bible genealogy where one or more links in the genealogy are simply omitted. (Thus, while “the family of the Matrites” is mentioned at 1 Samuel 10:21 as including Kish and Saul, the name of Matri does not appear in the accounts we are considering, nor in the rest of the Bible.)
The record in 1 Chronicles (8:33; 9:39) seems quite definite in presenting Ner as the immediate father of the second Kish, and this is clearly the more explicit of the two accounts.—See KISH Nos. 2 and 3.
2. Also a Benjamite.—See ABI-ALBON.