A native of Giloh in the hills of Judah (2Sa 15:12), father of one of David’s mighty men named Eliam, and possibly the grandfather of Bath-sheba. (2Sa 11:3; 23:34) As David’s personal adviser, Ahithophel’s sagacious counsel was esteemed as if it were the direct word of Jehovah. (2Sa 16:23) Later this once-close companion treacherously turned traitor and joined David’s son Absalom in a coup against the king. As a ringleader in the rebellion, he advised Absalom to violate David’s concubines, and he asked permission to raise an army of 12,000 and immediately hunt down and kill David while David was in a disorganized and weakened state. (2Sa 15:31; 16:15, 21; 17:1-4) When Jehovah thwarted this bold scheme, and the counsel of Hushai was followed, Ahithophel evidently realized that Absalom’s revolt would fail. (2Sa 15:32-34; 17:5-14) He committed suicide and was buried with his forefathers. (2Sa 17:23) Apart from wartime, this is the only case of suicide mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures. His traitorous act is apparently recalled in Psalm 55:12-14.