The Superscription of Psalm 34

Abimelech in Psalm 34?

There is an interesting anomaly in verse 1 of Psalm 34.  It reads:

Of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who forced him to depart.

The problem is that in the episode where David feigns madness the king is actually Achish (see 1 Samuel 21), not Abimelech.  So, how has this been explained (similar explanations in various sources)?

  1. Scribal error
  2. Abimelech is a general name for Philistine Kings
  3. Abimelech is Achish’s dynastic name

Not sure how well any of these work, like how a scribe would get Abimelech out of Achish (though it is interesting that David has dealings with Ahimelech just before the story in which he feigns madness in 1 Samuel 21).  As to the last two suggestions, I’ve not seen them anywhere else other than in reading up on this verse.  Interesting …

Related – Check out some of my other Psalms posts from last week:

Psalm 1 – Translation Comparison

Psalm 103 & Prosperity Thought

Psalm 98 & Assonance