🔼The name Ahithophel in the Bible
There's only one Ahithophel in the Bible and the name is doubtlessly crafted after the man's reputation. Ahithophel the Gilonite is a counselor of king David, and so appreciated that to the king and his sons, Ahithophel's words are like the Word of God (2 Samuel 16:23). But when Absalom revolts against the king, Ahithophel joins him, and gives him some atrocious ideas concerning his father. When Absalom favors the advice of Hushai the Archite over that of Ahithophel, the latter goes home and commits suicide (2 Samuel 17:23).
Ahithophel's son Eliam became one of David's mighty-men (2 Samuel 23:34).
🔼Etymology of the name Ahithophel
The name Ahithophel consists of two elements. The first part comes from the word אח (ah), meaning brother or close associate. The post-fixed letter yod creates a possessive: my brother, or brother of:
The second part of the name Ahithophel comes from the root group תפל (tapal I & II):
For a meaning of the name Ahithophel, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names and NOBSE Study Bible Name List both read Brother Of Folly. BDB Theological Dictionary proposes My Brother Is Folly but adds a question mark.