He was a friend to David, and brought him food for his army at Mahanaim. At the time, King David and his army were fleeing from Jerusalem and from the army of Absalom (2 Sam. 17:27-29). Later, when David was on his deathbed, he remembered the kindness of Barzillai, and had Solomon take in Barzillai's family as guests of the king (1 Kings 2:7). The name Barzillai means "made of iron."

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