Abihail, the daughter of Eliab and the wife of Rehoboam, is only mentioned in the Chronicles. Traditional interpretation suggests that Rehoboam married several wives from the line of David (Mahalath and Abihail), and she bore him his sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham.
The difficulty in this verse arises from the lack of connecting words between “Jerimoth the son of David’s” and “Abihail.” Hence, there are two ways to interpret this difficulty: the first, more accepted in traditional commentary, is that Rehoboam married both Mahalath and Abihail.
The second possibility is that the genealogy of Mahalath is given through both her father and mother, and thus Mahalath is the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David’s, and Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse. Jerimoth, Mahalath’s father, the son of David, was married to Abihail.
According to the traditional interpretation, Rehoboam married both Mahalath and Abihail.
Abihail was the first wife, and her son was the firstborn. However, her son did not become king after his father; the monarchy passed to Abijah, the son of Maacah the daughter of Absalom.
Abihail was Solomon’s cousin, Rehoboam’s fother.
Maacah was Rehoboam’s cousin.
David saw his grandson, Rehoboam, marrying his own niece.
A difficulty arises with the traditional interpretation concerning Abihail’s age. Abihail was the daughter of Solomon’s generation, and the age gap between them was more than a single generation, making it impossible. Therefore, researchers conclude that the author aims to present the lineage of Mahalath and her noble lineage from both her parents, reaching all the way to Jesse, the father of David. This emphasis is necessary considering Rehoboam’s choice of Maacah’s son, which links his lineage only to David.