CHECK OUT THE SECOND BOOK OF SAMUEL STUDY FROM THE BEGINNING
THE SECOND BOOK OF SAMUEL
ASAHEL BIBLE STUDY
Welcome back to Daily Bread! The
last time we had the pleasure of sharing Daily Bread together,
we were there with David when he found out about the death of his best
friend Jonathan, and Saul, the king of Israel.
ASAHEL BIBLE STUDY ON ASAHEL BIBLE EVENTS WITH ASAHEL BIBLE MESSAGE
Now, with Saul dead,
David asked God if he should go to any of the cities of Judah and the Lord gave
him Hebron, so he took his two wives and his men and their families and they
resided in the cities of Hebron. And the men of Judah came and anointed David king over Judah.
Finally, David was king
... After Saul had reigned for forty years ... But thus far, only over Judah.
Don't forget now, that David never was
vengeful toward Saul ... Well, we learned in our last chapter that he rent his
clothes when he found out that Saul and Jonathan were killed and in his song of
lamentation he wrote:
The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the
Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives ...
David had compassion on Saul and
Jonathan and when he heard that the men of Jabesh-gilead buried Saul, David sent a message
commending them for doing such an honorable thing and promising them that he
would repay them in kind. He also informed them that Judah had anointed him
Let's refresh our
memories here for a moment. Who are these people from Jabesh-gilead, and why
would they be eager to recover Saul and his son's bodies more so than the people
of Gibeah, in the land of Benjamin, where Saul was from? There are a few reasons
All the way back during
the days of the Judges, the men of Gibeah (which is in the inheritance of the
tribe of Benjamin) killed a man's wife and her husband cut her into twelve
pieces and sent one to each tribe of Israel ... Remember that story? If you'd
like to review it, you'll find it in Judges,
through 21. To make a long story, less long ... ☺ ... The men of Israel pretty
much wiped out the tribe of Benjamin in retaliation, excepting 600 men.
Afterward, they repented having destroyed practically an entire tribe of Israel,
so they made an oath that whoever didn't participate in making peace offerings
would be put to death. None from Jabesh-gilead attended, so they were destroyed
except for 400 chaste women whom they gave to the Benjamites to marry. The
elders of Israel then agreed that since anyone who "gave" their daughter to a
Benjamite would be cursed, the remaining 200 Benjamites were allowed to hide in
the vineyards and sort of "steal" a maiden from Shiloh (in the inheritance of
the tribe of Ephraim) during a certain yearly feast that was celebrated there.
So, as you can see, the Benjamites and the people of Jabesh-gilead are
sort of inter-related.
ASAHEL BIBLE LESSON WITH ASAHEL BIBLE EXPLANATION
Another reason the people
of Jabesh-gilead might have been moved to recover the bodies of Saul and his
sons, is because if you'll recall, the very first victory that Saul had as king
was against the Ammonites, when Nahash, their king threatened to cut out all the
left eyes of the people of Jabesh-gilead. Saul was furious at the notion and the
Spirit of God assisted him in leading Israel to rescue Jabesh-gilead with an
Yet another reason the
people of Jabesh-gilead found it proper to reclaim the bodies of Saul and his
sons, was their proximity to Mt. Gilboa, where the king and his sons were slain,
and Beth-shan, where the Philistines hung their bodies. If you look at a map of
Israel, you'll find that Jabesh-gilead was only about 15 miles from Beth-shan,
whereas Gibeah was about 50 miles away, so the news of their death was certain
to reach Jabesh-gilead much sooner than Gibeah would receive word.
But Abner, commander of Saul's army,
took Ishbosheth, one of Saul's surviving sons, and brought him to Mahanaim, on
the east side of the Jordan and declared him king over all of Israel excluding
Judah. Ishbosheth was 40 years old at the time, and
reigned for 2 years. But Judah followed David. David was king in Hebron, over
Judah, for 7 ½ years.
Question: Do you think
that after General Abner served under Saul for forty years, he was willing to
sit quietly and just accept the fact that Judah had chosen David as their king?
And what about Ishbosheth? Do you think he was eager to surrender one twelfth of
the kingdom that his daddy ruled in hopes that his posterity would take the
reign when he died? Not hardly.
Shortly after Ishbosheth began to rule
... How do we know it was shortly after? Because he only reigned for two years
... So, shortly after Ishbosheth began to rule, Abner and the men of Ishbosheth
left Mahanaim and went back over to the west side of the Jordan to Gibeon, which
was just a few miles from Saul's hometown, so it stands to reason, this was
probably like home territory to Abner and Saul's army, which was now
Okayyy, now it doesn't
take a rocket scientist to figure out that you don't take an army, on foot,
thirty-some odd miles, with armor and artillery, across the Jordan River on a
... Field Trip! They must have had motive! So Joab and David's men went and met Abner and
his men and they met each on an opposite side of the pool of Gibeon. (Since you
won't find any body of water of substantial size on a map in the vicinity of
Gibeon, it's probably safe to assume that the "pool" of Gibeon was a spring or a
You may have noticed that
this was sort of standard battle strategy back then, to line up your army
opposing your enemy's army and either taunt your enemy on to commence fighting,
or wait for the signal that your commander gave to attack.
At this particular confrontation, Abner
challenged Joab to sort of a contest, sending forward twelve men (probably his
top guys). Joab agreed,
sending twelve of his men out (probably his top guys too). Now, this wasn't your
average spitting contest folks ... These guys were wielding swords!
Grabbing each other by the hair,
they each stabbed their opponents in their sides
with their swords. And ... They all died! This persuaded the remainder of each
army to engage in battle and by the end of the day, Abner and the men of Israel
defeated by David and his men. (It kind of sounds like an old Western ... A
barroom brawl, if you will, where a couple of guys start fighting, and it sort
of triggers the rest of the people in the saloon to join in and soon it's just a
big frenzy of angry fighting men.)
Now Joab had two brothers. Abishai
(who we spoke of briefly in 1 Samuel), and Asahel. It's interesting to know
that these three men were David's nephews, the sons of his sister Zeruiah. Asahel,
the youngest of the three, was extremely fast ... Swift as a wild deer they say
... And this little "contest" of Abner's down right teed him off, so Asahel
chased after Abner. He was determined to catch Abner and wouldn't let himself
get distracted by anything. Abner tried to convince Asahel to give up the chase, but Asahel wouldn't be persuaded,
he had his mind set.
Abner persisted to try and convince Asahel to retreat, saying, "What's
going to happen if I kill you? How am I ever going to be able to face your
brother Joab?" But Asahel wasn't moved by Abner's concern and continued chasing him. So
Abner took his spear and thrust it into Asahel under his fifth rib, so hard it
went clean through him and he died. Those who were behind, pursuing Abner,
stopped when they came to the place where Asahel lie dead.
Joab and Abishai continued to trail Abner. As the sun started to set,
the tribe of Benjamin gathered on top of a hill behind Abner. Remember that Saul
and Ishbosheth were from the tribe of Benjamin, so it stands to reason that all
the king's and the general's top men, including security or body guards were
from the tribe of Benjamin also. And Abner called
out to Joab expressing that it wasn't right for them to encourage men of the
same nation to fight with one another. "How long before you put a stop to this?"
Abner added. (Remember, this all started with a challenge initiated by Abner, and Joab
agreeing to each watch their dozen men fight one another). It ended up that
Abner lost 360 men and Joab lost 20, including his own brother.
ASAHEL BIBLE INFORMATION WITH ASAHEL BIBLE MEANING
So, when exactly did Abner have his
change of heart about his initial intent? Was it while he was being chased?
(Reality has a way of encouraging you to admit that you really didn't want
things to go as far as they went, especially when said reality is nipping at
your heels, huh?) Was Abner just saying these pretty words to Joab because his
men were getting slaughtered and he feared it was going to get even worse? Was
Abner sincerely trying to put an end to the battle himself by discouraging
Asahel from chasing him? Who knows? Maybe we were wrong in the first place
about Abner's initial motive?
You may be surprised at Joab's
response, since Abner had just killed his baby brother ... He blew a trumpet
signaling for his army to cease fighting and everyone stood still and stopped chasing the army of Israel.
Remember when the tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out back in the days of the
judges? Maybe this was a consideration Joab had when he called for a cease to
Abner and his men walked all night thirty-some odd miles,
with armor and artillery, across the river Jordan, back to Mahaniam.
The others took Asahel and
buried him beside his father in Bethlehem.Then they traveled all night and
arrived in Hebron at dawn.
Jeepers ... What a story! What do you think will happen
next? Did Joab call off the battle because he has another plan? Make sure to come back
soon for another exciting slice of Daily Bread!
CONTINUE TO THE NEXT STUDY