Abner Bible Study

Abner in the Bible

Christianity Oasis provides this Abner Bible study looking at the Asahel and Abner in the Bible story. We'll look into that and all aspects of the Bible seeking truth, understanding and peace.

Christianity Oasis Ministry

Daily Bread Bible Study
The Second Book of Samuel
Chapter 2

Abner Bible Study Lesson

Asahel and Abner in the Bible Saga

Welcome to our Christianity Oasis Daily Bread study program. This is our Abner Bible study taking a look into the Asahel and Abner in the Bible event and how the thought provoking Abner Bible study message affects your be-YOU-tiful Christian walk.

Living Water Oasis
Christianity Oasis
Living Water
Click Here
Things to discover at Christianity Oasis
Christianity Oasis Living Water
Click Here

The Second Book of Samuel
Chapter 2

Abner Bible Study Teaching
Asahel and Abner in the Bible Concern

It's a great day at 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.

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:

Abner Bible Study Teaching
Asahel and Abner in the Bible Concern

2 Samuel 1:19

The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!

2 Samuel 1:23

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 their king.

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 actually.

Abner Bible Study Message
Asahel and Abner in the Bible Warning

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, Chapter 19 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.

Abner Bible Study Explanation
Asahel and Abner in the Bible Danger

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 amazing triumph.

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 7½ years.

Murder of Abner Bible Study
Asahel and Abner in the Bible Fear

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 Ishbosheth's army.

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 brook.

Abner Bible Study Tale
Asahel and Abner in the Bible Death

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 were sorely 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.)

Abner Bible Study on Revenge
Asahel and Abner in the Bible on Takeover

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.

Abner Bible Study Truth
Asahel and Abner in the Bible Trouble

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.

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?

Abner Bible Study Conclusion
Asahel and Abner in the Bible Summary

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 the fighting.

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!

Copyright © 2000-2023 All Rights Reserved.


Christianity Oasis
Christian Community Directory
Friendship, Family,
Fellowship and Fun

Search By Age Range
Search By That
Which You Seek
Come and visit the
Christianity Oasis
Go to the Christianity Oasis Mall


We hope you enjoyed our Abner Bible study delving into the Asahel and Abner in the Bible story. If after sojourning through the Christianity Oasis community, you find our Ministry to be worthy and would like to make a Love Offering as to assure the Light of Hope continues to shine for the lost and hurting souls dwelling in darkness, thereby providing them with the opportunity to pursue the path of Christianity as well as provide a safe and enjoyable sanctuary for fellow Christians.

Please choose to make a one time love offering securely by way of Paypal, credit card or debit card by clicking on the Donate button below.

Donate with PayPal button

If you prefer to pay by check or other source or if you have any questions, please contact us at: ChristianityOasis

May God bless you abundantly for your Love.