(as' uh hel) HEBREW: ASAEL
"God has made"

Along with his brothers Joab and Abishai, Asahel was on of King David's inner circle of warriors. They were the son's of David's sister Zeruiah. Known for being "as swift of foot as a wild gazelle" (2 Sam. 2:18), Asahel appears in the biblical narrative at the moment when that strength proved his undoing.

During David's war with Saul's son Ish-bosheth, Joab defeated Ish-bosheth's forces led by the renowned Abner. When Abner fled, the younger Asahel pursued him, eager to strike the famous warrior. As Asahel closed on his prey, Abner called on him to take on a younger opponent since he did not wish to risk Joab's anger by smiting his brother. But Asahel ignored him. Just as Asahel was about to seize Abner, the older warrior rammed his spear backward so hard that the butt went completely through his pursuer; Asahel died on the spot. Joab treated Asahel's death as a murder rather than a battle casualty and later killed Abner to avenge his brother's death.

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

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