In the Book of Samuel, Abner (Biblical Hebrew for "father of [or is a] light"), is first cousin to Saul and commander-in-chief of his army (1 Samuel 14:50, 20:25). He is only referred to incidentally in Saul's history (1 Samuel 17:55, 26:5), and is not mentioned in the account of the disastrous battle of Gilboa when Saul's power was crushed. Seizing the youngest but only surviving of Saul's sons, Ishbaal, Abner set him up as king over Israel at Mahanaim, east of the Jordan. David, who was accepted as king by Judah alone, was meanwhile reigning at Hebron, and for some time war was carried on between the two parties.The only engagement between the rival factions which is told at length is noteworthy, inasmuch as it was preceded by an encounter at Gibeon between twelve chosen men from each side, in which the whole twenty-four seem to have perished (2 Samuel 2:12). In the general engagement which followed, Abner was defeated and put to flight. He was closely pursued by Asahel, brother of Joab, who is said to have been "light of foot as a wild roe" (2 Samuel 2:18). As Asahel would not desist from the pursuit, though warned, Abner was compelled to slay him in self-defence. This originated a deadly feud between the leaders of the opposite parties, for Joab, as next of kin to Asahel, was by the law and custom of the country the avenger of his blood.For some time afterwards the war was carried on, the advantage being invariably on the side of David. At length, Ishbaal lost the main prop of his tottering cause by remonstrating with Abner for marrying Rizpah, one of Saul's concubines, an alliance which, according to contemporary notions, implied pretensions to the throne (cf. 2 Samuel 16:21ff.).Abner was indignant at the deserved rebuke, and immediately opened negotiations with David, who welcomed him on the condition that his wife Michal should be restored to him. This was done, and the proceedings were ratified by a feast. Almost immediately after, however, Joab, who had been sent away, perhaps intentionally returned and slew Abner at the gate of Hebron. The ostensible motive for the assassination was a desire to avenge Asahel, and this would be a sufficient justification for the deed according to the moral standard of the time. The conduct of David after the event was such as to show that he had no complicity in the act, though he could not venture to punish its perpetrators (2 Samuel 3:31-39; cf. 1 Kings 2:31ff.).

Abner was buried in Hebron, and his traditional tomb there is still standing.

Soon however, Ishbaal/Ishbosheth was assassinated as he slept, and David became king of the reunited kingdoms.

External links

* [http://hebron.web.aplus.net/english/article.php?id=240 Pictures of Avner ben Ner's Tomb in Hebron]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ABNER — (Heb. אַבְנֵר, אֲבִינֵר), cousin of King saul and captain of his host (I Sam. 14:50–51); from I Chronicles 8:33 it would appear that Abner was Saul s uncle. At court he occupied the seat of honor next to Jonathan, the crown prince (I Sam. 20:25) …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Abner — • A son of Ner, a cousin of Saul, and commander in chief of Saul s army Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Abner     Abner     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Abner — (hebr. ‏אבנר‎) ist eine Person des Alten Testaments der Bibel und war Heerführer des Königs Saul. Es wird im 1. und 2. Buch Samuel von ihm berichtet. In der biblischen Erzählung unterstützte Abner nach dem Tod Sauls bei der Schlacht von Gilboa… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Abner — ben Ner était le général de Saül puis de David. C était le cousin de Saül. Après la mort de ce prince, il fit donner la couronne à Ishboshet, fils de Saül; mais ensuite, il se rangea au parti de David, et contribua puissamment à soumettre à ce… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Abner — Abner, Sohn des Ner, Feldherr Sauls, nach dessen Tode er Jsboseth, Gegenkönig von David, unterstützte, ging aber später, von Jsboseth beleidigt, zu David über u. gewann ihm die übrigen Stämme. Joab ermordete ihn …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Abner — (hebr., »Vater ist Leuchte«), König Sauls Vetter und Feldhauptmann, kämpfte gegen die Philister und rettete nach Sauls Tod bei Gilboa dessen Sohn Isboseth die Herrschaft über Israel. Auch befreite er die nördlichen Stämme von den Philistern und… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Abner — Abner, Feldherr Sauls, ging später zu David über, wurde aber von Joab ermordet …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Abner — Abner, Sauls tapferer Feldherr, nach dessen Tode die Stütze Isbosets, trat von diesem beleidigt auf Davids Seite, ward aber von Joab ermordet …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Abner — m Biblical: name (meaning ‘father of light’ in Hebrew) of a relative of King Saul, who was in command of Saul s army (I Samuel 14: 50; 26: 5). It is not common as a given name in England, but has enjoyed a steady, modest popularity in America,… …   First names dictionary

  • ABNER — Latine patris lucerna, vel patris navale, princeps militiae Saul, fil. Ner, patruelis et Socer, ut quidam volunt, Saul. 1 Sam. c. 14. v. 49. Interficitur a Ioab. 2 Sam. c. 3. v. 27. Davide insciô, qui tum composuisse creditur Psalmum 139 …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Abner — masc. proper name, name of Saul s commander in the Old Testament, from Hebrew Abhner, lit. my father is light, from abh father + ner light …   Etymology dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.