|as'-a-hel (creature of God, made by God)
RELATED: Abner, David, Joab, Zeruiah
Easton's Bible Dictionary
made by God, The youngest son of Zeruiah, David's sister.
He was celebrated for his swiftness of foot. When fighting against Ish-bosheth
at Gibeon, in the army of his brother Joab, he was put to death by Abner, whom
he pursued from the field of battle ( 2 Samuel 2:18 , 2:19 ). He is mentioned
among David's thirty mighty men ( 2 Samuel 23:24 ; 1 Chronicles 11:26 ). Others
of the same name are mentioned ( 2 Chronicles 17:8 ; 31:13 ; Ezra 10:15 ).
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
creature of God
Smith's Bible Dictionary
(made by God).
(1) Nephew of David, being the youngest son of his sister Zeruiah. He was celebrated
for his swiftness of foot. When fighting under his brother Joab at Gibeon, he
pursued Abner, who was obliged to kill him in self-defence. ( 2 Samuel 2:18 )
ff. [ABNER] (B.C. 1050.)
(2) One of the Levites in the reign of Jehoshaphat, who went throughout the cities
of Judah to instruct the people in the knowledge of the law. ( 2 Chronicles 17:8
) (B.C. 910.)
(3) A Levite in the reign of Hezekiah, who had charge of the tithes and dedicated
things in the temple. ( 2 Chronicles 31:13 ) (B.C. 927.)
(4) A priest, father of Jonathan, in the time of Ezra. ( Ezra 10:15 ) He is called
AZAEL in 1 Esd 9:14. (B.C. before 459.)
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
as'-a-hel (`asah'el, "God hath made"; Asael):
(1) The brother of Joab and Abishai.
The three were sons of Zeruiah, one of David's sisters (1 Chronicles 2:15 , 16
; 2 Samuel 2:18, etc.). The three brothers seem to have been from the beginning
members of David's troop of strangely respectable brigands. Asahel was distinguished
for his swift running, and this fact brought misfortune upon him and upon Israel.
When Abner and the forces of Ish-bosheth were defeated near Gibeon, Asahel pursued
Abner. Abner knew that he could outright Asahel, though he could not outrun him.
He also knew that the time had come for making David king, and that a blood feud
among the leaders would be a calamity. He expostulated with Asahel, but in vain.
It came to a fight, and Abner slew Asahel (2 Samuel 2:3). As a result the coming
of David to the throne of all Israel was delayed; and when at last Abner brought
it about, he himself was treacherously killed by Joab in alleged blood revenge
for Asahel. Asahel is mentioned as sixth in the list of David's "mighty men" (2
Samuel 23:24 ; 1 Chronicles 11:26).
The earlier of the names in this list are evidently arranged in the order of seniority.
If it be assumed that the list was not made till after the death of Asahel, still
there is no difficulty in the idea that some of the names in the list were placed
there posthumously. Asahel is also mentioned as the fourth of David's month-by-month
captains (1 Chronicles 27:7). Superficial criticism describes this position as
that of "commander of a division of David's army," and regards the statement,
"and Zebadiah his son after him," as a note added to explain the otherwise incredible
assertion of the text. This criticism is correct in its implication that the fourth
captain was, as the text stands, the dead Asahel, in the person of his son Zebadiah.
Coming from an annotator, the criticism regards this meaning as intelligible;
is it any the less so if we regard it as coming from the author? In fact, the
statement is both intelligible and credible. The second of David's month-by-month
captains is Dodai, the father of the second of David's "mighty men"; and the fourth
is Asahel, with his son Zebadiah. With these two variations the twelve month-by-month
captains are twelve out of the nineteen seniors in the list of mighty men, and
are mentioned in practically the same order of seniority. The 24,000 men each
month were not a fighting army mobilized for war. The position of general for
a month, whatever else it may have involved, was an honor held by a distinguished
veteran. There is no absurdity in the idea that the honor may in some cases have
been posthumous, the deceased being represented by his father or his son or by
(2) A Levite member of the commission of captains and Levites and priests which
Jehoshaphat, in his third year, sent among the cities of Judah, with the book
of the law, to spread information among the people (2 Chronicles 17:7 - 9).
(3) One of the keepers of the storechambers in the temple in the time of Hezekiah
(2 Chronicles 31:13).
(4) The father of Jonathan who was one of the two men who "stood upon this," at
the time when Ezra and the people appointed a court to consider the cases of those
who had married foreign wives (Ezra 10:15). The text of the Revised Version (British
and American) translates "stood up against this," while the margin has "were appointed
Willis J. Beecher
asahel, bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, fought with brother joab, killed by abner, nephew of king david, son of zeruiah, swiftness of foot