Who was Abner in the Bible?

bner was the commander of Israel’s army, which served King Saul. He was a great warrior and had a lot of political influence in Israel. At the end of his life, Abner supported David as king and helped him establish his reign.

Abner and Saul

Abner was a relative of Saul and the general of his army ( 1 Samuel 14: 50-51 ). It was Abner who introduced David to King Saul after he defeated the giant Goliath. From that day on, David became a famous warrior in Abner’s army.

When David ran away from King Saul, who was jealous and wanted to kill him, he gathered his own army and Saul pursued him. One night Saul camped and fell asleep with Abner and his soldiers. David managed to enter the camp and approach Saul but left without killing him.

David rebuked Abner for his lack of attention. Abner and his soldiers should have set up a guard, protecting their king’s life, as every army does ( 1 Samuel 26: 14-16 ). But Abner and the entire army had been overcome with sleep!

See David’s story here .

Abner and Is-Bosete

Some time later, Saul’s army went into battle with the Philistines. Abner and his soldiers suffered a great defeat and Saul was killed. The tribe of Judah declared David king, but Abner took Isul Boseth, Saul’s son, and proclaimed him king over the rest of Israel ( 2 Samuel 2: 8-10 ). This sparked a war between the two sides.

See also: who were the Philistines?

Abner’s army came together to face David’s army. When they met, Abner spoke to Joab, the commander of David’s army, and suggested a fight between the best soldiers on either side. Joab agreed and 12 soldiers on each side fought against each other. There was no winner because everyone died ( 2 Samuel 2: 14-16 ). Then a very violent battle ensued and Abner’s army was defeated.

Abner and his soldiers left, pursued by David’s soldiers. During the flight, Joab’s brother Asael caught up with Abner and wanted to fight him. Abner killed Asael and managed to escape ( 2 Samuel 2: 22-23 ). Before Joab discovered that his brother was dead, Abner convinced him to stop the persecution and they all went home.

Abner and David

Abner became very powerful and even King Is-Bosete feared him. But one day Is-Bosete accused Abner of sleeping with one of Saul’s concubines. Abner was very angry at the accusation and decided to support King David. He sent messengers to David, offering his loyalty, and spoke to the tribal leaders on behalf of David ( 2 Samuel 3:12 ).

Abner presented himself to David with the news that he had won the support of all Israel! But Joab was not happy. In addition to killing his brother, Abner could now steal his place as army commander. So Joab called Abner for a private conversation and killed him ( 2 Samuel 3: 26-27 ). David and everyone who heard about it was shocked, because Abner was a very important ally.

After Abner’s death, Is-Bosete’s reign collapsed and David was proclaimed king over all Israel. Although Abner’s support was murdered, it was essential to establish David as king.

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