(Asʹa·hel) [God Has Made].
1. A son of David’s sister or half sister Zeruiah and the brother of Abishai and Joab; hence, David’s nephew. (1Ch 2:15, 16) Honored as among the 30 outstanding warriors under David, Asahel was particularly noted for his fleetness, “like one of the gazelles that are in the open field.” (2Sa 2:18; 23:24) This proved to be his undoing. Following the test struggle at the Pool of Gibeon and the subsequent rout of the Israelite forces under Abner, Asahel doggedly pursued the fleeing Abner. After pleading twice with Asahel to desist, the powerful Abner rammed the butt end of his spear through Asahel’s abdomen, and Asahel died on the spot. Though Asahel’s brother Joab finally called off the Judean forces in response to Abner’s remonstrations, Asahel’s death caused bitterness within Joab so that at a later opportunity he craftily maneuvered into position to put Abner to death by the sword.—2Sa 2:12-28; 3:22-27.
At 1 Chronicles 27:7 Asahel is listed as a divisional commander of the month-by-month arrangement of troops. Since Asahel died before David became king over all Israel, his mention here may be rather with reference to his house, represented in his son Zebadiah, who is referred to in the text as Asahel’s successor. A further suggestion is that given by The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (edited by G. A. Buttrick, 1962, Vol. 1, p. 244): “It is possible that we may have here the prototype of the Davidic militia, organized early in the Judean rule of the king, and that this original list has been brought up to date by the inclusion of Zebadiah, son and successor of Asahel in this command.”—Compare 1Ch 12.
3. A commissioner serving at the temple during Hezekiah’s reign (745-717 B.C.E.) in connection with the contributions and tithes.—2Ch 31:13.