Asahel was one of David’s mighty men. He was a valiant warrior who would not be distracted from pursuing the enemy. Unfortunately for Ahasel, however, this admirable character trait also led to his death.
Asahel (as well as his brothers Joab and Abishai) was a nephew of David by his sister Zeruiah, and had apparently demonstrated great valor as a warrior, for he was listed among David’s mighty men (2 Samuel 23:24; 1 Chronicles 11:26). Beyond this, however, the only other information we have about Asahel comes from his death at the hands of Abner, the commander of Ish-Bosheth’s army.
Ish-Bosheth was a son of Saul who fought against David to be the next king. During one of their battles, Asahel doggedly pursued Abner and would not heed Abner’s call for him to give up the chase. Eventually Abner took his spear and killed Asahel. Joab, the commander of David’s army, and his brother Abishai nursed their hatred of Abner for many months for killing their brother Asahel. Finally, they avenged their brother’s death by arranging for Abner to come to Hebron and then killing him in the city gate.
It is interesting to note that several of David’s thirty-seven mighty men (including Asahel) came either from David’s family or from the general area of Bethlehem, the town of David’s family (2 Samuel 23). These include Abishai (David’s nephew), Asahel (David’s nephew), Elhanan (from Bethlehem), Ira (from Tekoa), Mebunnai (from Hushah), Maharai (from Netophah), and Heled (from Netophah).