3:27 for the blood of Asahel his brother. See also v. 30. In 2:18–23 Abner’s slaying of Asahel is depicted as essentially a matter of self-defense, and the battle context of Abner’s action makes it doubtful that Joab had the right to act as an “avenger of blood” (14:11; Num. 35:16–25; Deut. 19:11–13; Josh. 20:3). Joab may also have wanted to eliminate a potential rival in David’s court (see his murder of Amasa in 20:10).