Abner, Abiner [Ăb'nûr]—father of light. The son of Ner, cousin of Saul and captain of his army. Because of his relationship to the king and his force of character he exercised great influence during Saul’s reign and afterwards (1 Sam. 14:50, 51; 17:55, 57).
Although Abner was the only capable person on the side of Saul and his family, he had little time for the lofty ideas of morality or religion (2 Sam. 3:8, 16).
As Saul’s commander-in-chief, he greatly helped his cousin to maintain his military prowess. After Saul’s death, he set Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, on the throne.
As an enemy of Joab, David’s general, he fought long and bravely against him, and after a severe defeat, killed Asahel in self-defense (2 Sam. 2).
As a proud man, he resented most bitterly the remonstrance of Ish-bosheth, over the matter of Saul’s concubines, and negotiated with David to make him king of Israel (2 Sam. 3:7-22).
As an unprincipled man, he reaped what he sowed. Joab, dreading the loss of his own position, and thirsting for revenge, murdered Abner at Hebron. David gave him a public funeral, and afterwards charged Solomon to avenge Abner’s murder (2 Sam. 3:26-37; 1 Kings 2:5, 6).