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Asahel [Ā’sahĕl]—god hath made or god is doer.

  1. A Levite sent by Jehoshaphat to teach the law to the people in Judah (2 Chron. 17:8).
  2. A Levite Hezekiah employed as an officer of the offerings, tithes and dedicated things (2 Chron. 31:13).
  3. Father of a certain Jonathan, appointed by Ezra to take a census of those Jews who had married foreign wives while in exile (Ezra 10:15).
  4. The youngest son of Zeruiah, David’s sister, and the brother of Joab and Abishai. He was slain by Abner unwillingly (2 Sam. 2:18-32; 3:27, 30; 23:24; 1 Chron. 2:16; 11:26; 27:7).

The Man Who Died in His Boots

Conspicuous among those of David’s brethren and those of his father’s house who came to him while hiding in the cave of Adullam were the three sons of Zeruiah his sister, Joab, Abishai and Asahel. Asahel was the favorite among the three. Little is recorded of him beyond his activity and the manner of his death.

I. He was famous for his swiftness of foot. Speed was a much valued gift in ancient times.

II. He was near the top of David’s thirty heroes. Courage made him a conspicuous fighter.

III. He was a commander of a division in David’s army. He had proved himself worthy of position.

IV. He believed in persistence. He persisted in following Abner, the captain of Saul’s host in the battle that began by the pool of Gibeon. Abner was unwilling to slay him, knowing how he was beloved. He seems to have struck Asahel at last only in self-defense.

V. He dies for his ambition. Asahel would aim at nothing less than the glory of slaying Saul’s general, and he was slain himself instead. Thus he died in harness or as we have put it, in his boots.

Devotional content drawn from All the Men of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer. Used with permission.

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