But when Joab himself killed Abner David's imprecation against him and his brother Abishai showed that he dissociated himself from the act of vengeance, although it brought him nearer to the throne of all Israel (2 Sam.
At length Ishbaal lost the main prop of his tottering cause by remonstrating with Abner for marrying Rizpah, one of Saul's concubines, an alliance which, according to Oriental notions, implied pretensions to the throne (cp. 2 Sam.
A body of infidels under the leadership of Abner Kneeland (1 774-1844), who had previously been in turn a Baptist minister and the editor of a Universalist magazine, proffered him the use of their small hall; and, no other place being accessible, he accepted it gratefully, and delivered therein (in October 1830) three lectures, in which he unfolded his principles and plans.
A sham contest was changed into a fatal fray by the treachery of Ishbaal's men; and in the battle which ensued Abner was not only defeated, but, by slaying Asahel, drew upon himself a bloodfeud with Joab.
Ishbaal's party became weaker and weaker; and at length Abner quarrelled with his nominal master and offered the kingdom to David.
The Philistines took possession of the fertile lowlands of Jezreel and the Jordan, and the shattered forces of Israel were slowly rallied by Abner in the remote city of Mahanaim in Gilead, under the nominal sovereignty of Saul's son Ishbaal.
When first settled it was named Nashborough in honour of Abner Nash (1716-1786), who was at the time governor of North Carolina, or more probably in honour of the Revolutionary general, Francis Nash (1720-1777), a brother of Abner, killed at Germantown; but when, in 1784, it was incorporated as a town by the North Carolina legislature the present name was substituted.
Almost immediately after, however, Joab, who had been sent away, perhaps intentionally returned and slew Abner at the gate of Hebron.
The base murder of Abner by Joab did not long defer the inevitable issue of events.
As Asahel would not desist from the pursuit, though warned, Abner was compelled to slay him in self-defence.