Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
("father of light".) Son of Ner, who was the brother of Kish, the father of Saul ( 1 Chronicles 9:36). Made commander in chief by his cousin Saul. Introduced David to Saul, after Goliath's death ( 1 Samuel 14:51; 1 Samuel 17:55; 1 Samuel 17:57). With Saul at Hachilah ( 1 Samuel 26:8-14). At Saul's death he upheld the dynasty in Ishbosheth's person, mainly owing to the paramount influence of the tribe Ephraim, which was jealous of Judah. While David reigned over Judah as God's anointed, at Hebron, Ishbosheth professedly, but Abner really, reigned in Mahanaim beyond Jordan. In 2 Samuel 2:10 Ishbosheth is said to have reigned for two years, but David for seven. Probably for the first five years after the fatal battle of Gilboa David alone reigned in the old capital of Judah, Hebron; but the rest of the country was in the Philistines' hands. During these five years Israel gradually regained their country, and at length Abner proclaimed Ishbosheth at Mahanaim beyond Jordan, for security against the Philistines: 2 Samuel 2:5-7 confirms this.
David's thanks to the men of Jabesh Gilead for the burial of Saul and his sons imply that no prince of Saul's line as yet had claimed the throne. His exhortation, "Be valiant," refers to the struggle with the Philistines, who alone stood in the way of his reign over all Israel. Ishbosbeth's known weakness, which accounts for his absence from the battle of Gilboa, suited well Abner's ambition. At Gibeon Abner's army was beaten by Joab's; and in fleeing Abner, having tried to deter Asahel, Joab's brother, from following him (since Abner shrank from a blood feud with Joab), but in vain, was at last constrained in self defense to slay him (2 Samuel 2). Abner, presuming on his position as the only remaining stay of Ishbosbeth, was tempted to take the late king Saul's concubine wife, Rizpah. This act, involving in oriental idea the suspicion of usurping the succession to the throne (so in the case of Absalom: 2 Samuel 16:21; 2 Samuel 20:3; 1 Kings 2:13-25; (See Abiathar , (See Adonijah , and (See Abishag ), called forth a rebuke from even so feeble a person as the nominal king, Ishbosheth.
Henceforth, in consequence of the rebuke, Abner set about bringing the northern ten tribes to David's sway. Received favorably and feasted by David, after his wife Michal was taken from Phaltiel and restored to him, Abner went forth from Hebron in peace. But Joab, by a message, brought him back from the well of Sirah, and, taking him aside to speak peaceably, murdered him, Abishai also being an accomplice, for the blood of Asahel ( Numbers 35:19; 2 Samuel 3:30; 2 Samuel 3:39), and on Joab's part also, as appears likely from Amasa's case, from fear of Abner's becoming a rival in the chief command ( 2 Samuel 20:4-10). David felt the sons of Zeruiah too strong for him to punish their crime; but, leaving their punishment to the Lord, he showed every honor to Abner's memory by following the bier, and composing this dirge:
The second and third lines are connected with the last, describing the state in which he was when slain. In form, the subject in such propositions comes first, the verb generally becoming a participle. Indignation preponderates over sorrow; the point of the dirge is the mode of Abner's death. If Abner had been really slain in revenge for blood, as Joab asserted, he ought to have been delivered up "bound hand and foot." But Joab, instead of waiting for his being delivered up with the legal formalities to the authorized penalty (if he were really guilty, which he was not), as an assassin, stabbed him as a worthless fellow ( 1 Kings 2:5). David added that he felt himself, though a king, weakened by his loss, and that "a prince and great man had fallen."
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
The Son of Ner, Saul's uncle; Abner was consequently Saul's cousin. 1 Samuel 14:51 . He was Saul's 'captain of the host' when David slew Goliath, and he presented David to Saul. 1 Samuel 17:55,57 . He was with Saul when David took away the spear and cruse of water while they slept: for which David reproached him, saying he was worthy of death because he had not more faithfully guarded his master. 1 Samuel 26:5-16 . After the death of Saul (apparently about 5 years after) Abner made Ish-bosheth king over Israel; but this did not include Judah over which David was king. 2 Samuel 2:8-10 . In one of the conflicts between the two houses Abner was overcome, and Asahel, Joab's brother, 'light of foot as a wild roe,' pursued Abner. Abner cautioned him twice, and then slew him. 2 Samuel 2:17-23 . This act of self-defence was afterwards made the plea for Abner's death. Saul had had a concubine named Rizpah, and this woman Abner took; for which he was reproached by Ish-bosheth (who probably thought it was a prelude to his seizing the kingdom). This so incensed Abner that he revolted from his master and made overtures to David. David demanded that Abner should bring with him Michal, Saul's daughter, David's former wife. This he accomplished, and he and the men with him were well received by David, who made a feast for them. But Joab, who was absent, was angry when he heard of it, probably jealous lest the command of the army should be divided between himself and Abner. He sent messengers for Abner's return, and then, under the pretence of privately communing with him, smote him, professedly to avenge the death of his brother Asahel. David was much grieved at this murder, and followed the bier and fasted till the sun went down. He rehearsed on the occasion the following dirge:
"Died Abner as a fool dieth?
Thy hands were not bound,
Nor thy feet put into fetters:
As a man falleth before wicked men so fellest thou."
David further said that in Abner's death a prince and a great man hadfallen, and that Jehovah would avenge his death. This last was accomplished, according to David's dying injunction, by the direction of King Solomon, and Joab was slain by Benaiah. Yet doubtless the holy government of God was fulfilled in the death of Abner. Personal pique turned him round to David, and yet he knew well, while upholding the house of Saul, that David was God's anointed king.
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Abner ( Ăb'Ner ), Father Of Light. 1. Son of Ner, who was the brother of Kish, 1 Chronicles 9:36, the father of Saul. (b.c. 1063.) Abner, therefore, was Saul's first cousin, and was made by him commander-in-chief of his army. 1 Samuel 14:51; 1 Samuel 17:57; 1 Samuel 26:5-14.
After the death of Saul David was proclaimed king of Judah; and some time subsequently Abner proclaimed Ish-bosheth, Saul's son, king of Israel. War soon broke out between the two rival kings, and a "very sore battle" was fought at Gibeon between the men of Israel under Abner and the men of Judah under Joab. 1 Samuel 2:15-32. In this engagement he killed, in self-defence, Asahel, the brother of Joab and Abishai. Perhaps he now had some idea of seizing the Israelitish throne for himself; for he appropriated a woman of Saul's harem, which Ish-bosheth interpreted as an overt act of rebellion. Abner, incensed at his ingratitude, opened negotiations with David, by whom he was most favorably received at Hebron. He then undertook to procure David's recognition throughout Israel; but after leaving his presence for the purpose was enticed back by Joab, and treacherously murdered by him and his brother Abishai, at the gate of the city, ostensibly in retaliation for the death of Asahel; really, we may suppose, through jealousy, as he would have at least rivalled Joab in position. David, though unable to punish the powerful brothers, solemnized Abner's funeral with great respect and general mourning, and poured forth a simple dirge over the slain hero. 2 Samuel 3:33-34. 2. The father of Jaasiel, chief of the Benjamites in David's reign, 1 Chronicles 27:21; probably the same as the preceding.
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Ab'ner. (Father Of Light).
1. Son of Ner, who was the brother of Kish, 1 Chronicles 9:36, the father of Saul. (B.C. 1063). Abner, therefore, was Saul's first cousin, and was made by him commander-in-chief of his army. 1 Samuel 14:51; 1 Samuel 17:57; 1 Samuel 26:5-14. After the death of Saul, David was proclaimed king of Judah; and some time subsequently Abner proclaimed Ish-bosheth, Saul's son, king of Israel. War soon broke out between the two rival kings, and a "very sore battle" was fought at Gibeon between the men of Israel under Abner and the men of Judah under Joab. 1 Chronicles 2:16.
Abner had married Rizpah, Saul's concubine, and this, according to the views of Oriental courts, might be so interpreted as to imply a design upon the throne. Rightly or wrongly, Ish-bosheth so understood it, and he even ventured to reproach Abner with it. Abner, incensed at his ingratitude, opened negotiations with David, by whom he was most favorably received at Hebron.
He then undertook to procure his recognition throughout Israel; but after leaving his presence for that purpose, was enticed back by Joab, and treacherously murdered by him and his brother Abishai, at the gate of the city, partly, no doubt, from fear lest so distinguished a convert to their cause should gain too high a place in David's favor, but ostensibly, in retaliation for the death of Asahel. David in sorrow and indignation, poured forth a simple dirge over the slain hero. 2 Samuel 3:33-34.
2. The father of Jaasiel, chief of the Benjamites in David's reign, 1 Chronicles 27:21, probably the same as the preceding.
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary 
When Saul, the first king of Israel, established his administration, he appointed his cousin Abner as commander-in-chief of his army ( 1 Samuel 14:50-51). Abner first met David on the occasion of Goliath’s defeat ( 1 Samuel 17:55-57). David served under Abner as a loyal officer ( 1 Samuel 18:5), but later Abner led Saul’s troops in trying to capture the fleeing, yet innocent, David ( 1 Samuel 26:5; 1 Samuel 26:14-15).
After Saul’s death, Abner appointed Saul’s son Ishbosheth as king in opposition to David ( 2 Samuel 2:8). Although Abner was a strong leader, his troops were not as good as David’s and they steadily lost ground over the next two years ( 2 Samuel 3:1; 2 Samuel 3:6). Meanwhile Ishbosheth became increasingly jealous of Abner, who was the real power supporting him. When Ishbosheth accused Abner of wanting the throne for himself, Abner deserted Ishbosheth and joined David ( 2 Samuel 3:7-11).
Abner then set to work to win allegiance to David from all the previous supporters of Ishbosheth ( 2 Samuel 3:17-21). But he was treacherously murdered by David’s commander Joab, in retaliation for Abner’s earlier killing of Joab’s brother in battle ( 2 Samuel 3:24-30; cf. 2 Samuel 2:12-23). Without the leadership of Abner, Ishbosheth’s ‘kingdom’ quickly collapsed (2 Samuel 4; 2 Samuel 5:1).
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
ABNER . Saul’s cousin ( 1 Samuel 9:1; 1 Samuel 14:51 ) and commander-in-chief ( 1 Samuel 17:55; 1 Samuel 26:5 ). He set Ish-bosheth on his father’s throne, and fought long and bravely against David’s general, Joab ( 2 Samuel 2:1-32 ). After a severe defeat, he killed Asabel in self-defence ( 2 Samuel 2:23 ). He behaved arrogantly towards the puppet-king, especially in taking possession of one of Saul’s concubines ( 2 Samuel 3:7 ). Resenting bitterly the remonstrances of Ish-bosheth, he entered into negotiations with David ( 2 Samuel 3:8-12 ), and then, on David’s behalf, with the elders of Israel ( 2 Samuel 3:17 ). Dreading the loss of his own position, and thirsting for revenge, Joab murdered him at Hebron ( 2 Samuel 3:26 f.). David gave him a public funeral, dissociated himself from Joab’s act ( 2 Samuel 3:31-37 ), and afterwards charged Solomon to avenge it ( 1 Kings 2:5 ). Abner was destitute of all lofty ideas of morality or religion ( 2 Samuel 3:8; 2 Samuel 3:16 ), but was the only capable person on the side of Saul’s family.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
was the uncle of king Saul, and the general of his army. After Saul's death, he made Ishbosheth king; and for seven years supported the family of Saul, in opposition to David; but in most of his skirmishes came off with loss. While Ishbosheth's and David's troops lay near each other, hard by Gibeon, Abner challenged Joab to select twelve of David's warriors to fight with an equal number of his. Joab consented: the twenty- four engaged; and fell together on the spot. A fierce battle ensued, in which Abner and his troops were routed. Abner himself was hotly pursued by Asahel, whom he killed by a back stroke of his spear. Still he was followed by Joab and Abishai, till he, who in the morning sported with murder, was obliged at even to entreat that Joab would stay his troops from the effusion of blood, 2 Samuel 2.
Not long after, Abner, taking it highly amiss for Ishbosheth to charge him with lewd behaviour toward Rizpah, Saul's concubine, vowed that he would quickly transfer the whole kingdom into the hands of David. He therefore commenced a correspondence with David, and had an interview with him at Hebron. Abner had just left the feast at which David had entertained him, when Joab, informed of the matter, warmly remonstrated, asserting, that Abner had come as a spy. On his own authority he sent a messenger to invite him back, to have some farther communication with the king; and when Abner was come into Joab's presence, the latter, partly from jealousy lest Abner might become his superior, and partly to revenge his brother Asahel's death, mortally stabbed him in the act of salutation. David, to show how heartily he detested the act, honoured Abner with a splendid funeral, and composed an elegy on his death, 2 Samuel 3.
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Being rebuked by Ish-bosheth for the impropriety of taking to wife Rizpah, who had been a concubine of King Saul, he found an excuse for going over to the side of David, whom he now professed to regard as anointed by the Lord to reign over all Israel. David received him favourably, and promised that he would have command of the armies. At this time Joab was absent from Hebron, but on his return he found what had happened. Abner had just left the city; but Joab by a stratagem recalled him, and meeting him at the gate of the city on his return, thrust him through with his sword (2Samuel 3:27,31-39; 4:12. Compare 1Kings 2:5,32). David lamented in pathetic words the death of Abner, "Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?" (2Samuel 3:33-38.)
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
The son of Ner, Saul's uncle, and the general of his armies, 1 Samuel 14:50 . For seven years after Saul's death, he supported Ish-bosheth; but being reproved by him for his conduct towards Rizpah, he undertook to unite the whole kingdom under David. He was, however, treacherously slain by Joab, either to revenge the death of Asahel, Joab's brother, who Abner had formerly killed, or more probably from jealousy. David abhorred this perfidious act, and composed an elegy on his death, 2 Samuel 2:8 3:33 . He also charged Solomon to punish the crime of Joab with death, 1 Kings 2:5,6 .
Holman Bible Dictionary 
1 Samuel 14:50 2 Samuel 2:8 2 Samuel 3:7-8 2 Samuel 3:1 1 Samuel 17:55-58 1 Samuel 20:25 1 Samuel 26:14-15
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary 
Captain of Saul's army. ( 1 Samuel 17:55.) The name means, father of light; from Ner, a lamp, and Ab, father.
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
(Heb. Abner', אִבְנֵר , once in its full form Abiner', אֲבַינֵר , 1 Samuel 14:50, father of light, i.e. enlightening; Sept. Ἀβεννήρ , Josephus Ἀβήναρος , Ant. 6:4, 3, elsewhere Ἀβίνηρος ), the son of Ner (q.v.) and uncle of Saul (being the brother of his father Kish), and the commander-in- chief of his army ( 1 Samuel 14:50 sq.), in which character he appears several times during the early history of David ( 1 Samuel 17:55; 1 Samuel 20:25; 1 Samuel 26:5 sq.; 1 Chronicles 26:28). It was through his instrumentality that David was first introduced to Saul's court after the victory over Goliath ( 1 Samuel 17:57), B.C. 1063; and it was he whom David sarcastically addressed when accompanying his master in the pursuit of his life at Hachilah ( 1 Samuel 26:14), B.C. 1055. After the death of Saul (B.C. 1053), the experience which he had acquired, and the character for ability and decision which he had established in Israel, enabled him to uphold the falling house of Saul for seven years; and he might probably have done so longer if it had suited his views ( 2 Samuel 2:6; 2 Samuel 2:10; 2 Samuel 5:5; comp. 6:1). It was generally known that David had been divinely nominated to succeed Saul on the throne: when, therefore, that monarch was slain in the battle of Gilboa, David was made king over his own tribe of Judah, and reigned in Hebron, the old capital. In the other tribes an influence adverse to Judah existed, and was controlled chiefly by the tribe of Ephraim. Abner, with great decision, availed himself of this state of feeling, and turned it to the advantage of the house to which he belonged: of which he was now the most important surviving member. He did not, however, venture to propose himself as king; but took Ishbosheth, a surviving son of Saul, whose known imbecility had excused his absence from the fatal fight in which his father and brothers perished, and made him king over the tribes, and ruled in his name ( 2 Samuel 2:8). This event appears to have occurred five years after Saul's death ( 2 Samuel 2:10; comp. 2 Samuel 2:11), an interim that was probably occupied in plans for settling the succession, to which Ishbosheth may have been at first disinclined. (See Ishbosheth).
Nor, perhaps, had the Israelites sooner than this recovered sufficiently from the oppression by the Philistines that would be sure to follow the disaster upon Mount Gilboa to reassert their independence, at least throughout Palestine proper. Accordingly Ishbosheth reigned in Mahanaim, beyond Jordan, and David in Hebron. A sort of desultory warfare continued for two years between them, in which the advantage appears to have been always on the side of David ( 2 Samuel 2:1). The only one of the engagements of which we have a particular account is that which ensued when Joab, David's general, and Abner met and fought at Gibeon ( 2 Samuel 2:12 sq.), B.C. 1048. Abner was beaten, and fled for his life; but was pursued by Asahel (the brother of Joab and Abishai), who was "swift of foot as a wild roe." Abner, dreading a blood-feud with Joab, for whom he seems to have entertained a sincere respect, entreated Asahel to desist from the pursuit; but finding that he was still followed, and that his life was in danger, he at length ran his pursuer through the body by a back thrust with the pointed heel of his spear ( 2 Samuel 2:18-32). This put a strife of blood between the two foremost men in all Israel (after David); for the law of honor, which had from times before the law prevailed among the Hebrews, and which still prevails in Arabia, rendered it the conventional duty of Joab to avenge the blood of his brother upon the person by whom he had been slain. (See Blood-Revenge).
As time went on Abner had occasion to feel more strongly that he was himself not only the chief, but the only remaining prop of the house of Saul; and this conviction, acting upon a proud and arrogant spirit, led him to more presumptuous conduct than even the mildness of the feeble Ishbosheth could suffer to pass without question. (See Absalom); (See Adonijah). He took to his own harem a woman named Rizpah, who had been a concubine-wife of Saul ( 2 Samuel 3:7 sq.). This act, from the ideas connected with the harem of a deceased king (comp. Josephus, Apion, 1:15; Herod. 3:68), was not only a great impropriety, but was open to the suspicion of a political design, which Abner may very possibly have entertained. (See Harem).
A mild rebuke from the nominal king, however, enraged him greatly; and he plainly declared that he would henceforth abandon his cause and devote himself to the interests of David. To excuse this desertion to his own mind, he then and on other occasions avowed his knowledge that the son of Jesse had been appointed by the Lord to reign over all Israel; but he appears to have been unconscious that this avowal exposed his previous conduct to more censure than it offered excuse for his present. He, however, kept his word with Ishbosheth. After a tour, during which he explained his present views to the elders of the tribes which still adhered to the house of Saul, he repaired to Hebron with authority to make certain overtures to David on their behalf ( 2 Samuel 3:12 sq.). He was received with great attention and respect; and David even thought it prudent to promise that he should still have the chief command of the armies when the desired union of the two kingdoms took place (De Pacto Davidis et Abneri, in the Crit. Sac. Thes. Nov. 1:651). The political expediency of this engagement is very clear, and to that expediency the interests and claims of Joab were sacrificed. That distinguished personage happened to be absent from Hebron on service at the time, but he returned just as Abner had left the city. He speedily understood what had passed; and his dread of the superior influence which such a man as Abner might establish with David (see Josephus, Ant. 7:1, 5) quickened his remembrance of the vengeance which his brother's blood required. His purpose was promptly formed. Unknown to the king, but apparently in his name, he sent a message after Abner to call him back; and as he returned, Joab met him at the gate, and, leading him aside as if to confer peaceably and privately with him, suddenly thrust his sword into his body. B.C. 1046. The lamentations of David, the public mourning which he ordered, and the funeral honors which were paid to the remains of Abner ( 2 Samuel 4:12), the king himself following the bier as chief mourner, exonerated him in public opinion from having been privy to this assassination ( 2 Samuel 3:31-39; comp. 1 Kings 2:5; 1 Kings 2:32). As for Joab, his privilege as a blood-avenger must to a great extent have justified his treacherous act in the opinion of the people; and that, together with his influence with the army, screened him from punishment. See JOAB.
David's short but emphatic lament over Abner ( 2 Samuel 3:33-34) may be rendered, with strict adherence to the Form of the original (see Ewald, Dichter Des Alten Bundes, 1:99; comp. Lowth, Heb. Poetry, 22), as follows:
As a villain dies, should Abner die?
Thy hands not bound, And thy feet not brought into fetters; As one falls before the sons of malice, fellest thou!
As to the sense of the words, J. D. Michaelis (Uebersetzung des alten Test.) saw that the point of this indignant, more than sorrowful, lament, lies in the mode in which Abner was slain. Joab professed to kill him "for the blood of Asahel, his brother" ( 2 Samuel 3:27). But if a man claimed his brother's blood at the hand of his murderer, the latter (even if he fled to the altar for refuge, Exodus 21:14) would have been delivered up (bound, hand and foot, it is Assumed) to the avenger of blood, who would then possess a legal right to slay him. Now Joab not only had no title to claim the right of the Goel, as Asahel was killed under justifying circumstances ( 2 Samuel 2:19); but, while pretending to exercise the avenger's right, he took a lawless and private mode of satisfaction, and committed a murder. Hence David charged him, in allusion to this conduct, with "shedding the blood of war in peace" ( 1 Kings 2:5); and hence he expresses himself in this lament, as if indignant that the noble Abner, instead of being surrendered with the formalities of the law to meet an authorized penalty, was treacherously stabbed like a worthless fellow by the hands of an assassin. (See Homicide).
We find the name of a son of Abner, Jaasiel, subsequently appointed phylarch, under Solomon, of the trite of Benjamin ( 1 Chronicles 27:21). (On the character of Abner, see Kitto's Daily Bible Illust. in loc.; Niemeyer, Charakterist. 4:343 sq. On his death, see C. Simeon, Works, 3, 327; H. Lindsay, Lectures, 2:30; R. Harris, Works, p. 231.) (See David).
"In the town [of Hebron] the tomb of Abner and Ishbosheth is shown within the court of a Turkish house, but "is not worth visiting" (Baideker, Palestine, p. 281)
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
ab´nẽr ( אבנר , 'abhnēr ; in 1 Samuel 14:50 the Hebrew has the fuller form, אבינר , 'ăbhı̄nēr , Abiner ; compare Abiram by the side of Abram ; meaning, "my father is a lamp"): Captain of the host under Saul and Ishbosheth (Eshbaal). He was Saul's cousin; Ner the father of Abner and Kish the father of Saul being brothers, the sons of Abiel ( 1 Samuel 14:50 ). In 1 Chronicles 8:33; 1 Chronicles 9:39 the text appears to be faulty; read: And Ner begat Abner, and Kish begat Saul. According to 1 Chronicles 27:21 Abner had a son by the name of Jaasiel.
Abner was to Saul what Joab was to David. Despite the many wars waged by Saul, we hear little of Abner during Saul's lifetime. Not even in the account' of the battle of Gilboa is mention made of him. Yet both his high office and his kinship to the king must have brought the two men in close contact. On festive occasions it was the custom of Abner to sit at table by the king's side ( 1 Samuel 20:25 ). It was Abner who introduced the young David fresh from his triumph over Goliath to the king's court (so according to the account in 1 Samuel 17:57 ). We find Abner accompanying the king in his pursuit of David ( 1 Samuel 26:5 ). Abner is rebuked by David for his negligence in keeping watch over his master (ibid., 15).
Upon the death of Saul, Abner took up the cause of the young heir to the throne, Ishbosheth, whom he forthwith removed from the neighborhood of David to Mahanaim in the East-Jordanic country. There he proclaimed him king over all Israel. By the pool of Gibeon he and his men met Joab and the servants of David. Twelve men on each side engaged in combat which ended disastrously for Abner who fled. He was pursued by Asahel, Joab's brother, whom Abner slew. Though Joab and his brother Abishai sought to avenge their brother's death on the spot, a truce was effected; Abner was permitted to go his way after three hundred and threescore of his men had fallen. Joab naturally watched his opportunity. Abner and his master soon had a quarrel over Saul's concubine, Rizpah, with whom Abner was intimate. It was certainly an act of treason which Ishbosheth was bound to resent. The disgruntled general made overtures to David; he won over the tribe of Benjamin. With twenty men of them he came to Hebron and arranged with the king of Judah that he would bring over to his side all Israel. He was scarcely gone when Joab learned of the affair; without the knowledge of David he recalled him to Hebron where he slew him, "for the blood of Asahel his brother." David mourned sincerely the death of Abner. "Know ye not," he addressed his servants, "that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?" He followed the bier in person. Of the royal lament over Abner a fragment is quoted: "Should Abner die as a fool dieth? Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters: As a man falleth before the children of iniquity, so didst thou fall."
(See 2 Sam 3:6-38.) The death of Abner, while it thus cannot in any wise be laid at the door of David, nevertheless served his purposes well. The backbone of the opposition to David was broken, and he was soon proclaimed as king by all Israel.
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Ab´ner (father of light), the cousin of Saul (being the son of his uncle Ner), and the commander-in-chief of his army. After the death of Saul (B.C. 1056), Abner's experience and character for ability and decision enabled him to uphold the interests of his family for seven years; and while David reigned in Hebron over Judah, Ishbosheth, a surviving son of Saul, was, by Abner's influence, made king over the ten tribes, and reigned in Mahanaim, beyond Jordan. A sort of desultory warfare arose between the rival monarchs, in which the advantage appears to have been always on the side of David. In an engagement fought at Gibeon, the forces of Ishbosheth were beaten. Abner, their general, fled for his life, but was closely pursued by Asahel, the brother of Joab and Abishai. Abner, dreading a blood-feud with Joab, entreated Asahel, but in vain, to desist from the pursuit; and finding that his life was in danger, he at length ran his pursuer through the body ( 2 Samuel 2:18-32). This, according to the law of honor which still prevails in the East, put a strife of blood between Joab and Abner [BLOOD-REVENGE].
As time went on, Abner, probably rendered arrogant and presumptuous by the conviction that he was the only remaining prop of the house of Saul, took to his own harem a woman who had been a concubine-wife of Saul. This act, from the ideas connected with the harem of a deceased king, was not only a great impropriety, but was open to the suspicion of a political design, which Abner may very possibly have entertained. A mild rebuke from Ishbosheth, however, enraged him so much, that he immediately declared his intention henceforth to abandon his cause and to devote himself to the interests of David. Accordingly after explaining his views to the elders of the tribes which still adhered to the house of Saul, he repaired to Hebron with authority to make certain overtures to David on their behalf. He was received with great attention and respect; and David even thought it prudent to promise that he should still have the chief command of the armies, when the desired union of the two kingdoms took place. Joab, David's general, happened to be absent at the time, but he returned to Hebron just as Abner had left it. He speedily understood what had passed; and his dread of the superior influence which such a man as Abner might establish with David, quickened his remembrance of the vengeance which his brother's blood required. Unknown to the king, but apparently in his name, he sent a message after Abner to call him back; and as he returned, Joab met him at the gate, and, leading him aside, as if to confer privately with him, suddenly thrust his sword into his body (B.C. 1048). The lamentations of David, the public mourning which he ordered, and the funeral honors which were paid to the remains of Abner, the king himself following the bier as chief mourner, exonerated him in public opinion from having been privy to this assassination. As for Joab, his privilege as a blood-avenger must to a great extent have justified his treacherous act in the opinion of the people; and that, together with his influence with the army, screened him from punishment ( 2 Samuel 3:6-39),
The Nuttall Encyclopedia 
A Hebrew general under Saul; assassinated by Joab.
- Abner from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Abner from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- Abner from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- Abner from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- Abner from Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
- Abner from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Abner from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- Abner from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Abner from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- Abner from Holman Bible Dictionary
- Abner from Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
- Abner from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- Abner from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Abner from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature
- Abner from The Nuttall Encyclopedia