—Biblical Data:

1. Son of Zeruiah, sister of David (I Chron. ii. 16). He was noted as a swift runner. As one of the thirty heroes of David (II Sam. xxiii. 24; I Chron. xi. 26), he had command of the army in the fourth month (I Chron. xxvii. 7). After the defeat of the forces of Ishbosheth, he pursued Abner (II Sam. ii. 18, 19). Asahel was, however, killed by Abner, who in revenge was slain by Joab (II Sam. iii. 27). 2. Father of Jonathan, who opposed Ezra's policy of putting away foreign wives (Ezra x. 15). 3. A Levite sent by Jehoshaphat to teach the men of Judah the "book of the law of God" (II Chron. xvii. 8). 4. A Levite assigned by Hezekiah to collect the tithes and offerings in the Temple (II Chron. xxxi. 13).

J. Jr. G. B. L.—In Rabbinical Literature:

Asahel, son of Zeruiäh, was so fleet that he overtook deer; and when he ran over a field of ripening corn, the ears of grain did not even bend, but remained erect as if untouched. When his time had come, however, he could not move an inch, and was slain by Abner (Eccl. R. ix. 11; Yalḳ., Jer. 285). (See Joab) To Asahel was applied the verse: "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift" (Eccl. ix. 11).

J. Sr. L. G.
Images of pages