12Abner marched the soldiers of King Ishbosheth out of Mahanaim, across the Jordan River, and to the banks of a pool at Gibeon. 13David’s commander, Joab son of Zeruiah, marched his men to the other side of the pool. So, the two groups took up positions on opposite sides of the pool.
14Abner called out to Joab, “Hey, let’s have some of our men step forward and show us what they’re made of.” Joab agreed, “Okay, let them come.” 15Men stepped up and counted off. Generals limited the fight to a dozen men from each side—mortal combat, tribe against tribe. Twelve stood from Ishbosheth’s tribe of Benjamin and 12 from David’s tribe of Judah. 16Each man grabbed an enemy by the head and stabbed him in the side. They all fell together. That spot in Gibeon became known as Flint Field, for the blades that fell on the ground.
17The battle that followed was intense. David’s men won, defeating Abner’s army.
18David’s sister, Zeruiah, had three sons: Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Asahel ran like a wild gazelle. 19He targeted Abner, who was retreating from the lost battle. Asahel refused to fight anyone else. He kept eyes on his bullseye, the enemy commander running away.
20Abner looked back and yelled, “Is that you, Asahel?” He said, “You bet it’s me.” 21Abner said, “Go after one of these other men and take what you want” Asahel kept gaining on him.
22Abner said, “Pick someone else. I don’t want to kill you. If I do, how could I ever face your brother Joab?” 23Asahel kept running. He ran right into the butt end of Abner’s spear. It bore through his stomach and broke through his back. Asahel, David’s nephew, dropped dead. When fellow warriors came to his body, they stood for a time in silence.