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.
The place is also associated with the murders of Asahel (2 Sam.
His brothers were Asahel and Abishai.
After Asahel met his death at the hands of Abner, Joab expostulated with David for not taking revenge upon the guilty one, and indeed the king might be considered bound in honour to take up his nephew's cause.
He was closely pursued by Asahel, brother of Joab, who is said to have been "light of foot as a wild roe."
As Asahel would not desist from the pursuit, though warned, Abner was compelled to slay him in self-defence.
This originated a deadly feud between the leaders of the opposite parties, for Joab, as next of kin to Asahel, was by the law and custom of the country the avenger of his blood.
The ostensible motive for the assassination was a desire to avenge Asahel, and this would be a sufficient justification for the deed according to the moral standard of the time.