Abishai

Abishai was David’s nephew and became the commander of David’s “thirty men.” Like his brothers Joab and Asahel, Abishai was a loyal but ruthless warrior. He killed 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. He urged David to allow him to kill Saul, but David refused to let him kill “the Lord’s anointed” (1 Sam. 26:8–9). He fought alongside his brothers at the Battle of Gibeon, where Abner killed Asahel. Abishai later helped Joab kill Abner in revenge. When Shimei cursed David, Abishai thought he should be put to death, but again David refused his request. He helped lead David’s troops against Absalom, and again fought for David when Sheba led a rebellion against him. Abishai also saved David’s life by killing the Philistine giant Ishbi-benob. (2 Samuel 23:18–19)