II Samuel 3:22-39 Joab Murders Abner.
The covenant of peace between David and Abner was a threat to Joab’s position with David as his commander-in-chief. While David and Abner were negotiating, Joab was leading David’s men to victory over their enemies, bringing back the spoil (vv. 22-23). Joab argued before David that Abner had deceived him, seeking only to know his plans etc. So when he left David’s presence he tricked Abner into thinking that David still wanted to talk. Upon returning to Hebron Joab met Abner and stabbed and killed him for the death of his brother Asahel (vv. 24-27). Since David did not know what Asahel’s brothers did until after the fact, he pronounced his house as innocent, but a curse on Joab and the father of Joab’s house (vv. 28-30). Furthermore, David commanded the people to mourn for Abner, and he was buried with the patriarchs in Hebron (vv. 31-34). David’s behaviour with regard to Abner also won the respect of the people, which was something David needed if he was to become the king over Israel as well (vv. 35-37). David declared that Abner was a prince and a great man, but the men who killed him were evil and wicked (vv. 38-39). Asahel was killed in battle, Abner not wanting to kill him, but Abner was murdered as a partner in a covenant of peace.