Border with Joab Stabbing Abner

Simon Beningabout 1525 - 1530

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Having asked Abner, the commander of King Saul's army, to meet him in front of the gate to Hebron for a private conference, Joab, commander of King David's army, treacherously stabs him in the back. Although the Bible states that Joab stabbed Abner from the front, Simon Bening placed the two men almost in an embrace, with Joab reaching behind Abner to kill him, emphasizing his deceit. The composition thus directly echoes Judas's betraying kiss seen on the opposite page, linking the Old and New Testament stories.


  • Title: Border with Joab Stabbing Abner
  • Creator: Simon Bening
  • Date Created: about 1525 - 1530
  • Location Created: Bruges, Belgium
  • Physical Dimensions: Leaf: 16.8 × 11.4 cm (6 5/8 × 4 1/2 in.)
  • Type: Folio
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Tempera colors, gold paint, and gold leaf on parchment
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 83.ML.115.103
  • Culture: Flemish
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. Ludwig IX 19, fol. 103
  • Creator Display Name: Simon Bening (Flemish, about 1483 - 1561)
  • Classification: Manuscripts (Documents)

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