Means "my father is a light" in Hebrew, from אָב ('av)
meaning "father" and נִיר (nir)
meaning "lamp, light". In the Old Testament
, Abner was a cousin of Saul
and the commander of his army. After he killed Asahel he was himself slain by Asahel's brother Joab
. It has been used as an English Christian given name since the Protestant Reformation
. It was popular with the Puritans
, who brought it to America in the 17th century.