In the Book of Second Samuel we read of a curious competition between 12 young soldiers of both Abner and of Joab:
2 Samuel 2:14-16: "Then Abner said to Joab, 'Now let the young men arise and hold a contest before us.' And Joab said, 'Let them arise.' 15So they arose and went over by count, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16Each one of them seized his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side; so they fell down together."
What purpose could such a "competition" possibly serve, since the full battle appears to have commenced anyway?
2 Samuel 2:17: "That day the battle was very severe, and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David."