1 Chronicles 11
David becomes king over Israel
All Israel came together to David at Hebron and said, ‘We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, even while Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord your God said to you, “You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.”’
When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, he made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel, as the Lord had promised through Samuel.
David conquers Jerusalem
David and all the Israelites marched to Jerusalem (that is, Jebus). The Jebusites who lived there said to David, ‘You will not get in here.’ Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion – which is the City of David.
David had said, ‘Whoever leads the attack on the Jebusites will become commander-in-chief.’ Joab son of Zeruiah went up first, and so he received the command.
David then took up residence in the fortress, and so it was called the City of David. He built up the city around it, from the terraces[a] to the surrounding wall, while Joab restored the rest of the city. And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord Almighty was with him.
David’s mighty warriors
These were the chiefs of David’s mighty warriors – they, together with all Israel, gave his kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land, as the Lord had promised – this is the list of David’s mighty warriors:
Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite, one of the three mighty warriors. He was with David at Pas Dammim when the Philistines gathered there for battle. At a place where there was a field full of barley, the troops fled from the Philistines. But they took their stand in the middle of the field. They defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.
Three of the thirty chiefs came down to David to the rock at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. David longed for water and said, ‘Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!’ So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out to the Lord. ‘God forbid that I should do this!’ he said. ‘Should I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives?’ Because they risked their lives to bring it back, David would not drink it.
Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors.
Abishai the brother of Joab was chief of the Three. He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed, and so he became as famous as the Three. He was doubly honoured above the Three and became their commander, even though he was not included among them.
Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. And he struck down an Egyptian who was five cubits[d] tall. Although the Egyptian had a spear like a weaver’s rod in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors. He was held in greater honour than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.
The mighty warriors were:
Asahel the brother of Joab,
Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem,
Shammoth the Harorite,
Helez the Pelonite,
Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa,
Abiezer from Anathoth,
Sibbekai the Hushathite,
Ilai the Ahohite,
Maharai the Netophathite,
Heled son of Baanah the Netophathite,
Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin,
Benaiah the Pirathonite,
Hurai from the ravines of Gaash,
Abiel the Arbathite,
Azmaveth the Baharumite,
Eliahba the Shaalbonite,
the sons of Hashem the Gizonite,
Jonathan son of Shagee the Hararite,
Ahiam son of Sakar the Hararite,
Eliphal son of Ur,
Hepher the Mekerathite,
Ahijah the Pelonite,
Hezro the Carmelite,
Naarai son of Ezbai,
Joel the brother of Nathan,
Mibhar son of Hagri,
Zelek the Ammonite,
Naharai the Berothite, the armour-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah,
Ira the Ithrite,
Gareb the Ithrite,
Uriah the Hittite,
Zabad son of Ahlai,
Adina son of Shiza the Reubenite, who was chief of the Reubenites, and the thirty with him,
Hanan son of Maakah,
Joshaphat the Mithnite,
Uzzia the Ashterathite,
Shama and Jeiel the sons of Hotham the Aroerite,
Jediael son of Shimri,
his brother Joha the Tizite,
Eliel the Mahavite,
Jeribai and Joshaviah the sons of Elnaam,
Ithmah the Moabite,
Eliel, Obed and Jaasiel the Mezobaite.
- 1 Chronicles 11:8 Or the Millo
- 1 Chronicles 11:11 Possibly a variant of Jashob-Baal
- 1 Chronicles 11:11 Or Thirty; some Septuagint manuscripts Three (see also 2 Samuel 23:8)
- 1 Chronicles 11:23 That is, about 2.3 metres
1 Chronicles 12:1-22
Warriors join David
These were the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he was banished from the presence of Saul son of Kish (they were among the warriors who helped him in battle; they were armed with bows and were able to shoot arrows or to sling stones right-handed or left-handed; they were relatives of Saul from the tribe of Benjamin):
Ahiezer their chief and Joash the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; Jeziel and Pelet the sons of Azmaveth; Berakah, Jehu the Anathothite, and Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty warrior among the Thirty, who was a leader of the Thirty; Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad the Gederathite,[a] Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah and Shephatiah the Haruphite; Elkanah, Ishiah, Azarel, Joezer and Jashobeam the Korahites; and Joelah and Zebadiah the sons of Jeroham from Gedor.
Some Gadites defected to David at his stronghold in the wilderness. They were brave warriors, ready for battle and able to handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles in the mountains.
Ezer was the chief,
Obadiah the second in command, Eliab the third,
Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth,
Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh,
Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth,
Jeremiah the tenth and Makbannai the eleventh.
These Gadites were army commanders; the least was a match for a hundred, and the greatest for a thousand. It was they who crossed the Jordan in the first month when it was overflowing all its banks, and they put to flight everyone living in the valleys, to the east and to the west.
Other Benjaminites and some men from Judah also came to David in his stronghold. David went out to meet them and said to them, ‘If you have come to me in peace to help me, I am ready for you to join me. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when my hands are free from violence, may the God of our ancestors see it and judge you.’
Then the Spirit came on Amasai, chief of the Thirty, and he said:
‘We are yours, David!
We are with you, son of Jesse!
Success, success to you,
and success to those who help you,
for your God will help you.’
So David received them and made them leaders of his raiding bands.
Some of the tribe of Manasseh defected to David when he went with the Philistines to fight against Saul. (He and his men did not help the Philistines because, after consultation, their rulers sent him away. They said, ‘It will cost us our heads if he deserts to his master Saul.’) When David went to Ziklag, these were the men of Manasseh who defected to him: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu and Zillethai, leaders of units of a thousand in Manasseh. They helped David against raiding bands, for all of them were brave warriors, and they were commanders in his army. Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army, like the army of God.[b]
- 1 Chronicles 12:4 In Hebrew texts the second half of this verse (Jeremiah . . . Gederathite) is numbered 12:5, and 12:5-40 is numbered 12:6-41.
- 1 Chronicles 12:22 Or a great and mighty army