New International Reader's Version

2 Samuel 23

David’s Last Words

1Here are David’s last words. He said,

“I am David, the son of Jesse. God has given me a message.
    The Most High God has greatly honored me.
The God of Jacob anointed me as king.
    I am the hero of Israel’s songs.

“The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me.
    I spoke his word with my tongue.
The God of Israel spoke.
    The Rock of Israel said to me,
‘A king must rule over people in a way that is right.
    He must have respect for God when he rules.
Then he will be like the light of morning at sunrise
    when there aren’t any clouds.
He will be like the bright sun after rain
    that makes grass grow on the earth.’

“Suppose my royal family was not right with God.
    Then he would not have made a covenant with me that will last forever.
    Every part of it was well prepared and made secure.
Then God would not have saved me completely
    or given me everything I longed for.
But evil people are like thorns that are thrown away.
    You can’t pick them up with your hands.
Even if you touch them,
    you must use an iron tool or a spear.
    Thorns are burned up right where they are.”

David’s Mighty Warriors

Here are the names of David’s mighty warriors.

Josheb-Basshebeth was chief of the three mighty warriors. He was a Tahkemonite. He used his spear against 800 men. He killed all of them at one time.

Next to him was Eleazar. He was one of the three mighty warriors. He was the son of Dodai, the Ahohite. Eleazar was with David at Pas Dammim. That’s where Israel’s army made fun of the Philistines who were gathered there for battle. Then the Israelites pulled back. 10 But Eleazar stayed right where he was. He struck down the Philistines until his hand grew tired. But he still held on to his sword. The Lord helped him win a great battle that day. The troops returned to Eleazar. They came back to him only to take what they wanted from the dead bodies.

11 Next to him was Shammah, the son of Agee. Shammah was a Hararite. The Philistines gathered together at a place where there was a field full of lentils. Israel’s troops ran away from the Philistines. 12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He didn’t let the Philistines capture it. He struck them down. The Lord helped him win a great battle.

13 David was at the cave of Adullam. During harvest time, three of the 30 chief warriors came down to him there. A group of Philistines was camped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 At that time David was in his usual place of safety. Some Philistine troops were stationed at Bethlehem. 15 David longed for a drink of water. He said, “I wish someone would get me water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem.” 16 So the three mighty warriors fought their way past the Philistine guards. They got some water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem. They took the water back to David. But David refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as a drink offering to the Lord. 17 Lord, I would never drink that water!” David said. “It stands for the blood of these men. They put their lives in danger by going to Bethlehem to get it.” So David wouldn’t drink it.

Those were some of the brave things the three mighty warriors did.

18 Abishai was chief over the three mighty warriors. He was the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah. He used his spear against 300 men. He killed all of them. So he became as famous as the three mighty warriors were. 19 In fact, he was even more honored than the three mighty warriors. He became their commander. But he wasn’t included among them.

20 Benaiah was a great hero from Kabzeel. He was the son of Jehoiada. Benaiah did many brave things. He struck down two of Moab’s best warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day. He killed a lion there. 21 And he struck down a huge Egyptian. The Egyptian was holding a spear. Benaiah went out to fight against him with a club. He grabbed the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand. Then he killed him with it. 22 Those were some of the brave things Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, did. He too was as famous as the three mighty warriors were. 23 He was honored more than any of the thirty chief warriors. But he wasn’t included among the three mighty warriors. David put him in charge of his own personal guards.

24 Here is a list of David’s men who were among the thirty chief warriors.

Asahel, the brother of Joab

Elhanan, the son of Dodo, from Bethlehem

25 Shammah, the Harodite

Elika, the Harodite

26 Helez, the Paltite

Ira, the son of Ikkesh, from Tekoa

27 Abiezer from Anathoth

Sibbekai, the Hushathite

28 Zalmon, the Ahohite

Maharai from Netophah

29 Heled, the son of Baanah, from Netophah

Ithai, the son of Ribai, from Gibeah in Benjamin

30 Benaiah from Pirathon

Hiddai from the valleys of Gaash

31 Abi-Albon, the Arbathite

Azmaveth, the Barhumite

32 Eliahba, the Shaalbonite

the sons of Jashen

Jonathan, 33 the son of Shammah, the Hararite

Ahiam, the son of Sharar, the Hararite

34 Eliphelet, the son of Ahasbai, the Maakathite

Eliam, the son of Ahithophel, from Giloh

35 Hezro from Carmel

Paarai, the Arbite

36 Igal, the son of Nathan, from Zobah

the son of Hagri

37 Zelek from Ammon

Naharai from Beeroth, who carried the armor of Joab, the son of Zeruiah

38 Ira, the Ithrite

Gareb, the Ithrite

39 and Uriah, the Hittite

The total number of men was 37.