New International Version

2 Samuel 23:1-39

David’s Last Words

1These are the last words of David:

“The inspired utterance of David son of Jesse,

the utterance of the man exalted by the Most High,

the man anointed by the God of Jacob,

the hero of Israel’s songs:

2“The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me;

his word was on my tongue.

3The God of Israel spoke,

the Rock of Israel said to me:

‘When one rules over people in righteousness,

when he rules in the fear of God,

4he is like the light of morning at sunrise

on a cloudless morning,

like the brightness after rain

that brings grass from the earth.’

5“If my house were not right with God,

surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant,

arranged and secured in every part;

surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation

and grant me my every desire.

6But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,

which are not gathered with the hand.

7Whoever touches thorns

uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;

they are burned up where they lie.”

David’s Mighty Warriors

8These are the names of David’s mighty warriors:

Josheb-Basshebeth,23:8 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts suggest Ish-Bosheth, that is, Esh-Baal (see also 1 Chron. 11:11 Jashobeam). a Tahkemonite,23:8 Probably a variant of Hakmonite (see 1 Chron. 11:11) was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed23:8 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:11); Hebrew and other Septuagint manuscripts Three; it was Adino the Eznite who killed eight hundred men in one encounter.

9Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim23:9 See 1 Chron. 11:13; Hebrew gathered there. for battle. Then the Israelites retreated, 10but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.

11Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. 12But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.

13During harvest time, three of the thirty chief warriors came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 15David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” 16So the three mighty warriors 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 before the Lord. 17“Far be it from me, Lord, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it.

Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors.

18Abishai the brother of Joab son of Zeruiah was chief of the Three.23:18 Most Hebrew manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:20); two Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac Thirty He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed, and so he became as famous as the Three. 19Was he not held in greater honor than the Three? He became their commander, even though he was not included among them.

20Benaiah 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. 21And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear 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. 22Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors. 23He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

24Among the Thirty were:

Asahel the brother of Joab,

Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem,

25Shammah the Harodite,

Elika the Harodite,

26Helez the Paltite,

Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa,

27Abiezer from Anathoth,

Sibbekai23:27 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 21:18; 1 Chron. 11:29); Hebrew Mebunnai the Hushathite,

28Zalmon the Ahohite,

Maharai the Netophathite,

29Heled23:29 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Vulgate (see also 1 Chron. 11:30); most Hebrew manuscripts Heleb son of Baanah the Netophathite,

Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin,

30Benaiah the Pirathonite,

Hiddai23:30 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:32) Hurai from the ravines of Gaash,

31Abi-Albon the Arbathite,

Azmaveth the Barhumite,

32Eliahba the Shaalbonite,

the sons of Jashen,

Jonathan 33son of23:33 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:34); Hebrew does not have son of. Shammah the Hararite,

Ahiam son of Sharar23:33 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:35) Sakar the Hararite,

34Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maakathite,

Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,

35Hezro the Carmelite,

Paarai the Arbite,

36Igal son of Nathan from Zobah,

the son of Hagri,23:36 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:38); Hebrew Haggadi

37Zelek the Ammonite,

Naharai the Beerothite, the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah,

38Ira the Ithrite,

Gareb the Ithrite

39and Uriah the Hittite.

There were thirty-seven in all.

New International Reader’s Version

2 Samuel 23:1-39

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.

2“The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me.

I spoke his word with my tongue.

3The 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.

4Then 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.’

5“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.

6But evil people are like thorns that are thrown away.

You can’t pick them up with your hands.

7Even 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

8Here 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.

9Next 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. 10But 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.

11Next 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. 12But 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.

13David 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. 14At that time David was in his usual place of safety. Some Philistine troops were stationed at Bethlehem. 15David longed for a drink of water. He said, “I wish someone would get me water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem.” 16So 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. 17Lord, 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.

18Abishai 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. 19In fact, he was even more honored than the three mighty warriors. He became their commander. But he wasn’t included among them.

20Benaiah 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. 21And 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. 22Those were some of the brave things Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, did. He too was as famous as the three mighty warriors were. 23He 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.

24Here 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

25Shammah, the Harodite

Elika, the Harodite

26Helez, the Paltite

Ira, the son of Ikkesh, from Tekoa

27Abiezer from Anathoth

Sibbekai, the Hushathite

28Zalmon, the Ahohite

Maharai from Netophah

29Heled, the son of Baanah, from Netophah

Ithai, the son of Ribai, from Gibeah in Benjamin

30Benaiah from Pirathon

Hiddai from the valleys of Gaash

31Abi-Albon, the Arbathite

Azmaveth, the Barhumite

32Eliahba, the Shaalbonite

the sons of Jashen

Jonathan, 33the son of Shammah, the Hararite

Ahiam, the son of Sharar, the Hararite

34Eliphelet, the son of Ahasbai, the Maakathite

Eliam, the son of Ahithophel, from Giloh

35Hezro from Carmel

Paarai, the Arbite

36Igal, the son of Nathan, from Zobah

the son of Hagri

37Zelek from Ammon

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

38Ira, the Ithrite

Gareb, the Ithrite

39and Uriah, the Hittite

The total number of men was 37.