2 Samuel 23
David’s Last Words
1These are the last words of David.
This is the message of David son of Jesse.
The man made great by the Most High God speaks.
He is the appointed king of the God of Jacob.
He is the sweet singer of Israel.
2“The Lord’s Spirit spoke through me.
His word was on my tongue.
3The God of Israel spoke.
The Rock of Israel said to me:
‘The person who rules fairly over people,
the person who rules with respect for God,
4he is like the morning light at dawn.
He is like a morning without clouds.
He is like sunshine after a rain.
The sunshine makes the tender grass grow out of the ground.’
5“This is how God has cared for my family.
God made a lasting agreement with me,
good in every way and strong.
This agreement is my salvation.
This agreement is all I want.
Truly, the Lord will make it grow.
6“But all evil people will be thrown away like thorns.
People cannot hold on to thorns.
7Anyone who touches them
uses a tool of iron or a spear.
They will be thrown in the fire and burned where they lie.”
David’s Army
8These are the names of David’s warriors:
Josheb-Basshebeth, the Tahkemonite, was head of the Three.# These were David’s most powerful soldiers. See 1 Chronicles 11:11. He killed 800 men at one time.
9Next there was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. Eleazar was one of the three soldiers who were with David when they challenged the Philistines. The Philistines were gathered for battle, and the Israelites drew back. 10But Eleazar stayed where he was. He fought the Philistines until he was so tired he could not let go of his sword. The Lord gave a great victory for the Israelites that day. The people came back after Eleazar had won the battle. But they came only to take weapons and armor from the enemy.
11Next there was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines came together to fight. They stood where there was a field full of small peas. Israel’s troops ran away from the Philistines. 12But Shammah stood in the middle of the field. He fought for the field and killed the Philistines. And the Lord gave a great victory.
13Once, three of the Thirty, David’s chief soldiers, came down to him during harvest. Now David was at the cave of Adullam. The Philistine army had camped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14At that time David was in a protected place. And some of the Philistine soldiers were in Bethlehem.
15David had a strong desire for some water. He said, “Oh, I wish someone would get me water from the well near the city gate of Bethlehem!” 16So the three warriors broke through the Philistine army. They took water out of the well near the city gate of Bethlehem. Then they took it to David. But he refused to drink it. He poured it out on the ground before the Lord. 17David said, “Lord, I can’t drink this! It would be like drinking the blood of the men who risked their lives!” So David refused to drink the water. These were the brave things that the three warriors did.
18Abishai was the brother of Joab son of Zeruiah. He was captain of the Three. Abishai used his spear against 300 enemies and killed them. He became as famous as the Three. 19Abishai received even more honor than the Three. He became their commander. But he was not a member of them.
20Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a brave fighter from Kabzeel. He did many brave things. He killed two of the best soldiers from Moab. He also went down into a pit when it was snowing. There he killed a lion. 21Benaiah killed a big Egyptian. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand. But Benaiah only had a club. Benaiah grabbed the spear from the Egyptian’s hand. Then Benaiah killed him with his own spear. 22These were the brave things that Benaiah son of Jehoiada did. He was as famous as the Three. 23He received more honor than the Thirty. But he did not become a member of the Three. David made him leader of his bodyguard.
The Thirty Chief Soldiers
24The following men were among the Thirty:
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 the Anathothite;
Mebunnai the Hushathite;
28Zalmon the Ahohite;
Maharai the Netophathite;
29Heled son of Baanah the Netophathite;
Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah of the land of Benjamin;
30Benaiah the Pirathonite;
Hiddai from the ravines of Gaash;
31Abi-Albon the Arbathite;
Azmaveth the Barhumite;
32Eliahba the Shaalbonite;
the sons of Jashen;
Jonathan 33son of Shammah the Hararite;
Ahiam son of Sharar the Hararite;
34Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maacathite;
Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite;
35Hezro the Carmelite;
Paarai the Arbite;
36Igal son of Nathan of Zobah;
the son of Hagri;
37Zelek the Ammonite;
Naharai the Beerothite, who carried the armor of Joab son of Zeruiah;
38Ira the Ithrite;
Gareb the Ithrite
39and Uriah the Hittite.
There were 37 in all.
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