23
David's last words
1These are the last words
of David the son of Jesse.
The God of Jacob chose David
and made him a great king.
The Mighty God of Israel
loved him.#23.1 The Mighty … him: Or “He wrote Israel's favourite songs.”
When God told him to speak,
David said:
2The Spirit of the Lord
has told me what to say.
3Our Mighty Rock,#23.3 Mighty Rock: See the note at 22.2.
the God of Jacob, told me,
“A ruler who obeys God
and does right
4is like the sunrise
on a cloudless day,
or like rain that sparkles
on the grass.”#23.4 sparkles … grass: Or “makes the grass grow.”
5I have ruled this way,
and God will never break
his promise to me.
God's promise is complete
and unchanging;
he will always help me
and give me what I hope for.
6But evil people are pulled up
like thorn bushes.
They are not dug up by hand,
7but with a sharp spear
and are burnt on the spot.
David's warriors
The Three Warriors
(1 Chronicles 11.10–19)
8These are the names of David's warriors:
Ishbosheth#23.8 Ishbosheth: Hebrew “Josheb Bashebeth”, which seems to be another spelling of Ishbosheth. See the note at 2.8, although this is a different Ishbosheth. the son of Hachmon#23.8 the son of Hachmon: Or “the Tahchemonite” (see 1 Chronicles 11.11). was the leader of the Three Warriors.#23.8 the Three Warriors: The most honoured group of warriors. They may have been part of the Thirty Warriors. “Three” and “thirty” are spelt almost the same in Hebrew, so there is some confusion in the manuscripts as to which group is being talked about in some places in the following lists. In one battle, he killed eight hundred men with his spear.#23.8 with … spear: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text (see 1 Chronicles 11.11).
9The next one of the Three Warriors was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite. One time when the Philistines were at war with Israel, he and David dared the Philistines to fight them. Every one of the Israelite soldiers turned and ran, 10except Eleazar. He killed Philistines until his hand was cramped, and he couldn't let go of his sword. When Eleazar finished, all the Israelite troops had to do was come back and take the enemies' weapons and armour. The Lord gave Israel a great victory that day.
11Next was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. One time the Philistines brought their army together to destroy a crop of peas growing in a field near Lehi. The rest of Israel's soldiers ran away from the Philistines, 12but Shammah stood in the middle of the field and killed the Philistines. The crops were saved, and the Lord gave Israel a great victory.
13One year at harvest time, the Three Warriors#23.13 the Three Warriors: Or “three warriors”. Hebrew “three of the thirty most important”. went to meet David at Adullam Cave.#23.13 Adullam Cave: This may have happened during the time that David was an outlaw (see 1 Samuel 22.1–6). The Philistine army had set up camp in Rephaim Valley 14and had taken over Bethlehem. David was in his fortress, 15and he was very thirsty. He said, “I wish I had a drink from the well by the gate at Bethlehem.”
16The Three Warriors#23.16 the Three Warriors: Or “three warriors”. sneaked into the Philistine camp and got some water from the well near Bethlehem's gate. But after they brought the water back to David, he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as a sacrifice 17and said to the Lord, “I can't drink this water! It's like the blood of these men who risked their lives to get it for me.”
The Three Warriors did these brave deeds.
The Thirty Warriors
(1 Chronicles 11.20–47)
18Joab's brother Abishai was the leader of the Thirty Warriors,#23.18 the Thirty Warriors: The second most honoured group of warriors. They may have also been officers in the army (see the note at 23.8). and in one battle he killed three hundred men with his spear. He was as famous as the Three Warriors 19and certainly just as famous as the rest of the Thirty Warriors. He was the commander of the Thirty Warriors, but he still did not become one of the Three Warriors.
20Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a brave man from Kabzeel who did some amazing things. He killed two of Moab's best fighters,#23.20 Moab's best fighters: Or “big lions in Moab”; one ancient translation “sons of Ariel from Moab”. and on a snowy day he went down into a pit and killed a lion. 21Another time, he killed an Egyptian, as big as a giant.#23.21 Egyptian … giant: 1 Chronicles 11.23; in this verse the Hebrew text has “good-looking Egyptian”. The Egyptian was armed with a spear, but Benaiah only had a club. Benaiah grabbed the spear from the Egyptian and killed him with it. 22-23Benaiah did these things. He never became one of the Three Warriors, but he was just as famous as they were and certainly just as famous as the rest of the Thirty Warriors. David made him the leader of his bodyguard.
24-39Some of the Thirty Warriors were:
Asahel the brother of Joab
Elhanan the son of Dodo from Bethlehem
Shammah from Harod
Elika from Harod
Helez the Paltite
Ira the son of Ikkesh from Tekoa
Abiezer from Anathoth
Mebunnai#23.24–39 Mebunnai: Or “Sibbecai” (see 1 Chronicles 11.26–47). the Hushathite
Zalmon the Ahohite
Maharai from Netophah
Heleb the son of Baanah from Netophah
Ittai the son of Ribai from Gibeah of the tribe of Benjamin
Benaiah from Pirathon
Hiddai from the streams on Mount Gaash
Abialbon from Beth-Arabah
Azmaveth from Bahurim#23.24–39 Bahurim: Or “Barhum”.
Eliahba from Shaalbon
Jashen#23.24–39 Jashen: Hebrew “sons of Jashen”.
Jonathan the son of Shammah the Hararite#23.24–39 Jonathan … Hararite: Some manuscripts of one ancient translation (see 1 Chronicles 26–47). In the Hebrew text Jonathan and Shammah are separate members of the list.
Ahiam the son of Sharar the Hararite
Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai from Maacah
Eliam the son of Ahithophel from Gilo
Hezro from Carmel
Paarai the Arbite
Igal the son of Nathan from Zobah
Bani the Gadite
Zelek from Ammon
Naharai from Beeroth, who carried the weapons of Joab the son of Zeruiah
Ira the Ithrite
Gareb the Ithrite
Uriah the Hittite
There were thirty-seven in all.
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