Then all Israel gathered before David at Hebron and told him, “We are your own flesh and blood. 2 In the past,* even when Saul was king, you were the one who really led the forces of Israel. And the Lord your God told you, ‘You will be the shepherd of my people Israel. You will be the leader of my people Israel.’ ”
4 Then David and all Israel went to Jerusalem (or Jebus, as it used to be called), where the Jebusites, the original inhabitants of the land, were living. 5 The people of Jebus taunted David, saying, “You’ll never get in here!” But David captured the fortress of Zion, which is now called the City of David.
6 David had said to his troops, “Whoever is first to attack the Jebusites will become the commander of my armies!” And Joab, the son of David’s sister Zeruiah, was first to attack, so he became the commander of David’s armies.
7 David made the fortress his home, and that is why it is called the City of David. 8 He extended the city from the supporting terraces* to the surrounding area, while Joab rebuilt the rest of Jerusalem. 9 And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord of Heaven’s Armies was with him.
10 These are the leaders of David’s mighty warriors. Together with all Israel, they decided to make David their king, just as the Lord had promised concerning Israel.
11 Here is the record of David’s mightiest warriors: The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite, who was leader of the Three—the mightiest warriors among David’s men.* He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle.
12 Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai,* a descendant of Ahoah. 13 He was with David when the Philistines gathered for battle at Pas-dammim and attacked the Israelites in a field full of barley. The Israelite army fled, 14 but Eleazar and David* held their ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord saved them by giving them a great victory.
15 Once when David was at the rock near the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty—an elite group among David’s fighting men) went down to meet him there. 16 David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem.
17 David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” 18 So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But David refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord. 19 “God forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men* who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it. These are examples of the exploits of the Three.
20 Abishai, the brother of Joab, was the leader of the Thirty.* He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle. It was by such feats that he became as famous as the Three. 21 Abishai was the most famous of the Thirty and was their commander, though he was not one of the Three.
22 There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions* of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. 23 Once, armed only with a club, he killed an Egyptian warrior who was 7½ feet* tall and who was armed with a spear as thick as a weaver’s beam. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it. 24 Deeds like these made Benaiah as famous as the three mightiest warriors. 25 He was more honored than the other members of the Thirty, though he was not one of the Three. And David made him captain of his bodyguard.
Asahel, Joab’s brother;
Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem;
27 Shammah from Harod;*
Helez from Pelon;
Abiezer from Anathoth;
Zalmon* from Ahoah;
Heled son of Baanah from Netophah;
Benaiah from Pirathon;
32 Hurai from near Nahale-gaash* ;
Abi-albon* from Arabah;
33 Azmaveth from Bahurim* ;
Eliahba from Shaalbon;
34 the sons of Jashen* from Gizon;
Jonathan son of Shagee from Harar;
35 Ahiam son of Sharar* from Harar;
Eliphal son of Ur;
Ahijah from Pelon;
Paarai* son of Ezbai;
Mibhar son of Hagri;
Naharai from Beeroth, the armor bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah;
Gareb from Jattir;
Zabad son of Ahlai;
Joshaphat from Mithna;
Shama and Jeiel, the sons of Hotham, from Aroer;
Joha, his brother, from Tiz;
Jeribai and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam;
Ithmah from Moab;
Jaasiel from Zobah.*
11:2 Or For some time.
11:8 Hebrew the millo. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
11:14 Hebrew they.
11:19 Hebrew Shall I drink the lifeblood of these men?
11:22 Or two sons of Ariel.
11:23 Hebrew 5 cubits [2.3 meters].
11:32a Or from the ravines of Gaash.
11:47 Or the Mezobaite.