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David’s Warriors

23:8 These are the names of David’s warriors:

Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was head of the officers.7 He killed eight hundred men with his spear in one battle.8 23:9 Next in command9 was Eleazar son of Dodo,10 the son of Ahohi. He was one of the three warriors who were with David when they defied the Philistines who were assembled there for battle. When the men of Israel retreated,11 23:10 he stood his ground12 and fought the Philistines until his hand grew so tired that it13 seemed stuck to his sword. The Lord gave a great victory on that day. When the army returned to him, the only thing left to do was to plunder the corpses.

23:11 Next in command14 was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines assembled at Lehi,15 where there happened to be an area of a field that was full of lentils, the army retreated before the Philistines. 23:12 But he made a stand in the middle of that area. He defended16 it and defeated the Philistines; the Lord gave them a great victory.

23:13 At the time of17 the harvest three18 of the thirty leaders went down to19 David at the cave of Adullam. A band of Philistines was camped in the valley of Rephaim. 23:14 David was in the stronghold at the time, while a Philistine garrison was in Bethlehem.20 23:15 David was thirsty and said, “How I wish someone would give me some water to drink from the cistern in Bethlehem near the gate!” 23:16 So the three elite warriors broke through the Philistine forces and drew some water from the cistern in Bethlehem near the gate. They carried it back to David, but he refused to drink it. He poured it out as a drink offering to the Lord 23:17 and said, “O Lord, I will not do this!21 It is equivalent to the blood of the men who risked their lives by going.”22 So he refused to drink it. Such were the exploits of the three elite warriors.23

23:18 Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was head of the three.24 He killed three hundred men with his spear and gained fame among the three.25 23:19 From26 the three he was given honor and he became their officer, even though he was not one of the three.

23:20 Benaiah son of Jehoida was a brave warrior27 from Kabzeel who performed great exploits. He struck down the two sons of Ariel of Moab.28 He also went down and killed a lion in a cistern on a snowy day. 23:21 He also killed an impressive-looking Egyptian.29 The Egyptian wielded a spear, while Benaiah attacked30 him with a club. He grabbed the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 23:22 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoida, who gained fame among the three elite warriors. 23:23 He received honor from31 the thirty warriors, though he was not one of the three elite warriors. David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

23:24 Included with the thirty were the following: Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem,32 23:25 Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 23:26 Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa, 23:27 Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 23:28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 23:29 Heled33 son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin, 23:30 Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hiddai from the wadis of Gaash, 23:31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 23:32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan 23:33 son of34 Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam son of Sharar the Hararite, 23:34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maacathite, Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 23:35 Hezrai35 the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 23:36 Igal son of Nathan from Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 23:37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite (the armor-bearer36 of Joab son of Zeruiah), 23:38 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite 23:39 and Uriah the Hittite. Altogether there were thirty-seven.


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