David and the Three Warriors

2 Samuel 23:8–39; 1 Chronicles 11:10–47

Works of art by Master of the Antwerp Adoration Group, Claude Lorrain, and Johann Theodor de Bry and Johann Israel de Bry
Commentaries by Sara Kipfer

2 Samuel 23:8–39; 1 Chronicles 11:10–47

Bible passage (Revised Standard Version)

2 Samuel 23:8–39

8 These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-bassheʹbeth a Tah-cheʹmonite; he was chief of the three; he wielded his spear against eight hundred whom he slew at one time.

9 And next to him among the three mighty men was Eleaʹzar the son of Dodo, son of Ahoʹhi. He was with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel withdrew. 10He rose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand cleaved to the sword; and the Lord wrought a great victory that day; and the men returned after him only to strip the slain.

11 And next to him was Shammah, the son of Agee the Harʹarite. The Philistines gathered together at Lehi, where there was a plot of ground full of lentils; and the men fled from the Philistines. 12But he took his stand in the midst of the plot, and defended it, and slew the Philistines; and the Lord wrought a great victory.

13 And three of the thirty chief men went down, and came about harvest time to David at the cave of Adullam, when a band of Philistines was encamped in the valley of Rephʹaim. 14David was then in the stronghold; and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. 15And David said longingly, “O that some one would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!” 16Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took and brought it to David. But he would not drink of it; he poured it out to the Lord, 17and said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. These things did the three mighty men.

18 Now Abiʹshai, the brother of Joʹab, the son of Zeruʹiah, was chief of the thirty. And he wielded his spear against three hundred men and slew them, and won a name beside the three. 19He was the most renowned of the thirty, and became their commander; but he did not attain to the three.

20 And Benaiʹah the son of Jehoiʹada was a valiant man of Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds; he smote two ariels of Moab. He also went down and slew a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. 21And he slew an Egyptian, a handsome man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but Benaiʹah went down to him with a staff, and snatched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear. 22These things did Benaiʹah the son of Jehoiʹada, and won a name beside the three mighty men. 23He was renowned among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. And David set him over his bodyguard.

24 Asʹahel the brother of Joʹab was one of the thirty; Elhaʹnan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25Shammah of Harod, Eliʹka of Harod, 26Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh of Tekoʹa, 27Abieʹzer, of Anʹathoth, Mebunʹnai the Huʹshathite, 28Zalmon the Ahoʹhite, Maʹharai of Netophʹah, 29Heleb the son of Baʹanah of Netophʹah, Itʹtai the son of Riʹbai of Gibʹe-ah of the Benjaminites, 30Benaiʹah of Piraʹthon, Hidʹdai of the brooks of Gaʹash, 31Abi-alʹbon the Arʹbathite, Azʹmaveth of Bahuʹrim, 32Eliʹahba of Sha-alʹbon, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33Shammah the Harʹarite, Ahiʹam the son of Sharar the Harʹarite, 34Eliphʹelet the son of Ahasʹbai of Maʹacah, Eliʹam the son of Ahithʹophel of Gilo, 35Hezroi of Carmel, Paʹarai the Arbite, 36Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37Zelek the Ammonite, Naʹharai of Be-erʹoth, the armor-bearer of Joʹab the son of Zeruʹiah, 38Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39Uriʹah the Hittite: thirty-seven in all.

 

1 Chronicles 11:10–47

10 Now these are the chiefs of David’s mighty men, who gave him strong support in his kingdom, together with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the Lord concerning Israel. 11This is an account of David’s mighty men: Jashoʹbe-am, a Hachʹmonite, was chief of the three; he wielded his spear against three hundred whom he slew at one time.

12 And next to him among the three mighty men was Eleaʹzar the son of Dodo, the Ahoʹhite. 13He was with David at Pas-damʹmim when the Philistines were gathered there for battle. There was a plot of ground full of barley, and the men fled from the Philistines. 14But he took his stand in the midst of the plot, and defended it, and slew the Philistines; and the Lord saved them by a great victory.

15 Three of the thirty chief men went down to the rock to David at the cave of Adullam, when the army of Philistines was encamped in the valley of Rephʹaim. 16David was then in the stronghold; and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. 17And David said longingly, “O that some one would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!” 18Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took and brought it to David. But David would not drink of it; he poured it out to the Lord, 19and said, “Far be it from me before my God that I should do this. Shall I drink the lifeblood of these men? For at the risk of their lives they brought it.” Therefore he would not drink it. These things did the three mighty men.

20 Now Abiʹshai, the brother of Joʹab, was chief of the thirty. And he wielded his spear against three hundred men and slew them, and won a name beside the three. 21He was the most renowned of the thirty, and became their commander; but he did not attain to the three.

22 And Benaiʹah the son of Jehoiʹada was a valiant man of Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds; he smote two ariels of Moab. He also went down and slew a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. 23And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits tall. The Egyptian had in his hand a spear like a weaver’s beam; but Benaiʹah went down to him with a staff, and snatched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear. 24These things did Benaiʹah the son of Jehoiʹada, and won a name beside the three mighty men. 25He was renowned among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. And David set him over his bodyguard.

26 The mighty men of the armies were Asʹahel the brother of Joʹab, Elhaʹnan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 27Shammoth of Harod, Helez the Pelʹonite, 28Ira the son of Ikkesh of Tekoʹa, Abi-eʹzer of Anʹathoth, 29Sibʹbecai the Huʹshathite, Iʹlai the Ahoʹhite, 30Maʹharai of Netophʹah, Heled the son of Baʹanah of Netophʹah, 31Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibʹeah of the Benjaminites, Benaiʹah of Pirʹathon, 32Hurai of the brooks of Gaʹash, Abiʹel the Arʹbathite, 33Azʹmaveth of Bahaʹrum, Eliʹahba of Sha-alʹbon, 34Hashemj the Giʹzonite, Jonathan the son of Shagee the Harʹarite, 35Ahiʹam the son of Sachar the Harʹarite, Eliʹphal the son of Ur, 36Hepher the Mecheʹrathite, Ahiʹjah the Pelʹonite, 37Hezro of Carmel, Naʹarai the son of Ezbai, 38Joʹel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Hagri, 39Zelek the Ammonite, Naʹharai of Be-erʹoth, the armor-bearer of Joʹab the son of Zeruʹiah, 40Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 41Uriʹah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai, 42Adʹina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a leader of the Reubenites, and thirty with him, 43Hanan the son of Maʹacah, and Joshʹaphat the Mithnite, 44Uzziʹa the Ashʹterathite, Shama and Je-iʹel the sons of Hotham the Aroʹerite, 45Jediʹa-el the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite, 46Eliʹel the Maʹhavite, and Jerʹibai, and Joshaviʹah, the sons of Elʹna-am, and Ithmah the Moʹabite, 47Eliʹel, and Obed, and Ja-asiʹel the Mezoʹba-ite.