David’s Last Words 23 1These are the last words of David: “David, the son of Jesse, speaks– David, the man who was raised up so high, David, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, David, the sweet psalmist of Israel.[P] 2“The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; His words are upon my tongue. 3The God of Israel spoke. The Rock of Israel said to me: ‘The One who rules righteously, who rules in the fear of God, 4is like the light of morning at sunrise, like a morning without clouds, like the gleaming of the sun on new grass after rain.’ 5“Is it not my family God has chosen? Yes, He has made an everlasting covenant with me. His agreement is arranged and guaranteed in every detail. He will ensure my safety and success. 6But the godless are like thorns to be thrown away, for they tear the hand that touches them. 7One must use iron tools to chop them down; they will be totally consumed by fire.” David’s Mightiest Warriors 8These are the names of David’s mightiest warriors. The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite,[Q] who was leader of the Three[R]–the three mightiest warriors among David’s men. He once used his spear to kill 800 enemy warriors in a single battle.[S] 9Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled. 10He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory that day. The rest of the army did not return until it was time to collect the plunder! 11Next in rank was Shammah son of Agee from Harar. One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, 12but Shammah[T] held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory. 13Once during the harvest, when David was at 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. 14David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem. 15David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” 16So 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 he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord. 17“The Lord forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men[U] who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it. These are examples of the exploits of the Three. David’s Thirty Mighty Men 18Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was the leader of the Thirty.[V] 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. 19Abishai was the most famous of the Thirty[W] and was their commander, though he was not one of the Three. 20There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior[X] from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions[Y] of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. 21Once, armed only with a club, he killed a great Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it. 22Deeds like these made Benaiah as famous as the Three mightiest warriors. 23He 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. 24Other members of the Thirty included: Asahel, Joab’s brother; Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem; 25Shammah from Harod; Elika from Harod; 26Helez from Pelon[Z]; Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa; 27Abiezer from Anathoth; Sibbecai[A] from Hushah; 28Zalmon from Ahoah; Maharai from Netophah; 29Heled[B] son of Baanah from Netophah; Ithai[C] son of Ribai from Gibeah (in the land of Benjamin); 30Benaiah from Pirathon; Hurai[D] from Nahale-gaash[E]; 31Abi-albon from Arabah; Azmaveth from Bahurim; 32Eliahba from Shaalbon; the sons of Jashen; 33Jonathan son of Shagee[F] from Harar; Ahiam son of Sharar from Harar; 34Eliphelet son of Ahasbai from Maacah; Eliam son of Ahithophel from Giloh; 35Hezro from Carmel; Paarai from Arba; 36Igal son of Nathan from Zobah; Bani from Gad; 37Zelek from Ammon; Naharai from Beeroth, Joab’s armor bearer; 38Ira from Jattir; Gareb from Jattir; 39Uriah the Hittite. There were thirty-seven in all.
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