1 All Israel gathered around David at Hebron. "We are your own flesh and blood," they said.
2 "Even in the past when Saul ruled, you were the one who led Israel on its campaigns to war. The LORD your God has said to you, 'You will be shepherd of my people Israel, the leader of my people Israel.'"
3 All the leaders of Israel had come to Hebron. David made an agreement with them at Hebron in front of the LORD. So they anointed David king of Israel, as the LORD had spoken through Samuel.
4 David and all Israel went to Jerusalem (that is, Jebus). The Jebusites were living in that region.
5 They told David, "You will never get in here." But David captured the fortress Zion (that is, the City of David).
6 Now, David said, "Whoever is the first to kill a Jebusite will be made a general and a prince." Zeruiah's son Joab was the first to go into Jerusalem, so he became the general.
7 David lived in the fortress, so it was called the City of David.
8 He built the city of Jerusalem around it, starting from the Millo and making a complete circuit. Joab rebuilt the rest of the city.
9 David continued to grow more powerful because the LORD of Armies was with him.
10 Now, these were the commanders of David's fighting men, who exercised power with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel they made him king according to the LORD's word to Israel.
11 The first of David's fighting men was Jashobeam, son of Hachmon, the leader of the three. He used his spear to kill 300 men on one occasion.
12 Next in rank to him was Eleazar, another one of the three fighting men. He was the son of Dodo and grandson of Aho.
13 Eleazar was with David at Pas Dammim when the Philistines gathered there for battle. There was a field of ripe barley. When the troops fled from the Philistines,
14 they stood in the middle of the field and defended it by killing Philistines. So the LORD saved them with an impressive victory.
15 Once three of the thirty leading men went down to David's rock at the cave of Adullam when the army of the Philistines was camping in the valley of Rephaim.
16 While David was in the fortified camp, Philistine troops were in Bethlehem.
17 David was thirsty and said, "I wish I could have a drink of water from the cistern at the city gate of Bethlehem."
18 So the three burst into the Philistine camp and drew water from the cistern. They brought it to David, but he refused to drink it. He poured it out as an offering to the LORD
19 and said, "It's unthinkable that I would do this, God. Should I drink the blood of these men who risked their lives? They had to risk their lives to get this water." So he refused to drink it. These are the things which the three fighting men did.
20 Joab's brother Abishai was the leader of the thirty. He used his spear to kill 300 men, but he was not one of the three,
21 although he was honored more than they were. So he became their captain but didn't become a member of the three.
22 Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, was from Kabzeel and was a brave man who did many things. He killed two distinguished soldiers from Moab. He also went into a cistern and killed a lion on the day it snowed.
23 He killed an eight-foot-tall Egyptian. The Egyptian had a spear like a weaver's beam in his hand. But Benaiah went to him with a club, grabbed the spear away from him, and killed him with it.
24 These are the things that Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, did. He was as famous as the three fighting men.
25 He was honored more than the thirty, but he was not a member of the three. David put him in charge of his bodyguards.
26 The distinguished fighting men were Joab's brother Asahel, Elhanan (son of Dodo) from Bethlehem,
27 Shammoth from Harod, Helez the Pelonite,
28 Ira (son of Ikkesh) from Tekoa, Abiezer from Anathoth,
29 Sibbecai (son of Hushai), Ilai (descendant of Ahohi),
30 Maharai from Netophah, Heled (son of Baanah) from Netophah,
31 Ithai (son of Ribai) from Gibeah in Benjamin, Benaiah from Pirathon,
32 Hurai from the Gaash ravines, Abiel from Beth Arabah,
33 Azmaveth from Bahurim, Eliahba from Shaalbon,
34 Bene Hashem from Gizon, Jonathan (son of Shage the Hararite),
35 Ahiam (son of Sachar the Hararite), Eliphal (son of Ur),
36 Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite,
37 Hezro from Carmel, Naari (son of Ezbai),
38 Joel (son of Nathan), Mibhar (son of Hagri),
39 Zelek from Ammon, Naharai from Beroth, armorbearer for Zeruiah's son Joab,
40 Ira (descendant of Ithra), Gareb (descendant of Ithra),
41 Uriah the Hittite, Zabad (son of Ahlai),
42 Adina (son of Shiza) from the tribe of Reuben (who was leader of the tribe of Reuben and had his own group of thirty soldiers),
43 Hanan (son of Maacah), and Joshaphat the Mithnite,
44 Uzzia from Ashteroth, Shama and Jeiel (sons of Hotham from Aroer),
45 Jediael (son of Shimri) and his brother Joha the Tizite,
46 Eliel the Mahavite, Jeribai and Joshaviah (sons of Elnaam), Ithmah from Moab,
47 Eliel, Obed, and Jaasiel the Mezobaite.
GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.