2 Samuel 23

David’s Last Words

23 These are the last words of David.
This is the message of David son of Jesse.
The man made great by the Most High God speaks.
He is the appointed king of the God of Jacob;
he is the sweet singer of Israel:

2 “The Lord’s Spirit spoke through me,
and his word was on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel spoke;
the Rock of Israel said to me:
‘Whoever rules fairly over people,
who rules with respect for God,
4 is like the morning light at dawn,
like a morning without clouds.
He is like sunshine after a rain
that makes the grass sprout from the ground.’

5 “This is how God has cared for my family.
God made a lasting agreement with me,
right and sure in every way.
He will accomplish my salvation
and satisfy all my desires.

6 “But all evil people will be thrown away like thorns
that cannot be held in a hand.
7 No one can touch them
except with a tool of iron or wood.
They will be thrown in the fire and burned where they lie.”

David’s Army

8 These are the names of David’s warriors:

Josheb-Basshebeth, the Tahkemonite, was head of the Three.[a] He killed eight hundred men at one time.

9 Next was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. Eleazar was one of the three soldiers who were with David when they challenged the Philistines. The Philistines were gathered for battle, and the Israelites drew back. 10 But Eleazar stayed where he was and fought the Philistines until he was so tired his hand stuck to his sword. The Lord gave a great victory for the Israelites that day. The troops came back after Eleazar had won the battle, but only to take weapons and armor from the enemy.

11 Next there was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines came together to fight in a vegetable field. Israel’s troops ran away from the Philistines, 12 but Shammah stood in the middle of the field and fought for it and killed the Philistines. And the Lord gave a great victory.

13 Once, three of the Thirty, David’s chief soldiers, came down to him at the cave of Adullam during harvest. The Philistine army had camped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 At that time David was in the stronghold, and some of the Philistines were in Bethlehem.

15 David had a strong desire for some water. He said, “Oh, I wish someone would get me water from the well near the city gate of Bethlehem!” 16 So the three warriors broke through the Philistine army and took water from the well near the city gate of Bethlehem. Then they brought it to David, but he refused to drink it. He poured it out before the Lord, 17 saying, “May the Lord keep me from drinking this water! It would be like drinking the blood of the men who risked their lives!” So David refused to drink it. These were the brave things that the three warriors did.

18 Abishai, brother of Joab son of Zeruiah, was captain of the Three. Abishai fought three hundred soldiers with his spear and killed them. He became as famous as the Three 19 and was more honored than the Three. He became their commander even though he was not one of them.

20 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a brave fighter from Kabzeel who did mighty things. He killed two of the best warriors from Moab. He also went down into a pit and killed a lion on a snowy day. 21 Benaiah killed a large Egyptian who had a spear in his hand. Benaiah had a club, but he grabbed the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 22 These were the things Benaiah son of Jehoiada did. He was as famous as the Three. 23 He received more honor than the Thirty, but he did not become a member of the Three. David made him leader of his bodyguards.

The Thirty Chief Soldiers

24 The following men were among the Thirty:

Asahel brother of Joab;

Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem;

25 Shammah the Harodite;

Elika the Harodite;

26 Helez the Paltite;

Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa;

27 Abiezer the Anathothite;

Mebunnai the Hushathite;

28 Zalmon the Ahohite;

Maharai the Netophathite;

29 Heled son of Baanah the Netophathite;

Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin;

30 Benaiah the Pirathonite;

Hiddai from the ravines of Gaash;

31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite;

Azmaveth the Barhumite;

32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite;

the sons of Jashen;

Jonathan 33 son of Shammah the Hararite;

Ahiam son of Sharar the Hararite;

34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maacathite;

Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite;

35 Hezro the Carmelite;

Paarai the Arbite;

36 Igal son of Nathan of Zobah;

the son of Hagri;

37 Zelek the Ammonite;

Naharai the Beerothite, who carried the armor of Joab son of Zeruiah;

38 Ira the Ithrite;

Gareb the Ithrite,

39 and Uriah the Hittite.

There were thirty-seven in all.


  1. 23:8 Three These were David’s most powerful soldiers. See 1 Chronicles 11:11.

You Might Also Like