Good News Translation (GNB)

The Death of King Saul

(1 Sam 31.1–13)

101The Philistines fought a battle against the Israelites on Mount Gilboa. Many Israelites were killed there, and the rest of them, including King Saul and his sons, fled. 2But the Philistines caught up with them and killed three of Saul's sons, Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua. 3The fighting was heavy round Saul, and he was hit by enemy arrows and badly wounded. 4He said to the young man carrying his weapons, “Draw your sword and kill me, to keep these godless Philistines from gloating over me.” But the young man was too terrified to do it. So Saul took his own sword and threw himself on it. 5The young man saw that Saul was dead, so he too threw himself on his sword and died. 6So Saul and his three sons all died together and none of his descendants ever ruled. 7When the Israelites who lived in the Valley of Jezreel heard that the army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and ran off. Then the Philistines came and occupied them.

8The day after the battle, the Philistines went to plunder the corpses, and they found the bodies of Saul and his sons lying on Mount Gilboa. 9They cut off Saul's head, stripped off his armour, and sent messengers with them throughout Philistia to tell the good news to their idols and to their people. 10They put his weapons in one of their temples and hung his head in the temple of their god Dagon. 11When the people of Jabesh in Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12the bravest men went and fetched the bodies of Saul and his sons and took them to Jabesh. They buried them there under an oak and fasted for seven days.


Lev 19.31
1 Sam 13.8–14
Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD. He disobeyed the LORD's commands; he tried to find guidance by consulting the spirits of the dead 14instead of consulting the LORD. So the LORD killed him and gave control of the kingdom to David son of Jesse.


David Becomes King of Israel and Judah

(2 Sam 5.1–10)

111All the people of Israel went to David at Hebron and said to him, “We are your own flesh and blood. 2In the past, even when Saul was still our king, you led the people of Israel in battle, and the LORD your God promised you that you would lead his people and be their ruler.” 3So all the leaders of Israel came to King David at Hebron. He made a sacred alliance with them, they anointed him, and he became king of Israel, just as the LORD had promised through Samuel.


Josh 15.63
Judg 1.21
King David and all the Israelites went and attacked the city of Jerusalem. It was then known as Jebus, and the Jebusites, the original inhabitants of the land, were still living there. 5The Jebusites told David he would never get inside the city, but David captured their fortress of Zion, and it became known as “David's City”. 6David said, “The first man to kill a Jebusite will be commander of the army!” Joab, whose mother was Zeruiah, led the attack and became commander. 7Because David went to live in the fortress, it came to be called “David's City”. 8He rebuilt the city, starting at the place where land was filled in on the east side of the hill, and Joab restored the rest of the city. 9David grew stronger and stronger, because the LORD Almighty was with him.

David's Famous Soldiers

(2 Sam 23.8–39)

10This is the list of David's famous soldiers. Together with the rest of the people of Israel, they helped him to become king, as the LORD had promised, and they kept his kingdom strong.

11First was Jashobeam of the clan of Hachmon, the leader of “The Three”.11.11 One ancient translation (see also 2 Sam 23.8) “The Three”; Hebrew “The Thirty”. He fought with his spear against 300 men and killed them all in one battle. 12Next among the famous “Three” was Eleazar son of Dodo, of the clan of Ahoh. 13He fought on David's side against the Philistines at the battle of Pas Dammim. He was in a barley field when the Israelites started to run away, 14so he and his men made a stand in the middle of the field and fought the Philistines. The LORD gave him a great victory.

15One day three of the thirty leading soldiers went to a rock where David was staying near the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was camping in the Valley of Rephaim. 16At that time David was on a fortified hill, and a group of Philistines had occupied Bethlehem. 17David got homesick and said, “How I wish someone would bring me a drink of water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem!” 18The three famous soldiers forced their way through the Philistine camp, drew some water from the well, and brought it back to David. But he would not drink it; instead he poured it out as an offering to the LORD 19and said, “I could never drink this! It would be like drinking the blood of these men who risked their lives!” So he refused to drink it. These were the brave deeds of the three famous soldiers.

20Joab's brother Abishai was the leader of “The Famous Thirty”.11.20 One ancient translation Thirty; Hebrew Three. He fought with his spear against 300 men and killed them, and became famous among “The Thirty”.11.20 One ancient translation (see also 2 Sam 23.18) “The Thirty”; Hebrew “The Three”. 21He was the most famous of “The Thirty”11.21 Probable text (see 2 Sam 23.19) most famous of “The Thirty”; Hebrew unclear. and became their leader, but he was not as famous as “The Three”.

22Benaiah son of Jehoiada from Kabzeel was a famous soldier; he did many brave deeds, including killing two great Moabite warriors. He once went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 23He also killed an Egyptian, a huge man over two metres tall, who was armed with a gigantic spear. Benaiah attacked him with a club, snatched the spear from the Egyptian's hand, and killed him with it. 24Those were the brave deeds of Benaiah, who was one of “The Thirty”.11.24 Probable text “The Thirty”; Hebrew “The Three”. 25He was outstanding among “The Thirty”, but not as famous as “The Three”. David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

26-47These are the other outstanding soldiers:

Asahel, Joab's brother

Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem

Shammoth from Harod

Helez from Pelet

Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa

Abiezer from Anathoth

Sibbecai from Hushah

Ilai from Ahoh

Maharai from Netophah

Heled son of Baanah from Netophah

Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin

Benaiah from Pirathon

Hurai from the valleys near Gaash

Abiel from Arbah

Azmaveth from Bahurum

Eliahba from Shaalbon

Hashem11.26–47 Probable text Hashem; Hebrew the sons of Hashem. from Gizon

Jonathan son of Shagee from Harar

Ahiam son of Sachar from Harar

Eliphal son of Ur

Hepher from Mecherah

Ahijah from Pelon

Hezro from Carmel

Naarai son of Ezbai

Joel brother of Nathan

Mibhar son of Hagri

Zelek from Ammon

Naharai, Joab's armour-bearer, from Beeroth

Ira and Gareb from Jattir

Uriah the Hittite

Zabad son of Ahlai

Adina son of Shiza (a leading member of the tribe of Reuben, with his own group of thirty soldiers)

Hanan son of Maacah

Joshaphat from Mithan

Uzzia from Ashterah

Shamma and Jeiel, sons of Hotham, from Aroer

Jediael and Joha, sons of Shimri, from Tiz

Eliel from Mahavah

Jeribai and Joshaviah, sons of Elnaam

Ithmah from Moab

Eliel, Obed, and Jaasiel from Zobah.11.26–47 Probable text from Zobah; Hebrew unclear.


David's Early Followers from the Tribe of Benjamin

121David was living in Ziklag, where he had gone to escape from King Saul. There he was joined by many experienced, reliable soldiers, 2members of the tribe of Benjamin, to which Saul belonged. They could shoot arrows and sling stones either right handed or left handed. 3-7They were under the command of Ahiezer and Joash, sons of Shemaah, from Gibeah.

These were the soldiers:

Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth

Beracah and Jehu from Anathoth

Ishmaiah from Gibeon, a famous soldier and one of the leaders of “The Thirty”

Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johannan, and Jozabad, from Gederah

Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, and Shephatiah, from Hariph

Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, of the clan of Korah

Joelah and Zebadiah, sons of Jeroham, from Gedor.

David's Followers from the Tribe of Gad

8These are the names of the famous, experienced soldiers from the tribe of Gad who joined David's troops when he was at the desert fort. They were experts with shields and spears, as fierce-looking as lions and as quick as mountain deer. 9-13They were ranked in the following order: Ezer, Obadiah, Eliab, Mishmannah, Jeremiah, Attai, Eliel, Johanan, Elzabad, Jeremiah, and Machbannai.

14Some of these men from the tribe of Gad were senior officers in command of a thousand men, and others were junior officers in command of a hundred. 15In the first month of one year, the time when the River Jordan overflowed its banks, they crossed the river, scattering the people who lived in the valleys both east and west of the river.

Followers from Benjamin and Judah

16Once a group of men from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah went out to the fort where David was. 17David went to meet them and said, “If you are coming as friends to help me, you are welcome here. Join us! But if you intend to betray me to my enemies, even though I have not tried to hurt you, the God of our ancestors will know it and punish you.”

18God's Spirit took control of one of them, Amasai, who later became the commander of “The Thirty”, and he called out,

“David son of Jesse, we are yours!

Success to you and those who help you!

God is on your side.”

David welcomed them and made them officers in his army.

Followers from Manasseh

19Some soldiers from the tribe of Manasseh went over to David's side when he was marching out with the Philistines to fight King Saul. Actually he did not help the Philistines, for their kings were afraid that he would betray them to his former master Saul, so they sent him back to Ziklag. 20These are the soldiers from Manasseh who went over to David's side when he was returning: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai. In Manasseh they had all commanded units of a thousand men. 21They served David as officers over his troops,12.21 They served Davidtroops; or They helped David fight against the bands of raiders. because they were all outstanding soldiers. Later they were officers in the Israelite army. 22Almost every day new men joined David's forces, so that his army was soon enormous.

List of David's Forces

23-37When David was at Hebron, many trained soldiers joined his army to help make him king in place of Saul, as the LORD had promised. Their numbers were as follows:

Judah: 6,800 well-equipped men, armed with shields and spears;

Simeon: 7,100 well-trained men;

Levi: 4,600 men;

Followers of Jehoiada, descendant of Aaron: 3,700 men;

Relatives of Zadok, an able young fighter: 22 leading men;

Benjamin (Saul's own tribe): 3,000 men (most of the people of Benjamin had remained loyal to Saul);

Ephraim: 20,800 men famous in their own clans;

West Manasseh: 18,000 men chosen to go and make David king;

Issachar: 200 leaders, together with the men under their command (these leaders knew what Israel should do and the best time to do it);

Zebulun: 50,000 loyal and reliable men ready to fight, trained to use all kinds of weapons;

Naphtali: 1,000 leaders, together with 37,000 men armed with shields and spears;

Dan: 28,600 trained men;

Asher: 40,000 men ready for battle;

Tribes east of the Jordan — Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh: 120,000 men trained to use all kinds of weapons.

38All these soldiers, ready for battle, went to Hebron, determined to make David king over all Israel. All the rest of the people of Israel were united in the same purpose. 39They spent three days there with David, feasting on the food and drink which other Israelites had prepared for them. 40From as far away as the northern tribes of Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali, people came bringing donkeys, camels, mules, and oxen loaded with food — flour, figs, raisins, wine, and olive oil. They also brought cattle and sheep to kill and eat. All this was an expression of the joy that was felt throughout the whole country.