231David son of Jesse was the man whom God made great, whom the God of Jacob chose to be king, and who was the composer of beautiful songs for Israel. These are David's last words:
2The Spirit of the LORD speaks through me;
his message is on my lips.
3The God of Israel has spoken;
the protector of Israel said to me:
“The king who rules with justice,
who rules in obedience to God,
4is like the sun shining on a cloudless dawn,
the sun that makes the grass sparkle after rain.”
5And that is how God will bless my descendants,
because he has made an eternal covenant with me,
an agreement that will not be broken,
a promise that will not be changed.
That is all I desire;
that will be my victory,
and God will surely bring it about.
6But godless people are like thorns that are thrown away;
no one can touch them with bare hands.
7You must use an iron tool or a spear;
they will be burnt completely.23.7 Verses 6–7 in Hebrew are unclear.
8These are the names of David's famous soldiers: the first was Josheb Basshebeth from Tachemon, who was the leader of “The Three”;23.8 One ancient translation “The Three”; Hebrew the third. he fought with his spear23.8 Probable text (see 1 Chr 11.11) he fought with his spear; Hebrew unclear. against 800 men and killed them all in one battle.
9The second of the famous three was Eleazar son of Dodo, of the clan of Ahoh. One day he and David challenged the Philistines who had gathered for battle. The Israelites fell back, 10but he stood his ground and fought the Philistines until his hand was so stiff that he could not let go of his sword. The LORD won a great victory that day. After it was over, the Israelites returned to where Eleazar was and stripped the armour from the dead.
11The third of the famous three was Shammah son of Agee, from Harar. The Philistines had gathered at Lehi, where there was a field of peas. The Israelites fled from the Philistines, 12but Shammah stood his ground in the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. The LORD won a great victory that day.
13Near the beginning of harvest time23.13 Probable text Near the beginning of harvest time; Hebrew unclear. three of “The Thirty” went down to the cave of Adullam, where David was, while a band of Philistines was camping in the Valley of Rephaim. 14At that time David was on a fortified hill, and a group of Philistines had occupied Bethlehem. 15David felt homesick and said, “How I wish someone would bring me a drink of water from the well by the gate at Bethlehem!” 16The 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 17and said, “LORD, 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.
Those were the brave deeds of the three famous soldiers.
18Joab's brother Abishai (their mother was Zeruiah) was the leader of “The Famous Thirty”. He fought with his spear against 300 men and killed them, and became famous among “The Thirty”.23.18 One ancient translation “The Thirty”; Hebrew “The Three”. 19He was the most famous of “The Thirty”23.19; 23.22 Probable text “The Thirty”; Hebrew “The Three”. and became their leader, but he was not as famous as “The Three”.
20Benaiah son of Jehoiada, from Kabzeel, was another 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. 21He also killed an Egyptian, a huge man who was armed with a spear. Benaiah attacked him with his club, snatched the spear from the Egyptian's hand, and killed him with it. 22Those were the brave deeds of Benaiah, who was one of “The Thirty”.23.22; 23.19 Probable text “The Thirty”; Hebrew “The Three”. 23He was outstanding among them, but was not as famous as “The Three”. David put him in charge of his bodyguard.
24-39Other members of “The Thirty” included:
Asahel, Joab's brother
Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem
Shammah and Elika from Harod
Helez from Pelet
Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa
Abiezer from Anathoth
Mebunnai from Hushah
Zalmon from Ahoh
Maharai from Netophah
Heleb son of Baanah from Netophah
Ittai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin
Benaiah from Pirathon
Hiddai from the valleys near Gaash
Abialbon from Arabah
Azmaveth from Bahurim
Eliahba from Shaalbon
The sons of Jashen
Shammah from Harar
Ahiam son of Sharar from Harar
Eliphelet son of Ahasbai from Maacah
Eliam son of Ahithophel from Gilo
Hezro from Carmel
Paarai from Arab
Igal son of Nathan from Zobah
Bani from Gad
Zelek from Ammon
Naharai from Beeroth, Joab's armour bearer
Ira and Gareb from Jattir
Uriah the Hittite.
There were 37 famous soldiers in all.