2 Samuel

David Extols Yahweh

These are the last words of David, the declaration of David the son of Jesse, and the declaration of the man exalted by the Most High, the anointed one of the God of Jacob and the darling of the songs of Israel. “The spirit of Yahweh speaks through me, and his word is upon my tongue. The God of Israel said to me, the rock of Israel has spoken; ‘He who rules over mankind rules righteously, in the fear of God. Like the light of the morning when the sun rises, shining with no clouds, bringing vegetation from the earth apart from rain.’[a] Yet not so is my house with God, for he made an everlasting covenant for me, arranging everything. He has secured all my deliverance, and all my desire he will cause to happen. But evil persons are like thorns cast aside; all of them, because they cannot be picked up in the hand. And if a man wants to touch them, he must use an iron instrument or the shaft of a spear; then they are consumed entirely with fire on the spot.”

David’s Faithful Soldiers

These are the names of the mighty warriors who were David’s: Josheb-Basshebeth a Tahkemonite was chief of three officers; first Adino, whose spear was against eight hundred slain on one occurrence. Next to him Eleazar, the son of Dodo the son of an Ahohite, was among the three mighty warriors with David when they defied the Philistines and they gathered there for the battle and the men of Israel withdrew. 10 He stood up and struck down the Philistines until his hand grew tired and his hand clung to the sword, and Yahweh brought about a great victory on that day. Then the army returned back to him only for stripping the dead. 11 Next to him was Shamma, the son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines assembled at Lehi, a plot of the field was there filled with lentils, and the army fled there from the presence of the Philistines. 12 But he took a stand in the middle of the plot of land and defended it. He killed the Philistines, and Yahweh brought about a great victory. 13 Then three[b] of the thirty leaders went down and came to David at the time of the harvest[c] to the cave of Adullam, while a group of the Philistines were camping in the valley of the Rephaim. 14 Now at that time, David was in the stronghold, and a garrison of the Philistines was in Bethlehem at that same time. 15 David said longingly,[d]Oh that someone would bring me a drink[e] of water from the well of Bethlehem that is at the gate.” 16 So three of the mighty warriors broke into the camp of the Philistines, and they drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was at the gate, and they carried it and brought it to David. But he was not willing to drink it, but poured it out to Yahweh. 17 He said, “Far be it from me before Yahweh that I should do this. Is this not the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?” So he was not willing to drink it. These things the three mighty warriors did. 18 Now Abishai the brother of Joab the son of Zeruiah was himself the leader of the thirty. He was wielding his spear against three hundred slain and gained a name[f] among the thirty. 19 Among the thirty, is it not that he was honored and became a commander for them? But he did not come up to the three. 20 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of Ish-Hai, was a great man of deeds from Kabzeel. He struck down two sons of Ariel of Moab, and he went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day. 21 He also killed a good-looking Egyptian man, in whose hand was a spear. He went down against him with the staff and snatched the spear from the hand of the Egyptian and killed him with his spear. 22 These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did and gained a name for himself among the three mighty warriors. 23 He was honored more than the thirty, but he did not come up to the three. David appointed him in charge of his bodyguard.

The Mighty Men of David

24 Among the thirty were Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25 Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26 Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, 27 Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29 Heleb the son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai the son of Ribai from Gibeah of the sons of Benjamin, 30 Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hiddai from the wadis of Gaash, 31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan 33 the son of Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Ararite, 34 Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai the son of the Maacathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35 Hezro the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36 Igal the son of Nathan from Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, the carriers of the weapons of Joab the son of Zeruiah, 38 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39 Uriah the Hittite; in all, thirty-seven.


  1. 2 Samuel 23:4 In other words, even men who rule rightly pass like the dew of the morning
  2. 2 Samuel 23:13 So Qere; Kethib reads “thirty”
  3. 2 Samuel 23:13 Literally “to the harvest”
  4. 2 Samuel 23:15 Literally “desired and said”
  5. 2 Samuel 23:15 Literally “Who will let me drink …?”
  6. 2 Samuel 23:18 Literally “and to him a name”