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David and His Mighty Men at Ziklag

12 Now these are the ones who came to David at Ziklag while he was still shut up because of Saul,[a] the son of Kish. And they were the mighty warriors helping with the war. They were armed with the bow, able to shoot right-handed or left-handed, slinging stones or shooting arrows with the bow; they were kinsmen of Saul from Benjamin. The leader was Ahiezer, then Jehoash, sons of Shemaah the Gibeonite; Jeiel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth; Beracah; Jehu the Anathothite; Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty warrior among the thirty who was over the thirty;[b] Jeremiah; Jahaziel; Johanan; Jozabad the Gederathite; [c] Eluzai; Jerimoth; Bealiah; Shemariah; Shephatiah the Hariphite; Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam the Korahites; Joelah and Zebadiah, sons of Jeroham from the Gedor.

And from the Gadites, valiant mighty warriors, soldiers fit for war,[d] expert with shield and spear, defected to David at the fortress toward the wilderness. And they had faces like lions[e] and were swift as gazelles upon the mountains. Ezer the chief, Obadiah second, Eliab third, 10 Mishmannah fourth, Jeremiah fifth, 11 Attai sixth, Eliel seventh, 12 Jehonan eighth, Elzabad ninth, 13 Jeremiah tenth, Macbannai eleventh. 14 These were the sons of Gad, leaders of the army. The smallest one was as a hundred, and the greatest as a thousand. 15 These were they who crossed the Jordan in the first month, when it was filled over its banks. And they put to flight all who were in the valley to the east and to the west.

16 And some of the sons of Benjamin and from Judah came to the fortress, to David. 17 And David went out to meet them[f] and answered and said to them, “If you come in peace to me, to help me, my heart will be joined with you,[g] but if you come to betray me to my adversaries, although there is no wrong on my hands, may the God of our fathers see and pass judgment.” 18 Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, chief of the thirty who said:

We are yours, O David!
And we are with you, O son of Jesse!
Peace! Peace to you, and peace to those who help you,
for your God helps you.”

So David appointed them as heads of the troops.

19 And some Manassites deserted to David when he came with the Philistines to the battle against Saul, but he did not help them, for the rulers of the Philistines sent him away upon counsel, saying, “He will desert to his master Saul at the cost of our heads.” 20 When he went to Ziklag some Manassites deserted to him: Adnah, Jehozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai, heads of the thousands that were for Manasseh. 21 And they themselves helped David against the troops, for all of them were mighty men of strength and were commanders in the army. 22 Day in and day out[h] they came to David to help him until there was a great army, like the army of God.

23 And these are the numbers of the chiefs of those prepared for the army who came to David at Hebron to turn the kingdom of Saul over to him according to the word of Yahweh. 24 The sons of Judah bearing shield and spear: six thousand eight hundred armed troops. 25 From the men of Simeon, mighty warriors of strength for war: seven thousand one hundred. 26 From the Levites: four thousand six hundred. 27 Jehoiada the chief officer of the house of Aaron, and with him, three thousand seven hundred. 28 And Zadok, a young man, a mighty warrior of strength, and the house of his father: twenty-two commanders. 29 From the men of Benjamin, kinsmen of Saul, three thousand, and even still[i] the majority of them remained loyal[j] to the house of Saul. 30 And from the men of Ephraim: twenty thousand eight hundred mighty warriors of strength, famous men in the house of their fathers. 31 And from the half-tribe of Manasseh: eighteen thousand who were designated by name to come to make David king. 32 And from the men of Issachar: men who were skilled in understanding the times[k] to know what Israel should do. Their chiefs were two hundred, and all their kinsmen were under their command. 33 From Zebulun, those who went out armed, equipped for battle with all the weapons of war: fifty thousand to help David with singleness of purpose.[l] 34 From Naphtali: one thousand commanders; and those with them with shield and spear: thirty-seven thousand. 35 From the Danites, those equipped for battle: twenty-eight thousand six hundred. 36 And from Asher, those who went out armed and prepared for battle: forty thousand. 37 And from beyond the Jordan, from the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, with all their weapons of war for battle: one hundred and twenty thousand. 38 All these were men of war arrayed in battle line with a whole heart.[m] They came to Hebron to make David king over all Israel. Likewise, all the rest of Israel had one heart to make David king. 39 And they were there with David three days, eating and drinking, for their kinsmen were prepared for them. 40 And also their relatives, as far as Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought food on donkeys, on camels, on mules, and on oxen—provisions of flour, cakes of figs, raisin cakes, wine and oil, cattle and sheep in abundance, for there was great joy in Israel.


  1. 1 Chronicles 12:1 Literally “of the face of Saul”
  2. 1 Chronicles 12:4 1 Chronicles 12:5 begins here in the Hebrew Bible
  3. 1 Chronicles 12:5 1 Chronicles 12:5–40 in the English Bible is 12:6–41 in the Hebrew Bible
  4. 1 Chronicles 12:8 Literally “men of battle for the war”
  5. 1 Chronicles 12:8 Literally “faces of a lion were their faces”
  6. 1 Chronicles 12:17 Literally “before them”
  7. 1 Chronicles 12:17 Literally “the heart will be to me to you together”
  8. 1 Chronicles 12:22 Literally “for to the time of day to the day”
  9. 1 Chronicles 12:29 Literally “and even they”
  10. 1 Chronicles 12:29 Literally “keeping the responsibility”
  11. 1 Chronicles 12:32 Literally “men who knew the understanding of the times”
  12. 1 Chronicles 12:33 Literally “with not heart and heart”
  13. 1 Chronicles 12:38 Literally “with heart well”