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David’s Followers in the Wilderness

12 Now these are the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he could not move about freely because of Saul the son of Kish; and they were among the mighty men who helped him in war. They were bowmen, and could shoot arrows and sling stones with either the right or the left hand; they were Benjaminites, Saul’s kinsmen. The chief was Ahi-e′zer, then Jo′ash, both sons of Shema′ah of Gib′e-ah; also Je′zi-el and Pelet the sons of Az′maveth; Ber′acah, Jehu of An′athoth, Ishma′iah of Gibeon, a mighty man among the thirty and a leader over the thirty; Jeremiah,[a] Jaha′ziel, Joha′nan, Jo′zabad of Gede′rah, Elu′zai,[b] Jer′imoth, Beali′ah, Shemari′ah, Shephati′ah the Har′uphite; Elka′nah, Isshi′ah, Az′arel, Jo-e′zer, and Jasho′be-am, the Ko′rahites; And Joe′lah and Zebadi′ah, the sons of Jero′ham of Gedor.

From the Gadites there went over to David at the stronghold in the wilderness mighty and experienced warriors, expert with shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and who were swift as gazelles upon the mountains: Ezer the chief, Obadi′ah second, Eli′ab third, 10 Mishman′nah fourth, Jeremiah fifth, 11 Attai sixth, Eli′el seventh, 12 Joha′nan eighth, Elza′bad ninth, 13 Jeremiah tenth, Mach′bannai eleventh. 14 These Gadites were officers of the army, the lesser over a hundred and the greater over a thousand. 15 These are the men who crossed the Jordan in the first month, when it was overflowing all its banks, and put to flight all those in the valleys, to the east and to the west.

16 And some of the men of Benjamin and Judah came to the stronghold to David. 17 David went out to meet them and said to them, “If you have come to me in friendship to help me, my heart will be knit to you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, although there is no wrong in my hands, then may the God of our fathers see and rebuke you.” 18 Then the Spirit came upon Ama′sai, chief of the thirty, and he said,

“We are yours, O David;
    and with you, O son of Jesse!
Peace, peace to you,
    and peace to your helpers!
    For your God helps you.”

Then David received them, and made them officers of his troops.

19 Some of the men of Manas′seh deserted to David when he came with the Philistines for the battle against Saul. (Yet he did not help them, for the rulers of the Philistines took counsel and sent him away, saying, “At peril to our heads he will desert to his master Saul.”) 20 As he went to Ziklag these men of Manas′seh deserted to him: Adnah, Jo′zabad, Jedi′a-el, Michael, Jo′zabad, Eli′hu, and Zil′lethai, chiefs of thousands in Manas′seh. 21 They helped David against the band of raiders;[c] for they were all mighty men of valor, and were commanders in the army. 22 For from day to day men kept coming to David to help him, until there was a great army, like an army of God.

David’s Army at Hebron

23 These are the numbers of the divisions of the armed troops, who came to David in Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul over to him, according to the word of the Lord. 24 The men of Judah bearing shield and spear were six thousand eight hundred armed troops. 25 Of the Simeonites, mighty men of valor for war, seven thousand one hundred. 26 Of the Levites four thousand six hundred. 27 The prince Jehoi′ada, of the house of Aaron, and with him three thousand seven hundred. 28 Zadok, a young man mighty in valor, and twenty-two commanders from his own fathers’ house. 29 Of the Benjaminites, the kinsmen of Saul, three thousand, of whom the majority had hitherto kept their allegiance to the house of Saul. 30 Of the E′phraimites twenty thousand eight hundred, mighty men of valor, famous men in their fathers’ houses. 31 Of the half-tribe of Manas′seh eighteen thousand, who were expressly named to come and make David king. 32 Of Is′sachar men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, two hundred chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command. 33 Of Zeb′ulun fifty thousand seasoned troops, equipped for battle with all the weapons of war, to help David[d] with singleness of purpose. 34 Of Naph′tali a thousand commanders with whom were thirty-seven thousand men armed with shield and spear. 35 Of the Danites twenty-eight thousand six hundred men equipped for battle. 36 Of Asher forty thousand seasoned troops ready for battle. 37 Of the Reubenites and Gadites and the half-tribe of Manas′seh from beyond the Jordan, one hundred and twenty thousand men armed with all the weapons of war.

38 All these, men of war, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with full intent to make David king over all Israel; likewise all the rest of Israel were of a single mind to make David king. 39 And they were there with David for three days, eating and drinking, for their brethren had made preparation for them. 40 And also their neighbors, from as far as Is′sachar and Zeb′ulun and Naph′tali, came bringing food on asses and on camels and on mules and on oxen, abundant provisions of meal, cakes of figs, clusters of raisins, and wine and oil, oxen and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.


  1. 1 Chronicles 12:4 Heb verse 5
  2. 1 Chronicles 12:5 Heb verse 6
  3. 1 Chronicles 12:21 Or as officers of his troops
  4. 1 Chronicles 12:33 Gk: Heb lacks David

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