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12 These are the names of the famous warriors who joined David at Ziklag while he was hiding from King Saul.[a] All of them were expert archers and slingers, and they could use their left hands as readily as their right! Like King Saul, they were all of the tribe of Benjamin.

3-7 Their chief was Ahiezer, son of Shemaah from Gibeah. The others were:

His brother Joash; Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth; Beracah; Jehu from Anathoth; Ishmaiah from Gibeon (a brave warrior rated as high or higher than The Thirty); Jeremiah; Jahaziel; Johanan; Jozabad from Gederah; Eluzai; Jerimoth; Bealiah; Shemariah; Shephatiah from Haruph; Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, Jashobeam—all Korahites; Joelah and Zebadiah (sons of Jeroham from Gedor).

8-13 Great and brave warriors from the tribe of Gad also went to David in the wilderness. They were experts with both shield and spear and were “lion-faced men, swift as deer upon the mountains.”

Ezer was the chief;

Obadiah was second in command;

Eliab was third in command;

Mishmannah was fourth in command;

Jeremiah was fifth in command;

Attai was sixth in command;

Eliel was seventh in command;

Johanan was eighth in command;

Elzabad was ninth in command;

Jeremiah was tenth in command;

Machbannai was eleventh in command.

14 These men were army officers; the weakest was worth a hundred normal troops, and the greatest was worth a thousand! 15 They crossed the Jordan River during its seasonal flooding and conquered the lowlands on both the east and west banks.

16 Others came to David from Benjamin and Judah. 17 David went out to meet them and said, “If you have come to help me, we are friends; but if you have come to betray me to my enemies when I am innocent, then may the God of our fathers see and judge you.”

18 Then the Holy Spirit came upon them, and Amasai, a leader of The Thirty, replied,

“We are yours, David;

We are on your side, son of Jesse.

Peace, peace be unto you,

And peace to all who aid you;

For your God is with you.”

So David let them join him, and he made them captains of his army.

19 Some men from Manasseh deserted the Israeli army and joined David just as he was going into battle with the Philistines against King Saul. But as it turned out, the Philistine generals refused to let David and his men go with them. After much discussion they sent them back, for they were afraid that David and his men would imperil them by deserting to King Saul.

20 Here is a list of the men from Manasseh who deserted to David as he was en route to Ziklag: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, Zillethai.

Each was a high-ranking officer of Manasseh’s troops. 21 They were brave and able warriors, and they assisted David when he fought against the Amalek raiders at Ziklag.[b]

22 More men joined David almost every day until he had a tremendous army—the army of God. 23 Here is the registry of recruits who joined David at Hebron. They were all anxious to see David become king instead of Saul, just as the Lord had said would happen.

24-37 From Judah, 6,800 troops armed with shields and spears.

From the tribe of Simeon, 7,100 outstanding warriors.

From the Levites, 4,600.

From the priests—descendants of Aaron—there were 3,700 troops under the command of Zadok, a young man of unusual courage, and Jehoiada. (He and twenty-two members of his family were officers of the fighting priests.)

From the tribe of Benjamin, the same tribe Saul was from, there were 3,000. (Most of that tribe retained its allegiance to Saul.)

From the tribe of Ephraim, 20,800 mighty warriors, each famous in his respective clan.

From the half-tribe of Manasseh, 18,000 were sent for the express purpose of helping David become king.

From the tribe of Issachar there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives—all men who understood the temper of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.

From the tribe of Zebulun there were 50,000 trained warriors; they were fully armed and totally loyal to David.

From Naphtali there were 1,000 officers and 37,000 troops equipped with shields and spears.

From the tribe of Dan there were 28,600 troops, all of them prepared for war.

From the tribe of Asher, there were 40,000 trained and ready troops.

From the other side of the Jordan River—where the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh lived—there were 120,000 troops equipped with every kind of weapon.

38 All these men came in battle array to Hebron with the single purpose of making David the king of Israel. In fact, all of Israel was ready for this change. 39 They feasted and drank with David for three days, for preparations had been made for their arrival. 40 People from nearby and from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali brought food on donkeys, camels, mules, and oxen. Vast supplies of flour, fig cakes, raisins, wine, oil, cattle, and sheep were brought to the celebration, for joy had spread throughout the land.


  1. 1 Chronicles 12:1 King Saul, literally, “the son of Kish.”
  2. 1 Chronicles 12:21 Ziklag, implied.

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