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1 Chronicles 11Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

David Becomes King Over Israel

11 All the Israelites came to David at the town of Hebron. They said to David, “We are your own flesh and blood.[a] In the past you led us in war. You led us even though Saul was the king. The Lord said to you ‘David, you will be the shepherd of my people, the Israelites. You will become the leader over my people.’”

All the leaders of Israel came to King David at the town of Hebron. David made an agreement with them in Hebron before the Lord. The leaders anointed David. That made him king over Israel. The Lord had promised through Samuel that this would happen.

David Captures Jerusalem

David and all the Israelites went to the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem was called Jebus at that time. The people living in that city were named Jebusites. They said to David, “You cannot get inside our city.” But David did defeat them. He took over the fortress of Zion, and it became the City of David.

David said, “The one who leads the attack on the Jebusites will become the commander over all my army.” So Joab led the attack. He was Zeruiah’s son. Joab became the commander of the army.

Then David made his home in the fortress. That is why it is named the City of David. David built the city around the fort. He built it from the Millo to the wall around the city. Joab repaired the other parts of the city. David continued to grow greater, and the Lord All-Powerful was with him.

The Three Heroes

10 This is a list of the leaders over David’s special soldiers. These heroes became very powerful with David in his kingdom. They and all the Israelites supported David and made him king, just as the Lord had promised.

11 This is a list of David’s special soldiers:

Jashobeam the Hacmonite[b] was the leader of the king’s special forces.[c] Jashobeam used his spear to kill 300 men at one time.

12 Next there was Eleazar son of Dodai[d] from Ahoah. Eleazar was one of the Three Heroes.[e] 13 Eleazar was with David at Pasdammim. The Philistines had come to that place to fight a war. There was a field full of barley there. The Israelites ran away from the Philistines. 14 But the Three Heroes stood there in that field and defended it. They defeated the Philistines. The Lord gave the Israelites a great victory.

15 Once David was at the cave of Adullam, and three of the Thirty Heroes[f] went down to meet him by a rock near the cave. At the same time the Philistine army was camped in the Valley of Rephaim.

16 Another time David was in the fortress, and a group of Philistine soldiers was stationed in Bethlehem. 17 David was thirsty for some water from his hometown, so he said, “Oh, if only I could have some water from that well by the gate in Bethlehem.” 18 So the Three Heroes[g] fought their way through the Philistine army and got some water from the well near the city gate in Bethlehem. They took it to David, but he refused to drink it. He poured it on the ground as an offering to the Lord. 19 David said, “God, I cannot drink this water. It would be like drinking the blood of the men who risked their lives to get this water for me.” That is why David refused to drink the water. The Three Heroes did many brave things like that.

Other Brave Soldiers

20 Joab’s brother, Abishai, was the leader of the Three Heroes. Abishai used his spear against 300 enemies and killed them. He was as famous as the Three Heroes. 21 Abishai was even more famous than the Three Heroes.[h] He became their leader, even though he was not one of the Three Heroes.

22 Then there was Benaiah son of Jehoiada, from Kabzeel. He was the son of a powerful man.[i] Benaiah did many brave things. He killed two of the best soldiers in Moab. One day when it was snowing, Benaiah went down into a hole in the ground and killed a lion. 23 And Benaiah killed a big Egyptian soldier. That man was about 7 1/2 feet[j] tall. The Egyptian had a spear that was very large and heavy. It was as big as the pole on a weaver’s loom. Benaiah had only a club. He grabbed the spear in the Egyptian’s hands and took it away from him. Then Benaiah killed the Egyptian with his own spear. 24 Benaiah son of Jehoiada did many brave things like that. He was as famous as the Three Heroes. 25 Benaiah was even more famous than the Thirty Heroes, but he was not one of the Three Heroes. David made Benaiah the leader of his bodyguards.

The Thirty Heroes

26 The following men were among the king’s special forces:

Asahel, Joab’s brother;

Elhanan son of Dodai from Bethlehem;

27 Shammoth the Harodite;

Helez the Pelonite;

28 Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa;

Abiezer from Anathoth;

29 Sibbecai the Hushathite;

Ilai from Ahoah;

30 Maharai from Netophah;

Heled son of Baanah from Netophah;

31 Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin;

Benaiah the Pirathonite;

32 Hurai from the Brooks of Gaash;

Abiel the Arbathite;

33 Azmaveth the Baharumite;

Eliahba the Shaalbonite;

34 the sons of Hashem the Gizonite;

Jonathan son of Shagee the Hararite;

35 Ahiam son of Sacar the Hararite;

Eliphal son of Ur;

36 Hepher the Mekerathite;

Ahijah the Pelonite;

37 Hezro the Carmelite;

Naarai son of Ezbai;

38 Joel, Nathan’s brother;

Mibhar son of Hagri;

39 Zelek the Ammonite;

Naharai the officer from Beeroth, who carried the armor for Joab son of Zeruiah;

40 Ira the Ithrite;

Gareb the Ithrite;

41 Uriah the Hittite;

Zabad son of Ahlai;

42 Adina who was the son of Shiza from the tribe of Reuben and was the leader of the tribe and one of the Thirty Heroes;

43 Hanan son of Maacah;

Joshaphat the Mithnite;

44 Uzzia the Ashterathite;

Shama and Jeiel sons of Hotham from Aroer;

45 Jediael son of Shimri

and his brother Joha the Tizite;

46 Eliel the Mahavite;

Jeribai and Joshaviah the sons of Elnaam;

Ithmah the Moabite;

47 Eliel; Obed; and Jaasiel the Mezobaite.


  1. 1 Chronicles 11:1 We are … blood A way of saying they were David’s relatives.
  2. 1 Chronicles 11:11 Jashobeam the Hacmonite This is “Josheb Basshebeth the Tahkemonite” in 2 Sam. 23:8.
  3. 1 Chronicles 11:11 king’s special forces A special group of soldiers who formed three-man squads and went on special missions for the king.
  4. 1 Chronicles 11:12 Eleazar son of Dodai Or “Eleazar his cousin.”
  5. 1 Chronicles 11:12 Three Heroes These were David’s three bravest soldiers. Also in verses 18, 20, 24.
  6. 1 Chronicles 11:15 Thirty Heroes Or “the king’s special forces.” These men were David’s famous group of very brave soldiers. Also in verses 25, 42.
  7. 1 Chronicles 11:18 Three Heroes These were David’s three bravest soldiers. Also in verses 19-21.
  8. 1 Chronicles 11:21 Three Heroes Or possibly, “The Thirty Heroes.”
  9. 1 Chronicles 11:22 powerful man That is, a man from the warrior class ready to protect his people in war.
  10. 1 Chronicles 11:23 about 7 1/2 feet Literally, “5 short cubits” (2.22 m).
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International


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