Add parallel Print Page Options

The Brave Men Who Joined David

12 This is a list of the men who came to David while he was at Ziklag. This was when David was hiding from Saul son of Kish. These men helped David in battle. They could shoot arrows from their bows with either their right or left hand. They could also throw stones from their slings with either their right or left hand. They were Saul’s relatives from the tribe of Benjamin. They were

Ahiezer, their leader, and Joash (sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite); Jeziel and Pelet (sons of Azmaveth); Beracah and Jehu from the town of Anathoth; Ishmaiah the Gibeonite (a hero and leader of the Thirty Heroes); Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, and Jozabad from the Gederathites; Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, and Shemariah; Shephatiah from Haruph; Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, all from the tribe of Korah; and Joelah and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham from the town of Gedor.

The Gadites

Part of the tribe of Gad joined David at his fortress in the desert. They were brave soldiers trained for war and skilled with the shield and spear. They looked as fierce as lions, and they could run as fast as gazelles through the mountains.

Ezer was the leader of the army from the tribe of Gad. Obadiah was the second in command. Eliab was the third in command. 10 Mishmannah was the fourth in command. Jeremiah was the fifth in command. 11 Attai was the sixth in command. Eliel was the seventh in command. 12 Johanan was the eighth in command. Elzabad was the ninth in command. 13 Jeremiah was the tenth in command. Macbannai was the eleventh in command.

14 These men were leaders of the Gadite army. The weakest from that group was worth 100 men, and the strongest was worth 1000 men.[a] 15 They were the soldiers who crossed the Jordan River in the first month of the year, when it was flooded over its banks. They chased away the people in the valley who were on both sides of the river.

Other Soldiers Join David

16 Other men from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah also came to David at the fortress. 17 David went out to meet them and said, “If you have come in peace to help me, I welcome you. Join me. But if you have come to spy on me when I have done nothing wrong, may the God of our ancestors see what you did and punish you.”

18 Amasai was the leader of the Thirty Heroes.[b] Then the Spirit came on Amasai, and he said,

“We are yours, David!
    We are with you, son of Jesse.
Peace, peace to you.
    Peace to those who help you,
    because your God helps you.”

So David welcomed these men into his group and put them in charge of the troops.

19 Some of the men from the tribe of Manasseh also joined David. They joined him when he went with the Philistines to fight Saul. But David and his men did not really help the Philistines. The Philistine leaders talked about David helping them, but then they decided to send him away. They said, “If David goes back to his master Saul, our heads will be cut off!” 20 These were the men from Manasseh who joined David when he went to the town of Ziklag: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai. All of them were generals[c] from the tribe of Manasseh. 21 They helped David fight against bad men who were going around the country and stealing things from people. All these men of Manasseh were brave soldiers. They became leaders in David’s army.

22 More and more men came every day to help David. So he had a large and powerful army.

Other Men Join David at Hebron

23 These are the numbers of the men who came to David at the town of Hebron. These men were ready for war. They came to give Saul’s kingdom to David. That is what the Lord said would happen. This is their number:

24 From the tribe of Judah there were 6800 men ready for war. They carried shields and spears.

25 From the tribe of Simeon there were 7100 men. They were brave soldiers ready for war.

26 From the tribe of Levi there were 4600 men. 27 Jehoiada was in that group. He was a leader from Aaron’s family. There were 3700 men with Jehoiada. 28 Zadok was also in that group. He was a brave young soldier. He came with 22 officers from his family.

29 From the tribe of Benjamin there were 3000 men. They were Saul’s relatives. Most of them stayed faithful to Saul’s family until that time.

30 From the tribe of Ephraim there were 20,800 men. They were brave soldiers. They were famous men in their own families.

31 From half the tribe of Manasseh there were 18,000 men. They were called by name to come and make David king.

32 From the family of Issachar there were 200 wise leaders. These men understood the right thing for Israel to do at the right time. Their relatives were with them and under their command.

33 From the tribe of Zebulun there were 50,000 trained soldiers. They were trained to use all kinds of weapons and were very loyal to David.

34 From the tribe of Naphtali there were 1000 officers. They had 37,000 men with them. These men carried shields and spears.

35 From the tribe of Dan there were 28,600 men ready for war.

36 From the tribe of Asher there were 40,000 trained soldiers ready for war.

37 From the east side of the Jordan River, there were 120,000 men from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh. They had all kinds of weapons.

38 All these men were brave fighters. They came to the town of Hebron for one reason—to make David king of all Israel. All the other Israelites also agreed that David should be king. 39 The men spent three days at Hebron with David. They ate and drank, because their relatives had prepared food for them. 40 Also, their neighbors from the areas where the tribes of Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali live brought food on donkeys, camels, mules, and cattle. They brought much flour, fig cakes, raisins, wine, oil, cattle, and sheep. The people in Israel were very happy.

Bringing Back the Box of the Agreement

13 David talked with all the officers of his army. Then he called the Israelites together and said, “If you think it is a good idea, and if it is what the Lord our God wants, let us send a message to our brothers in all the areas of Israel. Let’s also send the message to the priests and Levites who live with our brothers in their towns and the fields near those towns. Let the message tell them to come and join us. Let’s bring our God’s Holy Box back to us in Jerusalem. We did not pay attention to it while Saul was king.” So all the Israelites agreed with David. They all thought it was the right thing to do.

So David gathered all the Israelites from the Shihor River in Egypt to the town of Lebo Hamath. They came together to bring the Box of the Agreement back from the town of Kiriath Jearim. David and all the Israelites with him went to Baalah of Judah. (Baalah is another name for Kiriath Jearim.) They went there to bring out the Holy Box of God the Lord, who sits above the Cherub angels. It is the Box that is called by his name.

The people moved God’s Holy Box from Abinadab’s house and put it on a new wagon. Uzzah and Ahio were driving the wagon.

David and all the Israelites were celebrating before God. They were praising God and singing songs. They were playing harps, lyres, drums, cymbals, and trumpets.

They came to Kidon’s threshing floor. The oxen pulling the wagon stumbled, and the Holy Box almost fell. Uzzah reached out with his hand to catch it. 10 The Lord became very angry with Uzzah and killed him because he touched the Holy Box. So Uzzah died there before God. 11 And David was angry because the Lord had shown his anger in killing Uzzah. So that place has been called “Perez Uzzah”[d] ever since then.

12 That day David began to fear what God might do to him. So he said, “Should I really be the one in charge of God’s Holy Box?” 13 So he did not take the Holy Box with him to the City of David. He left it at Obed Edom’s house. Obed Edom was from the city of Gath. 14 God’s Holy Box stayed with Obed Edom’s family in his house for three months. The Lord blessed Obed Edom’s family and everything Obed Edom owned.

David’s Kingdom Grows

14 Hiram was king of the city of Tyre. He sent messengers to David. He also sent logs from cedar trees, stonecutters, and carpenters to David. Hiram sent them to build a house for David. Then David understood that the Lord had really made him king of Israel. And he had made his kingdom large and powerful for the benefit of Israel, his people.

David married more women in the city of Jerusalem and had more sons and daughters. These are the names of David’s children born in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Beeliada, and Eliphelet.

David Defeats the Philistines

The Philistines heard that David had been chosen to be the king of Israel, so all the Philistines went to look for him. When David heard about it, he went out to fight them. The Philistines attacked the people living in the Valley of Rephaim and stole their things. 10 David asked God, “Should I go and fight the Philistines? Will you let me defeat them?”

The Lord answered David, “Go. I will let you defeat the Philistines.”

11 Then David and his men went up to the town of Baal Perazim. There David and his men defeated the Philistines. David said, “Waters break out from a broken dam. In the same way God has broken through my enemies! God has done this through me.” That is why that place is named Baal Perazim.[e] 12 The Philistines had left their idols at Baal Perazim. David ordered his men to burn the idols.

Another Victory Over the Philistines

13 The Philistines attacked the people living in the Valley of Rephaim again. 14 David prayed to God again, and God answered his prayer. God said, “David, don’t follow the Philistines up the hill when you attack. Instead, go around them and hide on the other side of the balsam trees. 15 When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, go out to battle because that is the sign that God has gone out in front of you to defeat the Philistines.” 16 David did what God told him to do. So David and his men defeated the Philistine army. They killed Philistine soldiers all the way from the town of Gibeon to the town of Gezer. 17 So David became famous in all the countries. The Lord made all nations afraid of him.


  1. 1 Chronicles 12:14 The weakest … 1000 men Or “The smallest was commander over 100 men, the greatest over 1000 men.”
  2. 1 Chronicles 12:18 Thirty Heroes Or “The Three” or “the chariot officers.”
  3. 1 Chronicles 12:20 generals Literally, “leaders over 1000 men.”
  4. 1 Chronicles 13:11 Perez Uzzah This name means “the outburst at Uzzah.”
  5. 1 Chronicles 14:11 Baal Perazim This name means “the Lord breaks through.”

Bible Gateway Recommends

ERV Duotone Bible, Black/Grey
ERV Duotone Bible, Black/Grey
Retail: $18.99
Our Price: $15.99
Save: $3.00 (16%)
PDT Spanish Paperback Bible
PDT Spanish Paperback Bible
Retail: $9.99
Our Price: $7.99
Save: $2.00 (20%)
3.0 of 5.0 stars
ERV Holy Bible--soft leather-look, teal
ERV Holy Bible--soft leather-look, teal
Retail: $18.99
Our Price: $13.99
Save: $5.00 (26%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
Swahili New Testament Easy to Read Version (ERV)
Swahili New Testament Easy to Read Version (ERV)
Retail: $5.00
Our Price: $4.19
Save: $0.81 (16%)
ERV God's Word : Your Journey to Freedom  - Slightly Imperfect
ERV God's Word : Your Journey to Freedom - Slightly Imperfect
Retail: $7.99
Our Price: $4.89
Save: $3.10 (39%)
Russian ERV Bible, Case of 24
Russian ERV Bible, Case of 24
Retail: $239.76
Our Price: $177.99
Save: $61.77 (26%)