A A A A A
Bible Book List

2 Samuel 23Contemporary English Version (CEV)

David’s Last Words

23 These are the last words
    of David the son of Jesse.
The God of Jacob chose David
    and made him a great king.
The Mighty God of Israel
    loved him.[a]
When God told him to speak,
    David said:
The Spirit of the Lord
    has told me what to say.
Our Mighty Rock,[b]
    the God of Jacob, told me,
“A ruler who obeys God
    and does right
is like the sunrise
    on a cloudless day,
or like rain that sparkles
    on the grass.”[c]

I have ruled this way,
and God will never break
    his promise to me.
God’s promise is complete
    and unchanging;
he will always help me
    and give me what I hope for.
But evil people are pulled up
    like thornbushes.
They are not dug up by hand,
but with a sharp spear
    and are burned on the spot.

The Three Warriors

These are the names of David’s warriors:

Ishbosheth[d] the son of Hachmon[e] was the leader of the Three Warriors.[f] In one battle, he killed eight hundred men with his spear.[g]

The next one of the Three Warriors was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite. One time when the Philistines were at war with Israel, he and David dared the Philistines to fight them. Every one of the Israelite soldiers turned and ran, 10 except Eleazar. He killed Philistines until his hand was cramped, and he couldn’t let go of his sword. When Eleazar finished, all the Israelite troops had to do was come back and take the enemies' weapons and armor. The Lord gave Israel a great victory that day.

11 Next was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. One time the Philistines brought their army together to destroy a crop of peas growing in a field near Lehi. The rest of Israel’s soldiers ran away from the Philistines, 12 but Shammah stood in the middle of the field and killed the Philistines. The crops were saved, and the Lord gave Israel a great victory.

13 One year at harvest time, the Three Warriors[h] went to meet David at Adullam Cave.[i] The Philistine army had set up camp in Rephaim Valley 14 and had taken over Bethlehem. David was in his fortress, 15 and he was very thirsty. He said, “I wish I had a drink from the well by the gate at Bethlehem.”

16 The Three Warriors[j] sneaked into the Philistine camp and got some water from the well near Bethlehem’s gate. But after they brought the water back to David, he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as a sacrifice 17 and said to the Lord, “I can’t drink this water! It’s like the blood of these men who risked their lives to get it for me.”

The Three Warriors did these brave deeds.

The Thirty Warriors

18 Joab’s brother Abishai was the leader of the Thirty Warriors,[k] and in one battle he killed three hundred men with his spear. He was as famous as the Three Warriors 19 and certainly just as famous as the rest of the Thirty Warriors. He was the commander of the Thirty Warriors, but he still did not become one of the Three Warriors.

20 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a brave man from Kabzeel who did some amazing things. He killed two of Moab’s best fighters,[l] and on a snowy day he went down into a pit and killed a lion. 21 Another time, he killed an Egyptian, as big as a giant.[m] The Egyptian was armed with a spear, but Benaiah only had a club. Benaiah grabbed the spear from the Egyptian and killed him with it. 22-23 Benaiah did these things. He never became one of the Three Warriors, but he was just as famous as they were and certainly just as famous as the rest of the Thirty Warriors. David made him the leader of his bodyguard.

24-39 Some of the Thirty Warriors were:

Asahel the brother of Joab
Elhanan the son of Dodo from Bethlehem
Shammah from Harod
Elika from Harod
Helez the Paltite
Ira the son of Ikkesh from Tekoa
Abiezer from Anathoth
Mebunnai[n] the Hushathite
Zalmon the Ahohite
Maharai from Netophah
Heleb the son of Baanah from Netophah
Ittai the son of Ribai from Gibeah of the tribe of Benjamin
Benaiah from Pirathon
Hiddai from the streams on Mount Gaash
Abialbon from Beth-Arabah
Azmaveth from Bahurim[o]
Eliahba from Shaalbon
Jashen[p]
Jonathan the son of Shammah the Hararite[q]
Ahiam the son of Sharar the Hararite
Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai from Maacah
Eliam the son of Ahithophel from Gilo
Hezro from Carmel
Paarai the Arbite
Igal the son of Nathan from Zobah
Bani the Gadite
Zelek from Ammon
Naharai from Beeroth, who carried the weapons of Joab the son of Zeruiah
Ira the Ithrite
Gareb the Ithrite
Uriah the Hittite
There were thirty-seven in all.

Footnotes:

  1. 23.1 The Mighty. . . him: Or “He wrote Israel’s favorite songs.”
  2. 23.3 Mighty Rock: See the note at 22.2.
  3. 23.4 sparkles. . . grass: Or “makes the grass grow.”
  4. 23.8 Ishbosheth: Hebrew “Josheb Bashebeth,” which seems to be another spelling of Ishbosheth. See the note at 2.8, although this is a different Ishbosheth.
  5. 23.8 the son of Hachmon: Or “the Tahchemonite” (see 1 Chronicles 11.11).
  6. 23.8 the Three Warriors: The most honored group of warriors. They may have been part of the Thirty Warriors. “Three” and “thirty” are spelled almost the same in Hebrew, so there is some confusion in the manuscripts as to which group is being talked about in some places in the following lists.
  7. 23.8 with. . . spear: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text (see 1 Chronicles 11.11).
  8. 23.13 the Three Warriors: Or “three warriors.” Hebrew “three of the thirty most important.”
  9. 23.13 Adullam Cave: This may have happened during the time that David was an outlaw (see 1 Samuel 22.1-6).
  10. 23.16 the Three Warriors: Or “three warriors.”
  11. 23.18 the Thirty Warriors: The second most honored group of warriors. They may have also been officers in the army (see the note at 23.8).
  12. 23.20 Moab’s best fighters: Or “big lions in Moab;” one ancient translation “sons of Ariel from Moab.”
  13. 23.21 Egyptian. . . giant: First Chronicles 11.23; in this verse the Hebrew text has “good-looking Egyptian.”
  14. 23.24-39 Mebunnai: Or “Sibbecai” (see 1 Chronicles 11.26-47).
  15. 23.24-39 Bahurim: Or “Barhum.”
  16. 23.24-39 Jashen: Hebrew “sons of Jashen.”
  17. 23.24-39 Jonathan. . . Hararite: Some manuscripts of one ancient translation (see 1 Chronicles 26-47). In the Hebrew text Jonathan and Shammah are separate members of the list.

2 Samuel 23New International Version (NIV)

David’s Last Words

23 These are the last words of David:

“The inspired utterance of David son of Jesse,
    the utterance of the man exalted by the Most High,
the man anointed by the God of Jacob,
    the hero of Israel’s songs:

“The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me;
    his word was on my tongue.
The God of Israel spoke,
    the Rock of Israel said to me:
‘When one rules over people in righteousness,
    when he rules in the fear of God,
he is like the light of morning at sunrise
    on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
    that brings grass from the earth.’

“If my house were not right with God,
    surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant,
    arranged and secured in every part;
surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation
    and grant me my every desire.
But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,
    which are not gathered with the hand.
Whoever touches thorns
    uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;
    they are burned up where they lie.”

David’s Mighty Warriors

These are the names of David’s mighty warriors:

Josheb-Basshebeth,[a] a Tahkemonite,[b] was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed[c] in one encounter.

Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim[d] for battle. Then the Israelites retreated, 10 but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.

11 Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. 12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.

13 During harvest time, three of the thirty chief warriors came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 15 David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” 16 So the three mighty warriors broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the Lord. 17 “Far be it from me, Lord, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it.

Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors.

18 Abishai the brother of Joab son of Zeruiah was chief of the Three.[e] He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed, and so he became as famous as the Three. 19 Was he not held in greater honor than the Three? He became their commander, even though he was not included among them.

20 Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 21 And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 22 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors. 23 He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

24 Among the Thirty were:

Asahel the brother of Joab,

Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem,

25 Shammah the Harodite,

Elika the Harodite,

26 Helez the Paltite,

Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa,

27 Abiezer from Anathoth,

Sibbekai[f] the Hushathite,

28 Zalmon the Ahohite,

Maharai the Netophathite,

29 Heled[g] son of Baanah the Netophathite,

Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin,

30 Benaiah the Pirathonite,

Hiddai[h] from the ravines of Gaash,

31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite,

Azmaveth the Barhumite,

32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite,

the sons of Jashen,

Jonathan 33 son of[i] Shammah the Hararite,

Ahiam son of Sharar[j] the Hararite,

34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maakathite,

Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,

35 Hezro the Carmelite,

Paarai the Arbite,

36 Igal son of Nathan from Zobah,

the son of Hagri,[k]

37 Zelek the Ammonite,

Naharai the Beerothite, the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah,

38 Ira the Ithrite,

Gareb the Ithrite

39 and Uriah the Hittite.

There were thirty-seven in all.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 23:8 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts suggest Ish-Bosheth, that is, Esh-Baal (see also 1 Chron. 11:11 Jashobeam).
  2. 2 Samuel 23:8 Probably a variant of Hakmonite (see 1 Chron. 11:11)
  3. 2 Samuel 23:8 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:11); Hebrew and other Septuagint manuscripts Three; it was Adino the Eznite who killed eight hundred men
  4. 2 Samuel 23:9 See 1 Chron. 11:13; Hebrew gathered there.
  5. 2 Samuel 23:18 Most Hebrew manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:20); two Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac Thirty
  6. 2 Samuel 23:27 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 21:18; 1 Chron. 11:29); Hebrew Mebunnai
  7. 2 Samuel 23:29 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Vulgate (see also 1 Chron. 11:30); most Hebrew manuscripts Heleb
  8. 2 Samuel 23:30 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:32) Hurai
  9. 2 Samuel 23:33 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:34); Hebrew does not have son of.
  10. 2 Samuel 23:33 Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:35) Sakar
  11. 2 Samuel 23:36 Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:38); Hebrew Haggadi
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes