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2 Samuel 23Revised Standard Version (RSV)

The Last Words of David

23 Now these are the last words of David:

The oracle of David, the son of Jesse,
    the oracle of the man who was raised on high,
the anointed of the God of Jacob,
    the sweet psalmist of Israel:[a]

“The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me,
    his word is upon my tongue.
The God of Israel has spoken,
    the Rock of Israel has said to me:
When one rules justly over men,
    ruling in the fear of God,
he dawns on them like the morning light,
    like the sun shining forth upon a cloudless morning,
    like rain[b] that makes grass to sprout from the earth.
Yea, does not my house stand so with God?
    For he has made with me an everlasting covenant,
    ordered in all things and secure.
For will he not cause to prosper
    all my help and my desire?
But godless men[c] are all like thorns that are thrown away;
    for they cannot be taken with the hand;
but the man who touches them
    arms himself with iron and the shaft of a spear,
    and they are utterly consumed with fire.”[d]

David’s Mighty Men

These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshe′beth a Tah-che′monite; he was chief of the three;[e] he wielded his spear[f] against eight hundred whom he slew at one time.

And next to him among the three mighty men was Elea′zar the son of Dodo, son of Aho′hi. He was with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel withdrew. 10 He rose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand cleaved to the sword; and the Lord wrought a great victory that day; and the men returned after him only to strip the slain.

11 And next to him was Shammah, the son of Agee the Har′arite. The Philistines gathered together at Lehi, where there was a plot of ground full of lentils; and the men fled from the Philistines. 12 But he took his stand in the midst of the plot, and defended it, and slew the Philistines; and the Lord wrought a great victory.

13 And three of the thirty chief men went down, and came about harvest time to David at the cave of Adullam, when a band of Philistines was encamped in the valley of Reph′aim. 14 David was then in the stronghold; and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. 15 And David said longingly, “O that some one would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!” 16 Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took and brought it to David. But he would not drink of it; he poured it out to the Lord, 17 and said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. These things did the three mighty men.

18 Now Abi′shai, the brother of Jo′ab, the son of Zeru′iah, was chief of the thirty.[g] And he wielded his spear against three hundred men and slew them, and won a name beside the three. 19 He was the most renowned of the thirty,[h] and became their commander; but he did not attain to the three.

20 And Benai′ah the son of Jehoi′ada was a valiant man[i] of Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds; he smote two ariels[j] of Moab. He also went down and slew a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. 21 And he slew an Egyptian, a handsome man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but Benai′ah went down to him with a staff, and snatched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear. 22 These things did Benai′ah the son of Jehoi′ada, and won a name beside the three mighty men. 23 He was renowned among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. And David set him over his bodyguard.

24 As′ahel the brother of Jo′ab was one of the thirty; Elha′nan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25 Shammah of Harod, Eli′ka of Harod, 26 Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh of Teko′a, 27 Abie′zer, of An′athoth, Mebun′nai the Hu′shathite, 28 Zalmon the Aho′hite, Ma′harai of Netoph′ah, 29 Heleb the son of Ba′anah of Netoph′ah, It′tai the son of Ri′bai of Gib′e-ah of the Benjaminites, 30 Benai′ah of Pira′thon, Hid′dai of the brooks of Ga′ash, 31 Abi-al′bon the Ar′bathite, Az′maveth of Bahu′rim, 32 Eli′ahba of Sha-al′bon, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33 Shammah the Har′arite, Ahi′am the son of Sharar the Har′arite, 34 Eliph′elet the son of Ahas′bai of Ma′acah, Eli′am the son of Ahith′ophel of Gilo, 35 Hezro[k] of Carmel, Pa′arai the Arbite, 36 Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37 Zelek the Ammonite, Na′harai of Be-er′oth, the armor-bearer of Jo′ab the son of Zeru′iah, 38 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39 Uri′ah the Hittite: thirty-seven in all.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 23:1 Or the favorite of the songs of Israel
  2. 2 Samuel 23:4 Heb from rain
  3. 2 Samuel 23:6 Heb worthlessness
  4. 2 Samuel 23:7 Heb fire in the sitting
  5. 2 Samuel 23:8 Or captains
  6. 2 Samuel 23:8 1 Chr 11.11: Heb obscure
  7. 2 Samuel 23:18 Two Hebrew Mss Syr: MT three
  8. 2 Samuel 23:19 1 Chr 11.25: Heb Was he the most renowned of the three?
  9. 2 Samuel 23:20 Another reading is the son of Ish-hai
  10. 2 Samuel 23:20 The meaning of the word ariel is unknown
  11. 2 Samuel 23:35 Another reading is Hezrai
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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.

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