2 Samuel 23 International Standard Version (ISV)
23 This was David’s last composition:
The oracle of David, son of Jesse,
2 The Spirit of the Lord speaks within[a] me;
5 Is not my dynasty[c] like this with God?
6 But ungodly men[f] are like thorns that are discarded
David’s Elite Soldiers
8 Here’s a list of the names of David’s special forces: Josheb-basshebeth the Tahkemonite[k] was head of the Three;[l] he was nicknamed Adino the Eznite[m] because he killed 800 men in a single battle engagement.
9 Next was Dodai[n] the Ahohite’s son Eleazar. Eleazar, who also was one of the Three, was with David when they challenged the Philistines. When the Philistines had assembled in battle array, the Israeli army retreated, 10 but Eleazar remained standing right where he was and fought so hard against the Philistines that he became exhausted—he couldn’t even let go of his sword! The Lord magnificently delivered them that day. After Eleazar had won the battle, the other soldiers returned, but only to strip the weapons and armor from the dead.[o]
11 Next was Shammah, Agee the Hararite’s son. One time the Philistines assembled to fight[p] in a field where lentils had been growing. Israel’s army retreated from the Philistines, 12 but Shammah stood his ground in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. And the Lord brought about a great victory.
13 One day while the Philistine army was camping in the valley of giants,[q] three of the 30 leaders joined David at the cave of Adullam. 14 David was living in that stronghold at the time, while a Philistine garrison was then at Bethlehem.
15 David expressed his longing, “Oh, how I wish someone would get me a drink of water from the Bethlehem well that’s by the city gate!” 16 So the Three elite warriors broke through the Philistine ranks, drew some water from the Bethlehem well that was next to the city gate, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out in the Lord’s presence, 17 and said, “The Lord forbid that I drink this—this is the blood of men who endangered their own lives!” The Three elite warriors did these things.
David’s Other Valiant Soldiers
18 Zeruiah’s son Abishai, Joab’s brother, was the lieutenant[r] in charge of the platoons.[s] He used his spear to fight and kill 300 men, gaining a reputation distinct from the Three. 19 He was more well-known than the Three, and became their commander, but he never measured up to[t] the Three.
20 Jehoiada’s son Benaiah, who was a valiant man, accomplished great things. He was from Kabzeel. He killed two men named[u] Ariel from Moab[v] and then he also went down into a pit and struck down a lion during a snow storm one day. 21 He also killed a soldier[w] from Egypt. Of handsome appearance, the Egyptian carried a spear, but Benaiah attacked him with a staff, snatched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 22 Benaiah did things like this and gained a reputation comparable to the Three warriors. 23 He was well known among the platoons, but he didn’t measure up to[x] the Three. David placed him in charge of his security detail.
24 Among the Thirty were Joab’s brother Asahel, Dodo’s son Elhanan of Bethlehem, 25 Shammah from Harod; Elika from Harod, 26 Helez the Paltite,[y] Ikkesh’s son Ira from Tekoa, 27 Abiezer from Anathoth, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai of Netophah, 29 Baanah’s son Heleb from Netophah, Ribai’s son Ittai from Gibeah of the descendants of Benjamin, 30 Benaiah from Pirathon, Hiddai from the Gaash creeks area,[z] 31 Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth from Bahurim, 32 Eliahba from Shaalbon, Jashen’s sons, 33 Shammah’s son from Harar, Sharar the Hararite’s son Ahiam, 34 Ahasbai the Maacathite’s son Eliphelet, Ahithophel the Gilonite’s son Eliam,[aa] 35 Hezro from Carmel, Paarai the Arbite, 36 Nathan’s son Igal from Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai from Beeroth (the armor-bearer for Zeruiah’s son Joab), 38 Ira the Ithrite,[ab] Gareb the Ithrite, 39 and Uriah the Hittite—for a total of 37.
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