22 David sang a song to the Lord after the Lord had rescued him from his enemies, especially Saul. These are the words to David’s song:
2 Our Lord and our God, you are my mighty rock,[a] my fortress, my protector. 3 You are the rock where I am safe. You are my shield, my powerful weapon,[b] and my place of shelter.
You rescue me and keep me from being hurt. 4 I praise you, our Lord! I prayed to you, and you rescued me from my enemies. 5 Death, like ocean waves, surrounded me, and I was almost swallowed by its flooding waters.
6 Ropes from the world of the dead had coiled around me, and death had set a trap in my path. 7 I was in terrible trouble when I called out to you, but from your temple you heard me and answered my prayer. 8 Earth shook and shivered! The columns supporting the sky[c] rocked back and forth. You were angry 9 and breathed out smoke. Scorching heat and fiery flames spewed from your mouth.
10 You opened the heavens like curtains, and you came down with storm clouds under your feet. 11 You rode on the backs of flying creatures.[d] You appeared[e] with the wind as wings. 12 Darkness was your tent! Thunderclouds filled the sky, hiding you from sight. 13 Fiery coals lit up the sky in front of you.
14 Lord Most High, your voice thundered from the heavens. 15 You scattered your enemies with arrows of lightning. 16 You roared at the sea, and its deepest channels could be seen. You snorted, and the earth shook to its foundations.
17 You reached down from heaven, and you lifted me from deep in the ocean. 18 You rescued me from enemies who were hateful and too powerful for me. 19 On the day disaster struck, they came and attacked, but you defended me. 20 When I was fenced in, you freed and rescued me because you love me. 21 You are good to me, Lord, because I do right, and you reward me because I am innocent. 22 I do what you want and never turn to do evil. 23 I keep your laws in mind and never turn away from your teachings. 24 I obey you completely and guard against sin. 25 You have been good to me because I do right; you have rewarded me for being innocent by your standards.
26 You are always loyal to your loyal people, and you are faithful to the faithful. 27 With all who are sincere you are sincere, but you treat the unfaithful as their deeds deserve. 28 You rescue the humble, but you look for ways to put down the proud.
29 Our Lord and God, you are my lamp. You turn darkness to light. 30 You help me defeat armies and capture cities.
31 Your way is perfect, Lord, and your word is correct. You are a shield for those who run to you for help. 32 You alone are God! Only you are a mighty rock.[f] 33 You are my strong fortress, and you set me free. 34 You make my feet run as fast as those of a deer, and you help me stand on the mountains.
35 You teach my hands to fight and my arms to use a bow of bronze. 36 You alone are my shield, and by coming to help me, you have made me famous. 37 You clear the way for me, and now I won’t stumble.
38 I kept chasing my enemies until I caught them and destroyed them. 39 I destroyed them! I stuck my sword through my enemies, and they were crushed under my feet. 40 You helped me win victories and forced my attackers to fall victim to me.
41 You made my enemies run, and I killed them. 42 They cried out for help, but no one saved them; they called out to you, but there was no answer. 43 I ground them to dust, and I squashed them like mud in the streets.
44 You rescued me from my stubborn people and made me the leader of foreign nations, who are now my slaves. 45 They obey and come crawling. 46 They have lost all courage and from their fortresses they come trembling.
47 You are the living Lord! I will praise you! You are a mighty rock.[g] I will honor you for keeping me safe. 48 You took revenge for me, and you put nations in my power. 49 You protected me from violent enemies, and you made me much greater than all of them.
50 I will praise you, Lord, and I will honor you among the nations. 51 You give glorious victories to your chosen king. Your faithful love for David and for his descendants will never end.
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.[h] When God told him to speak, David said: 2 The Spirit of the Lord has told me what to say. 3 Our Mighty Rock,[i] the God of Jacob, told me, “A ruler who obeys God and does right 4 is like the sunrise on a cloudless day, or like rain that sparkles on the grass.”[j]
5 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. 6 But evil people are pulled up like thornbushes. They are not dug up by hand, 7 but with a sharp spear and are burned on the spot.
The Three Warriors
8 These are the names of David’s warriors:
Ishbosheth[k] the son of Hachmon[l] was the leader of the Three Warriors.[m] In one battle, he killed eight hundred men with his spear.[n]
9 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[o] went to meet David at Adullam Cave.[p] 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[q] 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,[r] 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,[s] 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.[t] 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[u] 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[v] Eliahba from Shaalbon Jashen[w] Jonathan the son of Shammah the Hararite[x] 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.
22.2mighty rock: The Hebrew text has “rock,” which is sometimes used in poetry to compare the Lord to a mountain where his people can run for protection from their enemies.
22.3powerful weapon: The Hebrew has “the horn,” which refers to the horn of a bull, one of the most powerful animals in ancient Palestine.
22.8columns. . . sky: The sky was sometimes described as a dome that was held up by a foundation or pillars.
22.11flying creatures: These were supernatural beings (see the note at 6.2).
22.11appeared: Most Hebrew manuscripts; some Hebrew manuscripts “swooped down” (see Psalm 18.10).
23.4sparkles. . . grass: Or “makes the grass grow.”
23.8Ishbosheth: Hebrew “Josheb Bashebeth,” which seems to be another spelling of Ishbosheth. See the note at 2.8, although this is a different Ishbosheth.
23.8the son of Hachmon: Or “the Tahchemonite” (see 1 Chronicles 11.11).
23.8the 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.
23.8with. . . spear: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text (see 1 Chronicles 11.11).
23.13the Three Warriors: Or “three warriors.” Hebrew “three of the thirty most important.”
23.13Adullam Cave: This may have happened during the time that David was an outlaw (see 1 Samuel 22.1-6).
(For the music leader. To the tune “Don’t Destroy.”[a] A special psalm by David when he was in the cave while running from Saul.)
Praise and Trust in Times of Trouble
57 God Most High, have pity on me! Have mercy. I run to you for safety. In the shadow of your wings, I seek protection till danger dies down. 2 I pray to you, my protector. 3 You will send help from heaven and save me, but you will bring trouble on my attackers. You are faithful, and you can be trusted.
4 I live among lions, who gobble down people! They have spears and arrows instead of teeth, and they have sharp swords instead of tongues.
5 May you, my God, be honored above the heavens; may your glory be seen everywhere on earth.
6 Enemies set traps for my feet and struck me down. They dug a pit in my path, but fell in it themselves. 7 I am faithful to you, and you can trust me. I will sing and play music for you, my God. 8 I feel wide awake! I will wake up my harp and wake up the sun. 9 I will praise you, Lord, for everyone to hear, and I will sing hymns to you in every nation. 10 Your love reaches higher than the heavens; your loyalty extends beyond the clouds.
11 May you, my God, be honored above the heavens; may your glory be seen everywhere on earth.
Psalm 57; 58Don’t Destroy: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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