David Becomes King of All Israel
1Then all Israel gathered before David at Hebron and told him, “We are your own flesh and blood. 2In the past,*11:2 Or For some time. even when Saul was king, you were the one who really led the forces of Israel. And the Lord your God told you, ‘You will be the shepherd of my people Israel. You will be the leader of my people Israel.’”
3So there at Hebron, David made a covenant before the Lord with all the elders of Israel. And they anointed him king of Israel, just as the Lord had promised through Samuel.
David Captures Jerusalem
4Then David and all Israel went to Jerusalem (or Jebus, as it used to be called), where the Jebusites, the original inhabitants of the land, were living. 5The people of Jebus taunted David, saying, “You’ll never get in here!” But David captured the fortress of Zion, which is now called the City of David.
6David had said to his troops, “Whoever is first to attack the Jebusites will become the commander of my armies!” And Joab, the son of David’s sister Zeruiah, was first to attack, so he became the commander of David’s armies.
7David made the fortress his home, and that is why it is called the City of David. 8He extended the city from the supporting terraces*11:8 Hebrew the millo. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. to the surrounding area, while Joab rebuilt the rest of Jerusalem. 9And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord of Heaven’s Armies was with him.
David’s Mightiest Warriors
10These are the leaders of David’s mighty warriors. Together with all Israel, they decided to make David their king, just as the Lord had promised concerning Israel.
11Here is the record of David’s mightiest warriors: The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite, who was leader of the Three—the mightiest warriors among David’s men.*11:11 As in some Greek manuscripts (see also
12Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai,*11:12 As in parallel text at
15Once when David was at the rock near the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty—an elite group among David’s fighting men) went down to meet him there. 16David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem.
17David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” 18So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But David refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord. 19“God forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men*11:19 Hebrew Shall I drink the lifeblood of these men? who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it. These are examples of the exploits of the Three.
David’s Thirty Mighty Men
20Abishai, the brother of Joab, was the leader of the Thirty.*11:20 As in Syriac version; Hebrew reads the Three; also in
22There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions*11:22 Or two sons of Ariel. of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. 23Once, armed only with a club, he killed an Egyptian warrior who was 71/2 feet*11:23 Hebrew 5 cubits [2.3 meters]. tall and who was armed with a spear as thick as a weaver’s beam. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it. 24Deeds like these made Benaiah as famous as the three mightiest warriors. 25He was more honored than the other members of the Thirty, though he was not one of the Three. And David made him captain of his bodyguard.
26David’s mighty warriors also included:
Asahel, Joab’s brother;
Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem;
27Shammah from Harod;*11:27 As in parallel text at
Helez from Pelon;
28Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa;
Abiezer from Anathoth;
29Sibbecai from Hushah;
Zalmon*11:29 As in parallel text at
30Maharai from Netophah;
Heled son of Baanah from Netophah;
31Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah (in the land of Benjamin);
Benaiah from Pirathon;
32Hurai from near Nahale-gaash*11:32a Or from the ravines of Gaash. ;
Abi-albon*11:32b As in parallel text at
33Azmaveth from Bahurim*11:33 As in parallel text at
Eliahba from Shaalbon;
34the sons of Jashen*11:34 As in parallel text at
Jonathan son of Shagee from Harar;
35Ahiam son of Sharar*11:35 As in parallel text at
Eliphal son of Ur;
36Hepher from Mekerah;
Ahijah from Pelon;
37Hezro from Carmel;
Paarai*11:37 As in parallel text at
38Joel, the brother of Nathan;
Mibhar son of Hagri;
39Zelek from Ammon;
Naharai from Beeroth, the armor bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah;
40Ira from Jattir;
Gareb from Jattir;
41Uriah the Hittite;
Zabad son of Ahlai;
42Adina son of Shiza, the Reubenite leader who had thirty men with him;
43Hanan son of Maacah;
Joshaphat from Mithna;
44Uzzia from Ashtaroth;
Shama and Jeiel, the sons of Hotham, from Aroer;
45Jediael son of Shimri;
Joha, his brother, from Tiz;
46Eliel from Mahavah;
Jeribai and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam;
Ithmah from Moab;
47Eliel and Obed;
Jaasiel from Zobah.*11:47 Or the Mezobaite.