Archive for the ‘Chapter 23’ Category

     1These 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:

        2“The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me;

             his word was on my tongue.

        3The 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,

        4he is like the light of morning at sunrise

             on a cloudless morning,

         like the brightness after rain

             that brings grass from the earth.’

        5“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.

        6But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,

             which are not gathered with the hand.

        7Whoever touches thorns

             uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;

             they are burned up where they lie.”

David’s Mighty Warriors

     8These are the names of David’s mighty warriors:

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

     9Next 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 for battle. Then the Israelites retreated, 10but 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.

     11Next 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. 12But 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.

     13During 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. 14At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 15David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” 16So 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.

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

     20Benaiah 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. 21And 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. 22Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors. 23He 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.

  24Among the Thirty were:

     Asahel the brother of Joab,

     Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem,

25Shammah the Harodite,

     Elika the Harodite,

26Helez the Paltite,

     Irad son of Ikkesh from Tekoa,

 27Abiezere from Anathoth,

     Mebunnai the Hushathite,

28Zalmon the Ahohite,

     Maharai the Netophathite,

 29Heleda son of Baanah the Netophathite,

     Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin,

 30Benaiah the Pirathonite,

     Hiddai from the ravines of Gaash,

 31Abi-Albon the Arbathite,

     Azmaveth the Barhumite,

 32Eliahba the Shaalbonite,

     the sons of Jashen,

     Jonathan 33son of Shammah the Hararite,

     Ahiam son of Shararb the Hararite,

34Eliphelet son of Ahasbai the Maakathite,

     Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,

35Hezro the Carmelite,

     Paarai the Arbite,

36Igal son of Nathan from Zobah,

     the son of Hagri, 37Zelek the Ammonite,

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

38Ira the Ithrite,

     Gareb the Ithrite

 39and Uriah the Hittite. There were thirty-seven in all.

23:3 In the style of a prophet, David spoke of a just and righteous ruler. This will be fulfilled in Jesus Christ when he returns to rule in perfect justice and peace. For similar prophecies, see Isaiah 11:1-10; Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:15-18; Zechariah 9:9-10. For the fulfillment of some of these prophecies, see Matthew 4:14-16; Luke 24:25-27, 44-49; John 5:45-47; 8:28-29. 23:8-39

These verses tell of some of the exploits that the special corps of David’s army carried out. There were two elite groups of men: “the Thirty” and “the Three” (23:18, 23; 1 Chronicles 11:11-25). To become a member of such a group a man had to show unparalleled courage in battle as well as wisdom in leadership. “The Three” was the most elite group. The list of “the Thirty” actually contains 37 names, but it mentions some warriors known to be dead (Uriah, for example, in 23:39). Apparently, new members were appointed to replace those who had fallen in battle.

David poured out the water as an offering to God because he was so moved by the sacrifice it represented. When Hebrews offered sacrifices, they never consumed the blood. It represented life, and they poured it out before God. David would not drink this water that represented the lives of his soldiers. Instead, he offered it to God.

David’s Mighty Men

One way to understand David’s success is to notice the kind of men who followed him. During the time he was being hunted by Saul, David gradually built a fighting force of several hundred men. Some were relatives, others were outcasts of society, many were in trouble with the law. They all had at least one trait in common—complete devotion to David. Their achievements made them famous. Among these men were elite military groups like “the Three” and “the Thirty.” They were true heroes.     Scripture gives the impression that these men were motivated to greatness by the personal qualities of their leader. David inspired them to achieve beyond their goals and meet their true potential. Likewise, the leaders we follow and the causes to which we commit ourselves will affect our lives. David’s effectiveness was clearly connected with his awareness of God’s leading. He was a good leader when he was following his Leader.

Strengths and accomplishments:

Able soldiers and military leaders Shared many special skills Though frequently outnumbered, were consistently victorious Loyal to David

Weakness and mistake:

Often had little in common beyond their loyalty to David and their military expertise

Lessons from their lives:

Greatness is often inspired by the quality and character of the leadership Even a small force of able and loyal men can accomplish great feats

Lets Bring it Home: Do you know whom the people you respect most are following? Your answer should help you decide whether they deserve your loyalty. Do you also recognize God’s leading in your life? No one can lead you to excellence as your Creator can.