1 Chronicles 11

David becomes king

11:1The next ten chapters (chapters 11—20) describe the time when David ruled Israel as king.

1 Then all the Israelites came to David at Hebron. They said to him, ‘We all belong to the same family as you do. 2 In the past, even when Saul was our king, you led the Israelites in war. The Lord your God said to you, “You will take care of my people, as a shepherd takes care of his sheep. You will rule over my people, Israel.” ’

3 So King David made an agreement with the leaders of Israel when they came to him at Hebron. They made promises in the Lord's name. Then they anointed David to be king over Israel. The Lord had told Samuel that this would happen.

David and his men attack Jerusalem

4 David and the whole Israelite army marched to attack Jerusalem. At that time, the city was called Jebus. The people who lived there were called Jebusites. 5 The Jebusites said to David, ‘You will never get into our city.’ But David did get in and he took Zion, the city's strong place. It is now called the City of David.

6 David had said to his soldiers, ‘The man who attacks the Jebusites first will become the captain of my army.’ Zeruiah's son Joab attacked first. So he became the captain of the army.

7 David went to live in the strong place of the city. So people called it ‘The City of David’. 8 David built more houses all around it, from the edge of the hill to the city's walls. Joab built up again the other buildings in the city. 9 David became more and more powerful because the Lord Almighty was with him.

David's brave soldiers

10 These were the leaders of David's brave soldiers. They helped to make David's kingdom strong, so that he ruled over all the people in Israel. That is what the Lord had promised. 11 This is the list of David's brave soldiers:

Jashobeam belonged to Hakmoni's clan. He was the leader of David's officers. He used his spear to fight against 300 men in one battle and he killed all of them.

12 Eleazar was also a leader among the ‘Three Brave Soldiers’. He was Dodo's son, who belonged to Ahoah's clan. 13 Eleazar was with David at Pas-Dammim. The Philistine soldiers were ready to attack the Israelites. There was a field there with a lot of barley. The Israelites ran away from the Philistines. 14 But David and Eleazar stood in the middle of the field to stop the Philistines taking it for themselves. They killed the Philistines. The Lord saved them. He caused them to win a great battle.

15 There were 30 leaders among David's soldiers. Three of them went to be with David at Adullam's cave where there was a big rock. A group of Philistine soldiers had made their camp in Rephaim valley. 16 David was in his strong safe place. A group of Philistine soldiers had made their home in Bethlehem. 17 David was very thirsty. He said, ‘I want someone to bring water from the well near Bethlehem's gate for me to drink.’ 18 So the three soldiers fought through the Philistine camp and they reached Bethlehem's gate. They took some water from the well there and they carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it. He poured it on the ground as an offering to the Lord. 19 He said, ‘God knows that it is not right for me to drink this water. It would seem like the blood of the brave men who fetched it for me. The Philistines might have killed them on the way.’ So David refused to drink it.

That was one of the great things that those three brave soldiers did.

20 Joab's brother Abishai was the leader of David's 30 great soldiers. One time, he used his spear to fight 300 men and he killed them all. So he became as famous as the ‘Three Brave Soldiers’. 21 He was not one of the ‘Three Brave Soldiers’ but he received more honour than the other 30 great soldiers. So he became their leader.

22 Jehoiada's son, Benaiah, was also one of David's brave soldiers. He came from Kabzeel and he did many great things. He killed two of Moab's best soldiers. He also went down into a deep hole to kill a lion when snow was on the ground. 23 Benaiah also killed a very big Egyptian man who was 2.3 metres tall. The Egyptian held a spear that was thick and heavy, like a big tree. Benaiah attacked him with a heavy stick. He took the spear from the Egyptian's hand and he used it to kill him. 24 Those were some things that Jehoiada's son Benaiah did. He became as famous as the ‘Three Brave Soldiers’. 25 He received more honour than the other 30 great soldiers, but he did not belong to the ‘Three Brave Soldiers’. David made him the leader of his own special soldiers who were his guards.

26 These men were also David's great soldiers:

  • Joab's brother Asahel.
  • Elhanan, Dodo's son, from Bethlehem.
  • 27 Shammoth, from Harod's clan.
  • Helez, from Pelon's clan.
  • 28 Ira, Ikkesh's son, from Tekoa.
  • Abiezer, from Anathoth.
  • 29 Sibbekai, from Hushah's clan.
  • Ilai, from Ahoah's clan.
  • 30 Maharai, from Netophah.
  • Heled, Baanah's son, also from Netophah.
  • 31 Ithai, Ribai's son, from Gibeah, in the land that belonged to Benjamin's tribe.
  • Benaiah, from Pirathon.
  • 32 Hurai, from the valleys near Gaash.
  • Abiel, from Arbah's clan.
  • 33 Azmaveth, from Baharum.
  • Eliahba, from Shaalbon.
  • 34 Hashem's sons, who were Gizonites.
  • Shagee's son Jonathan, from Harar.
  • 35 Sachar's son Ahiam, also from Harar.
  • Ur's son Eliphal.
  • 36 Hepher, from Mekerath.
  • Ahijah, from Pelon's clan.
  • 37 Hezro, from Carmel.
  • Ezbai's son Naarai.
  • 38 Nathan's brother Joel.
  • Hagri's son Mibhar.
  • 39 Zelek, from Ammon.
  • Naharai, from Beeroth. He carried Joab's weapons. (Joab was the son of Zeruiah.)
  • 40 Ira and Gareb, from Jattir.
  • 41 Uriah, the Hittite.
  • Ahlai's son Zabad.
  • 42 Shiza's son Adina, from Reuben's tribe. He was the leader of Reuben's soldiers. He had 30 brave soldiers with him.
  • 43 Maakah's son Hanan.
  • Joshaphat, from Mithna.
  • 44 Uzzia, from Ashterath.
  • Shama and Jeiel, sons of Hotham, from Aroer.
  • 45 Shimri's son Jediael.
  • Jediael's brother Joha, from Tiz.
  • 46 Eliel, from Mahavah.
  • Elnaam's sons, Jeribai and Joshaviah.
  • Ithmah, from Moab.
  • 47 Eliel and Obed.
  • Jaasiel, from Zobah.