1 Chronicles 11

All the Israelites agree that David must be their king

11:1The next ten chapters (chapters 11 to 20) describe the time of David's rule when he was most powerful.

1 Then all the Israelites came to David in the town called Hebron. They said to him, ‘We are like your own family. 2 And you are our leader. Even while Saul was still our king, you were the captain of Israel's army. And the Lord your God said to you, “You will be the ruler of my people, that is, Israel. You will lead them like a man who leads sheep.” ’

3 So, all the leaders of Israel came to King David. They met him at Hebron. There in Hebron, they promised David that he would be king of Israel. The Lord saw what they did. Then they poured oil on David to show that he was king over all Israel. The Lord had promised by Samuel that this would happen.

David and his men win the fight at Jerusalem

4 David and all the Israelites went to the city called Jerusalem. At that time, the name of Jerusalem was Jebus. And the people who lived there were called the Jebusites. They had lived in the country before the Israelites came. 5 The people who were living in Jebus said to David, ‘You cannot come into our city.’ But David fought them. He won the very strong building in Zion. And Jerusalem became David's city.

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

7 Then David made his home in the strong building. That is why the city was called David's city. 8 David built the city round the strong building. He built it from the small hill called the Millo. He started from there and he built the walls all round the city. Joab built the other buildings in the city again. 9 The Lord of many Armies was with him. And so David became stronger and stronger.

David's bravest soldiers

10 Here is a list of the leaders of David's greatest soldiers. They helped to make David's kingdom strong. And with all the Israelites, they made him king. He ruled the whole country. And that is what the Lord had promised. 11 This is the list. These men were David's greatest soldiers.

Jashobeam was from Hachmoni's clan. He was the leader of David's officers. He fought 300 men on one day. He used his spear against them and he killed all those men.

12 Then there was Eleazar. He was among the three greatest soldiers. Eleazar was Dodo's son. He was from Ahoah's clan. 13 Eleazar was at Pas-Dammim. He was with David there. Then many Philistines came there to fight them. There was a field there with a lot of barley. The Israelites ran from the Philistines. 14 But David and Eleazar did not run away. They stood in the middle of that field and they fought to keep that field. They killed the Philistines. The Lord saved them. Because he helped them, they won the fight in a great way.

Three brave soldiers fetch water for David from the well at Bethlehem

15 There were 30 captains among David's soldiers. David was living in Adullam's hole in the rock. So three captains went to the rock there. The Philistine army were living there in tents. They were in the Rephaim Valley. 16 David was in his safe place. A lot of the Philistine soldiers were living in Bethlehem. 17 David wanted some water very much. He said, ‘Oh, I want water! There is a well in Bethlehem. It is near the gate. I would be very happy if someone would fetch me a drink from that well!’ 18 The three famous captains attacked the Philistines and so the three captains passed their tents. Those three captains went into Bethlehem. They found the well that is near the gate. They took water from there and they brought it to David. But David refused to drink that water. He poured it out as a gift to the Lord. 19 He said. ‘God knows that I cannot drink this water. This water is like the blood of these men. They might have died when they fetched this water. I would not accept the gift of their blood. And so I will not drink this water.’ So, David refused to drink the water. Those three brave men did other things like that too.

David's soldiers do many brave things

20 Abishai was Joab's brother. Abishai was the leader of the soldiers that were called the three brave soldiers. Abishai fought 300 soldiers with his spear and he killed them. He became as famous as those three soldiers were. 21 The other two soldiers honoured him and he became their leader. But he was not as important as the first three great soldiers.

22 Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada. Benaiah was a brave soldier from Kabzeel. He did great things. He killed two great soldiers from Moab. Also, he went down into a hole and he killed a lion. There was snow on that day. 23 Benaiah also killed a man from Egypt who was 2.3 metres (7.5 feet) tall. The man had a very large spear. It was as large as the piece of wood that people use to make cloth. Benaiah only had a heavy stick. But Benaiah took the spear from the man's hand. And Benaiah killed the man with the man's own spear. 24 Those were the things that Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did. He was as famous as the three brave soldiers. 25 He was more famous than the 30 bravest soldiers. But he did not belong to the three brave soldiers. David made him the leader of his own guards.

26-47 These men were also great soldiers:

Asahel. He was the brother of Joab.

Elhanan. He was the son of Dodo from Bethlehem.

Shammoth. He was from the town called Harod.

Helez. He was from the people called Pelonites.

Ira. He was the son of Ikkesh from Tekoa.

Abiezer. He was from the town called Anathoth.

Sibbecai. He was from the place called Hushah.

Ilai. He was a descendant of Ahoah.

Maharai. He was from the town called Netophah.

Heled. He was the son of Baanah. Baanah was also from the town called Netophah.

Ithai. He was the son of Ribai. Ribai was from Gibeah. Gibeah is in Benjamin.

Benaiah. He was from the town called Pirathon.

Hurai. He was from the valleys near Gaash.

Abiel. He was from the place called the Arabah.

Azmaveth. He was from the town called Bahurum.

Eliahba. He was from the town called Shaalbon.

Also there were the sons of Hashem. They belonged to the people called Gizonites.

Jonathan. He was the son of Shagee, who was from among the hills in Judah.

Ahiam. He was the son of Sachar, who was also from among the hills in Judah.

Eliphal. He was the son of Ur.

Hepher. He was from the town called Mecherath.

Ahijah. He was from the people called Pelonites.

Hezro. He was from the town called Carmel.

Naarai. He was the son of Ezbai.

Joel. He was the brother of Nathan.

Mibhar. He was the son of Hagri.

Zelek. He was from the country called Ammon.

Naharai. He was from the city called Beeroth. Naharai carried Joab's sword and shield. (Joab was the son of Zeruiah.)

Ira. He was from the clan called the Ithrites.

Gareb. He was also from the clan called the Ithrites.

Uriah. He was from the people called Hittites.

Zabad. He was the son of Ahlai.

Adina. He was the son of Shiza. Adina belonged to Reuben's tribe. He was the leader of the men from that tribe of Reuben. And he was the leader of 30 brave soldiers.

Hanan. He was the son of Maacah.

Joshaphat. He belonged to the people called Mithnites.

Uzzia. He was from the town called Ashtaroth.

Shama and Jeiel. They were the sons of Hotham. Hotham was from the town called Aroer.

Jediael. He was the son of Shimri.

Joha. He was Jediael's brother. Joha belonged to the people called Tizites.

Eliel. He belonged to the people called Mahavites.

Jeribai and Joshaviah. They were Elnaam's sons.

Ithmah. He was from the country called Moab.

Eliel, Obed and Jaasiel. Jaasiel was from the people called Mezobaites.