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1 Chronicles 12

The soldiers who joined David's army at Ziklag

1 David went to the town called Ziklag. He could not move about much because of Saul, the son of Kish. Many men came to David there. They were among the brave soldiers who helped David to fight in war. 2 They came with their bows. They could shoot arrows. And they could use a weapon that throws stones. They could use either their right hand or their left hand to do those things. They were from Benjamin's tribe. (Saul was also from Benjamin's tribe.)

12:2These weapons were a bit of leather with two strings. The soldier would put a stone in the leather bit. Then he would swing it round above his head by the strings a couple of times. Then he would let the stone fly out.

3 Ahiezer was their leader and Joash was his brother. Ahiezer and Joash were sons of Shemaah. (Shemaah was from the town called Gibeah.) There were also Jeziel and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth. And there were Beracah and Jehu. They were from the town called Anathoth. 4 And there was Ishmaiah. He was from the town called Gibeon. He belonged to the special group of 30 brave soldiers. He was a leader of that group. There were Jeremiah, Jahaziel and Johanan. There was Jozabad, who was from Gederah. 5 There were Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah and Shemariah. There was Shephatiah, who was from Hariph. 6 There were Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer and Jashobeam. They were from Korah's clan. 7 And there were Joelah and Zebadiah. They were the sons of Jeroham. He was from the town called Gedor.

The soldiers who joined David's army while he was living in the desert

8 Many soldiers from Gad's tribe joined David's army in the desert, where David had found a safe place. These men were very brave soldiers in his army and they were ready to fight. They could use shields and spears. They were brave like lions. And they were fast, like the wild animals that run across the mountains. 9 Ezer was the most important officer. The second leader among these soldiers was Obadiah and the third was Eliab. 10 Mishmannah was 4th and Jeremiah was 5th. 11 Attai was 6th and Eliel was 7th. 12 Johanan was 8th and Elzabad was 9th. 13 Jeremiah was 10th and Machbannai was 11th.

14 These descendants of Gad were the leaders of the army. The least important leader among these men had 100 soldiers. And the greatest leader had 1000 soldiers. 15 These were the men who crossed the River Jordan during the first month of the year. The river was a lot wider than it is at other times. And the water was a lot deeper. But they crossed it. And then they fought the people in the valleys and those people had to run away. They ran to the east and to the west.

16 Some other men came to David in his safe place. They were from the tribes called Benjamin and Judah. 17 David went out to meet them. He said to them, ‘Perhaps you have come here to be my friends. And you want to help me. If you have come to help me, we can be friends. But perhaps you are here to help the people who want to kill me. Perhaps you want to tell them where I am. But I have not done anything wrong. So I pray that God will be your judge. He is the God of our ancestors. And he will know what you are doing.’

18 Then the Spirit came on Amasai, who was the leader of the 30 bravest soldiers. And he said, ‘We are yours, David and we are with you, Jesse's son. Do well! Do well, David! We want you to have peace. And we want everyone who helps you to have peace. Your God will help you.’ So, David accepted them. And he caused them to be officers in his army.

Soldiers from Manasseh join David's army at Ziklag

19 Some men from the tribe called Manasseh joined David's army. The Philistines were fighting Saul and David was with the Philistines. But David and his men did not help the Philistines. That was because the leaders of the Philistines decided to send David away. They would not let him fight against Saul. They said, ‘David may return to Saul, because Saul is his master. And if David returns to Saul, they might kill us.’ 20 So David returned to Ziklag. And these men from Manasseh joined David's army then. These men were Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu and Zillethai. Each man was the leader of 1000 soldiers. Those soldiers belonged to the tribe called Manasseh. 21 All those men were brave soldiers. So they helped David to fight against other armies. And they became officers in David's army. 22 Day after day, more men came to help David. And his army became large. It became a large and powerful army like an army of God.

The soldiers who joined David's army at Hebron

23 These are the numbers of the soldiers who joined David's army. They came to him at Hebron. These soldiers were ready to fight. They came to give Saul's kingdom to David. The LORD had promised that this would happen. 24 There were 6800 men from Judah who carried shields and spears. And they were ready to fight. 25 There were 7100 men from Simeon's descendants. They were brave soldiers and they were ready for war. 26 There were 4600 men from Levi's descendants. 27 Jehoiada was in that group. He was a leader from Aaron's descendants. And there were 3700 men with him. 28 Zadok was also in that group. He was a brave young soldier. And 22 leaders came with him. They were from his clan. 29 There were 3000 men who were from the same tribe as Saul. They were Benjamin's descendants. Lots of them had been in Saul's army and they had obeyed him well. 30 And there were 20 800 men who were descendants of Ephraim. They were brave soldiers and they were famous men in their own clans. 31 And there were 18,000 men who came from the half tribe of Manasseh. Their clans chose those men. And they sent those men to make David king. 32 And there were 200 leaders who were descendants of Issachar. They knew what Israel should do. And they knew the right time to do it. Their relatives were with them and they obeyed those men. 33 There were 50,000 men who came from Zebulun. They were good soldiers in the army. They were ready to fight. And they knew how to use every kind of weapon of war. They would obey David completely. 34 And there were 1000 officers who came from Naphtali. They had 37,000 soldiers with them who carried shields and spears. 35 And there were 28 600 men who came from the tribe of Dan. They were ready for war. 36 And there were 40,000 good soldiers who came from Asher. They were ready to fight. 37 And there were 120,000 soldiers who crossed the River Jordan. They were from the east side of the river. They came from Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh. They had every kind of weapon for war.

38 All those men were soldiers. And their leaders had taught them to fight together. So they were ready to go to war. They came to Hebron because they really wanted to make David king over all Israel. All the other Israelites also wanted to make David king. They agreed about that. 39 The men stayed there with David for three days. Their relatives had supplied food for them. So they ate and they drank with him. 40 The Israelites were very happy. So, people also came from as far as Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali. They brought food on donkeys, camels, mules and oxen. So David and his soldiers had plenty of flour, fig cakes, raisins, wine, oil, cows and sheep.