2 Samuel 23:8-39
8 Here are the names of David’s mighty men. Josheb-Basshebeth was chief of the Three. He was a Tahkemonite. He used his spear against 800 men. He killed all of them at one time. 9 Next to him was Eleazar. He was one of the three mighty men. He was the son of Dodai, the Ahohite. Eleazar was with David at Pas Dammim. That’s where Israel’s army made fun of the Philistines who were gathered there for battle. Then the men of Israel pulled back. 10 But Eleazar stayed right where he was. He struck the Philistines down until his hand grew tired. But he still held on to his sword. The Lord helped him win a great battle that day. The troops returned to Eleazar. They came back to him only to take what they wanted from the dead bodies. 11 Next to him was Shammah, the son of Agee. Shammah was a Hararite. The Philistines gathered together at a place where there was a field full of lentils. Israel’s troops ran away from them. 12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He didn’t let the Philistines capture it. He struck them down. The Lord helped him win a great battle. 13 David was at the cave of Adullam. During harvest time, three of the 30 chief men came down to him there. A group of Philistines was camped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 At that time David was in his usual place of safety. Some Philistine troops were stationed at Bethlehem. 15 David longed for water. He said, “I wish someone would get me a drink of water from the well that is near the gate of Bethlehem.” 16 So the three mighty men fought their way past the Philistine guards. They got some water from the well that was near the gate of Bethlehem. They took the water back to David. But David refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as a drink offering to the Lord. 17 “Lord, I would never drink that water!” David said. “It stands for the blood of these men. They put their lives in danger by going to Bethlehem to get it.” So David wouldn’t drink it. Those were some of the brave things the three mighty men did. 18 Abishai was chief over the Three. He was the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah. He used his spear against 300 men. He killed all of them. So he became as famous as the Three were. 19 In fact, he was even more honored than the Three. He became their commander. But he wasn’t included among them. 20 Benaiah was a great hero from Kabzeel. He was the son of Jehoiada. Benaiah did many brave things. He struck down two of Moab’s best fighting men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day. He killed a lion there. 21 And he struck down a huge Egyptian. The Egyptian was holding a spear. Benaiah went out to fight against him with a club. He grabbed the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand. Then he killed him with it. 22 Those were some of the brave things Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, did. He too was as famous as the three mighty men were. 23 He was honored more than any of the Thirty. But he wasn’t included among the Three. David put him in charge of his own personal guards. 24 Here is a list of David’s men who were among the Thirty. Asahel, the brother of Joab Elhanan, the son of Dodo, from Bethlehem 25 Shammah, the Harodite Elika, the Harodite 26 Helez, the Paltite Ira, the son of Ikkesh, from Tekoa 27 Abiezer from Anathoth Mebunnai, the Hushathite 28 Zalmon, the Ahohite Maharai from Netophah 29 Heled, the son of Baanah, from Netophah Ithai, the son of Ribai, from Gibeah in Benjamin 30 Benaiah from Pirathon Hiddai from the valleys of Gaash 31 Abi-Albon, the Arbathite Azmaveth, the Barhumite 32 Eliahba, the Shaalbonite the sons of Jashen Jonathan, 33 the son of Shammah, the Hararite Ahiam, the son of Sharar, the Hararite 34 Eliphelet, the son of Ahasbai, the Maacathite Eliam, the son of Ahithophel, from Giloh 35 Hezro from Carmel Paarai, the Arbite 36 Igal, the son of Nathan, from Zobah the son of Hagri 37 Zelek from Ammon Naharai from Beeroth, who carried the armor of Joab, the son of Zeruiah 38 Ira, the Ithrite Gareb, the Ithrite 39 Uriah, the Hittite The total number of men was 37.
Here the writer of Samuel gives us a glimpse of those who David had around him, warriors that helped him to fight and win the battles against the Philistines and the many other nations surrounding Israel. David alone did not do it all, he had 37 other key men around him in battle, apart from an entire army. Three of these guys were more outstanding than the others. Men who were trusted and relied upon for their skill, courage and leadership, to be there in the thick of it, and who no doubt had David’s back on many occasions.
The last verse though is a stinger, verse 39 “Uriah the Hittite – thirty seven in all.” Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband was one of David’s trusted warriors and yet he had him killed to cover his sin. Such a dark day for David.
This is a reminder that we all need people around us to go though life with, and especially in ministry. God never has it as a one man show. He has created us for relationship and to support one another, to fight for and alongside one another.
Father thank you for those you have put around me, especially at the moment, to do life with and to help and surround me in times of trouble. Amen
Written by Suzie Hodgson