1 Chronicles Chapter 11

After the death of Saul and his sons, the path for David to become the king of the children of Israel was opened to him. Up to that point, David had honored the role of Saul as the king, even though Saul had sought to kill him for several years. David had waited upon the Lord and was not the cause of Saul’s demise, even though there had been moments when he could have taken Saul’s life himself. This chapter of Chronicles begins with the following:

1 Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.
2 And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the Lord thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel.
3 Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord by Samuel.

The elders of Israel recognized that David had been chosen by God to rule them. They knew it was David who had been a leader in Israel even during the reign of Saul. They gathered together where David ruled in Hebron, and David made a covenant with them and was anointed to be their king. (see also 2 Samuel 5) This was fulfillment of the prophecy of Samuel the prophet. (see 1 Samuel 16:1, 11-13)

4 And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land.
5 And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David.
6 And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief.
7 And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David.
8 And he built the city round about, even from Millo round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city.
9 So David waxed greater and greater: for the Lord of hosts was with him.

David took the host of Israel to Jerusalem, which was know as Jebus at the time. The Jebusites, who had lived there since before the time of the Israelites entering the land, refused to let David into the land, but David took Zion, known afterwards as the city of David. He called upon his army to destroy the Jebusites and offered the role of chief and captain to whomever was willing to be the first to do it. Joab, David’s nephew through Zeruiah, led the people in the call and became the chief of the army of Israel. David lived in Jerusalem and built up the city around the castle or fort he lived in, with Joab’s assistance. David grew in greatness with the support of the Lord.

10 These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the Lord concerning Israel.
11 And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had; Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time.
12 And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties.
13 He was with David at Pas-dammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines.
14 And they set themselves in the midst of that parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines; and the Lord saved them by a great deliverance.

David had men of might, who were leaders in Israel under King David and were strengthened because of the Lord. Among those that were with him, was Jashobeam (Adino), who killed 300 enemies at one time with his spear. Also, Eleazar, who served with David at Pas-dammim. They had put themselves in the middle of a field of barley, claiming it and killing the Philistines there with deliverance from the Lord. (see also 2 Samuel 23)

15 Now three of the thirty captains went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam; and the host of the Philistines encamped in the valley of Rephaim.
16 And David was then in the hold, and the Philistines’ garrison was then at Beth-lehem.
17 And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Beth-lehem, that is at the gate!
18 And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the Lord,
19 And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest.

Three of David’s captains went to a cave where David was, while the Philistines camped in the valley of Rephaim (giants). The army of the Philistines were in Bethlehem. David was in a fortress and wished for a drink from the well in Bethlehem. The three went through the army of the Philistines and drew water from the well. When they brought it back to David, he refused it and poured it out with the words that he could not drink of the water that the men risked their lives to get for him. These were three of the mightiest men of David. (see also 2 Samuel 23:13-17)

20 And Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three: for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew them, and had a name among the three.
21 Of the three, he was more honourable than the two; for he was their captain: howbeit he attained not to the first three.
22 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day.
23 And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear.
24 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties.
25 Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard.

Of the three men, the leader was Abishai, the brother of Joab, who had killed three hundred with his spear and was the most honorable of them and therefore their captain. Next, was Benaiah, a descendant of Jehoiada and Kabzeel. Among the many things he had done, he had killed two fierce Moabites, as well as a lion. He killed a large Egyptian by using his staff to take the Egyptian’s spear from him and then slayed him with the spear. Benaiah was honorable among his men, so David made him the leader of his guard. (see also 2 Samuel 23:18-23)

26 Also the valiant men of the armies were, Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Beth-lehem,
27 Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite,
28 Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abi-ezer the Antothite,
29 Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite,
30 Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite,
31 Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah, that pertained to the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite,
32 Hurai of the brooks of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite,
33 Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite,
34 The sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shage the Hararite,
35 Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur,
36 Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite,
37 Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai,
38 Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Haggeri,
39 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armourbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah,
40 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,
41 Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai,
42 Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a captain of the Reubenites, and thirty with him,
43 Hanan the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite,
44 Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jehiel the sons of Hothan the Aroerite,
45 Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite,
46 Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai, and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite,
47 Eliel, and Obed, and Jasiel the Mesobaite.

Those among the guard and armies of David, who were valiant men, are listed here. Asahel (the other brother of Joab, who pursued after Abner, an enemy of David, and was killed by him and later avenged by Joab), Elhanan, Shammoth (Shammah), Helez, Ira, Abi-ezer, Sibbecai (Mebunnai), Ilai (Zalmon), Maharai, Heled (Heleb), Ithai (Ittai), Benaiah, Hurai (Hiddai), Abiel (Abi-albon), Azmaveth, Eliahba, the sons of Hashem, Jonathan, Ahiam, Eliphal, Hepher, Ahijah, Hezro (Hezrai), Naarai, Joel (the brother of Nathan, possibly the prophet Nathan who did things like rebuke David), Mibhar, Zelek, Naharai,the man who bore the armor of Joab, Ira, Gareb, Uriah (the husband of Bath-sheba, whom David planned to kill to hide his own transgressions and in doing so, sinned against God), Zabad, Adina, a Reubenite captain and 30 of his men, Hanan, Joshaphat, Uzzia, Shama and Jehiel, Jediael and Joha, Eliel, Jeribai, Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, Ithmah, Eliel, Obed, and Jasiel. (see also 2 Samuel 23:24-39 – other names listed there include Elika, Shammah, Eliphelet, Eliam, Paarai, Igal, and Bani)

This chapter is a second witness to the happenings found in the second book of Samuel. It is another witness that prophecy from the Lord to his prophets, will be fulfilled. It includes a list of mighty men who were there to protect and support David as he began his rule as king in Israel. Moreover, it is a second witness of the blessing of waiting upon the Lord, even when you know something is meant to happen. The Lord has His own timing and it is perfectly wise and will provide the greatest opportunities for growth for those effected. It can be one of the most difficult things in this life, to have patience for changes in our lives to come to us. The Lord will keep his promises to us in His time and when he does, it will be a far greater blessing than if we try to force these kind of things to happen by our own design. I have seen the Lord’s hand in my life and in hindsight I am always blessed to see how perfectly things work out. I am grateful for David’s example of this principle found in chapters such as this.

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