1 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 11
King David and His Mighty Men.
DAVID KING OF ALL ISRAEL. ó V. 1. Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, representatives of the northern and eastern tribes, as well as of Judah, where he had already reigned over seven years, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh, relatives by reason of a common ancestry. V. 2. And moreover, in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel; for David, before Saul sought his life, had been one of the chief officers of his army; and the Lord, thy God, said unto thee, namely, by Samuel, the prophet, a fact which had become generally known, 1 Sam. 16, 1-3; 2 Sam. 3, 9. 18, Thou shalt feed My people Israel, said of the fostering care which a king should show his people, and thou shalt be ruler over My people Israel. V. 3. Therefore came all the elders of Israel, the representatives of the estates of the kingdom, to the king to Hebron, 2 Sam. 5, 1-3; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord. And they anointed David king over Israel, the entire nation thus acknowledging him as sovereign, according to the word of the Lord by Samuel, 1 Sam. 16, 1. 12. 13. V. 4. And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus, that being the original name of the town, as the author thought it necessary to mention at this late date; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land; for this heathen nation had maintained its ancient location even after the conquest of the land by Joshua. V. 5. And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, in an overconfident boast, Thou shalt not come hither; for even at that time the fortifications of their city were practically impregnable. Nevertheless, David took the castle of Zion, the strongest part of the cityís defenses, which is the City of David, the part afterward occupied by the royal residence. V. 6. And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. This is only a part of Davidís speech, the complete promise being given 2 Sam. 5, 8. So Joab, the son of Zeruiah, went first up and was chief, he became general of Davidís army. V. 7. And David dwelt in the castle, in the fortress of the city; therefore they called it the City of David. V. 8. And he built the city round about, this upper section of Jerusalem, even from Millo, the fortress on the northwest corner of Zion, round about, returning to this corner after making the circuit; and Joab repaired the rest of the city, the lower city, which had naturally suffered during the siege of the city. V. 9. So David waxed greater and greater, he increased in power continually; for the Lord of hosts, in whom alone he placed his trust, was with him. The same thought is uttered by St. Paul, when he says: ďI can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.Ē
DAVIDíS MIGHTY MEN AND THEIR DEEDS. ó V. 10. These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, the great heroes or champions of his army, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, standing bravely by him during his entire reign, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the Lord concerning Israel. V. 11. And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had, for they apparently formed a band with a definite number of members; Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains, head of thirty heroes; he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time, the total number overthrown by him probably being eight hundred, 2 Sam. 23, 8, 2) the five hundred being wounded or scattered. V. 12. And after him was Eleazar, the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties. Cp. 2 Sam. 23, 11. V. 13. He was with David at Pas-dammim (or Ephesdammim), and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley, a part of the field, at least, being sowed to lentils; and the people fled from before the Philistines. V. 14. And they, Shemmah being mentioned especially as standing up with Eleazar, and even taking his place when he was exhausted, set themselves in the midst of that parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines; and the Lord saved them by a great deliverance. Cp. 2 Sam. 23, 9-11. V. 15. Now, three of the thirty captains went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam, near the Philistine frontier, and the host of the Philistines encamped in the Valley of Rephaim, some distance west of Jerusalem. V. 16. And David was then in the hold, in his mountain stronghold in the wilderness, and the Philistinesí garrison was then at Bethlehem, an advanced outpost. V. 17. And David longed, in remembrance of the cooling water of his home town, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem that is at the gate! V. 18. And the three, also members of this famous band, brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David, an act showing their devotion to their beloved leader. But David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the Lord, as a sort of drink offering, v. 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. He considered that they risked their lives, their heartsí life-blood, in performing this act of kindness. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest, members of the band of Davidís most valiant heroes. V. 20. And Abishai, the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three, 2 Sam. 23, 18-23, he also was a member of this illustrious band; for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew them and had a name among the three, distinguished for his valor. V. 21. Of the three he was more honorable than the two, he was doubly, most conspicuously, honored, for he was their captain; howbeit he attained not to the first three. There seems to have been no difference in bravery, but only in the number of feats accomplished. V. 22. Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, conspicuous for courageous feats; he slew two lionlike men of Moab; also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day. Cp. 2 Sam. 23, 20. V. 23. And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high (about eight feet); and in the Egyptianís hand was a spear like a weaverís beam, on the order of that carried by Goliath; and he went down to him with a staff, his walking-stick being his only weapon, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptianís hand, and slew him with his own spear. V. 24. These things did Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties, apparently in the second division of the band of valiant heroes. V. 25. Behold, he was honorable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three; and David set him over his guard, which, in turn, seems to have been made up of the bravest of Davidís six hundred followers, who were commanded by his champions. V. 26. Also the valiant men of the armies, the heroes in all the wars which David waged, were: Asahel, the brother of Joab, Elhanan, the son of Dodo, of Bethlehem, v. 27. Shammoth (or Shammah) the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite, v. 28. Ira, the son of Ikkesh, the Tekoite, Abiezer the Antothite, v. 29. Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai (or Zalmon), the Ahohite, v. 30. Maharai the Netophathite, Heled (or Heleb), the son of Baanah, the Netophathite, v. 31. Ithai, the son of Ribai, of Gibeah, that pertained to the children of Benjamin, being Saulís own city, Benaiah the Pirathonite, v. 32. Hurai (or Hiddai) of the brooks of Gaash, in the mountains of Ephraim, Abiel (or Abialbon) the Arbathite, v. 33. Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite, v. 34. the sons of Hashem (or Jashen) the Gizonite, Jonathan, the son of Shage, the Hararite, v. 35. Ahiam, the son of Sacar (or Sharar), the Hararite, Eliphal (or Eliphelet), the son of Ur (or Ahasbai), v. 36. Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite, v. 37. Hezro (or Hezrai) the Carmelite, Naarai (or Paarai), the son of Ezbai, v. 38. Joel, the brother of Nathan, Mibhar, the son of Haggeri (or the Haggerite), v. 39. Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armor-bearer of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, v. 40. Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, v. 41. Uriah the Hittite, Zabad, the son of Ahlai, v. 42. Adina, the son of Shiza, the Reubenite, a captain of the Reubenites, and thirty with him, v. 43. Hanan, the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite, v. 44. Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jehiel, the sons of Hothan the Aroerite, v. 45. Jediael, the son of Shimri (or the Shimrite), and Joha, his brother, the Tizite, v. 46. Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite, v. 47. Eliel, and Obed, and Jasiel the Mesobaite. It was a fine thing that the names of these great heroes were preserved, as a constant example to the children of Israel. But a much finer thing it is for the Christians to have their names recorded in the book of life.