On-Line First Publication
[2-Samuel 23:1] NOW THESE BE THE LAST WORDS OF DAVID. DAVID THE SON OF JESSE
SAID, AND THE MAN WHO WAS RAISED UP ON HIGH, THE ANOINTED OF THE GOD OF JACOB,
AND THE SWEET PSALMIST OF ISRAEL, SAID,
THE MAN. Hebrew "Ha-Gever"
connotes "he-man", "hero".
THE ANOINTED. Hebrew "Mashiach",
translated as "Messiah". The Final Messiah will be a descendant of David.
SWEET. Hebrew "nayim"
connoting pleasant, cultivated, a gentleman.
Kiel points out that "nayim"
also suggests "beloved, handsome".
THE SWEET PSALMIST OF ISRAEL. David composed the Psalms. He gave us the holy
words of Praise to the Almighty. He was the Sweet Singer of Israel.
Benjamin Disraeli: <<The most popular poet in England is the Sweet
Singer of Israel. Since the days of the heritage, there never was a race
who sang so often the odes of David as the people of Great Britain. It was
the "sword of the Lord and of Gideon" that won the boasted liberties of
England; and the Scots upon their hillsides achieved their religious
freedom chanting the same canticles that cheered the heart of Judah amid
David was all of the above all at once: A heroic warrior, spiritually inspired,
mystical, a poet and singer who was pleasant in his ways.
[2-Samuel 23:2] THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD SPAKE BY ME, AND HIS WORD WAS IN MY
God spoke through David.
HIS WORD WAS IN MY TONGUE. The level of Prophecy held by David was lower than
that of the mainstream Prophets in so far as David gave his own expression to
the inspiration he received, i.e. he formulated it in his own way. That is why
the Book of Psalms is included in the Writings rather than in the Prophets.
The Hebrew Bible is called the
The word Tanach
stands for "Torah (the Pentateuch, Five Books of Moses);
The Psalms is part of the Cetuvim
meaning literally "Writings" but in English frequently referred to as "Wisdom
Books". These include Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.
Job was written by Job himself or by Moses (it is debated); Psalms was written
mostly by David with additions from others and the whole canonized by the Court
of Judgment headed by King Hezekiah; the other works were all written by King
Solomon son and successor of King David.
[2-Samuel 23:3] THE GOD OF ISRAEL SAID, THE ROCK OF ISRAEL SPAKE TO ME, HE THAT
RULETH OVER MEN MUST BE JUST, RULING IN THE FEAR OF GOD.
David foresees that future rulers will
arise from his descendants. He advises them to rule in justice and to fear God.
[2-Samuel 23:4] AND HE SHALL BE AS THE LIGHT OF THE MORNING, WHEN THE SUN RISETH,
EVEN A MORNING WITHOUT CLOUDS; AS THE TENDER GRASS SPRINGING OUT OF THE EARTH BY
CLEAR SHINING AFTER RAIN.
The Dynasty of David is compared to the
shining of the sun,
ONCE HAVE I SWORN BY MY HOLINESS THAT I WILL NOT LIE UNTO DAVID [Psalms
HIS SEED SHALL ENDURE FOR EVER, AND HIS THRONE AS THE SUN BEFORE ME [Psalms
IT SHALL BE ESTABLISHED FOR EVER AS THE MOON, AND AS A FAITHFUL WITNESS IN
HEAVEN. SELAH [Psalms 89:37].
[2-Samuel 23:5] ALTHOUGH MY HOUSE BE NOT SO; YET HE HATH MADE WITH ME AN
EVERLASTING COVENANT, ORDERED IN ALL THINGS, AND SURE: FOR THIS IS ALL MY
SALVATION, AND ALL MY DESIRE, ALTHOUGH HE MAKE IT NOT TO GROW.
ALTHOUGH MY HOUSE BE NOT SO WITH GOD.
This is one possible interpretation
But the expression may be understood as continuing from the previous verse and
be rendered (as Yehudah
Kiel suggests) MY HOUSE SHALL BE AS GRASS [that springs up after the rain and
then withers away] BUT RATHER MY HOUSE SHALL BE WITH GOD, -an immortal lineage.
ALTHOUGH HE MAKE IT NOT TO GROW. This is a difficult expression but the
Commentators understood it to mean that if any other dynasty should set itself
up over Israel in place of the Dynasty of David then that dynasty would not
prosper for long.
[2-Samuel 23:6] BUT THE SONS OF BELIAL SHALL BE ALL OF THEM AS THORNS THRUST
AWAY, BECAUSE THEY CANNOT BE TAKEN WITH HANDS:
SONS OF BELIAL: A Common expression in
the Bible for evil people. Here it is referring to anyone who attempts to reign
in place of the Seed of David or whomsoever does not respect the right to rule
of the descendants of David.
They shall be as dried up thorns cut off from their stem that have no purpose or
continuation but only prick anyone who touches them.
[2-Samuel 23:7] BUT THE MAN THAT SHALL TOUCH THEM MUST BE FENCED WITH IRON AND
THE STAFF OF A SPEAR; AND THEY SHALL BE UTTERLY BURNED WITH FIRE IN THE SAME
Whoever has anything to do with them
will be only interested in cutting them down and burning them up like
troublesome thorns that must be removed and done away with.
Amongst the Jews are families descended from David. The rulers of peoples in the
west in some cases may also be descended from David.
"Sons of David as Rulers"
Descendants of David in Ireland?
In 1581 Vincenzio
(father of the astronomer, Galileo
wrote that the Irish believed themselves descended from David, King of Israel,
and that was why they used a harp as their symbol.
David and the Harp as Depicted in the
Area of Scotland
<<In Scotland, in the area once inhabited by people known as
musical instruments that are obviously frame harps are represented on six
monuments. Perhaps earliest is the example carved on a monument known as
No. 3, a red sandstone slab over nine feet in height, standing beside the narrow
road leading from the town of
Forfar to the village of
(Angus). Originally this monument must has looked like a much-enlarged version
of an illuminated page from a precious religious book, as a decorated wheel
cross surrounded with angels, zoomorphic interlace and other patterns, is carved
in relief on the slab front which faces the road. The back of the slab, divided
into three sections, includes carvings of
symbols (designs of an earlier era whose true meanings have yet to be
discovered), a hunting scene and a carving of David Rending the Jaws of a Lion.
Above and to the right of David two of his iconographic symbols, a sheep and a
harp, are carved. ? The appearance of the harp alone provides a sort of
of the David and Harp motif; the harp itself thus becomes an important
iconographic symbols for David's association with music, and all that this
implied to the medieval mind. The same theme appears on a second Angus monument,
cross-slab, and also on the most northern of the
area monuments, the Nigg
[2-Samuel 23:8] THESE BE THE NAMES OF THE MIGHTY MEN WHOM DAVID HAD: THE
TACHMONITE THAT SAT IN THE SEAT, CHIEF AMONG THE CAPTAINS; THE SAME WAS ADINO
THE EZNITE: HE LIFT UP HIS SPEAR AGAINST EIGHT HUNDRED, WHOM HE SLEW AT ONE
from the root "chacham"
This could refer to a counsel of Sages., i.e. a group of advisors or chief
with his spear had once slaughtered eight hundred of the enemy in one battle.
[2-Samuel 23:9] AND AFTER HIM WAS ELEAZAR THE SON OF DODO THE AHOHITE, ONE OF
THE THREE MIGHTY MEN WITH DAVID, WHEN THEY DEFIED THE PHILISTINES THAT WERE
THERE GATHERED TOGETHER TO BATTLE, AND THE MEN OF ISRAEL WERE GONE
[2-Samuel 23:10] HE AROSE, AND SMOTE THE PHILISTINES UNTIL HIS HAND WAS WEARY,
AND HIS HAND CLAVE UNTO THE SWORD: AND THE LORD WROUGHT A GREAT VICTORY THAT
DAY; AND THE PEOPLE RETURNED AFTER HIM ONLY TO SPOIL.
David together with
son of Dodo and two others had been cut off and left alone to face an army of
Philistines. The rest of the people had either fled or mistakenly gone
elsewhere. Largely due to the heroism of
son of Dodo what could have been a disaster was turned into a great victory.
[2-Samuel 23:11] AND AFTER HIM WAS SHAMMAH THE SON OF AGEE THE HARARITE. AND THE
PHILISTINES WERE GATHERED TOGETHER INTO A TROOP, WHERE WAS A PIECE OF GROUND
FULL OF LENTILES: AND THE PEOPLE FLED FROM THE PHILISTINES.
[2-Samuel 23:1 BUT HE STOOD IN THE MIDST OF THE GROUND, AND DEFENDED IT, AND
SLEW THE PHILISTINES: AND THE LORD WROUGHT A GREAT VICTORY.
[2-Samuel 23:13] AND THREE OF THE THIRTY CHIEF WENT DOWN, AND CAME TO DAVID IN
THE HARVEST TIME UNTO THE CAVE OF ADULLAM: AND THE TROOP OF THE PHILISTINES
PITCHED IN THE VALLEY OF REPHAIM.
[2-Samuel 23:14] AND DAVID WAS THEN IN AN HOLD, AND THE GARRISON OF THE
PHILISTINES WAS THEN IN BETHLEHEM.
AN HOLD. Hebrew "Matsudah"
meaning here a small stronghold or fortified position besides the Cave of
[2-Samuel 23:15] AND DAVID LONGED, AND SAID, OH THAT ONE WOULD GIVE ME DRINK OF
THE WATER OF THE WELL OF BETHLEHEM, WHICH IS BY THE GATE!
[2-Samuel 23:16] AND THE THREE MIGHTY MEN 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: NEVERTHELESS HE WOULD NOT DRINK THEREOF,
BUT POURED IT OUT UNTO THE LORD.
[2-Samuel 23:17] AND HE SAID, BE IT FAR FROM ME, O LORD, THAT I SHOULD DO THIS:
IS NOT THIS THE BLOOD OF THE MEN THAT WENT IN JEOPARDY OF THEIR LIVES? THEREFORE
HE WOULD NOT DRINK IT. THESE THINGS DID THESE THREE MIGHTY MEN.
[2-Samuel 23:18] AND ABISHAI, THE BROTHER OF JOAB, THE SON OF ZERUIAH, WAS CHIEF
AMONG THREE. AND HE LIFTED UP HIS SPEAR AGAINST THREE HUNDRED, AND SLEW THEM,
AND HAD THE NAME AMONG THREE.
[2-Samuel 23:19] WAS HE NOT MOST HONOURABLE OF THREE? THEREFORE HE WAS THEIR
CAPTAIN: HOWBEIT HE ATTAINED NOT UNTO THE FIRST THREE.
The first three were
THE SON OF DODO, and
THE SON OF AGEE.
[2-Samuel 23:20] AND 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: HE WENT DOWN
ALSO AND SLEW A LION IN THE MIDST OF A PIT IN TIME OF SNOW:
was a Cohen from the Tribe of Levi) 1-Chronciles 27:5-6) who did not usually go
out to battle. He apparently was an exception and David appointed him first as
head of his bodyguard and later head of the Army.
[2-Samuel 23:21] AND HE SLEW AN EGYPTIAN, A GOODLY MAN: AND THE EGYPTIAN HAD A
SPEAR IN HIS HAND; BUT 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.
[2-Samuel 23:2 THESE THINGS DID BENAIAH THE SON OF JEHOIADA, AND HAD THE NAME
AMONG THREE MIGHTY MEN.
[2-Samuel 23:23] HE WAS MORE HONOURABLE THAN THE THIRTY, BUT HE ATTAINED NOT TO
THE FIRST THREE. AND DAVID SET HIM OVER HIS GUARD.
THE FIRST THREE. In Hebrew it just says
i.e. the three. It does not say
"THE FIRST THREE" but rather "THE THREE". There were two lots of
three, each triad being more prestigious than the previous one.
[2-Samuel 23:24] ASAHEL THE BROTHER OF JOAB WAS ONE OF THE THIRTY; ELHANAN THE
SON OF DODO OF BETHLEHEM,
The mother of
the sister of David.
[2-Samuel 23:25] SHAMMAH THE HARODITE, ELIKA THE HARODITE,
Kiel these were from the Clan of
Zerach of Judah (1-Chronicles
[2-Samuel 23:26] HELEZ THE PALTITE, IRA THE SON OF IKKESH THE TEKOITE,
Kiel compares these names with those of the administrators of David listed in
the Book of Chronicles. In this case
mentioned here is to be identified with
OF THE CHILDREN OF EPHRAIM (1-Chronicles 27:10).
IRA came from Tekoah
south of Jerusalem in the territory of Judah.
[2-Samuel 23:27] ABIEZER THE ANETHOTHITE, MEBUNNAI THE HUSHATHITE,
from the clan of Zerach
[2-Samuel 23:28] ZALMON THE AHOHITE, MAHARAI THE NETOPHATHITE,
from the region of Bethlehem in Judah.
[2-Samuel 23:29] HELEB THE SON OF BAANAH, A NETOPHATHITE, ITTAI THE SON OF RIBAI
OUT OF GIBEAH OF THE CHILDREN OF BENJAMIN,
[2-Samuel 23:30] BENAIAH THE PIRATHONITE, HIDDAI OF THE BROOKS OF GAASH,
[2-Samuel 23:31] ABIALBON THE ARBATHITE, AZMAVETH THE BARHUMITE,
[2-Samuel 23:3 ELIAHBA THE SHAALBONITE, OF THE SONS OF JASHEN, JONATHAN.
which was in the heritage of Dan though
may have settled there later.
is now the site of a Religious Kibbutz alongside an independent settlement. It
also has a well-known Yeshivah
or Rabbinical College. Yair
learned there for a period as did two of his sons after him.
OF THE SONS OF JASHEN,
JONATHAN. This is an unusual expression and is not like the other listings. It
is however a usage for someone from the Tribe of Dan which suggests that
mentioned above was also from Dan and not from Ephraim.
says that THE SONS OF JASHEN,
JONATHAN is referring to two (not one) warriors.
[2-Samuel 23:33] SHAMMAH THE HARARITE, AHIAM THE SON OF SHARAR THE HARARITE,
Kiel suggests they were from
[2-Samuel 23:34] ELIPHELET THE SON OF AHASBAI, THE SON OF THE MAACHATHITE, ELIAM
THE SON OF AHITHOPHEL THE GILONITE,
possibly from Manasseh.
[2-Samuel 23:35] HEZRAI THE CARMELITE, PAARAI THE ARBITE,
Kiel seems to suggest either Judah or Manasseh
Kiel suggest Judah based on the place-name but this is not a
[2-Samuel 23:36] IGAL
THE SON OF NATHAN OF ZOBAH,
maybe from Judah.
[2-Samuel 23:37] ZELEK THE AMMONITE, NAHARI THE BEEROTHITE, ARMOURBEARER TO JOAB
THE SON OF ZERUIAH,
probably an Ammonite who had joined the forces of David though other
interpretations have been given, e.g. he commanded the army over
[2-Samuel 23:38] IRA AN ITHRITE, GAREB AN ITHRITE,
[2-Samuel 23:39] URIAH THE HITTITE: THIRTY AND SEVEN IN ALL.
THE HITTITE: Our impression is that he really was a Hittite who had attached
himself to David and to Israel. Here too other interpretations exist saying that
he was really an Israelite but fought against the Hittites etc.
THIRTY AND SEVEN: When they are counted there are only thirty-six and various
explanations have been offered, e.g. the explanation of
in 23:32 above.
Who were the THIRTY AND SEVEN?
David, the first set of THREE, the second set of THREE (see 2-Samuel 23:23), and the
Thirty giving a total of 37.
We have allocated these members of the
Thirty Mighty Warriors of King David mainly according to
Kiel who compares them with the parallel list of administrators in the Book of
Chronicles. Where no parallel exists
Kiel has relied on place names and here our feeling is that his conclusions are
Even allowing for mistaken Tribal allocations here and there the impression is
that most of the Thirty Warriors came from the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin
followed by Ephraimites
and a few of the other Tribes.