2 Samuel chapter 23

The Last Words of David. David’s mighty men.





VERSE 1. Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse says, the man who was raised on high says, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel:

David refers to himself with four titles. The first three titles are reasonably familiar:

  • son of Jesse
  • the man exalted by the Most High
  • the man anointed by the God of Jacob
  • Israel’s singer of songs

That fourth title, Israel’s singer of songs, is unique. We are not aware of that title in any other place in the Bible.

Can you imagine any of today’s political leaders being recognized as the nations’s singer of songs?


VERSE 2. “The LORD’s Spirit spoke by me. His word was on my tongue.

The LORD’s Spirit spoke by me. The Spirit of the LORD God spoke through David to the nation.


VERSE 3. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, ‘One who rules over men righteously, who rules in the fear of God,

the Rock of Israel spoke to me. The Spirit of the LORD God spoke to David.


VERSE 4. shall be as the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, when the tender grass springs out of the earth, through clear shining after rain.’


VERSE 5. Isn’t my house so with God? Yet he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure, for it is all my salvation and all my desire. Won’t he make it grow?

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from Second Samuel and from the entire Bible.


VERSE 6. But all the ungodly will be as thorns to be thrust away, because they can’t be taken with the hand.


VERSE 7. The man who touches them must be armed with iron and the staff of a spear. They will be utterly burned with fire in their place.”






VERSE 8. These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb Basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains; he was called Adino the Eznite, who killed eight hundred at one time.

the mighty men. This chapter is a Hall-of-Fame. It lists the greatest heroes of David’s kingdom. It reminds us of Hebrews chapter 11.

The 37 mighty heroes are divided into three groups:


VERSE 9. After him was Eleazar the son of Dodai the son of an Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel had gone away.

the three mighty men. They are:

  1. Josheb-Bassebeth, a Tahkemonite (verse 8)
  2. Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite (verse 9)
  3. Shammah son of Agee the Hararite (verse 11)


VERSE 10. He arose and struck the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand froze to the sword; and the LORD worked a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to take plunder.


VERSE 11. After him was Shammah the son of Agee a Hararite. The Philistines had gathered together into a troop where there was a plot of ground full of lentils; and the people fled from the Philistines.

Shammah the son of Agee a Hararite. He is one of David’s three mighty men:

  1. Josheb-Bassebeth, a Tahkemonite (verse 8)
  2. Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite (verse 9)
  3. Shammah son of Agee the Hararite (verse 11)


VERSE 12. But he stood in the middle of the plot and defended it, and killed the Philistines; and the LORD worked a great victory.


VERSE 13. Three of the thirty chief men went down, and came to David in the harvest time to the cave of Adullam; and the troop of the Philistines was encamped in the valley of Rephaim.


VERSE 14. David was then in the stronghold; and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem.


VERSE 15. David said longingly, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!”


VERSE 16. The three mighty men broke through the army 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; but he would not drink of it, but poured it out to the LORD.

This was an extraordinary accomplishment. It required heroic commitment to David, as well as heroic courage, as well as the highest skills in combat.


VERSE 17. He said, “Be it far from me, LORD, that I should do this! Isn’t this the blood of the men who risked their lives to go?” Therefore he would not drink it. The three mighty men did these things.




VERSE 18. Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the three. He lifted up his spear against three hundred and killed them, and had a name among the three.

This verse begins the second list of heroes:

  1. Abishai the brother of Joab son of Zeruiah (verse 18)
  2. Benaiah son of Jehoiada (verse 22)


VERSE 19. Wasn’t he most honorable of the three? Therefore he was made their captain. However he wasn’t included as one of the three.


VERSE 20. Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds, killed the two sons of Ariel of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit in a time of snow.


VERSE 21. He killed a huge Egyptian, 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 killed him with his own spear.


VERSE 22. Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did these things, and had a name among the three mighty men.


VERSE 23. He was more honorable than the thirty, but he didn’t attain to the three. David set him over his guard.


THE 32


VERSE 24. Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty: Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,

This verse begins the third list of heroes:

  1. Ashael the brother of Joab (verse 24)
  2. Elhanan the son of Dodo (verse 26)
  3. Shammah the Harodite (verse 27)
  4. Elika the Harodite (verse 25)
  5. Helez the Paltite (verse 26)
  6. Ira son of Ikkesh (verse 26)
  7. Abiezer from Ahohite (verse 27)
  8. Mebunnai the Hushathite (verse 27)
  9. Zalmon the Ahohite (verse 28)
  10. Maharai the Netophathite (verse 28)
  11. Heled (Heleb) son of Baanah (verse 29)
  12. Ithai son of Rib (verse 29)
  13. Benaiah the Pirathonite (verse 30)
  14. Hiddai from … Gaash (verse 30)
  15. Abi-Albon the Arbathite (verse 31)
  16. Azmaveth the Barhumite (verse 31)
  17. Eliahba the Shaalbonite (verse 32)
  18. The sons of Jashen (verse 32)
  19. Jonathan, son of Shammah the Hararite (verse 32)
  20. Shammah, based on the above name (verse 32)
  21. Ahiam son of Sharar the Hararite (verse 33)
  22. Eliphelet son of Abishai (verse 34)
  23. Eliam son of Ahithophel (verse 34)
  24. Hezro the Carmelite (verse 35)
  25. Paarari the Arbite (verse 35)
  26. Igal son of Nathan (verse 36)
  27. The son of Hagri (verse 36)
  28. Zelek the Ammonite (verse 37)
  29. Nahari the Beerothite (verse 37)
  30. Ira the Ithrite (verse 38)
  31. Gareb the Ithrite (verse 38)
  32. Uriah the Hittite (verse 39)


VERSE 25. Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite,


VERSE 26. Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite,


VERSE 27. Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite,


VERSE 28. Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite,


VERSE 29. Heleb the son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the children of Benjamin,


VERSE 30. Benaiah a Pirathonite, Hiddai of the brooks of Gaash.


VERSE 31. Abialbon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite,


VERSE 32. Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan,


VERSE 33. Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Ararite,


VERSE 34. Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maacathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,


VERSE 35. Hezro the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite,


VERSE 36. Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite,


VERSE 37. Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, armor bearers to Joab the son of Zeruiah,


VERSE 38. Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,


VERSE 39. and Uriah the Hittite: thirty-seven in all.


next chapter »

« previous chapter


CHAPTERS: 01, 020304, 05, 06, 0708, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.