Then all Israel went to David at Hebron and told him, "We are all members of your family.
For a long time, even while Saul was our king, you were the one who really led Israel. And the LORD your God has told you, 'You will be the shepherd of my people Israel. You will be their leader.'"
So there at Hebron David made a covenant with the leaders of Israel before the LORD. They anointed him king of Israel, just as the LORD had promised through Samuel.
Then David and all Israel went to Jerusalem (or Jebus, as it used to be called), where the Jebusites, original inhabitants of the land, lived.
The people of Jebus said to David, "You will never get in here!" But David captured the fortress of Zion, now called the City of David.
David had said to his troops, "Whoever leads the attack against the Jebusites will become the commander of my armies!" And Joab, the son of David's sister Zeruiah, led the attack, so he became the commander of David's armies.
David made the fortress his home, and that is why it is called the City of David.
He extended the city from the Millo a to the surrounding area, while Joab rebuilt the rest of Jerusalem.
And David became more and more powerful, because the LORD Almighty was with him.
These are the leaders of David's mighty men. Together with all Israel, they determined to make David their king, just as the LORD had promised concerning Israel.
Here is the record of David's mightiest men: The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite, who was commander of the Three -- the three greatest warriors among David's men. b He once used his spear to kill three hundred enemy warriors in a single battle.
Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, c a descendant of Ahoah.
He was with David in the battle against the Philistines at Pas-dammim. The battle took place in a field full of barley, and the Israelite army fled.
But Eleazar and David held their ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the LORD saved them by giving them a great victory.
Once when David was at the rock near the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty -- an elite group among David's fighting men) went down to meet him there.
David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem.
David remarked longingly to his men, "Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well in Bethlehem, the one by the gate."
So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well, and brought it back to David. But David refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out before the LORD.
"God forbid that I should drink this!" he exclaimed. "This water is as precious as the blood of these men who risked their lives to bring it to me." So David did not drink it. This is an example of the exploits of the Three.
Abishai, the brother of Joab, was the leader of the Thirty. d He once used his spear to kill three hundred enemy warriors in a single battle. It was by such feats that he became as famous as the Three.
Abishai was the most famous of the Thirty and was their commander, though he was not one of the Three.
There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two of Moab's mightiest warriors. Another time he chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it.
Another time, armed with only a club, he killed an Egyptian warrior who was seven and a half feet e tall and whose spear was as thick as a weaver's beam. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian's hand and killed him with it.
These are some of the deeds that made Benaiah as famous as the Three.
He was more honored than the other members of the Thirty, though he was not one of the Three. And David made him commander of his bodyguard.
These were also included among David's mighty men: Asahel, Joab's brother; Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem;
Shammah from Harod; f Helez from Pelon;
Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa; Abiezer from Anathoth;
Sibbecai from Hushah; Zalmon g from Ahoah;
Maharai from Netophah; Heled son of Baanah from Netophah;
Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah (from the tribe of Benjamin); Benaiah from Pirathon;
Hurai from near Nahale-gaashh; Abi-albon i the Arbathite;
Azmaveth from Bahurimj; Eliahba from Shaalbon;
the sons of Jashen k from Gizon; Jonathan son of Shagee from Harar;
Ahiam son of Sharar l from Harar; Eliphal son of Ur;
Hepher from Mekerah; Ahijah from Pelon;
Hezro from Carmel; Paarai m son of Ezbai;
Joel, the brother of Nathan; Mibhar son of Hagri;
Zelek from Ammon; Naharai from Beeroth (Joab's armor bearer);
Ira from Jattir; Gareb from Jattir;
Uriah the Hittite; Zabad son of Ahlai;
Adina son of Shiza, the Reubenite leader who had thirty men with him;
Hanan son of Maacah; Joshaphat from Mithna;
Uzzia from Ashtaroth; Shama and Jeiel, the sons of Hotham, from Aroer;
Jediael son of Shimri; Joha, his brother, from Tiz;
Eliel from Mahavah; Jeribai and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam; Ithmah from Moab;
Eliel and Obed; Jaasiel from Zobah.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)