2 Samuel 23:1-27

David’s Last Words

1 These are the last words of David: “The inspired utterance of David son of Jesse, the utterance of the man exalted by the Most High, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, the hero of Israel’s songs:
2 “The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: ‘When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God,
4 he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.’
5 “If my house were not right with God, surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant, arranged and secured in every part; surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation and grant me my every desire.
6 But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns, which are not gathered with the hand.
7 Whoever touches thorns uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear; they are burned up where they lie.”

David’s Mighty Warriors

8 These are the names of David’s mighty warriors: Josheb-Basshebeth,[a] a Tahkemonite,[b] was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed[c] in one encounter.
9 Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim[d] for battle. Then the Israelites retreated,
10 but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The LORD brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.
11 Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them.
12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought about a great victory.
13 During harvest time, three of the thirty chief warriors came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim.
14 At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem.
15 David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!”
16 So the three mighty warriors broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the LORD.
17 “Far be it from me, LORD, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors.
18 Abishai the brother of Joab son of Zeruiah was chief of the Three.[e] He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed, and so he became as famous as the Three.
19 Was he not held in greater honor than the Three? He became their commander, even though he was not included among them.
20 Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.
21 And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear.
22 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors.
23 He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.
24 Among the Thirty were: Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem,
25 Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite,
26 Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa,
27 Abiezer from Anathoth, Sibbekai[f] the Hushathite,

2 Samuel 23:1 in Other Translations

KJV
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,
ESV
1 Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, the son of Jesse, the oracle of the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel:
NLT
1 These are the last words of David: “David, the son of Jesse, speaks— David, the man who was raised up so high, David, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, David, the sweet psalmist of Israel.
MSG
1 These are David's last words: The voice of the son of Jesse, the voice of the man God took to the top, Whom the God of Jacob made king, and Israel's most popular singer!
CSB
1 These are the last words of David: The proclamation of David son of Jesse, the proclamation of the man raised on high, the one anointed by the God of Jacob, the favorite singer of Israel:

2 Samuel 23:1-27 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO SECOND SAMUEL 23

In this chapter are recorded the last words of David under a divine inspiration, 2Sa 23:1-7; and an account is given of his great men, famous for warlike exploits, particularly of three mighty men who did very marvellous things, 2Sa 23:8-17; and of two others next unto them, which belonged to another class of three, 2Sa 23:18-23; and then of thirty one more, 2Sa 23:24-39; who are all mentioned by name.

2 Samuel 23:1-27 In-Context

1 These are the last words of David: “The inspired utterance of David son of Jesse, the utterance of the man exalted by the Most High, the man anointed by the God of Jacob, the hero of Israel’s songs:
2 “The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: ‘When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God,
4 he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.’
5 “If my house were not right with God, surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant, arranged and secured in every part; surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation and grant me my every desire.
6 But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns, which are not gathered with the hand.
7 Whoever touches thorns uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear; they are burned up where they lie.”
8 These are the names of David’s mighty warriors: Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter.
9 Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the Israelites retreated,
10 but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The LORD brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.
11 Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them.
12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought about a great victory.
13 During harvest time, three of the thirty chief warriors came down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim.
14 At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem.
15 David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!”
16 So the three mighty warriors broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the LORD.
17 “Far be it from me, LORD, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors.
18 Abishai the brother of Joab son of Zeruiah was chief of the Three. He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed, and so he became as famous as the Three.
19 Was he not held in greater honor than the Three? He became their commander, even though he was not included among them.
20 Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.
21 And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear.
22 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors.
23 He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.
24 Among the Thirty were: Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem,
25 Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite,
26 Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa,
27 Abiezer from Anathoth, Sibbekai the Hushathite,
28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite,
29 Heled son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin,
30 Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hiddai from the ravines of Gaash,
31 Abi-Albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite,

Cross References 32

  • 1. S Exodus 11:3; 2 Samuel 7:8-9; Psalms 78:70-71; Psalms 89:27
  • 2. 1 Samuel 2:10,35; Psalms 18:50; Psalms 20:6; Psalms 84:9; Isaiah 45:1; Habakkuk 3:13; 1 Samuel 16:12-13; Psalms 89:20
  • 3. Matthew 22:43; Mark 12:36; 2 Peter 1:21
  • 4. Deuteronomy 32:4; S 1 Samuel 2:2; Psalms 18:31; 2 Samuel 22:2,32
  • 5. Psalms 72:2
  • 6. S Genesis 42:18
  • 7. 2 Chronicles 19:7,9; Isaiah 11:1-5
  • 8. John 1:5
  • 9. Psalms 119:147; Psalms 130:6; Proverbs 4:18
  • 10. S Judges 5:31; Psalms 89:36; Matthew 13:43
  • 11. S Deuteronomy 32:2
  • 12. S Genesis 9:16; Psalms 89:29; Isaiah 55:3
  • 13. Isaiah 5:6; Isaiah 9:18; Isaiah 10:17; Isaiah 27:4; Isaiah 33:12; Micah 7:4; Nahum 1:10; Matthew 13:40-41
  • 14. S 2 Samuel 17:10
  • 15. 1 Chronicles 27:2
  • 16. 1 Chronicles 27:4
  • 17. 1 Chronicles 8:4
  • 18. S Genesis 38:1; S Joshua 12:15; 1 Samuel 22:1
  • 19. S Joshua 17:15; 2 Samuel 5:18
  • 20. 1 Samuel 22:4-5; S 2 Samuel 5:17
  • 21. Ruth 1:19
  • 22. S Genesis 35:14
  • 23. Leviticus 17:10-12
  • 24. S 1 Samuel 26:6; 2 Samuel 10:10,14; 1 Chronicles 11:20
  • 25. S 2 Samuel 8:18; 2 Samuel 20:23; 1 Chronicles 27:5
  • 26. Joshua 15:21
  • 27. S 2 Samuel 2:18
  • 28. Judges 7:1; 1 Chronicles 11:27
  • 29. 1 Chronicles 27:10
  • 30. 1 Chronicles 27:9
  • 31. 1 Chronicles 27:12
  • 32. S Joshua 21:18

Footnotes 6

  • [a]. Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts suggest "Ish-Bosheth," that is, "Esh-Baal" (see also 1 Chron. 11:11 "Jashobeam" ).
  • [b]. Probably a variant of "Hakmonite" (see 1 Chron. 11:11)
  • [c]. Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:11); Hebrew and other Septuagint manuscripts "Three; it was Adino the Eznite who killed eight hundred men"
  • [d]. See 1 Chron. 11:13; Hebrew "gathered there" .
  • [e]. Most Hebrew manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 11:20); two Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac "Thirty"
  • [f]. Some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 21:18; 1 Chron. 11:29); Hebrew "Mebunnai"
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.