1 Chronicles 12

David’s desert army

1 The following persons came to David at Ziklag while he was banished from the presence of Saul, Kish's son. They were some of the warriors who helped him in battle,
2 armed with bows, and they could use either hand to shoot arrows or sling stones. They were Saul's relatives from Benjamin:
3 Ahiezer was the leader, then Joash, both Shemaah's sons from Gibeah; Jeziel and Pelet, Azmaveth's sons; Beracah; Jehu of Anathoth;
4 Ishmaiah from Gibeon, a warrior in the Thirty and a leader over the Thirty; Jeremiah; Jahaziel; Johanan; Jozabad from Gederah;
5 Eluzai; Jerimoth; Bealiah; Shemariah; Shephatiah the Haruphite;
6 Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam the Korahites;
7 Joelah; and Zebadiah, Jeroham's son from Gedor.
8 Some left Gad to join David at the desert fortress, brave warriors trained for battle, armed with shield and spear, who looked like lions and who were swift as gazelles on the mountains:
9 Ezer the leader, Obadiah second, Eliab third,
10 Mishmannah fourth, Jeremiah fifth,
11 Attai sixth, Eliel seventh,
12 Johanan eighth, Elzabad ninth,
13 Jeremiah tenth, Machbannai eleventh.
14 These Gadites were military officers, the least of them ready to fight a hundred and the greatest a thousand.
15 These are the ones who crossed the Jordan in the first month, when it was overflowing all its banks, and chased away everyone living in the valleys to the east and the west.
16 Some Benjaminites and Judahites also came to David at the fortress.
17 David went out to meet them and said to them, "If you've come to me with good intentions in order to help me, then we will join forces. But if you've come to betray me to my enemies, though I've done no wrong, then may our ancestors' God see it and punish you."
18 Then a spirit took hold of Amasai, the leader of the Thirty: David, we are yours; and on your side, Jesse's son! May it go very well for you, and may it go well for whoever helps you! Yes, your God has helped you. Then David received them, and put them at the head of his troops.
19 Some of the Manassites also joined David when he came with the Philistines for the battle against Saul. But he didn't help them, because after considering the matter, the Philistine rulers sent him away. "He'll rejoin his master Saul," they said, "and it will cost us our heads."
20 When he went to Ziklag some joined him from Manasseh: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai, leaders of units of a thousand in Manasseh.
21 They helped David against the raiding bands because they were all warriors and officers in the army.
22 Reinforcements came to David daily until there was an army as mighty as God's army.
23 These are the numbers of the commanders of those armed for battle who came to David in Hebron to make sure he took over Saul's kingdom, according to the LORD's word:
24 from Judah, carrying shield and spear, 6,800 troops armed for battle;
25 from Simeon, mighty warriors, 7,100;
26 from Levi, 4,600;
27 also Jehoiada, leader of Aaron's line, and with him 3,700;
28 and Zadok, a young man, a mighty warrior, and 22 officers from his household;
29 from Benjamin, Saul's relatives, 3,000, most of whom had been loyal to Saul's household;
30 from Ephraim, 20,800, mighty warriors, famous in their households;
31 from half the tribe of Manasseh, 18,000, designated by name to come and make David king;
32 from Issachar, those who understood the times and what Israel should do, 200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;
33 from Zebulun, 50,000 experienced troops, armed for battle with all the weapons of war, to help with undivided loyalty;
34 from Naphtali, 1,000 officers, as well as 37,000 armed with shield and spear;
35 from Dan, 28,600 armed for battle;
36 from Asher, 40,000 experienced troops armed for battle;
37 from the other side of the Jordan, the Reubenites, Gadites, and the other half of the tribe of Manasseh, 120,000 armed with all the weapons of war.
38 All these men of war, armed for battle, came to Hebron determined to make David king over all Israel, and all the rest of Israel were fully agreed to make David king.
39 They were there with David for three days, eating and drinking, while their relatives provided food for them.
40 Even their neighbors from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali were bringing food by donkeys, camels, mules, and oxen. There was an abundance of flour, fig cakes, clusters of raisins, wine, oil, oxen, and sheep, because Israel was joyful.

1 Chronicles 12 Commentary

Chapter 12

Those who came to David at Ziklag. (1-22) Those who came to Hebron. (23-40)

Verses 1-22 Here is an account of those who appeared and acted as David's friends, while he was persecuted. No difficulties or dangers should keep the sinner from coming to the Savior, nor drive the believer from the path of duty. Those who break through, and overcome in these attempts, will find abundant recompence. From the words of Amasai we may learn how to testify our affection and allegiance to the Lord Jesus; his we must be throughly; on his side we must be forward to appear and act. If we are under the influence of the Spirit, we shall desire to have our lot among them, and to declare ourselves on their side; if in faith and love we embrace the cause of Christ, he will receive, employ, and advance us.

Verses 23-40 When the throne of Christ is set up in a soul, there is, or ought to be, great joy in that soul; and provision is made, not as here, for a few days, but for the whole life, and for eternity. Happy are those who wisely perceive it to be their duty and interest, to submit to the Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of David; who renounce for his sake all that is not consistent; whose earnest endeavours to do good are directed by the wisdom that God giveth, through acquaintance with his word, experience, and observation. If any man lack this wisdom, let him ask it of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.

Footnotes 4

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives an account of those that came to David at different times, and joined and assisted him both before the death of Saul, and when persecuted by him, and after he was made king of Judah in Hebron, and before he was king of all Israel, in order to it; of the Benjaminites that came to him when at Ziklag, 1Ch 12:1-7 of the Gadites that came to him when in the hold, 1Ch 12:8-15 of some of Judah and Benjamin, who came to him in the same place, 1Ch 12:16-18, and of the Manassites at the time he came with the Philistines against Saul, 1Ch 12:19-22 and the number of the several tribes are given, that came to him at Hebron to make him king over all Israel, 1Ch 12:23-40.

1 Chronicles 12 Commentaries

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