1 Chronicles 12

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The Mighty Men Join David

1 1Now these are the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he could not move about freely because of Saul the son of Kish. And they were among the mighty men who helped him in war.
2 They 2were bowmen and could shoot arrows and sling stones with either the right or the 3left hand; they were Benjaminites, 4Saul's kinsmen.
3 The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, both sons of Shemaah of 5Gibeah; also Jeziel and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; Beracah, Jehu of 6Anathoth,
4 Ishmaiah of 7Gibeon, a mighty man among the thirty and a leader over the thirty; Jeremiah,[a] Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad of Gederah,
5 Eluzai,[b] Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah the Haruphite;
6 Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, the 8Korahites;
7 And Joelah and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor.
8 From the Gadites there went over to David at the stronghold in the wilderness mighty and experienced warriors, expert with shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions and who were 9swift as gazelles upon the mountains:
9 Ezer the chief, 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 officers of the army; the least was a 10match for a hundred men and the greatest for a thousand.
15 These are the men who crossed the Jordan in the first month, when it was 11overflowing all its banks, and put to flight all those in the valleys, to the east and to the west.
16 And some of the men of Benjamin and Judah came to the stronghold to David.
17 David went out to meet them and said to them, "If you have come to me in friendship to help me, my heart will be joined to you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, although there is no wrong in my hands, then may the God of our fathers see and rebuke you."
18 Then 12the Spirit clothed 13Amasai, chief of the thirty, and he said, "We are yours, O David, and with you, O son of Jesse! 14Peace, peace to you, and peace to your helpers! For your God helps you."Then David received them and made them officers of his troops.
19 Some of the men of Manasseh deserted to David 15when he came with the Philistines for the battle against Saul. (Yet he did not help them, for the rulers of the Philistines took counsel and sent him away, saying, 16"At peril to our heads he will desert to his master Saul.")
20 As he went to Ziklag, these men of Manasseh deserted to him: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai, chiefs of thousands in Manasseh.
21 They helped David against 17the band of raiders, for they were all mighty men of valor and were commanders in the army.
22 For from day to day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army, like an army of God.
23 These are the numbers of the divisions of the armed troops 18who came to David in Hebron 19to turn the kingdom of Saul over to him, 20according to the word of the LORD.
24 The men of Judah bearing shield and spear were 6,800 armed troops.
25 Of the Simeonites, mighty men of valor for war, 7,100.
26 Of the Levites 4,600.
27 The prince Jehoiada, of the house of Aaron, and with him 3,700.
28 21Zadok, a young man mighty in valor, and twenty-two commanders from his own fathers' house.
29 Of the Benjaminites, 22the kinsmen of Saul, 3,000, of whom the 23majority had to that point kept their allegiance to the house of Saul.
30 Of the Ephraimites 20,800, mighty men of valor, famous men in their fathers' houses.
31 Of the half-tribe of Manasseh 18,000, who were 24expressly named to come and make David king.
32 Of Issachar, men who 25had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command.
33 Of Zebulun 50,000 seasoned troops, 26equipped for battle with all the weapons of war, to help David[c] with 27singleness of purpose.
34 Of Naphtali 1,000 commanders with whom were 37,000 men armed with shield and spear.
35 Of the Danites 28,600 men equipped for battle.
36 Of 28Asher 40,000 29seasoned troops 30ready for battle.
37 Of the Reubenites and Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh from beyond the Jordan, 120,000 men armed with all the weapons of war.
38 All these, men of war, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with 31full intent to make David king over all Israel. Likewise, all the rest of Israel were of a 32single mind to make David king.
39 And they were there with David for three days, eating and drinking, for their brothers had made preparation for them.
40 And also their relatives, from as far as Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, came bringing food on donkeys and on camels and on mules and on oxen, abundant provisions of flour, 33cakes of figs, clusters of raisins, and wine and oil, oxen and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.

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.

Cross References 33

Footnotes 3

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.