1 Chronicles

David Becomes King of Israel and Judah

All the people of Israel went to David at Hebron and said to him, “We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, even when Saul was still our king, you led the people of Israel in battle, and the Lord your God promised you that you would lead his people and be their ruler.” So all the leaders of Israel came to King David at Hebron. He made a sacred alliance with them, they anointed him, and he became king of Israel, just as the Lord had promised through Samuel.

King David and all the Israelites went and attacked the city of Jerusalem. It was then known as Jebus, and the Jebusites, the original inhabitants of the land, were still living there. The Jebusites told David he would never get inside the city, but David captured their fortress of Zion, and it became known as “David’s City.” David said, “The first man to kill a Jebusite will be commander of the army!” Joab, whose mother was Zeruiah, led the attack and became commander. Because David went to live in the fortress, it came to be called “David’s City.” He rebuilt the city, starting at the place where land was filled in on the east side of the hill, and Joab restored the rest of the city. David grew stronger and stronger, because the Lord Almighty was with him.

David's Famous Soldiers

10 This is the list of David’s famous soldiers. Together with the rest of the people of Israel, they helped him become king, as the Lord had promised, and they kept his kingdom strong.

11 First was Jashobeam of the clan of Hachmon, the leader of “The Three.”[a] He fought with his spear against three hundred men and killed them all in one battle. 12 Next among the famous “Three” was Eleazar son of Dodo, of the clan of Ahoh. 13 He fought on David’s side against the Philistines at the battle of Pas Dammim. He was in a barley field when the Israelites started to run away, 14 so he and his men took a stand in the middle of the field and fought the Philistines. The Lord gave him a great victory.

15 One day three of the thirty leading soldiers went to a rock where David was staying near Adullam Cave, while a band of Philistines was camping in Rephaim Valley. 16 At that time David was on a fortified hill, and a group of Philistines had occupied Bethlehem. 17 David got homesick and said, “How I wish someone would bring me a drink of water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem!” 18 The three famous soldiers forced their way through the Philistine camp, drew some water from the well, and brought it back to David. But he would not drink it; instead he poured it out as an offering to the Lord 19 and said, “I could never drink this! It would be like drinking the blood of these men who risked their lives!” So he refused to drink it. These were the brave deeds of the three famous soldiers.

20 Joab’s brother Abishai was the leader of “The Famous Thirty.”[b] He fought with his spear against three hundred men and killed them, and became famous among “The Thirty.”[c] 21 He was the most famous of “The Thirty”[d] and became their leader, but he was not as famous as “The Three.”

22 Benaiah son of Jehoiada from Kabzeel was a famous soldier; he did many brave deeds, including killing two great Moabite warriors. He once went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 23 He also killed an Egyptian, a huge man seven and a half feet tall, who was armed with a gigantic spear. Benaiah attacked him with a club, snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with it. 24 Those were the brave deeds of Benaiah, who was one of “The Thirty.”[e] 25 He was outstanding among “The Thirty,” but not as famous as “The Three.” David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

26-47 These are the other outstanding soldiers:

Asahel, Joab’s brother

Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem

Shammoth from Harod

Helez from Pelet

Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa

Abiezer from Anathoth

Sibbecai from Hushah

Ilai from Ahoh

Maharai from Netophah

Heled son of Baanah from Netophah

Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin

Benaiah from Pirathon

Hurai from the valleys near Gaash

Abiel from Arbah

Azmaveth from Bahurum

Eliahba from Shaalbon

Hashem[f] from Gizon

Jonathan son of Shagee from Harar

Ahiam son of Sachar from Harar

Eliphal son of Ur

Hepher from Mecherah

Ahijah from Pelon

Hezro from Carmel

Naarai son of Ezbai

Joel brother of Nathan

Mibhar son of Hagri

Zelek from Ammon

Naharai, Joab’s armorbearer, from Beeroth

Ira and Gareb from Jattir

Uriah the Hittite

Zabad son of Ahlai

Adina son of Shiza (a leading member of the tribe of Reuben, with his own group of thirty soldiers)

Hanan son of Maacah

Joshaphat from Mithan

Uzzia from Ashterah

Shamma and Jeiel, sons of Hotham, from Aroer

Jediael and Joha, sons of Shimri, from Tiz

Eliel from Mahavah

Jeribai and Joshaviah, sons of Elnaam

Ithmah from Moab

Eliel, Obed, and Jaasiel from Zobah[g]


  1. 1 Chronicles 11:11 One ancient translation (see also 2 S 23.8) “The Three”; Hebrew “The Thirty.”
  2. 1 Chronicles 11:20 One ancient translation Thirty; Hebrew Three.
  3. 1 Chronicles 11:20 One ancient translation (see also 2 S 23.18) “The Thirty”; Hebrew “The Three.”
  4. 1 Chronicles 11:21 Probable text (see 2 S 23.19) most famous of “The Thirty”; Hebrew unclear.
  5. 1 Chronicles 11:24 Probable text “The Thirty”; Hebrew “The Three.”
  6. 1 Chronicles 11:26 Probable text Hashem; Hebrew the sons of Hashem.
  7. 1 Chronicles 11:26 Probable text from Zobah; Hebrew unclear.