The First Book of the Chronicles

Chapter 12

The companies that came to David at Ziklag, 1-22. The armies that came to him at Hebron, 23-40.

1 Now these are those who came to David at Ziklag while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish. And they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war. 2 They were armed with bows and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows from a bow, even of Saul's brothers of Benjamin. 3 The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash (the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite), and Jeziel and Pelet (the sons of Azmaveth), and Berachah and Jehu the Antothite, 4 Ismaiah the Gibeonite (a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty), and Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Josabad the Gederathite, 5 Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah the Haruphite, 6 Elkanah, Jesiah, Azareel, Joezer, and Jashobeam (the Korhites), 7 And Joelah and Zebadiah (the sons of Jeroham of Gedor).

8 And from the Gadites there separated themselves to David in the hold in the wilderness men of might and men of war fit for the battle, who could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the gazelles upon the mountains: 9 Ezer the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third, 10 Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth, 11 Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh, 12 Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth, 13 Jeremiah the tenth, and Machbanai the eleventh. 14 These were of the sons of Gad, captains of the host. One of the least was over one hundred, and the greatest over one thousand. 15 These are those who went over the Jordan in the first month when it had overflowed all its banks, and they put to flight all those of the valleys, both toward the east and toward the west.

16 And there came some of the children of Benjamin and Judah to David at the hold. 17 And David went out to meet them and answered and said to them, "If you have come peaceably to me to help me, my heart shall be knit to you, but if you have come to betray me to my enemies, seeing there is no wrong in my hands, may the God of our fathers look on it and rebuke it." 18 Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said,

"We are yours, David,/
and on your side, son of Jesse./
Peace, peace to you/
and peace to your helpers,/
for your God helps you."

Then David received them and made them captains of the band.

19 And there fell some from Manasseh to David when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle, but they did not help them, for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, "He will fall to his master Saul to the jeopardy of our heads." 20 And as he went to Ziklag, there fell to him from Manasseh, Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zilthai—captains of the thousands who were of Manasseh. 21 And they helped David against the marauding band, for they were all mighty men of valor and were captains in the host. 22 For at that time day by day there came some to David to help him until it was a great host, like the host of God.

23 And these are the numbers of the bands who were ready armed for the war and came to David at Hebron to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the LORD. 24 The children of Judah who bore shield and spear were six thousand and eight hundred, ready armed for war. 25 Of the children of Simeon, mighty men of valor for war, seven thousand and one hundred. 26 Of the children of Levi four thousand and six hundred. 27 And Jehoiada was the leader of the Aaronites, and with him were three thousand and seven hundred. 28 And Zadok, a young man mighty of valor, and of his father's house twenty-two captains. 29 And of the children of Benjamin, the kindred of Saul, three thousand, for until now the greatest part of them had kept the ward of the house of Saul. 30 And of the children of Ephraim twenty thousand and eight hundred, mighty men of valor, famous throughout the house of their fathers. 31 And of the half tribe of Manasseh eighteen thousand, who were expressed by name to come and make David king. 32 And of the children of Issachar, who were men who had understanding of the times to know what Israel ought to do, their heads were two hundred, and all their brothers were at their command. 33 Of Zebulun, those who went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, were fifty thousand, who could keep rank. They were not of double heart. 34 And of Naphtali there were one thousand captains, and with them thirty-seven thousand with shield and spear. 35 And of the Danites there were twenty-eight thousand and six hundred expert in war. 36 And of Asher, those who went forth to battle, expert in war, were forty thousand. 37 And on the other side of the Jordan, of the Reubenites, the Gadites, and of the half tribe of Manasseh, with all manner of instruments of war for the battle, were one hundred and twenty thousand.

38 All these men of war, who could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron to make David king over all Israel. And all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king. 39 And they were there with David three days, eating and drinking, for their brothers had prepared for them. 40 Moreover, those who were near them, even to Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali, brought bread on donkeys, on camels, on mules, and on oxen, and provision, meal, cakes of figs, bunches of raisins, wine, oil, oxen, and sheep abundantly, for there was joy in Israel.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Chronicles, Chapter 12[➚]