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2 Samuel Chapter 23 | Parsha:

1These are the last words of David:
The utterance of David son of Jesse,
The utterance of the man set on high,
The anointed of the God of Jacob,
The favorite of the songs of Israel:

2The spirit of the Lord has spoken through me,
His message is on my tongue;

3The God of Israel has spoken,
The Rock of Israel said concerning me:
“He who rules men justly,
He who rules in awe of God

4Is like the light of morning at sunrise,
A morning without clouds—
Through sunshine and rain
[Bringing] vegetation out of the earth.”

5Is not my House established before God?
For He has granted me an eternal pact,
Drawn up in full and secured.
Will He not cause all my success
And [my] every desire to blossom?

6But the wicked shall all
Be raked aside like thorns;
For no one will take them in his hand.

7Whoever touches them
Must arm himself with iron
And the shaft of a spear;
And they must be burned up on the spot.

8These are the names of David’s warriors: Josheb-basshebeth, a Tahchemonite, the chief officer—he is Adino the Eznite; [he wielded his spear] against eight hundred and slew them on one occasion.

9Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodo son of Ahohi. He was one of the three warriors with David when they defied the Philistines gathered there for battle. The Israelite soldiers retreated, 10but he held his ground. He struck down Philistines until his arm grew tired and his hand stuck to his sword; and the Lord wrought a great victory that day. Then the troops came back to him—but only to strip [the slain].

11Next to him was Shammah son of Age the Ararite. The Philistines had gathered in force where there was a plot of ground full of lentils; and the troops fled from the Philistines. 12But [Shammah] took his stand in the middle of the plot and defended it, and he routed the Philistines. Thus the Lord wrought a great victory.

13Once, during the harvest, three of the thirty chiefs went down to David at the cave of Adullam, while a force of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14David was then in the stronghold, and a Philistine garrison was then at Bethlehem. 15David felt a craving and said, “If only I could get a drink of water from the cistern which is by the gate of Bethlehem!” 16So the three warriors got through the Philistine camp and drew water from the cistern which is by the gate of Bethlehem, and they carried it back. But when they brought it to David he would not drink it, and he poured it out as a libation to the Lord. 17For he said, “The Lord forbid that I should do this! Can [I drink] the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?” So he would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the three warriors.

18Abishai, the brother of Joab son of Zeruiah, was head of another three. He once wielded his spear against three hundred and slew them. 19He won a name among the three; since he was the most highly regarded among the three, he became their leader. However, he did not attain to the three.

20Benaiah son of Jehoiada, from Kabzeel, was a brave soldier who performed great deeds. He killed the two [sons] of Ariel of Moab. Once, on a snowy day, he went down into a pit and killed a lion. 21He also killed an Egyptian, a huge man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand, yet [Benaiah] went down against him with a club, wrenched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. 22Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; and he won a name among the three warriors. 23He was highly regarded among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

24Among the thirty were Asahel, the brother of Joab; Elhanan son of Dodo [from] Bethlehem, 25Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa, 27Abiezer of Anathoth, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29Heleb son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai son of Ribai from Gibeah of the Benjaminites, 30Benaiah of Pirathon, Hiddai of Nahale-gaash, 31Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 32Eliahba of Shaalbon, sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33Shammah the Ararite, Ahiam son of Sharar the Ararite, 34Eliphelet son of Ahasbai son of the Maacathite, Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35Hezrai the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36Igal son of Nathan from Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite—the arms-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah— 38Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39Uriah the Hittite: thirty-seven in all.

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