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1 Chronicles 12:5-40

Context

12:5 (12:6) Eluzai,

Jerimoth,

Bealiah,

Shemariah,

Shephatiah the Haruphite,

12:6 Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, who were Korahites,

12:7 and Joelah and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham from Gedor.

12:8 Some of the Gadites joined David at the stronghold in the desert. They were warriors who were trained for battle; they carried shields and spears. They were as fierce as lions and could run as quickly as gazelles across the hills. 1  12:9 Ezer was the leader, Obadiah the second in command, Eliab the third, 12:10 Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth, 12:11 Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh, 12:12 Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth, 12:13 Jeremiah the tenth, and Machbannai the eleventh. 12:14 These Gadites were military leaders; the least led a hundred men, the greatest a thousand. 2  12:15 They crossed the Jordan River 3  in the first month, 4  when it was overflowing its banks, and routed those living in all the valleys to the east and west. 5 

12:16 Some from Benjamin and Judah also came to David’s stronghold. 12:17 David went out to meet them and said, 6  “If you come to me in peace and want to help me, then I will make an alliance with you. 7  But if you come to betray me to my enemies when I have not harmed you, 8  may the God of our ancestors 9  take notice and judge!” 12:18 But a spirit 10  empowered 11  Amasai, the leader of the thirty warriors, and he said: 12 

“We are yours, O David!

We support 13  you, O son of Jesse!

May you greatly prosper! 14 

May those who help you prosper! 15 

Indeed 16  your God helps you!”

So David accepted them and made them leaders of raiding bands.

12:19 Some men from Manasseh joined 17  David when he went with the Philistines to fight against Saul. (But in the end they did not help the Philistines because, after taking counsel, the Philistine lords sent David away, saying: “It would be disastrous for us if he deserts to his master Saul.”) 18  12:20 When David 19  went to Ziklag, the men of Manasseh who joined him were Adnach, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai, leaders of a thousand soldiers each in the tribe of Manasseh. 12:21 They helped David fight against raiding bands, for all of them were warriors and leaders in the army. 12:22 Each day men came to help David until his army became very large. 20 

Support for David in Hebron

12:23 The following is a record of the armed warriors who came with their leaders and joined David in Hebron in order to make David king in Saul’s place, in accordance with the Lord’s decree: 21 

12:24 From Judah came 6,800 trained warriors carrying shields and spears. 22 

12:25 From Simeon there were 7,100 warriors.

12:26 From Levi there were 4,600. 12:27 Jehoiada, the leader of Aaron’s descendants, brought 3,700 men with him, 12:28 along with Zadok, a young warrior, and twenty-two leaders from his family.

12:29 From Benjamin, Saul’s tribe, 23  there were 3,000, most of whom, up to that time, had been loyal to Saul. 24 

12:30 From Ephraim there were 20,800 warriors, who had brought fame to their families. 25 

12:31 From the half tribe of Manasseh there were 18,000 who had been designated by name to come and make David king.

12:32 From Issachar there were 200 leaders and all their relatives at their command – they understood the times and knew what Israel should do. 26 

12:33 From Zebulun there were 50,000 warriors who were prepared for battle, equipped with all kinds of weapons, and ready to give their undivided loyalty. 27 

12:34 From Naphtali there were 1,000 officers, along with 37,000 men carrying shields and spears.

12:35 From Dan there were 28,600 men prepared for battle.

12:36 From Asher there were 40,000 warriors prepared for battle.

12:37 From the other side of the Jordan, from Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, there were 120,000 men armed with all kinds of weapons.

12:38 All these men were warriors who were ready to march. 28  They came to Hebron to make David king over all Israel by acclamation; 29  all the rest of the Israelites also were in agreement that David should become king. 30  12:39 They spent three days feasting 31  there with David, for their relatives had given them provisions. 12:40 Also their neighbors, from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali, were bringing food on donkeys, camels, mules, and oxen. There were large supplies of flour, fig cakes, raisins, wine, olive oil, beef, and lamb, 32  for Israel was celebrating. 33 

1 tn Heb “warriors, men of battle for war, prepared with shield and spear, and [like] the face of a lion were their faces, and like gazelles on the hills to hurry.”

2 tn Heb “one for a hundred the small, and the great for a thousand.” Another option is to translate the preposition -לְ (lamed) as “against” and to understand this as a hyperbolic reference to their prowess: “the least could stand against a hundred, the greatest against a thousand.”

3 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied for clarity.

4 sn That is, March-April.

5 tn Heb “and they chased all the valleys to the east and to the west.”

6 tn Heb “and David went out before them and answered and said to them.”

7 tn Heb “there will be to me concerning you a heart for unity.”

8 tn Heb “with no violence in my hands.”

9 tn Heb “fathers.”

10 tn Perhaps “the Spirit,” but the text has simply רוּחַ (ruakh) with no article (suggesting an indefinite reference).

11 tn Heb “clothed.”

12 tn The words “and he said” are supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

13 tn Heb “are with.”

14 tn Heb “Peace, peace to you.” The Hebrew term שָׁלוֹם (shalom, “peace”) is repeated to emphasize degree.

15 tn Heb “and peace to the one who helps you.”

16 tn Or “for.”

17 tn Heb “fell upon,” here in a good sense.

18 tn Heb “and they did not help them for by counsel they sent him away, the lords of the Philistines, saying, ‘With our heads he will fall to his master Saul.’”

19 tn Heb “he”; the referent (David) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

20 tn Heb “for at the time of day in a day they were coming to David to help him until [there was] a great camp like the camp of God.” The term אֱלֹהִים (’elohim, “God”) is probably used idiomatically here to indicate the superlative.

21 tn Heb “these are the numbers of the heads of the forces armed for battle [who] came to David in Hebron to turn over the kingdom of Saul to him according to the mouth of the Lord.”

22 tn Heb “the sons of Judah, carrying shield and spear, [were] 6,800 armed for battle.”

23 tn Heb “from the sons of Benjamin, the brothers of Saul.”

24 tn Heb “and until then, the majority of them were keeping the charge of the house of Saul.”

25 tn Heb “men of names for the house of their fathers.”

26 tn Heb “from the sons of Issachar, knowers of understanding for times to know what Israel should do, their heads [were] 200, and all their brothers according to their mouth.”

27 tn Heb “from Zebulun, those going out for battle, prepared for war with all weapons of war, 50,000, and to help without a heart and a heart.”

28 tc Heb “all these [were] men of war, helpers of the battle line.” The present translation assumes an emendation of עֹדְרֵי (’odÿrey, “helpers of”) to עֹרְכֵי, (’orÿkhey, “prepared for”).

29 tn Heb “with a complete heart they came to Hebron to make David king over all Israel.”

30 tn Heb “and also all the rest of Israel [was of] one mind to make David king.”

31 tn Heb “eating and drinking.”

32 tn Heb “cattle and sheep.”

33 tn Heb “for there was joy in Israel.”



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