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1 Chronicles 12:1-22

Context
Warriors Who Joined David at Ziklag

12:1 These were the men who joined David in Ziklag, when he was banished 1  from the presence of Saul son of Kish. (They were among the warriors who assisted him in battle. 12:2 They were armed with bows and could shoot arrows or sling stones right or left-handed. They were fellow tribesmen of Saul from Benjamin. 2 ) These were: 3 

12:3 Ahiezer, the leader, and Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; Jeziel and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth;

Berachah,

Jehu the Anathothite,

12:4 Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, one of the thirty warriors and their leader,

(12:5)

4 Jeremiah,

Jahaziel,

Johanan,

Jozabad the Gederathite,

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. 5  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. 6  12:15 They crossed the Jordan River 7  in the first month, 8  when it was overflowing its banks, and routed those living in all the valleys to the east and west. 9 

12:16 Some from Benjamin and Judah also came to David’s stronghold. 12:17 David went out to meet them and said, 10  “If you come to me in peace and want to help me, then I will make an alliance with you. 11  But if you come to betray me to my enemies when I have not harmed you, 12  may the God of our ancestors 13  take notice and judge!” 12:18 But a spirit 14  empowered 15  Amasai, the leader of the thirty warriors, and he said: 16 

“We are yours, O David!

We support 17  you, O son of Jesse!

May you greatly prosper! 18 

May those who help you prosper! 19 

Indeed 20  your God helps you!”

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

12:19 Some men from Manasseh joined 21  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.”) 22  12:20 When David 23  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. 24 

1 tn Heb “kept from.”

2 tn Heb “ones armed with bow[s], using the right hand and the left hand with stones and with arrows with the bow, from the brothers of Saul from Benjamin.”

3 tn The words “These were” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons, because of the length of the intervening material since the beginning of the verse.

4 sn In the Hebrew text (BHS) a verse division occurs at this point, and for the remainder of the chapter the verse numbers of the Hebrew Bible differ by one from the English Bible. Thus 1 Chr 12:4b ET = 12:5 HT, and 12:5-40 ET = 12:6-41 HT. Beginning with 13:1 the verse numbers in the ET and HT are again the same.

5 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.”

6 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.”

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

8 sn That is, March-April.

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

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

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

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

13 tn Heb “fathers.”

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

15 tn Heb “clothed.”

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

17 tn Heb “are with.”

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

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

20 tn Or “for.”

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

22 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.’”

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

24 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.



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