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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 11

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

First Chronicles Chapter 11

1 Chronicles 11:1 "Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we [are] thy bone and thy flesh."

When Saul first died, Abner anointed Ishbosheth king in his father’s place. Samuel had already anointed David king. All of the people accepted David as king. Ishbosheth reigned for two years over 11 tribes, until two of his own captains killed him. David immediately became king of Judah. David was king first in Hebron. For seven and one half years, David reigned over just Judah. David had six sons born in Hebron. "All Israel" is speaking of all of the elders of all the tribes of Israel. David asked God where he would go to set up his kingdom, and the LORD told him Hebron. Hebron was located between Jerusalem and Beersheba. Many of the patriarchs are buried in Hebron. David was, indeed, bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh. He was descended from Judah.

1 Chronicles 11:2 "And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou [wast] he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel."

It appears, that the people greatly admired David for the way he handled the problem with Saul. David did have a following of loyal men. The LORD had anointed David king of Israel, and these people accepted that anointing. They wanted to be ruled by David. This Scripture is almost prophetic, in the fact that Jesus of the tribe of Judah, descended in the flesh from David, is indeed the Shepherd. David was a shepherd boy who knew the importance of feeding the sheep. He was a shepherd. Jesus is the great Shepherd.

1 Chronicles 11:3 "Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the LORD; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel."

This says the covenant was made with them before the LORD. It is not certain the location of this covenant, except it was in the presence of the LORD. The anointing of David as king was done by the men of Judah confirming the anointing that Samuel had done previously. The place of the anointing could have been in some place of worship in Hebron, because two priests were there at the time, Abiathar and Zadok. They would not have been there, if worship were not going on. Samuel had anointed David king on the Word of the LORD.

1 Chronicles 11:4 "And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which [is] Jebus; where the Jebusites [were], the inhabitants of the land."

Jebus was the ancient name of Jerusalem. It was, also, spelled Jebusi in some Scriptures. Jerusalem would become the city of God. This would be the city where David would rule all of Israel. It was 7 1/2 years after David went to Hebron, that he made Jerusalem his headquarters.

1 Chronicles 11:5 "And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which [is] the city of David."

The castle of Zion became the location where the temple was built. Mount Moriah and Mount Zion are in the same area. The Jebusites tried to keep David from taking this area, but he took it anyway. Jerusalem is called the city of David. Zion is symbolic of the church.

1 Chronicles 11:6 "And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief."

Joab had fallen out of favor with David for killing Abner. He had to prove himself again. He destroyed the Jebusites and was restored as chief and captain. He had been demoted, when David disapproved of him. Now, he is back in good standing. 1 Chronicles 11:7 "And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David." The name was changed, because of the downfall of the Jebusites and the rise of David. Jerusalem is still called the city of David.

1 Chronicles 11:8 "And he built the city round about, even from Millo round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city."

Millo would, probably, have been a place of fortification. "Millo" means a mound. The city would, probably, be built out from the castle to give it protection from every side. Joab, restored to his place of authority, heads up the repairs.

1 Chronicles 11:9 "So David waxed greater and greater: for the LORD of hosts [was] with him."

The blessings of God were upon David. He reigned as king of all Israel for 33 years. His entire reign was for 40 years. He was the most loved of God, besides Jesus.

1 Chronicles 11:10 "These also [are] the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, [and] with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel."

These chief of the mighty men had been with David, and they actually helped David gain the rule over the entire tribes of Israel. He became king, partly because of their strong support. Of course, he was king, because God made him king. He had to have strong men around him, also. He gave them jobs of position in his kingdom for their efforts in his behalf.

1 Chronicles 11:11 "And this [is] the number of the mighty men whom David had; Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain [by him] at one time."

Jashobeam was the chief of his captains. He was over 24,000 fighting men. Hachmonite is, probably, the same as Tachmonite. Jashobeam is said to 72 have killed 300 enemies in one battle. If Tachmonite is the same, he is said to have killed 800. It really does not matter, if he killed just 300. That was a tremendous number for one man to kill.

1 Chronicles 11:12 "And after him [was] Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who [was one] of the three mighties."

This Eleazar is the same as Azareel. Dodo is spoken of as Dodi, and Dodai. Ahohite is the same as Ahoah. The third mighty man is not named here, but is called Shammah, the Harahite, in 2 Samuel 23:11.

1 Chronicles 11:13 "He was with David at Pas-dammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines."

"Pas-dammim" means the boundary of blood. Barley was cheaper than wheat. It was used to feed animals, as well as people. There appeared to have been many battles fought in this place. In fact, this was where David had come against Goliath and slew him. In the battle mentioned in the verse above, the people fled before the Philistines.

1 Chronicles 11:14 "And they set themselves in the midst of [that] parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines; and the LORD saved [them] by a great deliverance."

These men were mighty men, because the LORD was with them. The blessings of the LORD were upon everything that David did. The Philistines were the enemy of David, but they were, also, God’s enemies, as well. They stopped running in the middle of the barley field, and fought against the Philistines and won.

1 Chronicles 11:15 "Now three of the thirty captains went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam; and the host of the Philistines encamped in the valley of Rephaim."

This is speaking of the same cave that David camped in over and over, when he was fleeing from Saul. "Rephaim" means giants. The three captains, that we have just read about, are the leaders of the other thirty captains. The thirty are over smaller groups and are, probably, subject to the three we have just discussed. There is very little known of the thirty. They are alluded to several times, however.

1 Chronicles 11:16 "And David [was] then in the hold, and the Philistines’ garrison [was] then at Beth-lehem."

This is, probably, the same as in 2 Samuel 5:17-18. This happened just after David was anointed king over Israel. The Philistines thought they would destroy him, before he got settled as king. The hold was, probably, the cave. David inquired of God what he should do and God gave the Philistines into the hands of David.

1 Chronicles 11:17 "And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Beth-lehem, that [is] at the gate!"

1 Chronicles 11:18 "And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem, that [was] by the gate, and took [it], and brought [it] to David: but David would not drink [of] it, but poured it out to the LORD,"

Beth-lehem was surrounded by Philistines at the time. The three, spoken of here, are the three captains who are in charge of David’s men. We can see their bravery and their loyalty to David in this. It is interesting that David was thirsty for the water, and yet, would not drink it. He offered the water to the LORD by pouring it out.

1 Chronicles 11:19 "And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with [the jeopardy of] their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest."

David was not speaking of literal blood, but he felt they had put their life at peril to get this water for him. He did not drink it to satisfy his physical thirst, because of the sacrifice they had made for him to get it.

1 Chronicles 11:20 "And Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three: for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew [them], and had a name among the three."

1 Chronicles 11:21 "Of the three, he was more honourable than the two; for he was their captain: howbeit he attained not to the [first] three."

Abishai was the one who had volunteered to go into the camp of Saul at night with David. He was a very brave man. There are so many accounts of bravery of Abishai, it would be difficult to name them here. We might even come to the conclusion from his acts, that he was the bravest of the three mighty men. He was one of the three captains who were over David’s army.

1 Chronicles 11:22 "Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day."

1 Chronicles 11:23 "And he slew an Egyptian, a man of [great] stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian’s hand [was] a spear like a weaver’s beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear."

1 Chronicles 11:24 "These [things] did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties."

Benaiah was son of the high priest Jehoiada. David set Benaiah over his guard. The person five cubits high means that he was seven and one half feet tall. Benaniah was over 24,000 fighting men.

1 Chronicles 11:25 "Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the [first] three: and David set him over his guard."

We mentioned above, that he was over the personal guard of David.

1 Chronicles 11:26 "Also the valiant men of the armies [were], Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Beth-lehem,"

Asahel was the nephew of David. He was swift of foot and outran Abner after the battle at Gibeon. Abner threw a lance through him and killed him. We dealt with Dodo earlier in the lessons. The list that follows, including Asahel and Elhanan, would be 31, but is called thirty because of the early 74 death of Asahel. He is still honored by being listed as one of the thirty. He was replaced at his death, and that makes the list 31. There are actually 48 listed in this chapter, but some of them are replacements for others who died, or were added later.

1 Chronicles 11:27 "Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite,"

1 Chronicles 11:28 "Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abi-ezer the Antothite,"

1 Chronicles 11:29 "Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite,"

1 Chronicles 11:30 "Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite,"

1 Chronicles 11:31 "Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah, [that pertained] to the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite,"

1 Chronicles 11:32 "Hurai of the brooks of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite,"

1 Chronicles 11:33 "Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite,"

1 Chronicles 11:34 "The sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shage the Hararite,"

1 Chronicles 11:35 "Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur,"

1 Chronicles 11:36 "Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite,"

1 Chronicles 11:37 "Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai,"

1 Chronicles 11:38 "Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Haggeri,"

1 Chronicles 11:39 "Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armourbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah,"

1 Chronicles 11:40 "Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,"

1 Chronicles 11:41 "Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai,"

The Uriah, mentioned above, is the same as the husband of Bathsheba. David had him killed to get his wife. Beginning with 1 Chronicles 11:42, the list seems to be additions. They are not included in 2 Samuel 23.

1 Chronicles 11:42 "Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a captain of the Reubenites, and thirty with him,"

1 Chronicles 11:43 "Hanan the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite,"

1 Chronicles 11:44 "Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jehiel the sons of Hothan the Aroerite,"

1 Chronicles 11:45 "Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite,"

1 Chronicles 11:46 "Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai, and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite,"

1 Chronicles 11:47 "Eliel, and Obed, and Jasiel the Mesobaite."

1 Chronicles 11 Questions

1. What did all Israel say to David at Hebron?

2. Who did Abner anoint as king in Saul’s place?

3. Who had previously anointed David king?

4. How long did Ishbosheth reign?

5. What happened to him?

6. How long did David reign in Hebron, over Judah?

7. Who is "all Israel" speaking of in verse 1?

8. Why had David gone to Hebron?

9. Where was Hebron located?

10. How is 1 Chronicles 11:2 prophetic?

11. Who is the great Shepherd?

12. David was a ____________.

13. Who did David make a covenant with at Hebron?

14. Who anointed David king over Israel at Hebron?

15. Who were the acting priests at that time?

16. What was the ancient name for Jerusalem?

17. How many years, after David became king of Judah, did he go to Jerusalem?

18. What did the castle of Zion become?

19. Who went up first to smite the Jebusites?

20. Why had Joab been out of favor with David?

21. Why was Jerusalem called the city of David?

22. Why did David wax greater and greater?

23. How long did David reign in Hebron, and in Jerusalem?

24. Who killed 300 enemies of David by himself?

25. Eleazar, in 1 Chronicles 11:12, is the same as ________.

26. What does "Pas-dammim" mean?

27. How many captains went down to the rock to David?

28. What does "Rephaim" mean?

29. Who went to Beth-lehem through the Philistines, and got water for David?

30. Why did David not drink the water?

31. Who might we assume to be the bravest of the three mighty men?

32. Who was Asahel?

33. Who are listed in 1 Chronicles 11:27-41?

34. Who was the Uriah listed here?

35. Which, of all of these men, are not listed in 2 Samuel chapter 23?

Verses 1-3

1Ch 11:1-3

1 Chronicles 11:1-3

DAVID MADE KING OVER ALL ISRAEL;

THE CAPTURE OF JERUSALEM;

A LIST OF DAVID’S MIGHTY MEN.

DAVID MADE KING OVER ALL ISRAEL

"Then all Israel gathered themselves together unto David at Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and flesh. In times past, even when Saul was king, it was thou that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and Jehovah thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt be shepherd of my people Israel, and thou shalt be prince over my people Israel. So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before Jehovah; and they anointed David king over Israel."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 11:1. This verse goes past the 7 years that David reigned in Hebron. During those years he was recognized by the tribe of Judah only. Abner, the captain over the military in Saul’s reign, put his son Ish-bosheth over the other tribes, and they kept David from his rightful place until after the affair of Abner and Saul’s concubine. Then Abner revolted the party of Saul and went over to David, which brought about the actions referred to in the present paragraph. The history of the change described above is in 2 Samuel 3:7-21. Seeing that the house of Saul had gone down in its plot for power, these people came to David and professed to be devoted to him.

1 Chronicles 11:2. There might be some doubt as to the sincerity of "all Israel" in these flattering remarks, considering their attitude for 7 years just past. But now they see the "handwriting" and want to be on the winning side. However, all the good things they said to David were true, only they should have recognized it before.

1 Chronicles 11:3. With their "change of heart" toward David, the elders and leaders of the Israelites came to Hebron, where he had been reigning for 7 years over Judah, and anointed him as their personal recognition of his true rank, spoken of by Samuel.

Verses 4-9

1Ch 11:4-9

1 Chronicles 11:4-9

THE CAPTURE OF JERUSALEM

"And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem (the same is Jebus); and the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, were there. And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come in hither. Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion; the same is the city of David. And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. And Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first, and was made chief. And David dwelt in the stronghold; therefore they called it the city of David. And he built the city round about, from Millo even round about; and Joab repaired the rest of the city. And David waxed greater and greater, for Jehovah of hosts was with him."

2 Samuel 5:4-10 is parallel with this paragraph; and our comments there are sufficient for what is written here.

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 11:4. Up to this time it seems that no attempt had been made to occupy Jerusalem. Ish-boseth the usurper had his throne at Mahanaim. (2 Samuel 2:8.) Now that the nation has come together in the matter of a king, it was proper that Jerusalem be used as the capital for the king. When they did so, they found the city in possession of an ancient tribe called Jebusites.

1 Chronicles 11:5-6. These ancient citizens of Jerusalem were unwilling to be disturbed. This verse makes only a statement of the fact, but 2 Samuel 5:6 gives the conditions on which David had to obtain possession of the city. The noted man Joab made his reputation good by leading in the attack on the opposition and gaining control of the city.

1 Chronicles 11:7-8. There are some terms that might confuse the reader, that refer practically to the same thing. In the city of Jerusalem there was a section or borough that was more important than others. In this place was a fortified castle, and it is sometimes called Millo. David settled in that part of the city and for that reason it was called the city of David. The same place was also what was meant by Mount Zion, or by the one word, Zion. And because so much of the Lord’s institutions took place in that locality, the term "zion" or "Mount Zion" came to have a spiritual or figurative meaning in later years.

1 Chronicles 11:9. It is significant that David’s growth is accounted for by the fact that the Lord was with him. In all ages of the world, true greatness has consisted in doing and being what is pleasing to God.

Verses 10-19

1Ch 11:10-19

1 Chronicles 11:10-19

CONCERNING THE NAMES AND EXPLOITS OF DAVID’S MIGHTY MEN

"Now these are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who showed themselves strong with him in his kingdom, together with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of Jehovah concerning Israel. And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had: Jashobeam, the son of a Hachmonite, the chief of the thirty; he lifted up his spear against three hundred and slew them at one time. And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighty men. He was with David at Pasdammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a plot of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines. And they stood in the midst of the plot, and defended it; and slew the Philistines; and Jehovah saved them by a great victory.

And three of the thirty chief men went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam; and the host of the Philistines were encamped in the valley of Rephaim. And David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me water to drink of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate! And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto Jehovah, and said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did the three mighty men."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 11:10-11. All men were not counted great for the same reason. Later on Solomon will be given an important commission from God because of his success against his military foes. There is no contradiction in the situation. The times of David required the activities recorded of him, for there were many mighty forces that had to be subdued to make ready for the peaceful reign of Solomon. The success of David in his many conflicts was due largely to his wisdom in selecting the proper men for his service. In this and several verses to follow, the statements of greatness of his men will be verified by specific citation of their deeds. In the present paragraph the man slew 300 with a heavy weapon called a spear. It was an instrument composed of a long shaft with a head of hard metal, and was hurled by hand against the foe.

1 Chronicles 11:12 - No explanation is given in the Bible why David’s great men were grouped in threes- It is easy to see some advantages in the arrangement, however. These men were expected to meet the foes of the kingdom as well as David’s personal enemies. A trio of good men would be more successful because of mutual encouragement- It would be also an advantage in case of casualties, so that the survivor could care for the fallen comrade. Of course, David would not put three of the best in one group and then form some other group all of the inferior kind. He associated one of the best with others in forming the groups- But if some special occasion required only one man’s services, he would select one from some of these trios.

1 Chronicles 11:13-14 - Barley was a valued food and the Philistines planned to take this field- They had frightened the Israelites from it when David, aided by one of his mighty men, beat off the Philistines and saved the food.

1 Chronicles 11:15 - Three of the thirty. This is rendered "three captains over the thirty" in the margin, and Moffatt’s translation gives practically the same wording- Adullam was a city in Judah that is referred to in a number of places in the Bible. According to Smith’s Bible Dictionary, there were limestone cliffs in that locality which were pierced with extensive excavations, one of which was the "cave of Adullam" in the time of David. The valley of Rephaim was in the same general vicinity as the cave, and the Philistines brought their army there to oppose David.

1 Chronicles 11:16. The Philistines had a general mass of soldiers in the valley, but their garrison, which means a fortified post, was at Bethlehem which also was in the vicinity of the valleyDavid, in the meantime, was hiding in the hold, which means the cave of Adullam which was of such a character that it provided a stronghold for safety.

1 Chronicles 11:17. This event about the water is a sidelight on the main subject, the bravery and might of David’s chief men. Whether he really intended to drink the water we are not told. The point is to give an instance of the achievements of the great men in his service. But in order to give an intelligent view of the occasion it was necessary to relate the request of David and his activities afterward. The well was in the very shadow of the garrison of the Philistines, and it would be necessary to face them in obtaining the water. We may reasonably conclude, therefore, that David’s expressed wish was to test the courage of his men.

1 Chronicles 11:18. Drawing water from a well in those days was not as simple a matter as might be the case today. It was done chiefly by the use of an earthen pitcher and rope and would be a very visible performance- This would make it a dangerous occasion.

1 Chronicles 11:19 - Drink the blood is figurative, and refers to the risk of being slain, that the men took when they got the water. These things did these three mightiest. This expression gives the main object the writer had in telling about the water.

Verses 20-21

1Ch 11:20-21

1 Chronicles 11:20-21

"And Abishai, the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three; for he lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had a name among the three. Of the three, he was more honorable than the two, and was made their captain: howbeit he attained not to the first three."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 11:20-21. Differences in rank were recognized in those times as well as in the present. As a reward for his valor, Abishai was exalted above the others of his trio. He had slain three hundred.

Verses 22-25

1Ch 11:22-25

1 Chronicles 11:22-25

"Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds, he slew the two sons of Ariel of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in a time of snow. And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear. These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he had a name among the three mighty men. Behold, he was more honorable than the thirty, but he attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 11:22 - Lion-like is defined, "heroic." It means they were unusually strong and active. Time of snow is incidental, explaining why the lion was taking refuge in the pit. But the fact of the lion’s being in the pit indicates a very great hazard.

1 Chronicles 11:23. A staff was a lighter weapon than a spear. The greatness of this feat was in the fact of disarming the Egyptian and slaying him with his own weapon.

1 Chronicles 11:24-25. Honor to whom it is due entitled Benaiah to the present report, but he must not be thought to be equal, in rank, with another trio in David’s service.

Verses 26-47

1Ch 11:26-47

1 Chronicles 11:26-47

"Also the mighty men of the armies: Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abiezer the Anathothite, Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hurai of the brooks of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbomite, the sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shagee the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur, Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite, Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai, Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibbar the son of Hagri, Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armorbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah, Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai, Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a chief of the Reubenites, and thirty with him, Hanan the son of Maacah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite, Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jeiel the sons of Hotham the Aroerite, Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite, Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai, and Joshaviah the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite, Eliel and Obed, and Jaasiel the Mezobaite."

The parallel of these verses (1 Chronicles 11:10-47) is in 2 Samuel 23:8-35; and the variations are of no practical concern whatever. Our comments there will not be repeated here.

In the group of men called "The Thirty," there were most certainly casualties from time to time; and as men died, others were named in their places; thus there were possibly many lists of "The Thirty," that conformed, of course, to the particular date of any particular list.

"And Abishai, the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three" (1 Chronicles 11:20). "The three" of which Abishai was chief may have been those three mentioned in the preceding paragraph who brought the water from the well of Bethlehem. However, Myers suggested that, "Abishai may have taken the place of Asahel after he was slain by Abner."

The main list of David’s Mighty Men actually ends with Uriah the Hittite (1 Chronicles 11:41 a). There are thirty-one names, compared with exactly thirty in 2 Samuel 23:24-39. "There are some variations in names and spelling." The same scholar spoke of both lists as "undoubtedly genuine."

Beginning with 1 Chronicles 11:41 b, sixteen other names are listed. These could have been others associated at one time or another with the "thirty"; or the Chronicler may have added them to emphasize the representatives of trans-Jordan who aided the cause of David. There are many such questions which shall remain unanswered.

"The variations between the parallel accounts of this chapter in Chronicles with that in 2Samuel are few and unimportant."

The intention of the Chronicler to emphasize David’s commendable qualities and to ignore or downplay his terrible sins appears in the fact of his including the episode in 1 Chronicles 11:15-19 and omitting altogether any mention of his adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of eighteen men along with Uriah the Hittite in a vain effort to hide it.

Further comment on this interesting chapter is given in my commentary on 2Samuel.

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 11:26-47. All of these men attached to David in service for the kingdom were outstanding. Special mention, however, should be made of Asahel because of his relation to Joab, the commander-in-chief; and of Uriah because of the affair about Bath-sheba.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 1 Chronicles 11". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/1-chronicles-11.html.
 
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