1 Chronicles 12: David's army grows & make him king
Notes: The recorder now backtracks from the time when
David became king over all Israel [at the start of the previous
chapter] and takes us back to the days when David had been on
the run from Saul. David had sought refuge from Saul among their
old enemies, the Philistines [1 Sam 27:1-], who had given him
one of the country towns', Ziklag [1 Sam 27:5,6], a town thought
to be further south-west than the area David had been in previously,
and thus further away from Saul.
the word had spread throughout the land that David was established
as a warrior in the far south-west, those who were clearly disenchanted
with Saul started to gather to David there. They were primarily
warriors of different sorts from different tribes and went to
make up the great army that David formed [but never used against
Saul]. These are the records of the gradual build-up of that army
that eventually led all Israel, after Saul's death, to recognise
David as their future king.]
ONE: v.1-16: Warriors join David at Ziklag
When they had heard that David was at Ziklag, Benjamites came
the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he
was banished from the presence of Saul son of Kish (they were
among the warriors who helped him in battle;
were armed with bows and were able to shoot arrows or to sling
stones right-handed or left-handed; they were relatives of Saul
from the tribe of Benjamin):
These archer-warriors are then named for posterity
their chief and Joash the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; Jeziel
and Pelet the sons of Azmaveth; Berakah, Jehu the Anathothite,
Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty warrior among the Thirty, who
was a leader of the Thirty; Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad
Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah and Shephatiah the Haruphite;
Ishiah, Azarel, Joezer and Jashobeam the Korahites;
Joelah and Zebadiah the sons of Jeroham from Gedor.
Then similarly, Gadites from east of the Jordan had come and joined
Gadites defected to David at his stronghold
in the wilderness. They were brave warriors, ready for battle
and able to handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the
faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles in the mountains.
was the chief,
the second in command, Eliab the third,
the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth,
the sixth, Eliel the seventh,
the eighth, Elzabad the ninth,
the tenth and Makbannai the eleventh.
Gadites were army commanders; the least was a match for a hundred,
and the greatest for a thousand.
was they who crossed the Jordan in the first month when it was
overflowing all its banks, and they put to flight everyone living
in the valleys, to the east and to the west.
Benjaminites and some men from Judah also came to David in his
David had challenged these newcomers
went out to meet them and said to them, If you have come to me
in peace to help me, I am ready for you to join me. But if you
have come to betray me to my enemies when my hands are free from
violence, may the God of our ancestors see it and judge you.'
the Spirit came on Amasai, chief of the Thirty, and he said:
are yours, David!
We are with you, son of Jesse!
Success, success to you,
and success to those who help you,
for your God
will help you.'
David received them and made them leaders of his raiding bands.
Others had joined David at Ziklag
of the tribe of Manasseh defected to David when
he went with the Philistines to fight against Saul. (He and his
men did not help the Philistines because, after consultation,
their rulers sent him away. They said, It will cost us our heads
if he deserts to his master Saul.')
David went to Ziklag , these were the men of
Manasseh who defected to him: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael,
Jozabad, Elihu and Zillethai, leaders of units of a thousand in
helped David against raiding bands, for all of them were brave
warriors, and they were commanders in his army.
Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great
army, like the army of God.
Finally others join David at Hebron
are the numbers of the men armed for battle who came to David
at Hebron to turn Saul's kingdom over to him, as the
Judah, carrying shield and spear 6,800 armed for battle;
Simeon, warriors ready for battle 7,100;
Jehoiada, leader of the family of Aaron, with 3,700 men,
Zadok, a brave young warrior, with 22 officers from his family;
Benjamin, Saul's tribe 3,000, most of whom had remained
loyal to Saul's house until then;
Ephraim, brave warriors, famous in their own clans 20,800;
half the tribe of Manasseh, designated by name to come and make
David king 18,000;
Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should
do 200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;
Zebulun, experienced soldiers prepared for battle with every type
of weapon, to help David with undivided loyalty 50,000;
Naphtali 1,000 officers, together with 37,000 men carrying
shields and spears;
Dan, ready for battle 28,600;
Asher, experienced soldiers prepared for battle 40,000;
from east of the Jordan, from Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of
Manasseh, armed with every type of weapon 120,000.
Thus they make David king at Hebron
these were fighting men who volunteered to serve in the ranks.
They came to Hebron fully determined to make David king over all
Israel. All the rest of the Israelites were also of one mind to
make David king.
men spent three days there with David, eating and drinking, for
their families had supplied provisions for them.
their neighbours from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali
came bringing food on donkeys, camels, mules and oxen. There were
plentiful supplies of flour, fig cakes, raisin cakes, wine, olive
oil, cattle and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.
Note: These two chapters show us something unique in
the raising up of a king of Israel a king who proved his worth
as a leader by gathering the warriors who gathered to him and
ultimately winning the hearts of the people who saw it was obviously
the sensible thing to make him king after Saul's death.
man with a heart after God's own heart [1 Sam 13:14] won the people
over and didn't just inherit the kingship. Moreover, he stands
out as one who refused to raise his hand against Saul and would
not attack his own people. Having been anointed by Samuel [1 Sam
16] to be God's next king over Israel after Saul, David waited
patiently for Saul's death in battle against their enemies and
refused to take any action to provoke the progress of history.]