The Bible – Old Testament
The following men came to David in Ziklag while he was still under banishment from Saul, son of Kish; they, too, were among the warriors who helped him in his battles.
They were archers who could use either the right or the left hand, both in slinging stones and in shooting arrows with the bow. They were some of Saul’s kinsmen, from Benjamin.
Ahiezer was their chief, along with Joash, both sons of Shemaah of Gibeah; also Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth; Beracah; Jehu, from Anathoth;
Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a warrior on the level of the Thirty, and in addition to their number;
Jeremiah; Jahaziel; Johanan; Jozabad from Gederah;
Eluzai; Jerimoth; Bealiah; Shemariah; Shephatiah the Haruphite;
Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Ishbaal, who were Korahites;
Joelah, finally, and Zebadiah, sons of Jeroham, from Gedor.
Some of the Gadites also went over to David when he was at the stronghold in the wilderness. They were valiant warriors, experienced soldiers equipped with shield and spear, who bore themselves like lions, and were as swift as the gazelles on the mountains.
Ezer was their chief, Obadiah was second, Eliab third,
Mishmannah fourth, Jeremiah fifth,
Attai sixth, Eliel seventh,
Johanan eighth, Elzabad ninth,
Jeremiah tenth, and Machbannai eleventh.
These Gadites were army commanders, the lesser placed over hundreds and the greater over thousands.
It was they who crossed over the Jordan when it was overflowing both its banks in the first month, and dispersed all who were in the valleys to the east and to the west.
Some Benjaminites and Judahites also came to David at the stronghold.
David went out to meet them and addressed them in these words: “If you come peacefully, to help me, I am of a mind to have you join me. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies though my hands have done no wrong, may the God of our fathers see and punish you.”
Then spirit enveloped Amasai, the chief of the Thirty, who spoke: “We are yours, O David, we are with you, O son of Jesse. Peace, peace to you, and peace to him who helps you; your God it is who helps you.” So David received them and placed them among the leaders of his troops.
Men from Manasseh also deserted to David when he came with the Philistines to battle against Saul. However, he did not help the Philistines, for their lords took counsel and sent him home, saying, “At the cost of our heads he will desert to his master Saul.”
As he was returning to Ziklag, therefore, these deserted to him from Manasseh: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai, chiefs of thousands of Manasseh.
They helped David by taking charge of his troops, for they were all warriors and became commanders of his army.
And from day to day men kept coming to David’s help until there was a vast encampment, like an encampment of angels.
This is the muster of the detachments of armed troops that came to David at Hebron to transfer to him Saul’s kingdom, as the LORD had ordained.
1 Judahites bearing shields and spears: six thousand eight hundred armed troops.
Of the Simeonites, warriors fit for battle: seven thousand one hundred.
Of the Levites: four thousand six hundred,
along with Jehoiada, leader of the line of Aaron, with another three thousand seven hundred,
and Zadok, a young warrior, with twenty-two princes of his father’s house.
Of the Benjaminites, the brethren of Saul: three thousand – until this time, most of them had held their allegiance to the house of Saul.
Of the Ephraimites: twenty thousand eight hundred warriors, men renowned in their ancestral houses.
Of the half-tribe of Manasseh: eighteen thousand, designated by name to come and make David king.
Of the Issacharites, their chiefs who were endowed with an understanding of the times and who knew what Israel had to do: two hundred chiefs, together with all their brethren under their command.
From Zebulun, men fit for military service, set in battle array with every kind of weapon for war: fifty thousand men rallying with a single purpose.
From Naphtali: one thousand captains, and with them, armed with shield and lance, thirty-seven thousand men.
Of the Danites, set in battle array: twenty-eight thousand six hundred.
From Asher, fit for military service and set in battle array: forty thousand.
From the other side of the Jordan, of the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, men equipped with every kind of weapon of war: one hundred and twenty thousand.
All these soldiers, drawn up in battle order, came to Hebron with the resolute intention of making David king over all Israel. The rest of Israel was likewise of one mind to make David king.
They remained with David for three days, feasting and drinking, for their brethren had prepared for them.
Moreover, their neighbors from as far as Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali came bringing food on asses, camels, mules, and oxen – provisions in great quantity of meal, pressed figs, raisins, wine, oil, oxen, and sheep. For there was rejoicing in Israel.
1 [25-38] The Chronicler fills out the pageantry of joyous occasions in keeping with his much later appreciation of the significance of the event in the history of God’s people: the numbers in attendance at David’s crowning in Hebron (cf ⇒ 2 Sam 5:1-3) are recounted in the same spirit of enthusiasm which in ⇒ 1 Chron 12:23 compares David’s band of desert freebooters to a numerous encampment of angels.