1 Chronicles 12:1-40 NIV
Warriors Join David
1These were 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; 2they 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):
3Ahiezer their chief and Joash the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; Jeziel and Pelet the sons of Azmaveth; Berakah, Jehu the Anathothite, 4and Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty warrior among the Thirty, who was a leader of the Thirty; Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad the Gederathite,a 5Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah and Shephatiah the Haruphite; 6Elkanah, Ishiah, Azarel, Joezer and Jashobeam the Korahites;7and Joelah and Zebadiah the sons of Jeroham from Gedor.
8Some 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.
9Ezer was the chief,
Obadiah the second in command, Eliab the third,
10Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth,
11Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh,
12Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth,
13Jeremiah the tenth and Makbannai the eleventh.
14These Gadites were army commanders; the least was a match for a hundred, and the greatest for a thousand. 15It 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.
16Other Benjamites and some men from Judah also came to David in his stronghold. 17David 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.”
18Then the Spirit came on Amasai, chief of the Thirty, and he said:
“We 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.”
So David received them and made them leaders of his raiding bands.
19Some 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.”) 20When 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 Manasseh. 21They helped David against raiding bands, for all of them were brave warriors, and they were commanders in his army. 22Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army, like the Army of God.b
Others Join David at Hebron
23These 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 Lord had said:
24from Judah, carrying shield and spear—6,800 armed for battle;
25from Simeon, warriors ready for battle—7,100;
26from Levi—4,600, 27including Jehoiada, leader of the family of Aaron, with 3,700 men, 28and Zadok, a brave young warrior, with 22 officers from his family;
29from Benjamin, Saul’s tribe—3,000, most of whom had remained loyal to Saul’s house until then;
30from Ephraim, brave warriors, famous in their own clans—20,800;
31from half the tribe of Manasseh, designated by name to come and make David king—18,000;
32from Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;
33from Zebulun, experienced soldiers prepared for battle with every type of weapon, to help David with undivided loyalty—50,000;
34from Naphtali—1,000 officers, together with 37,000 men carrying shields and spears;
35from Dan, ready for battle—28,600;
36from Asher, experienced soldiers prepared for battle—40,000;
37and from east of the Jordan, from Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, armed with every type of weapon—120,000.
38All 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. 39The men spent three days there with David, eating and drinking, for their families had supplied provisions for them. 40Also, their neighbors 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.
12:1-22 The Companies That Came to David at Ziklag
Saul's brethren of Benjamin—that is, of the tribe of Benjamin (compare 1 Chronicles 12:29), but some of them might be relatives of the king. This movement to which the parties were led, doubtless by the secret impulse of the Holy Spirit, was of vast importance to the cause of David, as it must have been founded on their observation of the evident withdrawal of God's blessing from Saul, and His favoring presence with David.
12:23-40 The Armies That Came to Him at Hebron
After the death of Ish-bosheth, they came to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the Word of the Lord—(1 Chronicles 10:14; 11:3, 10). The account commences with the southern tribes, Levi being associated with Judah and Simeon, as the great majority of the leading men in this tribe resided in Judah; and, after recounting the representatives of the northern tribes, it concludes with those on the east of Jordan.