2 Samuel 23:8-39 – David’s Heroes


2 Samuel 23:8-39


David’s companions, and their deeds of valor are described here. 


There are two different groups of warriors here: the three and the 30. Several names are familiar from stories earlier in 1 and 2 Samuel. This section contains some otherwise unknown exploits of David’s closest warriors, such as contexts of victories over Philistines. 

Abishai, the brother of Joab, David’s general, was chief of the 30 heroes, but not quite as famous as David’s main three warrior colleagues. Benaiah was said to, among other things, have fought “in a pit with a lion on a snowy day,” inspiring the briefly popular book of the same name. 

The saddest note of the companions of David is the inclusion of Eliam, Bathsheba’s father, and Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband. These men were not just some soldiers in Israel’s army, but members of David’s inner circle whom he betrayed by raping their daughter/wife while he allowed them to fight in his place. Uriah is pointedly listed last, so that the reader will remember his name, and David’s perfidy and betrayal.