1 Chronicles 11

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Read 1 Chronicles 11

David Becomes King Over Israel

11 All Israel came together to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, even while Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord your God said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’”

When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, he made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel, as the Lord had promised through Samuel.

David Conquers Jerusalem

David and all the Israelites marched to Jerusalem (that is, Jebus). The Jebusites who lived there said to David, “You will not get in here.” Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David.

David had said, “Whoever leads the attack on the Jebusites will become commander in chief.” Joab son of Zeruiah went up first, and so he received the command.

David then took up residence in the fortress, and so it was called the City of David. He built up the city around it, from the terraces to the surrounding wall, while Joab restored the rest of the city. And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord Almighty was with him.

David’s Mighty Warriors

10 These were the chiefs of David’s mighty warriors—they, together with all Israel, gave his kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land, as the Lord had promised— 11 this is the list of David’s mighty warriors:

Jashobeam, a Hakmonite, was chief of the officers; he raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter.

12 Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite, one of the three mighty warriors. 13 He was with David at Pas Dammim when the Philistines gathered there for battle. At a place where there was a field full of barley, the troops fled from the Philistines. 14 But they took their stand in the middle of the field. They defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.

15 Three of the thirty chiefs came down to David to the rock at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 16 At that time David was in the stronghold, and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 17 David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” 18 So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out to the Lord. 19 “God forbid that I should do this!” he said. “Should I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives?” Because they risked their lives to bring it back, David would not drink it.

Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors.

20 Abishai the brother of Joab was chief of the Three. He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed, and so he became as famous as the Three. 21 He was doubly honored above the Three and became their commander, even though he was not included among them.

22 Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 23 And he struck down an Egyptian who was five cubits tall. Although the Egyptian had a spear like a weaver’s rod in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 24 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors. 25 He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

26 The mighty warriors were: Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem, 27 Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite, 28 Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa, Abiezer from Anathoth, 29 Sibbekai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite,30 Maharai the Netophathite, Heled son of Baanah the Netophathite,31 Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite,32 Hurai from the ravines of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite,33 Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite,34 the sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan son of Shagee the Hararite,35 Ahiam son of Sakar the Hararite, Eliphal son of Ur,36 Hepher the Mekerathite, Ahijah the Pelonite,37 Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai son of Ezbai,38 Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar son of Hagri,39 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah,40 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,41 Uriah the Hittite, Zabad son of Ahlai,42 Adina son of Shiza the Reubenite, who was chief of the Reubenites, and the thirty with him,43 Hanan son of Maakah, Joshaphat the Mithnite,44 Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jeiel the sons of Hotham the Aroerite,45 Jediael son of Shimri, his brother Joha the Tizite,46 Eliel the Mahavite, Jeribai and Joshaviah the sons of Elnaam, Ithmah the Moabite,47 Eliel, Obed and Jaasiel the Mezobaite.

Go Deeper

In this chapter we see David, the King of Judea, finally recognized as also the rightful King of Israel, unifying the divided kingdoms under one king. With how the events unfold, we also find two different groups of people that are remembered for starkly contrasting character qualities. To give some background to this chapter, in 1 Samuel 16:13, as a teenager, David was anointed to be the next king after King Saul. When Saul died, Judah anointed David as king at the age of 30 (2 Samuel 2:4), but it wasn’t until many years later that Israel admitted that David should be the rightful king and anointed him to the throne over Israel as well. 

Israel had known for decades that David was to be the next king. The problem, however, was that their pride and selfish ambition led them to ignore God’s will. This wasn’t just a passive resistance to God’s plan for David to be king. Starting in 2 Samuel 2, following Saul’s death, we find Israel placing someone else as king and waging battles against David. Like so many other people in the Bible, Israel openly opposed God’s will and suffered greatly for it. Sadly, this correlates to how we can often find ourselves living in rebellion to God’s will in the form of sin. We knowingly let it persist in our life causing casualties along the way until it reaches a breaking point. At that point, we are faced with a choice: to either continue in habitual sin or to repent and turn away from our sin. In this passage, Israel personified a rebellious attitude.

However, there is an alternative path to rebellion. The path of devotion. In this passage are the stories of David’s mighty men. The feats they accomplish are amazing! What’s even more praise worthy is their unwavering devotion to David that is put on display in one of the stories. Starting in v. 17, we find the three mighty men that risked their lives to bring him some water. Being in his stronghold, we know that David wasn’t starving of thirst! So, why did they do this then? These three men were eager to serve their king! Their devotion was so all-encompassing that they placed their lives on the line for what appeared to be (from the outside perspective) a trivial request–all because David asked. David recognized this level of devotion should only be given to God and poured out the drink. This is how our pursuit of our Lord’s will should look! How will you be remembered?


  1. Where do you find yourself rebelling from God’s will?
  2. Are their parts of what we are called to do as Christians or the Christian walk that you purposefully avoid focusing on or thinking about?
  3. What next steps do you want to take to pursue God’s will further in your life?

Pray This


Please place in my heart a desire for the things you desire. Help me to see where I am straying and have the humility to confess and turn to You. Please help strengthen my devotion to You!

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4 thoughts on “1 Chronicles 11”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    My prayer before reading scripture was:
    “Lord, here we are once again asking for the BREAD OF LIFE to feed & nourish our weary hearts. Instruct, impact, and instill your precepts in our minds that drive obedience and a deeper love for you.”

    What a contrast between Saul and David! We read in 10:13 that “Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord,” and in 11:9 “and David became more and more powerful, because the Lord Almighty was with him.” It doesn’t matter how attractive, powerful, wealthy or popular we are if God is not with us we are doomed. The reality is that we can have just as much of God’s peace, presence and love as we want. It requires we lay down our self-made idols and walk in obedience to his ways. What stands between and thwarts God’s goodness in our lives? Most likely it’s those things that hinder his good plan from being fulfilled in us.

  2. Hurry up and wait. Waiting is hard. David had to wait about 20 years when he knew he was suppose to be king. He also had to sit and watch the mess being made. BUT GOD had plans and David was patient. I know that I am not patient in one 24 hour time frame much less 20 years. That is where faith comes in and from. We have to fully, truly, completely trust in Him. Giving up or helping God, discouraged by not seeing anything happening that God has said, this is where clinging to God, reading His word, truly worshipping Him is what helps when you know God is there for such a time as this. Pray, pray and then pray some more because God is listening.

    God help me to be willing to wait for what things you have for me. Thank You for minute by minute completely putting my full trust completely in You for all things in and of my current situations. God You know best and better. Thank You for listening and guidance. God I give this day to You, I want to have listening ears to hear You, and obedient heart to do Your will in Jesus name amen.

  3. I am impacted by the battle. The required fright to take possession of the position God had clearly told David to posses. He was anointed. Called. And yet… and during all that waiting he trained. He surrounded himself with good men who feared God and supported his call. The discipline. The relentless faith in God that what He has declared would in fact happen. Such hard work for a man so loved by God. Therefore why am I surprised when doing what I know God has called me to do is such hard work. Why am I surprised when darkness rises up and opposes me. And may I always remember God’s power to undeniably bring about that which He says. Remain faithful. It may be hard. But God will have his way.

    1. Lori, you should read about Benaiah that inspired Mark Batterson’s book, ‘In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day’ if you haven’t already. Pretty phenomenal to help face battles—and go after them!

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