2 Samuel 23:8-27 & 1 Chronicles 11:10-47
The group of thirty or so that we know as David’s mighty men are a fascinating study. This band of faithful fighting men accomplished super human feats. In fact some of David’s best men were said that one man is equal to 1,000 (1 Chronicles 12:14). And these mighty men were better yet especially the top three; Josheb Basshebeth, Eleazar and Shammah.
These were not some well bred highly trained elite men. They were volunteers David picked up who were found in distress or in debt or discontented while David was on the run from Saul (1 Samuel 22:2).
Exploits of the Three Mighty Men
These three mighty men all had their own incredible story of heroics, Josheb (Basshebeth) the chief of the three killed 800 in a single battle. Eleazar was in a battle where all the soldiers on his side retreated, but he stood his ground and prevailed against the enemy. Shammah also stood his ground when the troops fled and brought about a great victory. You could make a drama thriller movie about any of these three Josheb, Eleazar or Shammah individually, but now read about when the thee of them get together in 2 Samuel 23:13-17.
It was the time when David was on the run from King Saul hiding in the cave of Adullam. David had been anointed king by Samuel but before King David could have his royal coronation ceremony he had to run and hide from the jealous King Saul. Who for good reason saw David as a threat. By his own disobedience Saul had lost God’s favor and anointing as King of Israel. Saul had the title of king but little else. While David was on the run he gathered this unlikely army where some of the mightiest soldiers of history voluntarily enlisted as David’s loyal men.
13 Then three of the thirty chief men went down and came to David in the harvest time to the cave of Adullam, while the troop of the Philistines was camping in the valley of Rephaim. 14 David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15 David had a craving and said, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!” 16 So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water from the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the LORD; 17 and he said, “Be it far from me, O LORD, that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did.
There are interesting parallels between King David and Jesus Christ. King David portrays the coming Son of David the Messiah. One of the common titles for Jesus in the New Testament is “Son of David.” Jesus is on numerous occasions addressed as “Son of David.”
Another parallel is that during Jesus earthly ministry he like David is the rightful anointed king but his authority as king goes largely unacknowledged and unrecognized. Only those with spiritual eyes to see knew that Jesus was indeed the long awaited Messiah. Jesus fulfilled what the prophets foretold (2 Samuel 7:16) of a coming new spiritual King David.
The Three Inner Disciples of the Son of David
Jesus the Son of David had his own version of King David’s mighty men. King David had his massive army (2 Samuel 24:9) his 30 mighty men and his top three Josheb, Eleazar and Shammah. The Son of David had the crowds, the seventy and twelve and three Peter, James and John. The contrast comes where King David’s men were military soldiers the Son of David where part of Jesus Kingdom of heaven and soldiers of a spiritual army.
The three inner disciples of Jesus; Peter, James and John were slow to understand this difference. James and John were known and the Sons of Thunder and in a misguided moment offered to call fire down from heaven to destroy the enemies of Jesus (Luke 9:54). Peter lashed out at the temple guards with a sword when they came to arrest Jesus. Peter misunderstood the nature of being a mighty man for the Son of David and Jesus restored the ear of the soldier Peter lashed with the sword.
After the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus they understood. Peter preaches the Pentecost sermon and three thousand believe and are baptized. James dies for his faith and John the beloved disciple is faithful until death writing the book of Revelation on the Isle of Patmos imprisoned for his faith.
Becoming a Mighty Man of God
Our desire should to become Mighty Men in the Lord’s army, but ours is a spiritual warfare.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:12-13
D. L. Moody demonstrated what is takes to become a Mighty Man of God, to become fully devoted to the Lord.
When DL Mood visited evangelist Henry Varley on a park bench in Dublin, Ireland they had a conversation on what it would take to become a Mighty Man of God. “The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully consecrated to Him.” Moody’s response, By God’s grace I will be that man. Through Moody and his music evangelist Sankey revival fires were spread internationally in the 1800s.
Don’t give me one thousand ordinary christians, but give me one mighty man of God. What will happen today if you become a Mighty Man of God? What will God do with you and through you if you become fully consecrated to Him? All Out and out for God.
Complete list of David’s Mighty Men
|2 Samuel 23:8–39||1 Chronicles 11:10–47|
|Josheb-Basshebeth the Tahkemonite||Jashobeam the Hakmonite|
|Eleazar ben Dodai the Ahohite||Eleazar ben Dodo the Ahohite|
|Shammah ben Agee the Hararite||(unnamed)|
|Abishai ahi Joab ben Zeruiah||Abishai ahi Joab|
|Benaiah ben Jehoiada||Benaiah ben Jehoiada|
|Asahel ahi Joab||Asahel ahi Joab|
|Elhanan ben Dodo of Bethlehem||Elhanan ben Dodo of Bethlehem|
|Shammah the Harodite||Shammoth the Harorite|
|Elika the Harodite||—|
|Helez the Paltite||Helez the Pelonite|
|Ira ben Ikkesh of Tekoa||Ira ben Ikkesh of Tekoa|
|Abiezer of Anathoth||Abiezer of Anathoth|
|Mebunnai the Hushathite||Sibbekai the Hushathite|
|Zalmon the Ahohite||Ilai the Ahohite|
|Mahari the Netophathite||Mahari the Netophathite|
|Heleb ben Baanah the Netophathite||Heled ben Baana the Netophathite|
|Ithai ben Ribai of Gibeah of Benjamin||Ithai ben Ribai of Gibeah of Benjamin|
|Benaiah the Pirathonite||Benaiah the Pirathonite|
|Hiddai of the Ravines of Gaash||Hurai of the Ravines of Gaash|
|Abi-Albon the Arbathite||Abiel the Arbathite|
|Azmaveth the Barhumite||Azmaveth the Baharumite|
|Eliahba the Shaalbonite||Eliahba the Shaalbonite|
|the sons of Jashen||the sons of Hashem the Gizonite|
|Jonathan ben Shammah the Hararite||Jonathan ben Shagee the Hararite|
|Ahiam ben Sharar the Hararite||Ahiam ben Sakar the Hararite|
|Eliphelet ben Ahasbai the Maakathite||Eliphal ben Ur|
|Eliam ben Ahithophel the Gilonite||—|
|—||Hepher the Mekerathite|
|—||Ahijah the Pelonite|
|Hezro the Carmelite||Hezro the Carmelite|
|Paarai the Arbite||Naarai ben Ezbai|
|Igal ben Nathan of Zobah||Joel ahi Nathan|
|the son of Haggadi||Mibhar ben Hagri|
|Zelek the Ammonite||Zelek the Ammonite|
|Naharai the Beerothite||Naharai the Berothite|
|Ira the Ithrite||Ira the Ithrite|
|Gareb the Ithrite||Gareb the Ithrite|
|Uriah the Hittite||Uriah the Hittite|
|—||Zabad ben Ahlai|
|—||Adina ben Shiza the Reubenite|
|—||Hanan ben Maakah|
|—||Joshaphat the Mithnite|
|—||Uzzia the Ashterathite|
|—||Shama ben Hotham the Aroerite|
|—||Jeiel ben Hotham the Aroerite|
|—||Jedieael ben Shimri|
|—||Joha the Tizite|
|—||Eliel the Mahavite|
|—||Jeribai ben Elnaam|
|—||Joshaviah ben Elnaam|
|—||Ithma the Moabite|
|—||Jaasiel the Mezobaite|