1 Chronicles 12 (New Living Translation)
The point of this section is to stress the unity of Israel in making David king. It is no accident that all the tribes of Israel are represented here (numbering 13, with Joseph subdivided). A further important themes is that of help, not only the help of supporters/warriors/troops, but above all of YHWH: “your God is the one who helps you.”
–Philip E. Satterthwaite and J. Gordan McConville
“Every word of this chapter carries the mind on to great David’s greater Son, and the men He gathers about Him.”
–G. Campbell Morgan
Warriors Join David’s Army
and they could shoot arrows or sling stones with their left hand as well as their right. They were all relatives of Saul from the tribe of Benjamin.
David’s time in Ziklag is described in 1 Samuel 27 and 30. This was a time when David lived in the territory of the Philistines to escape the murderous pursuit of King Saul. During David’s time in Ziklag, certain mighty warriors came and expressed their allegiance to David and his cause. This was especially remarkable because they from Saul’s tribe and therefore had much to gain from Saul’s continued reign. They chose David over Saul because they knew that God was with David.
3Their leader was Ahiezer son of Shemaah from Gibeah; his brother Joash was second-in-command. These were the other warriors:
Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth;
Jehu from Anathoth;
4 Ishmaiah from Gibeon, a famous warrior and leader among the Thirty;
Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, and Jozabad from Gederah;
5 Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, and Shephatiah from Haruph;
6 Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, who were Korahites;
7 Joelah and Zebadiah, sons of Jeroham from Gedor.
8 Some brave and experienced warriors from the tribe of Gad also defected to David while he was at the stronghold in the wilderness. They were expert with both shield and spear, as fierce as lions and as swift as deer on the mountains.9 Ezer was their leader.
Obadiah was second.
Eliab was third.
10 Mishmannah was fourth.
Jeremiah was fifth.
11 Attai was sixth.
Eliel was seventh.
12 Johanan was eighth.
Elzabad was ninth.
13 Jeremiah was tenth.
Macbannai was eleventh.
14 These warriors from Gad were army commanders. The weakest among them could take on a hundred regular troops, and the strongest could take on a thousand! 15 These were the men who crossed the Jordan River during its seasonal flooding at the beginning of the year and drove out all the people living in the lowlands on both the east and west banks.
16 Others from Benjamin and Judah came to David at the stronghold. 17 David went out to meet them and said, “If you have come in peace to help me, we are friends. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when I am innocent, then may the God of our ancestors see it and punish you.”
18 Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, the leader of the Thirty, and he said,
“We are yours, David!
We are on your side, son of Jesse.
Peace and prosperity be with you,
and success to all who help you,
for your God is the one who helps you.”
Amasai’s speech to David makes the crucial point that it is God who is ultimately the source of all help. People tend to rely on their own strength rather than upon God, and their achievements are not always as great as they seem. Even when help emanates evidently and genuinely from human resources, it has no existence of its own but is in reality the outflow of the help of God. And the testimony is significant coming from one who is clearly an outstanding warrior. Here is a picture of men well-equipped, in skill and arms, yet seeing that their strength is nothing if it is not from God.
–J. G. McConville
So David let them join him, and he made them officers over his troops.
19 Some men from Manasseh defected from the Israelite army and joined David when he set out with the Philistines to fight against Saul. But as it turned out, the Philistine rulers refused to let David and his men go with them. After much discussion, they sent them back, for they said, “It will cost us our heads if David switches loyalties to Saul and turns against us.”
That story was told in 1 Samuel 29.
20 Here is a list of the men from Manasseh who defected to David as he was returning to Ziklag: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai. Each commanded 1,000 troops from the tribe of Manasseh. 21 They helped David chase down bands of raiders, for they were all brave and able warriors who became commanders in his army. 22 Day after day more men joined David until he had a great army, like the army of God.
23 These are the numbers of armed warriors who joined David at Hebron. They were all eager to see David become king instead of Saul, just as the Lord had promised.24 From the tribe of Judah, there were 6,800 warriors armed with shields and spears.25 From the tribe of Simeon, there were 7,100 brave warriors.26 From the tribe of Levi, there were 4,600 warriors. 27 This included Jehoiada, leader of the family of Aaron, who had 3,700 under his command. 28 This also included Zadok, a brave young warrior, with 22 members of his family who were all officers.
29 From the tribe of Benjamin, Saul’s relatives, there were 3,000 warriors. Most of the men from Benjamin had remained loyal to Saul until this time.
30 From the tribe of Ephraim, there were 20,800 brave warriors, each highly respected in his own clan.
31 From the half-tribe of Manasseh west of the Jordan, 18,000 men were designated by name to help David become king.32 From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.33 From the tribe of Zebulun, there were 50,000 skilled warriors. They were fully armed and prepared for battle and completely loyal to David.34 From the tribe of Naphtali, there were 1,000 officers and 37,000 warriors armed with shields and spears.
38 All these men came in battle array to Hebron with the single purpose of making David the king over all Israel. In fact, everyone in Israel agreed that David should be their king. 39 They feasted and drank with David for three days, for preparations had been made by their relatives for their arrival. 40 And people from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali brought food on donkeys, camels, mules, and oxen. Vast supplies of flour, fig cakes, clusters of raisins, wine, olive oil, cattle, sheep, and goats were brought to the celebration. There was great joy throughout the land of Israel.
Jude 1:24-25 (NKJ)
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
“Here Is Our King” by the David Crowder Band, HERE.
The band began when David Crowder, from Texarkana, Texas, realized that almost half of the students at Baylor University were not attending church. Finding this very surprising, since it is a Christian university, he and Chris Seay started University Baptist Church (Waco, Texas) in 1995 while he was still a student. Crowder led worship there and continued to do so throughout the year. The church’s congregation grew, as did the band’s lineup. The group has released nine albums and has twice won the Praise and Worship Album of the Year (2008, 2010) at the GMA Dove Awards. This song, “Here Is Our King,” won the Dove Rock/Contemporary Song of the Year in 2006.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.