International Standard Version
1This was David's last composition: The oracle of David, son of Jesse, an oracle by the valiant one who was exalted— anointed by the God of Jacob, the contented psalm writer of Israel.
2The Spirit of the LORD speaks within me; his word is on my tongue!
3The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has talked to me. "When one is governing men justly, he fears God while governing.
4He is like dawn's first light, like bright sun blazing on a cloudless morning, glistening on grassland that flourishes after a rain shower.
5Is not my dynasty like this with God? Has he not made an eternal covenant with me, preparing every detail of it? And he has made it secure, including my complete salvation, has he not? He has been of continual help, has he not, even with respect to all of my desires?
6But ungodly men are like thorns that are discarded because they cannot be safely handled.
7Whoever handles them wears heavy duty clothing, carries strong tools, and burns them to ashes on the spot!
8Here's a list of the names of David's special forces: Josheb-basshebeth the Tahkemonite was head of the Three; he was nicknamed Adino the Eznite because he killed 800 men in a single battle engagement. 9Next was Dodai the Ahohite's son Eleazar. Eleazar, who also was one of the Three, was with David when they challenged the Philistines. When the Philistines had assembled in battle array, the Israeli army retreated, 10but Eleazar remained standing right where he was and fought so hard against the Philistines that he became exhausted—he couldn't even let go of his sword! The LORD magnificently delivered them that day. After Eleazar had won the battle, the other soldiers returned, but only to strip the weapons and armor from the dead.
11Next was Shammah, Agee the Hararite's son. One time the Philistines assembled to fight in a field where lentils had been growing. Israel's army retreated from the Philistines, 12but Shammah stood his ground in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. And the LORD brought about a great victory.
13One day while the Philistine army was camping in the valley of giants, three of the 30 leaders joined David at the cave of Adullam. 14David was living in that stronghold at the time, while a Philistine garrison was then at Bethlehem. 15David expressed his longing, "Oh, how I wish someone would get me a drink of water from the Bethlehem well that's by the city gate!" 16So the Three elite warriors broke through the Philistine ranks, drew some water from the Bethlehem well that was next to the city gate, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out in the LORD's presence, 17and said, "The LORD forbid that I drink this—this is the blood of men who endangered their own lives!" The Three elite warriors did these things.
18Zeruiah's son Abishai, Joab's brother, was the lieutenant in charge of the platoons. He used his spear to fight and kill 300 men, gaining a reputation distinct from the Three. 19He was more well-known than the Three, and became their commander, but he never measured up to the Three.
20Jehoiada's son Benaiah, who was a valiant man, accomplished great things. He was from Kabzeel. He killed two men named Ariel from Moab and then he also went down into a pit and struck down a lion during a snow storm one day. 21He also killed a soldier from Egypt. Of handsome appearance, the Egyptian carried a spear, but Benaiah attacked him with a staff, snatched the spear out of the Egyptian's hand and killed him with his own spear. 22Benaiah did things like this and gained a reputation comparable to the Three warriors. 23He was well known among the platoons, but he didn't measure up to the Three. David placed him in charge of his security detail.
24Among the Thirty were Joab's brother Asahel, Dodo's son Elhanan of Bethlehem, 25Shammah from Harod; Elika from Harod, 26Helez the Paltite, Ikkesh's son Ira from Tekoa, 27Abiezer from Anathoth, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai of Netophah, 29Baanah's son Heleb from Netophah, Ribai's son Ittai from Gibeah of the descendants of Benjamin, 30Benaiah from Pirathon, Hiddai from the Gaash creeks area, 31Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth from Bahurim, 32Eliahba from Shaalbon, Jashen's sons, 33Shammah's son from Harar, Sharar the Hararite's son Ahiam, 34Ahasbai the Maacathite's son Eliphelet, Ahithophel the Gilonite's son Eliam, 35Hezro from Carmel, Paarai the Arbite, 36Nathan's son Igal from Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai from Beeroth (the armor-bearer for Zeruiah's son Joab), 38Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39and Uriah the Hittite—for a total of 37.