The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Kings
These are the words of David’s last psalm. Thus speaks David, son of Jesse, thus speaks the man whom the God of Jacob swore to anoint, he who sang as none other sang in Israel.
Through me the spirit of the Lord has spoken; his words are on my tongue.
What says Israel’s God, Israel’s strong defender? That he who rules among men, governing them justly in the fear of God,
shines out like the light of dawn, when the sun rises in a cloudless sky, grows strong like meadow grass watered by the rain.
What worth has my kindred in God’s sight, that he should make an everlasting covenant with me, sealed and ratified all of it? Everywhere he preserves me, everywhere grants me my will; no wish of mine but bears fruit.
Sinful men he treats like briars, too sturdy to be plucked away with the hand,
so that all who would interfere with them go armed with iron-shod poles, setting fire to them at last and burning them away to nothing.✻
And these are the names of David’s champions; first among the first three was Jesbaam the son of Hachamoni (the same that was called Plump as a Wood-worm),✻ who slew eight hundred men in one assault.
After him, his cousin Eleazar the Ahohite,✻ one of the three champions that were with David when they defied the Philistines. These had mustered for battle,
and the men of Israel had left the field; Eleazar stood there and cut down the Philistines until his arm grew weary and his hand stiff about his sword. A great victory the Lord gave Israel that day, and the men who had fled at first came back to gather up the spoils of the dead.
And after him Semma, the son of Age, from Arari. When a company of Philistines had gathered, close by a field of lentils, and routed the Israelites,
he stood there in the middle of the field and held it against the Philistines till he defeated them; that day, too, the Lord gave Israel a great victory.
Once, when it was harvest-time, these three, the foremost of the Thirty, were at the king’s side in the cave of Odollam; the Philistines had encamped in the Valley of the Giants,
and David kept close in his stronghold. The Philistines had a garrison at this time in Bethlehem:
and now David, overcome with longing, said aloud, Oh for a cup of water from the well by Bethlehem gate!
Whereupon the three champions broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well by the gate of Bethlehem, and brought it to David. Instead of drinking it, he poured it out as a libation to the Lord;
The Lord be merciful to me, said he, never that! That were to drink men’s blood; they brought it at the peril of their lives; it is not for my drinking. Such were the feats of the three first champions.
Abisai, too, Joab’s brother, son of Sarvia, was one of three champions; he it was that engaged three hundred men with his own spear, and slew them. His name stood as one of three,
and among these he was foremost, leading the others, but he could not rival the first three.
There was Banaias, too, whose father, Joiada of Cabseel, was a warrior famous for his exploits. Banaias it was that slew the two heroes of Moab;✻ he also went down into a cavern on a day of snow, and killed a lion there.
And there was an Egyptian he slew, a wondrous man to see, that carried a great spear; Banaias went into battle with a club, and killed the Egyptian with his own spear, wresting it from his hand.
Such were the feats of Banaias, son of Joiada;
he, too, was one of the three champions that were foremost among the Thirty, but he could not rival the first three. He was the man David appointed to carry out his secret commands.
And these were the men who belonged to the Thirty; Asael, Joab’s brother, and his cousin, Elehanan of Bethlehem;
Semma from Harodi, Elica from Harodi;
Heles from Phalti; Hira, son of Acces, from Thecua;
Abiezer from Anathoth; Mobonnai from Husati;
Selmon the Ahohite; Maharai the Netophathite;
Heled, son of Baana, also from Netophath; Ithai, son of Ribai, from Gabaath in Benjamin;
Banaia the Pharathonite; Heddai from the valley of Gaas;
Abialbon the Arbathite; Azmaveth from Beromi;
Eliaba from Salaboni; the sons of Jassen, Jonathan,
Semma from Orori; Aiam, son of Sarar, the Arorite;
Eliphelet, son of Asbai, son of Machati; Eliam, son of Achitophel, the Gelonite;
Hesrai from Carmel; Pharai from Arbi;
Igaal, son of Nathan, from Soba; Bonni from Gadi;
Selec from Ammoni; Naharai the Berothite, that was squire to Joab the son of Sarvia;
Ira and Gareb, the Jethrites,
and Urias the Hethite; thirty-seven names in all.
The Holy Bible