“Then David mustered the men who were with him. He set over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. David divided the army into three groups. One third was under the command of Joab. One third was under the command of Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother. One third was under the command of Ittai the Gittite. The king said to the men. ‘I myself will also go out with you.’ But the men said. ‘You shall not go out. If we flee, they will not care about us. If half of us die, they will not care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us. Therefore it is better that you send us help from the city.’ The king said to them. ‘Whatever seems best to you I will do.’ So the king stood at the side of the gate, while all the army marched out by hundreds and by thousands. The king ordered Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, saying. ‘Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.’ All the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders about Absalom.”
David organized his men into 1,000s and 100s. They had 3 leaders, Joab, his brother Abishai, David’s nephews, and Ittai, the Gittite. He was the Philistine who stayed with David in chapter 15. David wanted to go out with them, but they all agreed that it was better that David stayed behind. David was worth 10,000 of his troops. He stood at the gate as they went off to battle. However, he told them to be gentle with Absalom, who was David’s son.