The twelve monthly military leaders (1 Chr 27:2-27:15)

“Jashobeam son of Zabdiel was in charge of the first division in the first month. In his division were twenty-four thousand. He was a descendant of Perez. He was chief of all the commanders of the army for the first month.

Dodai the Ahohite was in charge of the division of the second month. In his division were twenty-four thousand.

The third commander, for the third month, was Benaiah son of Jehoiada the priest, as chief. In his division were twenty-four thousand. This is the Benaiah who was a mighty man of the Thirty and in command of the Thirty. His son Ammizabad was in charge of his division.

Asahel brother of Joab was fourth, for the fourth month, and his son Zebadiah after him. In his division were twenty-four thousand.

The fifth commander, for the fifth month, was Shamhuth, the Izrahite. In his division were twenty-four thousand.

Sixth, for the sixth month, was Ira son of Ikkesh the Tekoite. In his division were twenty-four thousand.

Seventh, for the seventh month, was Helez the Pelonite, of the Ephraimites. In his division were twenty-four thousand.

Eighth, for the eighth month, was Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zerahites. In his division were twenty-four thousand.

Ninth, for the ninth month, was Abiezer of Anathoth, a Benjaminite. In his division were twenty-four thousand.

Tenth, for the tenth month, was Maharai of Netophah, of the Zerahites. In his division were twenty-four thousand.

Eleventh, for the eleventh month, was Benaiah of Pirathon, of the Ephraimites. In his division were twenty-four thousand.

Twelfth, for the twelfth month, was Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel. In his division were twenty-four thousand.”

Each monthly group had 24,000 troops. (1) Jashobeam son of Zabdiel was actually one of the first to help David. He was in charge for the first month. He was from the family of Judah via Perez. (2) Dodai the Ahohite had a son who was among mighty Three of King David. (3) Benaiah son of Jehoiada was the leader of the Thirty and the personal body guard of King David. Thus his son Ammizabad was the leader here. (4) Asahel the brother of Joab was the nephew of King David that died. Thus he was succeeded by his son Zebadiah. This is the only mention of (5) Shamhuth, the Izrahite. This (6) Ikkesh the Tekoite had at least 2 sons Ira and (7) Helez the Pelonite, who is mentioned here. (8) Sibbecai the Hushathite, (9) Abiezer of Anathoth, and (10) Maharai of Netophah were mentioned in chapter 11 of this book and 2 Samuel, chapter 23. (11) Benaiah of Pirathon was an Ephraimite. (12) Heldai the Netophathite was somehow related to Othniel.

King David’s officers (1 Chr 18:14-18:17)

“King David reigned over all Israel. He administered justice and equity to all his people. Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the recorder. Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests. Seraiah was the secretary. Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites. King David’s sons were the chief officials in the service of the king.”

Once again, this biblical chronicler is following 2 Samuel, chapter 8. King David was the king who was just and fair to all the people of Israel. Joab, King David’s nephew and son of his sister Zeruiah, was in charge of the army. This is the same guy who killed Abner that King David was so upset about. King David’s sons were not the priests as in 2 Samuel, but the chief officials in the service of the king, which makes more sense. This Jehoshaphat, the recorder or annalist of court events, is not the same as the later king (870-848 BCE), but they share the same name. There are a few biblical people with the same name of Zadok, but this one was the high priest during the time of King David.   Abiathar was the friendly Levite that accompanied King David in his travels after the disaster at Nob from 1 Samuel, chapter 22. He too was a high priest. However, this text says that Ahimelech his son was the high priest. Either this is a mistake by this biblical author or he may have been the son of Abiathar and the grandson of Ahimelech. There were at least 11 biblical figures with the name Seraiah. This Seraiah was the recording secretary for King David. Benaiah, whose father had been a high priest, was in charge of the Cherethites and the Pelethites, who were like body guards, executioners or messengers. These Cherethites and Pelethites may have been captured Philistines.

The listing of David’s warriors (1 Chr 11:26-11:47)

“The warriors of the armies were: Asahel the brother of Joab; Elhanan son of Dodo of Bethlehem; Shammah of Harod; Helez the Pelonite; Ira son of Ikkesh of Tekoa; Abiezer of Anathoth; Sibbecai the Hushathite; Ilai the Ahohite; Maharai of Netophah; Heled son of Baanah of Netophah; Ittai son of Ribai of Gibeah of the Benjaminites; Benaiah of Pirathon; Hurai of the Wadi of Gaash; Abiel the Arbathite; Azmaveth of Bahurim; Eliahba of Shaalbon; Hashem the Gizonite; Jonathan son of Shagee the Hararite; Ahiam son of Sharar the Hararite; Eliphal son of Ur; Hepher the Mecherathite; Ahijah the Pelonite; Hezro of Carmel; Naarai son of Ezbai; Joel the brother of Nathan; Mibhar son of Hagri; Zelek the Ammonite; Naharai of Beeroth, the armor-bearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah; Ira the Ithrite; Gareb the Ithrite; Uriah the Hittite; Zabad the son of Ahlai; Adina son of Shiza the Reubenite, a leader of the Reubenites, and thirty with him; Hanan the son of Maacah; Joshaphat the Mithnite; Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jeiel sons of Hotham the Aroerite; Jediael son of Shimri; Joha his brother, the Tizite; Eliel the Mahavite; Jeribai and Joshaviah sons of Elnaam; Ithmah the Moabite; Eliel; Obed; and Jaasiel the Mezobaite.”

This list is much like the list in 2 Samuel, chapter 23. However there are 7 omissions and 22 additions as well as 8 name changes. For more information about these men see the notes in 2 Samuel. Of those 7 mentioned in 2 Samuel, that appeared there but did not make this list, they include: Elika of Harod, Eliphelet son of Ahasbai of Maacah, Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, Paarai the Arbite, Igal son of Nathan of Zobah, and Bani the Gadite. The following 22 names were added and not in 2 Samuel: Eliphal the son of Ur, Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite, Naarai the son of Ezbai, Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Hagri, Zabad the son of Ahlai, Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, Hanan the son of Maacah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite, Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jeiel sons of Hotham the Aroerite, Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother the Tizite, Eliel the Mahavite, Jeribai and Joshaviah sons of Elnaam, Ithmah the Moabite, Eliel, Obed, and Jaasiel the Mezobaite. The following 8 names have been changed. Helez the Paltite has become Helez the Pelonite. Mebunnai the Hushathite has become Sibbecai the Hushathite. Zalmon the Ahohite has become Ilai the Ahohite. Heleb son of Baanah of Netophah, had become Heled. Abi-albon the Arbathite has become Abiel. Hiddai of Gaash has become Hurai. Jashen has become Hashem the Gizonite. Jonathan the son of Shammah has become the son of Shagee.

Benaiah, the body guard of David (1 Chr 11:22-11:25)

“Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant warrior from Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds. He struck down the two sons of Ariel from Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. He killed an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits tall. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand like a weaver’s beam. However, Benaiah went against him with a staff. He snatched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand. Then he killed him with his own spear. Such were the things Benaiah son of Jehoiada did. He won a name beside the three warriors. He was renowned among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. David put him in charge of his bodyguards.”

Once again, this is based almost word for word from 2 Samuel, chapter 23. There are a lot of people in the biblical literature with the name of Benaiah. In fact, this Benaiah appears quite a lot because he was the body guard of David. Once again, this warrior was famous for his great masterful deeds. Although he was pretty good, he was not good enough to make it into the elite 3. He had killed the 2 sons of Ariel, the Moabite. On a snowy day he killed a lion. There seemed to be a lot of lions to kill. He also killed an Egyptian with his own spear by stealing it from him. Here he was a man of great stature, 5 cubits or over 7 feet tall instead of being handsome as he was in 2 Samuel. The spear was like a weaver’s beam. In fact, the biblical author indicates, with “such were the things he did” that there were many stories told about him.


The leaders of Simeon (1 Chr 4:34-4:38)

“The leaders of the Simeon families were Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah the son of Amaziah, Joel, Jehu the son of Joshibiah, son of Seraiah, son of Asiel, Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, Ziza the son of Shiphi, son of Allon, son of Jedaiah, son of Shimri, son of Shemaiah. Their clans increased greatly.”

Some of the more successful families were only mentioned here and not elsewhere, like Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah, Joshibiah, Asiel, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Jesimiel, and Shiphi. Many of the other names appear elsewhere but they are the not the most well know people with this name. The most famous Amaziah was the king of Judah (796-781 BCE), although there are a couple of other Levites with this name. There were 14 people with the name of Joel, with the most famous being the minor prophet whose book is Joel. There were 5 people with the name of Jehu, the most famous being King Jehu of Israel (841-814 BCE). 11 people had the name Seraiah, some of them Levites. 6 people had the name of Elioenai, while only 4 people had the name of Asaiah or Jedaiah. 3 people had the name Adiel or Shimri, while 2 had the name of Ziza. Although 9 people had the name of Benaiah, the most famous was the son of the priest Jehoiada, who played a major role in the rule of David. Allon was both a person and the name of a town. However, the most prevalent name was Shemaiah, because there were 25 different biblical persons with that name.

Solomon meets with Shimei and has him killed (1 Kings 2:41-2:46)

“When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and returned, the king sent and summoned Shimei. He said to him. ‘Did I not make you swear by Yahweh, and solemnly adjure you, saying. ‘Know for certain that on the day you go out and go to any place whatever, you shall die?’ You said to me. ‘The sentence is fair. I accept.’ Why then have you not kept your oath to Yahweh and the commandment with which I charged you?’ The king also said to Shimei. ‘You know in your own heart all the evil that you did to my father David. So Yahweh will bring back your evil on your own head. But King Solomon shall be blessed. The throne of David shall be established before Yahweh forever.’ Then the king commanded Benaiah son of Jehoiada. He went out and struck him down, and he died.”

When Solomon found out about Shimei leaving Jerusalem, he summoned him and reminded him of the oath that he took to Yahweh. Shimei had sworn that he would never leave Jerusalem. In fact, Shimei had even said that it was fair.   Then Solomon reminded Shimei of the curses that he had put on David. So now, of course, the real purpose comes out. King Solomon will be blessed as the throne of David will last forever. Then Solomon had Benaiah, his hatchet man, kill Shimei. Benaiah took care of Shimei once and for all.

The death of Joab (1 Kings 2:28-2:35)

“When the news came to Joab, as he had supported Adonijah, although he had not supported Absalom, he fled to the tent of Yahweh and grasped the horns of the altar. It was told to King Solomon. ‘Joab has fled to the tent of Yahweh. He is now inside beside the altar.’ Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, saying. ‘Go, strike him down.’ So Benaiah came to the tent of Yahweh, and said to him. ‘The king commands. Come out.’ But he said. ‘No, I will die here.’ Then Benaiah brought the king word again, saying. ‘Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.’ The king replied to him. ‘Do as he has said. Strike him down and bury him. Thus take away from me and from my father’s house the guilt for the blood that Joab shed without cause. Yahweh will bring back his bloody deeds upon his own head, because, without the knowledge of my father David, he attacked and killed with the sword two men more righteous and better than himself, Abner son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. So shall their blood come back on the head of Joab and on the head of his descendants forever. But to David, and to his descendants, and to his house, and to his throne, there shall be peace from Yahweh forevermore.’ Then Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up, and struck him down. He killed him. He was buried at his own house near the wilderness. The king put Benaiah son of Jehoiada over the army in his place. The king put the priest Zadok in the place of Abiathar.”

Joab knew that he was in trouble because he had supported Adonijah, not Solomon. However, he had never supported Absalom. Joab went to the altar tent and grasped the horns of the altar, just as Adonijah had done in chapter 1. When King Solomon heard this, he sent Joab’s old friend Benaiah to kill him. Solomon did not want the guilt from the two killings of Abner and Amasa by Joab on him. Besides, David had told Solomon to do it. Benaiah went and did as the king requested. He killed his old fighting buddy Joab. Then he became the head of the army. Meanwhile the priest Zadok became the high priest in the place of Abiathar.