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CHAPTER 12 Sep. 29 
The Names of David’s Followers
Now these are those who came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself in secret because of Saul the son of Kish; and they were among the mighty men, his helpers in war. 2They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in slinging stones and in shooting arrows from the bow. They were of Saul’s brothers of Benjamin. 3The chief was Ahiezer; then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite, and Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth, and Beracah, and Jehu the Anathothite, 4and Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty, and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Jozabad the Gederathite, 5Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and Bealiah, and Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite, 6Elkanah, and Isshiah, and Azarel, and Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korahites, 7and Joelah, and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor. 8Of the Gadites there separated themselves to David to the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valour, men trained for war, that could handle shield and spear; whose faces were like the faces of lions, and they were as swift as the roes on the mountains: 9Ezer the chief, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third, 10Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth, 11Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh, 12Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth, 13Jeremiah the tenth, Machbannai the eleventh. 14These of the sons of Gad were captains of the army: he who was least was equal to one hundred, and the greatest to one thousand. 15These are those who went over the Jordan in the first month, when it had overflowed all its banks; and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both toward the east, and toward the west. 16There came of the children of Benjamin and Judah to the stronghold to David. 17David went out to meet them and responded to them: If you have come peaceably to me to help me, my heart shall be knit to you; but if you have come to betray me to my adversaries, since there is no wrong in my hands, may the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it. 18Then the Spirit came on Amasai, who was chief of the thirty, and he said, We are yours, David, and on your side, you son of Jesse. Peace, peace be to you, and peace be to your helpers; for your God helps you. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band. 19Of Manasseh also there fell away some to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle; but they didn’t help them; for the lords of the Philistines sent him away after consultation, saying, He will fall away to his master Saul to the jeopardy of our heads. 20As he went to Ziklag, there joined him of Manasseh, Adnah, Jozabad,  Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu and Zillethai, captains of thousands who were of Manasseh. 21They helped David against the band of rovers; for they were all mighty men of valour, and were captains in the army. 22For from day to day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army, like the army of God. 
The Numbers of David’s Supporters
23These are the numbers of the heads of those who were armed for war, who came to David to Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of Yahweh. 24The children of Judah who bore shield and spear were six thousand  eight hundred, armed for war. 25Of the children of Simeon, mighty men of valour in war, seven thousand one hundred. 26Of the children of Levi four thousand six hundred. 27Jehoiada was the leader of the household of Aaron; and with him were three thousand seven hundred, 28and Zadok, a young man mighty of valour, and of his father’s house twenty-two captains. 29Of the children of Benjamin, the brothers of Saul, three thousand; for hitherto the majority of them had kept their allegiance to the house of Saul. 30Of the children of Ephraim twenty thousand eight hundred, mighty men of valour, famous men in their fathers’ houses. 31Of the half-tribe of Manasseh eighteen thousand, who were mentioned by name, came and made David king. 32Of the children of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their heads were two hundred; and all their brothers were under their command. 33Of Zebulun, such as were able to go out in the army, who could set the battle in array, with all kinds of instruments of war, fifty thousand, who could command and were not of double heart. 34Of Naphtali one thousand captains, and with them with shield and spear thirty-seven thousand. 35Of the Danites who could set the battle in array, twenty-eight thousand six hundred. 36Of Asher, such as were able to go out in the army, who could set the battle in array, forty thousand. 37On the other side of the Jordan, of the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and of the half-tribe of Manasseh, with all kinds of instruments of war for the battle, one hundred and twenty thousand. 38All these being men of war, who could order the battle array, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel. All the rest of Israel were also of one heart to make David king. 39They were there with David three days, eating and drinking; for their brothers had made preparation for them. 40Moreover those who were near to them, as far as Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on donkeys, and on camels, mules and oxen, food of meal, cakes of figs, and clusters of raisins, and wine and oil, and cattle and sheep in abundance; for there was joy in Israel.


12:1 Those who followed David in his wilderness years were remembered by God by name for millennia afterwards. They became leaders in David’s Kingdom after the death of Saul. We who follow Christ now, even though at times it may seem we are supporting a humanly hopeless case, will finally be rewarded in the future Kingdom.
12:14 This alludes to how one faithful man would chase one thousand unbelievers (Dt. 32:30). We could infer that those who followed David in the wilderness years came to faith in God although perhaps they initially came to him more because of their own dissatisfaction with life (1 Sam. 22:2; Ps. 57:4). Some start their spiritual journey with one motivation and yet become more spiritual over time, influenced by Godly examples like David.
12:17 There is no wrong in my hands- Saul had falsely accused David of many things, but he refused to take false guilt because of them. When we are under false accusation, we tend to become very self-justificatory and refuse to accept true guilt before God (as opposed to before men) for our real sins, for which we should feel guilty. David sets a great example to us here and in his Psalms about these matters; he refuses to accept he had done anything wrong to Saul, and yet openly confesses his real sins to God.
12:22 David’s army increased, until it became “a great army, like the army of God”. The parallel between David’s men and the Angelic hosts is clear. Significantly, the Angelic armies that destroyed the Syrians are called ‘a great army’ in 2 Kings 7:6. Asa and his army defeated the Ethiopians- and it’s described as them being “destroyed before Yahweh and before His army” (2 Chron. 14:13). Again, the hosts of Israel become the hosts of God. Significantly in this context, 11:9 speaks of David’s God as Yahweh of Armies. As the cherubim visualized, we on earth are to be reflective of God’s heavenly armies, and if we walk in step with them, victory is assured. See on 14:15.
12:23 Those who supported David at this time were very significant to God, and their numbers have been recorded for millennia in His word. Our support for Christ’s cause in this world is highly significant to God, and He likewise remembers all the moments when we have in one way or another stood up for His cause in an unbelieving and spiritually hostile world.