A surprise at the end

2 Samuel Bible Background

Old Testament: 2Sa 23.24–39

To read the Bible in a year, read Second Samuel 23–24 on April 30, In the year of our Lord Christ 2019

By Don Ruhl

The Scripture selection for today lists the 37 mighty men of David. As you read through the list, you will recognize some names, but most will not be familiar to you because they are not included in the narration of David’s life and reign.

As you read the list, notice that the writer put in a surprise, someone who was in the story of David but whom David had not treated well:

Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, Heleb the son of Baanah (the Netophathite), Ittai the son of Ribai from Gibeah of the children of Benjamin, Benaiah a Pirathonite, Hiddai from the brooks of Gaash, Abi-Albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite (of the sons of Jashen), Jonathan, Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Hararite, Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maachathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, Hezrai the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite (armorbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah), Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, and…

– 2 Samuel 23.24–39

I left off the last name. Read the chapter to read about some of the exploits of David’s mighty men, and also read it to discover the man whose name I did not give you.


  • What do you think the meeting between this mystery man and David was like in heaven?
  • Can you forgive those who have wronged you?

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