Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 23


2 Samuel 23:20-23

Benaiah belonged to a family of priests (1 Chronicles 27:5). We do not know whether he ever served as a priest himself – he only became famous as a great soldier. He was the leader of the groups of soldiers called the Kerethites and Pelethites, who were David’s special guards (8:18). Later, Solomon appointed him as chief commander of Israel’s whole army (1 Kings 2:35).

For a long time, Israel’s people had considered Benaiah to be one of their greatest heroes. It was in the war against Moab (8:2) that Benaiah became famous. There were two men in Moab’s army who seemed as bold and fierce as lions. Probably, Israel’s other soldiers were afraid to fight them, so Benaiah had to fight them both. He defeated them and killed them.

Of course, those two men only seemed like lions – they were just men. However, Benaiah had killed an actual lion too. It seems that the lion was looking for food on a snowy day. It went into a town; then it fell into a hole in the ground where people gathered water. The people in the town were very afraid that the lion might escape to attack them. Only the bravest man would dare to go in to kill that lion.

On one occasion, Benaiah only had a stick to defend himself when he fought against an enemy. That enemy was a huge man from Egypt, who carried a spear (a long stick with a sharp metal point). Benaiah managed to take the spear from his enemy, and to kill him with it.

Next part: The 'Thirty' mighty men (2 Samuel 23:24-39)


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© 2023, Keith Simons.