Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 23

The ‘Thirty’ mighty men

2 Samuel 23:24-39

This passage contains a list of the famous soldiers (often called ‘David’s mighty men’) who belonged to the group called ‘The Thirty’. There were actually more than 30 men in this group, and some more names appear in 1 Chronicles 11:26-47.

In the list, the name of each man appears, usually with a reference to his town or his family. These men all fought for King David in Israel’s army. However, some of them were foreigners who had decided to support Israel. So, there is Zelek from Ammon (23:37); and Uriah who belonged to the people called Hittites (23:39). 1 Chronicles 11:46 also mentions Ithmah, who came from Moab.

Only two of the soldiers in this list are familiar to us from previous chapters. Asahel (23:24) was the brother of Joab, David’s chief army commander. Abner killed him in a battle soon after David became king of Judah, the southern part of Israel (2:18-23).

Uriah (23:39) is the man whose death David ordered (2 Samuel chapter 11). David did that to try to hide the fact that he (David) had slept with Uriah’s wife. It was the most wicked act that David ever did (1 Kings 15:5). Uriah was completely loyal to David and to Israel’s army.

Uriah’s wife was the daughter of another of these great soldiers, Eliam (11:3; 23:34). Eliam’s father, Ahithophel, was David’s wisest adviser, who afterwards decided to support Absalom against David (16:23).

Next part: God's judgement against David and against Israel (2 Samuel 24:1)


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© 2023, Keith Simons.