II Samuel 23
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1  These are the last words of David: The utterance of David son of Yishai, The utterance of the man set on high, The anointed of the God of Yaakov, The favorite of the songs of Yisrael:

v’-AY-leh div-RAY da-VID ha-a-kha-ro-NEEM n’-UM da-VID ben yi-SHAI un-UM ha-GE-ver hu-KAM AL m’-SHEE-akh e-lo-HAY ya-a-KOV u-n’-EEM z’-mi-ROT yis-ra-AYL

א  וְאֵלֶּה דִּבְרֵי דָוִד הָאַחֲרֹנִים נְאֻם דָּוִד בֶּן־יִשַׁי וּנְאֻם הַגֶּבֶר הֻקַם עָל מְשִׁיחַ אֱלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב וּנְעִים זְמִרוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

 23:1 The favorite of the songs of Yisrael

The Hebrew words n’eem zemirot yisrael (נעים זמרות ישראל),‘ the favorite of the songs of Yisrael’ or ‘ the sweet singer of Israel,’ are a reference to King David. Though much of this chapter focuses on his worldly accom­plishments, King David is an intensely spiritual person who strives with every ounce of his being to serve Hashem. According to the Sages (Sanhedrin 16b), King David had a harp hanging by his bed which would wake him when the wind blew its strings in the middle of the night. He would then arise and spend the rest of the night in study and praying. In addition to being a scholar, King David is the author of most of Sefer Tehillim, the Book of Psalms, excelling not only in Torah study but also in prayer.  And when he sins, he repents with a broken heart. Though his wish to build God’s Holy Temple is not granted, he is able to make many of its preparations. King David serves as the quintessential leader who uses all of his talents, and all aspects of his personality, to serve Hashem and His people.Comment

2  The spirit of Hashem has spoken through me, His message is on my tongue;

ב  רוּחַ יְהֹוָה דִּבֶּר־בִּי וּמִלָּתוֹ עַל־לְשׁוֹנִי׃

3  The God of Yisrael has spoken, The Rock of Yisrael said concerning me: “He who rules men justly, He who rules in awe of Hashem

ג  אָמַר אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לִי דִבֶּר צוּר יִשְׂרָאֵל מוֹשֵׁל בָּאָדָם צַדִּיק מוֹשֵׁל יִרְאַת אֱלֹהִים׃

4  Is like the light of morning at sunrise, A morning without clouds— Through sunshine and rain [Bringing] vegetation out of the earth.”

ד  וּכְאוֹר בֹּקֶר יִזְרַח־שָׁמֶשׁ בֹּקֶר לֹא עָבוֹת מִנֹּגַהּ מִמָּטָר דֶּשֶׁא מֵאָרֶץ׃

5  Is not my House established before Hashem? For He has granted me an eternal pact, Drawn up in full and secured. Will He not cause all my success And [my] every desire to blossom?

ה  כִּי־לֹא־כֵן בֵּיתִי עִם־אֵל כִּי בְרִית עוֹלָם שָׂם לִי עֲרוּכָה בַכֹּל וּשְׁמֻרָה כִּי־כָל־יִשְׁעִי וְכָל־חֵפֶץ כִּי־לֹא יַצְמִיחַ׃

6  But the wicked shall all Be raked aside like thorns; For no one will take them in his hand.

ו  וּבְלִיַּעַל כְּקוֹץ מֻנָד כֻּלָּהַם כִּי־לֹא בְיָד יִקָּחוּ׃

7  Whoever touches them Must arm himself with iron And the shaft of a spear; And they must be burned up on the spot.

ז  וְאִישׁ יִגַּע בָּהֶם יִמָּלֵא בַרְזֶל וְעֵץ חֲנִית וּבָאֵשׁ שָׂרוֹף יִשָּׂרְפוּ בַּשָּׁבֶת׃

8  These are the names of David‘s warriors: Josheb-basshebeth, a Tahchemonite, the chief officer—he is Adino the Eznite; [he wielded his spear] against eight hundred and slew them on one occasion.

ח  אֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת הַגִּבֹּרִים אֲשֶׁר לְדָוִד יֹשֵׁב בַּשֶּׁבֶת תַּחְכְּמֹנִי רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁלִשִׁי הוּא עֲדִינוֹ העצנו [הָעֶצְנִי] עַל־שְׁמֹנֶה מֵאוֹת חָלָל בְּפַעַם אחד [אֶחָת׃]

9  Next to him was Elazar son of Dodo son of Ahohi. He was one of the three warriors with David when they defied the Philistines gathered there for battle. The Israelite soldiers retreated,

ט  ואחרו [וְאַחֲרָיו] אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן־דדי [דֹּדוֹ] בֶּן־אֲחֹחִי בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה גברים [הַגִּבֹּרִים] עִם־דָּוִד בְּחָרְפָם בַּפְּלִשְׁתִּים נֶאֶסְפוּ־שָׁם לַמִּלְחָמָה וַיַּעֲלוּ אִישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

10  but he held his ground. He struck down Philistines until his arm grew tired and his hand stuck to his sword; and Hashem wrought a great victory that day. Then the troops came back to him—but only to strip [the slain].

י  הוּא קָם וַיַּךְ בַּפְּלִשְׁתִּים עַד כִּי־יָגְעָה יָדוֹ וַתִּדְבַּק יָדוֹ אֶל־הַחֶרֶב וַיַּעַשׂ יְהֹוָה תְּשׁוּעָה גְדוֹלָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וְהָעָם יָשֻׁבוּ אַחֲרָיו אַךְ־לְפַשֵּׁט׃

11  Next to him was Shammah son of Age the Ararite. The Philistines had gathered in force where there was a plot of ground full of lentils; and the troops fled from the Philistines.

יא  וְאַחֲרָיו שַׁמָּא בֶן־אָגֵא הָרָרִי וַיֵּאָסְפוּ פְלִשְׁתִּים לַחַיָּה וַתְּהִי־שָׁם חֶלְקַת הַשָּׂדֶה מְלֵאָה עֲדָשִׁים וְהָעָם נָס מִפְּנֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים׃

12  But [Shammah] took his stand in the middle of the plot and defended it, and he routed the Philistines. Thus Hashem wrought a great victory.

יב  וַיִּתְיַצֵּב בְּתוֹךְ־הַחֶלְקָה וַיַּצִּילֶהָ וַיַּךְ אֶת־פְּלִשְׁתִּים וַיַּעַשׂ יְהֹוָה תְּשׁוּעָה גְדוֹלָה׃

13  Once, during the harvest, three of the thirty chiefs went down to David at the cave of Adulam, while a force of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim.

יג  וַיֵּרְדוּ שלשים [שְׁלֹשָׁה] מֵהַשְּׁלֹשִׁים רֹאשׁ וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־קָצִיר אֶל־דָּוִד אֶל־מְעָרַת עֲדֻלָּם וְחַיַּת פְּלִשְׁתִּים חֹנָה בְּעֵמֶק רְפָאִים׃

14  David was then in the stronghold, and a Philistine garrison was then at Beit Lechem.

יד  וְדָוִד אָז בַּמְּצוּדָה וּמַצַּב פְּלִשְׁתִּים אָז בֵּית לָחֶם׃

15  David felt a craving and said, “If only I could get a drink of water from the cistern which is by the gate of Beit Lechem!”

טו  וַיִּתְאַוֶּה דָוִד וַיֹּאמַר מִי יַשְׁקֵנִי מַיִם מִבֹּאר בֵּית־לֶחֶם אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׁעַר׃

16  So the three warriors got through the Philistine camp and drew water from the cistern which is by the gate of Beit Lechem, and they carried it back. But when they brought it to David he would not drink it, and he poured it out as a libation to Hashem.

טז  וַיִּבְקְעוּ שְׁלֹשֶׁת הַגִּבֹּרִים בְּמַחֲנֵה פְלִשְׁתִּים וַיִּשְׁאֲבוּ־מַיִם מִבֹּאר בֵּית־לֶחֶם אֲשֶׁר בַּשַּׁעַר וַיִּשְׂאוּ וַיָּבִאוּ אֶל־דָּוִד וְלֹא אָבָה לִשְׁתּוֹתָם וַיַּסֵּךְ אֹתָם לַיהֹוָה׃

17  For he said, “Hashem forbid that I should do this! Can [I drink] the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?” So he would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the three warriors.

יז  וַיֹּאמֶר חָלִילָה לִּי יְהֹוָה מֵעֲשֹׂתִי זֹאת הֲדַם הָאֲנָשִׁים הַהֹלְכִים בְּנַפְשׁוֹתָם וְלֹא אָבָה לִשְׁתּוֹתָם אֵלֶּה עָשׂוּ שְׁלֹשֶׁת הַגִּבֹּרִים׃

18  Avishai, the brother of Yoav son of Tzeruya, was head of another three. He once wielded his spear against three hundred and slew them.

יח  וַאֲבִישַׁי אֲחִי יוֹאָב בֶּן־צְרוּיָה הוּא רֹאשׁ השלשי [הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה] וְהוּא עוֹרֵר אֶת־חֲנִיתוֹ עַל־שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת חָלָל וְלוֹ־שֵׁם בַּשְּׁלֹשָׁה׃

19  He won a name among the three; since he was the most highly regarded among the three, he became their leader. However, he did not attain to the three.

יט  מִן־הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה הֲכִי נִכְבָּד וַיְהִי לָהֶם לְשָׂר וְעַד־הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה לֹא־בָא׃

20  Benaiah son of Yehoyada, from Kabzeel, was a brave soldier who performed great deeds. He killed the two [sons] of Ariel of Moab. Once, on a snowy day, he went down into a pit and killed a lion.

כ  וּבְנָיָהוּ בֶן־יְהוֹיָדָע בֶּן־אִישׁ־חי [חַיִל] רַב־פְּעָלִים מִקַּבְצְאֵל הוּא הִכָּה אֵת שְׁנֵי אֲרִאֵל מוֹאָב וְהוּא יָרַד וְהִכָּה אֶת־האריה [הָאֲרִי] בְּתוֹךְ הַבֹּאר בְּיוֹם הַשָּׁלֶג׃

21  He also killed an Egyptian, a huge man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand, yet [Benaiah] went down against him with a club, wrenched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear.

כא  וְהוּא־הִכָּה אֶת־אִישׁ מִצְרִי אשר [אִישׁ] מַרְאֶה וּבְיַד הַמִּצְרִי חֲנִית וַיֵּרֶד אֵלָיו בַּשָּׁבֶט וַיִּגְזֹל אֶת־הַחֲנִית מִיַּד הַמִּצְרִי וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ בַּחֲנִיתוֹ׃

22  Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Yehoyada; and he won a name among the three warriors.

כב  אֵלֶּה עָשָׂה בְּנָיָהוּ בֶּן־יְהוֹיָדָע וְלוֹ־שֵׁם בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה הַגִּבֹּרִים׃

23  He was highly regarded among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

כג  מִן־הַשְּׁלֹשִׁים נִכְבָּד וְאֶל־הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה לֹא־בָא וַיְשִׂמֵהוּ דָוִד אֶל־מִשְׁמַעְתּוֹ׃

24  Among the thirty were Asael, the brother of Yoav; Elhacnan son of Dodo [from] Beit Lechem,

כד  עֲשָׂה־אֵל אֲחִי־יוֹאָב בַּשְּׁלֹשִׁים אֶלְחָנָן בֶּן־דֹּדוֹ בֵּית לָחֶם׃

25  Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite,

כה  שַׁמָּה הַחֲרֹדִי אֱלִיקָא הַחֲרֹדִי׃

26  Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa,

כו  חֶלֶץ הַפַּלְטִי עִירָא בֶן־עִקֵּשׁ הַתְּקוֹעִי׃

27  Abiezer of Anatot, Mebunnai the Hushathite,

כז  אֲבִיעֶזֶר הָעַנְּתֹתִי מְבֻנַּי הַחֻשָׁתִי׃

28  Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite,

כח  צַלְמוֹן הָאֲחֹחִי מַהְרַי הַנְּטֹפָתִי׃

29  Heleb son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai son of Ribai from Giva of the Benjaminites,

כט  חֵלֶב בֶּן־בַּעֲנָה הַנְּטֹפָתִי אִתַּי בֶּן־רִיבַי מִגִּבְעַת בְּנֵי בִנְיָמִן׃

30  Benaiah of Pirathon, Hiddai of Nahale-gaash,

ל  בְּנָיָהוּ פִּרְעָתֹנִי הִדַּי מִנַּחֲלֵי גָעַשׁ׃

31  Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite,

לא  אֲבִי־עַלְבוֹן הָעַרְבָתִי עַזְמָוֶת הַבַּרְחֻמִי׃

32  Eliahba of Shaalbon, sons of Jashen, Yehonatan,

לב  אֶלְיַחְבָּא הַשַּׁעַלְבֹנִי בְּנֵי יָשֵׁן יְהוֹנָתָן׃

33  Shammah the Ararite, Ahiam son of Sharar the Ararite,

לג  שַׁמָּה הַהֲרָרִי אֲחִיאָם בֶּן־שָׁרָר הָארָרִי׃

34  Eliphelet son of Ahasbai son of the Maacathite, Eliam son of Achitofel the Gilonite,

לד  אֱלִיפֶלֶט בֶּן־אֲחַסְבַּי בֶּן־הַמַּעֲכָתִי אֱלִיעָם בֶּן־אֲחִיתֹפֶל הַגִּלֹנִי׃

35  Hezrai the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite,

לה  חצרו [חֶצְרַי] הַכַּרְמְלִי פַּעֲרַי הָאַרְבִּי׃

36  Igal son of Natan from Zobah, Bani the Gadite,

לו  יִגְאָל בֶּן־נָתָן מִצֹּבָה בָּנִי הַגָּדִי׃

37  Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite—the arms-bearer of Yoav son of Tzeruya

לז  צֶלֶק הָעַמֹּנִי נַחְרַי הַבְּאֵרֹתִי נשאי [נֹשֵׂא] כְּלֵי יוֹאָב בֶּן־צְרֻיָה׃

38  Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,

לח  עִירָא הַיִּתְרִי גָּרֵב הַיִּתְרִי׃

39  Uriya the Hittite: thirty-seven in all.

לט  אוּרִיָּה הַחִתִּי כֹּל שְׁלֹשִׁים וְשִׁבְעָה׃

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