27 This is the number of the people of Israel, the heads of fathers’ houses, the commanders of thousands and hundreds, and their officers who served the king in all matters concerning the divisions that came and went, month after month throughout the year, each division numbering 24,000:
Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel was in charge of the first division in the first month; in his division were 24,000. He was a descendant of Perez and was chief of all the commanders. He served for the first month. Dodai the Ahohite was in charge of the division of the second month; in his division were 24,000. The third commander, for the third month, was Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada the chief priest; in his division were 24,000. This is the Benaiah who was a mighty man of the thirty and in command of the thirty; Ammizabad his son was in charge of his division. Asahel the brother of Joab was fourth, for the fourth month, and his son Zebadiah after him; in his division were 24,000. The fifth commander, for the fifth month, was Shamhuth the Izrahite; in his division were 24,000. Sixth, for the sixth month, was Ira, the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite; in his division were 24,000. Seventh, for the seventh month, was Helez the Pelonite, of the sons of Ephraim; in his division were 24,000. Eighth, for the eighth month, was Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zerahites; in his division were 24,000. Ninth, for the ninth month, was Abiezer of Anathoth, a Benjaminite; in his division were 24,000. Tenth, for the tenth month, was Maharai of Netophah, of the Zerahites; in his division were 24,000. Eleventh, for the eleventh month, was Benaiah of Pirathon, of the sons of Ephraim; in his division were 24,000. Twelfth, for the twelfth month, was Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel; in his division were 24,000.
Leaders of Tribes
Over the tribes of Israel, for the Reubenites, Eliezer the son of Zichri was chief officer; for the Simeonites, Shephatiah the son of Maacah; for Levi, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel; for Aaron, Zadok; for Judah, Elihu, one of David’s brothers; for Issachar, Omri the son of Michael; for Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah; for Naphtali, Jeremoth the son of Azriel; for the Ephraimites, Hoshea the son of Azaziah; for the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joel the son of Pedaiah; for the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo the son of Zechariah; for Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner; for Dan, Azarel the son of Jeroham. These were the leaders of the tribes of Israel. David did not count those below twenty years of age, for the LORD had promised to make Israel as many as the stars of heaven. Joab the son of Zeruiah began to count, but did not finish. Yet wrath came upon Israel for this, and the number was not entered in the chronicles of King David.
Over the king’s treasuries was Azmaveth the son of Adiel; and over the treasuries in the country, in the cities, in the villages, and in the towers, was Jonathan the son of Uzziah; and over those who did the work of the field for tilling the soil was Ezri the son of Chelub; and over the vineyards was Shimei the Ramathite; and over the produce of the vineyards for the wine cellars was Zabdi the Shiphmite. Over the olive and sycamore trees in the Shephelah was Baal-hanan the Gederite; and over the stores of oil was Joash. Over the herds that pastured in Sharon was Shitrai the Sharonite; over the herds in the valleys was Shaphat the son of Adlai. Over the camels was Obil the Ishmaelite; and over the donkeys was Jehdeiah the Meronothite. Over the flocks was Jaziz the Hagrite. All these were stewards of King David’s property.
Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a counselor, being a man of understanding and a scribe. He and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni attended the king’s sons. Ahithophel was the king’s counselor, and Hushai the Archite was the king’s friend. Ahithophel was succeeded by Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar. Joab was commander of the king’s army.
1 Chronicles 27 Commentary
by Hank Workman
As Colonial Mustard so brilliantly stated in the movie Clue, “This is War Peacock!” there is such truth to this one of many quotable lines from the hilarious film.
While living in Cyprus back in the 80’s and 90’s military conscription was required. This was a new thought to me for we as a nation have been fortunate enough to not have compulsory enlistment for decades now. But there upon graduation from high school, males were required to enlist in active military duty. As of today, they are required to serve 14 months. Once you have gotten out, you then become a reservist. Several times a year for 1-2 days all males are required to go back to the army until the age of 55. Most nations hold similar laws. If you were a Cypriot male today you would return to active duty several times a year.
Chapter 27 lists the various army divisions of Israelite’s under David. The army during his time was required for the unsettled aspect of the land and in order to keep peace and be ready for the wars that at times seemingly were at every turn. According to the Torah, males were required to serve in the armed forces by the age of 20 and sometimes were in the army until the age of 60.
As I read today’s passage I thought about our own spiritual military conscription. You see, for those who are Believer’s in Jesus Christ we have stepped from the bondage of darkness and into the Light of Jesus. We are no longer on the enemies side, but serve the Commander in Chief Jesus Christ. That said, a holy war has been going on since the beginning of time. Our movement from the enemy to Jesus has put a target on each and every one of us. The enemy is out to kill and destroy. He does whatever he can to bring down the people of Jesus. We are fighting an unseen war daily.
How seriously do you take this? How mindful are you of such truth?
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”Ephesians 6:11-12
Paul’s admonition and the reminder today is we are at war. We must be battle ready to withstand the enemy’s attacks. There is not a day goes by I do not pray the spiritual armor to be placed upon me. You must do so as well. This act of engagement and being prepared for the battles you face will help you do what Paul writes in the very next verse – to stand firm.
1 Chronicles 27 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Listed among the commanders of war was a very intriguing man by the name of Benaiah.
This Benaiah was the mighty man of the thirty, and had charge of thirty; and over his division was Ammizabad his son.1 Chronicles 27:6 NASB
When David was fleeing from Saul and living in Philistia, he attracted warriors from the area. We know that those men were placed under the authority of Benaiah. We also know that Benaiah was considered one of the mighty men but he had a much greater role.
He led an elite group of mercenaries who provided special detail for David including serving as his personal bodyguard. It was not uncommon for David to send these men on special missions. The group was similar to the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6. Today, this prominent group’s role includes hostage rescue, special reconnaissance, personal security, and other specialized missions.
It seems whenever we read a story about Benaiah, he’s doing something incredible. In 2 Samuel 23, he is noted for killing 2 sons of Ariel in Moab. On the surface, this may seem like just two guys who decided to pick a fight. However, no one knows who Ariel is. The OT word ‘Ariel’ is very similar to lion. Some scholars believe these were ferocious, lion-hearted warriors. Benaiah took out not just one of them, but both. And oh, by the way, in the very next verse it says he also killed an ACTUAL lion in a pit on a snowy day. Yes, it really says that.
Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds, killed the two sons of Ariel of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day.2 Samuel 23:20 NASB
In addition, Benaiah took down a 7-foot Egyptian with his own spear, and also defended Solomon’s right to being king by killing off all the men who opposed him, including David’s former military commander, Joab!
The point is, Benaiah was a man of courage and integrity. He stood up for what was right. He used his skill to the best of his ability in order to support the men whom the Lord had chosen.