2 Samuel 23:10
but Eleazar stood his ground and struck the Philistines until his hand grew weary and stuck to his sword. The LORD brought about a great victory that day. Then the troops returned to him, but only to plunder the dead.
A Heroic Sword-GraspJ. Saxtell.2 Samuel 23:10
Hitting Hard2 Samuel 23:10
The Sword for Use2 Samuel 23:10
The Sword of the ValiantSpurgeon, Charles Haddon2 Samuel 23:10
The Warrior's ScarsT. De Witt Talmage.2 Samuel 23:10
The First Three HeroesB. Dale 2 Samuel 23:8-12

From this verse to the end of the chapter is given an account of men who had distinguished themselves in the service of David by their might and prowess, and who were rewarded with promotion and a place in this honourable list. Our King, Jesus Christ, has also his mighty ones - men, women, and children - whose exploits are not forgotten.


1. What they are. They are the ordinary characteristics of a Christian existing in a high degree of strength and fervour.

(1) Strong faith. The eye that sees the invisible; the hand that grasps the promises; strong confidence in God and Christ (see Hebrews 11.).

(2) Ardent love. Warm attachment and devoted loyalty to their King; love to his kingdom and all who belong to it; love to men in general; love disinterested, unselfish. A selfish man cannot be a hero.

(3) A strong sense of duty, overpowering the desire for ease, safety, pleasure, or gain.

(4) Intense prayerfulness. Earnest prayer is "power with God and with men" (Genesis 32:28).

(5) Clear and impressive knowledge. "Knowledge is power." "A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength" (Proverbs 24:5). Knowledge adds strength to the character of its possessor, and is a powerful weapon in the service of our King. It is by "the truth" that Christ's battles are fought and victories won. "The gospel is the power of God unto salvation" (Romans 1:16). Christ's "mighty men" are "mighty in the Scriptures" (Acts 18:24).

(6) Dauntless courage.

(7) Unwavering constancy and perseverance.

2. Whence they spring. David was brave himself, and inspired his men with bravery. They became "mighty men" through the influence of a mighty leader. Consciously or unconsciously, they imbibed his spirit and imitated him. In like manner, our "Leader and Commander of the people" (Isaiah Iv. 4) infuses his own Spirit into his faithful followers. They become mighty through close union and association with him. They are "strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might' (Ephesians 6:10); "strengthened with might by God's Spirit in the inner man" (Ephesians 3:16).

II. THEM WORKS. Their might is exercised:

1. In resisting and overcoming temptation. In conquering the enemies of Christ as they assail and would destroy themselves. A man may be a hero in the service of his country and a miserable coward and slave morally and spiritually, yielding without resistance to the impulses of lust and passion, covetousness and ambition, led "captive by the devil at his will" (2 Timothy 2:26).

2. In patient endurance of suffering. Martyrs, confessors, ordinary sufferers. Some of the noblest of Christ's "mighty ones" are found in sick chambers, enduring pain and perhaps privation for long months or years without a murmur.

3. In assailing and conquering religious errors or practical evils. Especially when the many favour them, and not only opposition, but obloquy, has to be encountered.

4. In promoting the salvation and welfare of men. David's "mighty men" displayed their strength and courage chiefly in destroying men's lives; Christ's in saving and blessing; though occasionally they too are called to take up material weapons in the service of their King. In this service the noblest heroic qualities are often called into exercise, as in the ease of missionaries bearing their message among savages or into perilous climates; ministers of religion at home patiently and lovingly labouring on in obscurity and poverty; visitors of those suffering from infectious diseases; teachers in ragged schools, etc.

III. THEIR VARIETIES. David's "mighty men" were from various tribes of Israel, some even Gentiles, and had each his own peculiarities of character and achievement. But all were alike loyal to their king and brave in serving him. Thus it is also with Christ's mighty ones. They are from every country and nation where he is known, from every section of his Church, from every class of society; and they all bear some marks of their origin. But they all are one in their devoted love to their King, and their readiness to labour and suffer for him even unto death. They differ also in respect of the special elements and manifestations of their power. Some owe their pre-eminence in part to physical peculiarities; others are great in spite of theirs. Some have the might of intellect; others, of heart. Some, the power of inflexible determination; others, of gentleness and tenderness. Some conquer by intense activity; others, by passive endurance or quiet influence. Some are powerful through their ability to attract and lead numbers; others, acting alone. The special sphere of some is the home; of others, the Church; of others, the exchange, the factory, the workshop, or the public meeting. Some are mighty in argument; others, in appeal; some, in instructing; others, in consoling, etc.


1. Promotion. David promoted those of his men who distinguished themselves by their bravery to posts of honour (ver. 23). Similarly, our Lord teaches us that those who are faithful to him shall be advanced to higher positions of trust and power (Luke 19:17, 19; Revelation 2:26-28; Revelation 3:12, 21). The display and exercise of noble qualities increases their vigour, and thus prepares for and ensures higher and wider service.

2. Honourable record. As here, "These be the names," etc., Christ's heroes also have their names, characters, and deeds recorded.

(1) Some on earth. In the Divine book; in ordinary biographies; in the memories of men.

(2) All in heaven (comp. Philippians 4:3). Not all who are mentioned in the earthly lists are in the heavenly; for some obtain a reputation here to which they are not justly entitled. Not all in the heavenly list are in the earthly; for good men are not omniscient, nor can they always discern superior worth, though it be before their eyes. The chief desire of us all should be to have a place in the heavenly records - to be "accepted of him" (2 Corinthians 5:9), whoever may reject or overlook us. In conclusion:

1. We should not be content just to exist as Christians, but should aim to be "mighty." This is possible to all, through union with the "strong Son of God," maintained and increased by vigorous exercises of faith, meditation, and prayer; and through faithful use of such power as they possess.

2. Whatever our might or achievements, we should ascribe all, and be sincerely concerned that others should ascribe all, to God. (Vers. 10, 12.) - G.W.

His hand clave unto the sword.
In the roll of honour of King David's army, there was one, Eleazor by name, who was counted worthy to stand with the first three mighty men of David, because "he arose and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword, and the Lord wrought a great victory that day, and the people returned after him only to spoil." In this account we see that his heroic sword-grasp was looked upon as a proof of his valour, and was made the mark of his honour and of his reward.


1. We cannot do much with a weapon in which we have little or no confidence.

2. The sword of the Spirit is the only weapon by which we can gain a great victory.

3. The efficiency of God's Word does not consist in the mere letter, but in the doctrines and duties which it teaches, and in the virtues which it commends such as truthfulness, justice, purity, benevolence, holiness. Our grasp of these shows cur appreciation of them.


1. The enemy, knowing the power of the sword, will seek to wrest it from one's grasp. If the grasp be weak, a sly thrust at the "Mistakes of Moses," or a bold, materialistic blow at the "Miracles of Jesus," may break the grasp, and then we are helpless.

2. Worldliness, or avarice, or appetite, or lust, or malice, may so loosen our grasp upon the principles of the Word that we shall be compelled to surrender.

3. It requires true heroism to hold on to principle when "the men of Israel are gone away," and "the Philistines are arrayed against" us.

4. A true soldier will die rather than lose his sword.


1. Heroic conflict requires and produces an heroic sword-grasp.

2. A true hero does not stop to count the enemy nor to consider a compromise, nor to hide himself through fear of ridicule or other evil weapons; but putting his strength into his sword he rushes on to victory.

3. Christian conflict is not controversy, but an heroic Christian life which requires and produces a firm grasp on the words and the principles of the Gospel.

4. Jesus With this sword met and repulsed Satan. (Matthew 4:10.)

5. When we are alone, as Jesus was and as Eleazar was, we can gain our greatest victories.


1. Whatever we cling to, shapes the grasp, and will, in proportion to the strength of the grasp, cleave unto the hand.

2. The more firmly we grasp, and the more efficiently we use, the words and the principles of the Word, the more deeply will they be impressed into our nature and cleave unto us.

3. When the sword cleaves unto the hand, and the hand grows weary, we can still fight on.

4. The sword of the Spirit has adhered so firmly to the hand of many a hero in God's army that even death could not break the grasp.


1. The true marks of honour are obtained through conflict and suffering.

2. The cleaving of the sword unto the hand is the mark of God's greatest heroes: the prophets, apostles, martyrs, reformers, missionaries, and others.

3. Clinging to the true and the right until the true and the right cleave unto us, is as heroic in the peculiar temptations of our day as was Eleazar's conflict.

4. The marks of our sword-grasp will be our badge of honour in eternity. Let us, then, be assured that if we rightly appreciate the sword of the Spirit, grasp it firmly, and use it efficiently until it cleave unto the hand, we also shall gain a great victory in the conflicts of life, and in the kingdom of heaven a glorious reward.

(J. Saxtell.)

I want you to hold the truth with undetachable grip, and I want you to strike so hard for God that it will react, and while you take the sword, the sword will take you. Soldiers coming together are very apt, to recount their experiences, .and to show their scars. Here is a soldier who pulls up his sleeve and says, "There I was wounded. I have had no use of that limb since the gunshot fracture." Oh, when the battle of life is over, and the resurrection has come, and our bodies rise from the dead, will we have on us any scars of bravery for God? Christ will be there all covered with scars. And all heaven will shout aloud as they look at those scars. Ignatius will be there, and he will point out the place where the tooth and the paw of the lion seized him in the Coliseum; and John Huss will be there, and he will show where the coal first scorched the foot on that day when his spirit took wing of flame from Constance. McMillan, and Campbell, and Freeman, American missionaries in India, will be there — the men who with their wives and children went down in the awful massacre at Cawnpore, and they will show where the daggers of the Sepoys struck them. The Waldenses will be there, and they will show where their hones were broken on that day the Piedmontese soldiery pitched them over the rocks. And there will be those there who took care of the sick and who looked after the poor, and they will have evidences of earthly exhaustion. And Christ, with His scarred hand waving over the scarred multitude, will say, "You suffered with Me on earth; now be glorified with Me."

(T. De Witt Talmage.)

Of the old hero the minstrel sung, "With his Yemen sword for aid, ornament it carried none but the notches on the blade." What nobler declaration of honour can any good man seek after than his scar of service, his losses for the cross, his reproaches for Christ's sake, his being worn out in the Master's service.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

The glittering sword with its keen edge and jewelled hilt is an object of beauty as a work of art, yet it is harmless. But in the muscular grip of a soldier's hand and swung with a purpose and an aim, it is a dread weapon. So with truth wielded with skill and power by the consecrated preacher.

It is told of Abraham Lincoln that once, when quite a young man, he saw men and women put on the block, exhibited for sale, and bought like cattle. He saw the humbling and degrading familiarities which the buyers took with file human chattels, saw the looks of dumb and piteous agony which stole across the poor black faces as wives were sold away from their husbands, and children torn from their mother's arms; and he forced his way out the ring and with flaming eyes, and voice husky with suppressed passion, said to a companion, gripping him by the arm, "If ever I get a chance to hit at this thing I'll hit hard, by the Eternal God." "My chance has come," he exclaimed, later in life, "and I mean to hit hard."

Abialbon, Abiel, Abiezer, Abishai, Adino, Agee, Ahasbai, Ahiam, Ahithophel, Anathoth, Ariel, Asahel, Azmaveth, Baanah, Bani, Benaiah, Benjamin, Benjaminites, David, Dodai, Dodo, Eleazar, Elhanan, Eliahba, Eliam, Elika, Eliphelet, Gareb, Heldai, Heleb, Helez, Hezrai, Hezro, Hiddai, Igal, Ikkesh, Ira, Ithai, Ittai, Jacob, Jashen, Jehoiada, Jesse, Joab, Jonathan, Maharai, Mebunnai, Naharai, Nahari, Nathan, Paarai, Ribai, Shammah, Sharar, Sibbecai, Uriah, Zalmon, Zelek, Zeruiah
Adullam, Anathoth, Bahurim, Beeroth, Bethlehem, Carmel, Gaash, Gath, Gibeah, Gilo, Harod, Jerusalem, Kabzeel, Lehi, Maacah, Moab, Netophah, Pirathon, Tekoa, Valley of Rephaim, Zobah
Adhered, Arisen, Clave, Cleave, Cleaved, Cleaveth, Clung, David, Dead, Deliverance, Eleazar, Fighting, Firm, Froze, Goods, Grew, Gripping, Ground, Philistines, Plunder, Returned, Rose, Salvation, Slain, Smiteth, Smote, Spoil, Stiff, Stood, Strip, Struck, Sword, Till, Tired, Troops, Turn, Victory, Weary, Worked, Worketh, Wrought
1. David, in his last words, professes his faith in God's promises
6. The different state of the wicked
8. A catalogue of David's mighty men

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Samuel 23:10

     1060   God, greatness of
     5572   sword
     5582   tiredness

2 Samuel 23:8-12

     5208   armies

2 Samuel 23:8-21

     5776   achievement

2 Samuel 23:8-23

     1652   numbers, 3-5

2 Samuel 23:8-39

     5544   soldiers

The Dying King's Last vision and Psalm
'Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, 2. The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was in my tongue. 3. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. 4. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A Libation to Jehovah
'And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Beth-lehem, which is by the gate! 16. And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem, that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the Lord. 17. And he said, Be it far from me, O Lord, that I should do this; is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Royal Jubilee
[Footnote: Preached on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.] '... He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. 4. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain.'--2 SAMUEL xxiii. 3, 4. One of the Psalms ascribed to David sounds like the resolves of a new monarch on his accession. In it the Psalmist draws the ideal of a king, and says such
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

David's Dying Song
We shall notice first, that the Psalmist had sorrow in his house--" Although my house be not so with God." Secondly, he had confidence in the covenant--" yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant." And thirdly, he had satisfaction in his heart, for he says--" this is all my salvation, and all my desire. I. The Psalmist says he had sorrow in his house--"Although my house be not so with God." What man is there of all our race, who, if he had to write his history, would not need to use a great
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855

Covenanting Sanctioned by the Divine Example.
God's procedure when imitable forms a peculiar argument for duty. That is made known for many reasons; among which must stand this,--that it may be observed and followed as an example. That, being perfect, is a safe and necessary pattern to follow. The law of God proclaims what he wills men as well as angels to do. The purposes of God show what he has resolved to have accomplished. The constitutions of his moral subjects intimate that he has provided that his will shall be voluntarily accomplished
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

The Christian's Book
Scripture references 2 Timothy 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:20,21; John 5:39; Romans 15:4; 2 Samuel 23:2; Luke 1:70; 24:32,45; John 2:22; 10:35; 19:36; Acts 1:16; Romans 1:1,2; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; James 2:8. WHAT IS THE BIBLE? What is the Bible? How shall we regard it? Where shall we place it? These and many questions like them at once come to the front when we begin to discuss the Bible as a book. It is only possible in this brief study, of a great subject, to indicate the line of some of the answers.
Henry T. Sell—Studies in the Life of the Christian

Thoughts Upon the Appearance of Christ the Sun of Righteousness, or the Beatifick vision.
SO long as we are in the Body, we are apt to be governed wholly by its senses, seldom or never minding any thing but what comes to us through one or other of them. Though we are all able to abstract our Thoughts when we please from matter, and fix them upon things that are purely spiritual; there are but few that ever do it. But few, even among those also that have such things revealed to them by God himself, and so have infinitely more and firmer ground to believe them, than any one, or all their
William Beveridge—Private Thoughts Upon a Christian Life

The Truth of God
The next attribute is God's truth. A God of truth and without iniquity; just and right is he.' Deut 32:4. For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.' Psa 57:10. Plenteous in truth.' Psa 86:15. I. God is the truth. He is true in a physical sense; true in his being: he has a real subsistence, and gives a being to others. He is true in a moral sense; he is true sine errore, without errors; et sine fallacia, without deceit. God is prima veritas, the pattern and prototype
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Covenanting According to the Purposes of God.
Since every revealed purpose of God, implying that obedience to his law will be given, is a demand of that obedience, the announcement of his Covenant, as in his sovereignty decreed, claims, not less effectively than an explicit law, the fulfilment of its duties. A representation of a system of things pre-determined in order that the obligations of the Covenant might be discharged; various exhibitions of the Covenant as ordained; and a description of the children of the Covenant as predestinated
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

The Work of the Holy Spirit in Prophets and Apostles.
The work of the Holy Spirit in apostles and prophets is an entirely distinctive work. He imparts to apostles and prophets an especial gift for an especial purpose. We read in 1 Cor. xii. 4, 8-11, 28, 29, R. V., "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.... For to one is given through the Spirit wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit; and to another workings
R. A. Torrey—The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

The Blessings of Noah Upon Shem and Japheth. (Gen. Ix. 18-27. )
Ver. 20. "And Noah began and became an husbandman, and planted vineyards."--This does not imply that Noah was the first who began to till the ground, and, more especially, to cultivate the vine; for Cain, too, was a tiller of the ground, Gen. iv. 2. The sense rather is, that Noah, after the flood, again took up this calling. Moreover, the remark has not an independent import; it serves only to prepare the way for the communication of the subsequent account of Noah's drunkenness. By this remark,
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

The Deity of the Holy Spirit.
In the preceding chapter we have seen clearly that the Holy Spirit is a Person. But what sort of a Person is He? Is He a finite person or an infinite person? Is He God? This question also is plainly answered in the Bible. There are in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments five distinct and decisive lines of proof of the Deity of the Holy Spirit. I. Each of the four distinctively Divine attributes is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. What are the distinctively Divine attributes? Eternity, omnipresence,
R. A. Torrey—The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

How is Christ, as the Life, to be Applied by a Soul that Misseth God's Favour and Countenance.
The sixth case, that we shall speak a little to, is a deadness, occasioned by the Lord's hiding of himself, who is their life, and "the fountain of life," Ps. xxxvi. 9, and "whose loving-kindness is better than life," Ps. lxiii. 3, and "in whose favour is their life," Ps. xxx. 5. A case, which the frequent complaints of the saints manifest to be rife enough, concerning which we shall, 1. Shew some of the consequences of the Lord's hiding his face, whereby the soul's case will appear. 2. Shew the
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

Thoughts Upon the Mystery of the Trinity.
THOUGH there be many in the World that seem to be Religious, there are but few that are so: One great Reason whereof is, because there are so many Mistakes about Religion, that it is an hard matter to hit upon the true Notion of it: And therefore desiring nothing in this World, so much as to be an Instrument in God's Hand to direct Men unto true Religion, my great Care must, and, by the Blessing of God, shall be to instil into them right Conceptions of him, that is the only Object of all Religious
William Beveridge—Private Thoughts Upon a Christian Life

The Covenant of Grace
Q-20: DID GOD LEAVE ALL MANKIND TO PERISH 1N THE ESTATE OF SIN AND MISERY? A: No! He entered into a covenant of grace to deliver the elect out of that state, and to bring them into a state of grace by a Redeemer. 'I will make an everlasting covenant with you.' Isa 55:5. Man being by his fall plunged into a labyrinth of misery, and having no way left to recover himself, God was pleased to enter into a new covenant with him, and to restore him to life by a Redeemer. The great proposition I shall go
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book[1] of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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