Hello again. In this post I’m taking a passage from the Scripture and writing it in my own unique style. This will give you an idea of how the events recorded in Scripture may have actually played out. Let’s start by reading the account as recorded in the Scripture.
2 Samuel 23:13-17
And three of the thirty cheif went down, and came to David in the harvest time into the cave of Adullam: and the troop of the Philistines pitched in the valley of Rephaim. And David was then in an hold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Beth-lehem. 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! 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 into the Lord. 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 lives? Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men.
That is how the Scripture tells it, but if I had written the records, they might have looked something like this:
David, King of Israel sat in his stronghold at Adullam, while the summer harvest was being reaped in Jerusalem. A golden crown rested heavy on his brow, like the despondent expression on his face. They were pinned down, he and his forces by a troop of Philstine warriors. The Philistines had come and made a camp in the valley Rephaim while David had been waiting in Adullam for a word from The Lord. And there he sat still, waiting, just waiting.
“The summer wears on Abishai,” the King said to his captain who had come down to Adullam some few days before with certain of David’s captains. “The summer wears on and I grow weary of being trapped in this stone prison.” David was a comely man, beloved of all of his people and often called “The man after God’s own heart”. But even such a man as he can fall prey to weariness and fatigue.
Abishai looked compasionately at his King. He knew that David was speaking with his frustration and not with his wisdom. But who among them did not have cause to complain? The Philistine army had encamped between the King’s cavern stronghold and Beth-lehem, denying the Israelite army water and provisions the city provided. The stores at Adullam had waned and the lack of provisions had taken its toll on all of the men.
“My lord, just give the order and we will charge these Philistine dogs and drive them from our lands by the edge of our swords.” Abishai spoke with a passion, fury glistened in his eyes, agitation evident in the flexing of his arms. He had sworn an oath to God. He was willing to die for his King if David would but say the word.
In spite of being weary and parched from the many days with only small rations of water, David managed a smile at Abishai’s eagerness. His captain was restless, yet David waited for the word of The Lord before going into battle with the Philistines. It was then that a servant entered the room from a door on the right hand of David. A young lad sent to bring the King his sword.
“Lad, fetch me some water, if there be any left.” The King called after him as he went to leave the room. The lad turned and bowed in acknowledgement and went. He soon returned with the news that the water had run out. David, feeling the weight of this news upon his men, with great lamentation cried out to heaven, longing for the water of the well by the gate of Beth-lehem.
Then Abishai left the presence of the King and gathered to him the two mightiest of David’s captains, Benaiah and Eleazar.
“The King cries out unto the Lord for the water from the well by the gate of Beth-lehem.” Abishai told them. Benaiah looked as if he would turn away and leave, but then his eyes caught a strange light.
“He does?” Eleazar asked. Eleazar was a brutish large man and was sometimes slow to understand things, but in battle, he was invaluable. On one occasion he fought off multitudes of Philistines until his hand clave to his sword and other men had to pry it off. He was not the least of the three mightiest.
“Don’t you realize?” Abishai almost shouted, “this is our chance! For days now the King has awaited the word of The Lord and so we have been held back from the Philistines. But here he has practically given us leave to fetch him some water.” Abishai and Benaiah were both growing more excited by the second. They were men of war, and not afraid of any number of foes.
“There must be several thousands of Philistines,” Eleazar argued.
Benaiah looked quizzically at the large man, “When have you ever shied away from a fight, Eleazar.”
That seemed to convince him. With a shrug Eleazar sprang after the other two who were already headed for the enemy line, and with them charged through the host of the Philistines.
The three mighty men broke through the Philistine camp with loud shouts, cleaving men from their path as they sprang through the camp, hurtling small fires and dodging tents and men until they reached the well by the gate of Beth-lehem. Abishai drew water from the well, while Benaiah and Eleazar fought Philistine warriors off his back as the throngs of soldiers pressed the three towards the wall of the city.
Once Abishai had filled a vessel with water from the well, the three turned the faces towards Adullam and broke the line of Philistine soldiers, charging once more through the encampment. Eleazar’s long hair flew behind him as if on the wings of a sparrow as he sprinted with the speed of a roe through the camp, clearing the way of soldiers for Benaiah and Abishai to follow with the precious water for their King. Benaiah played the rearguard, ever the vigil watchmen, he struck out at a Philstine to the right of his captain and quickly brought the man down with several powerful blows. He then turned, noticing the threat just in time to swing his weapon up to catch the edge of a blade on its way to cleave Abishai’s head in two. Meanwhile, the captain of the three held the vessel of water securely with a massive left arm and swung his sword with his right at whomever was unfortunate enough to get in his way.
At last, they reached the doors to the stronghold and found Eleazar waiting with the large doors open to receive them. Once there, they had no more cause to worry about the Philistine warriors, who being thoroughly beaten, shrank back scowling to their own lines.
Abishai then bounded up the stairs and into the King’s chamber with his precious cargo. Approaching the King with his head bowed he kneeled and laid the vessel at his feet.
But David would not drink of the water and instead poured it out unto the lord.
“Be it far from me, O Lord, to do this: is this not the blood of these men that put their lives in jeopardy?” Thus, David would not drink it. And these things were done by the three mightiest of David’s men.
And there you have it, what the story of David’s mighty men might have actually been like. This is just a small sample of my writing, but if you enjoy it, leave a comment for me below and I may turn one of your favorite bible passages into an epic sequence in the next, “Stories From Scripture”.