While King Saul was still alive and seeking to kill his replacement, God was building up David's army. As yesterday's post showed, the loyalty of David's men was admirable. The number of men specifically named in the Bible as supporters of David pale in comparison to the numbers of soldiers who were part of David's army.
If my math is correct, and please feel free to check my work, here is the breakdown of David's army and the tribes they came from:
Judah - 6,800 carrying shield and spear and armed for battle
Simeon - 7,100 warriors ready for battle
Levi - 4,600 including Jehoiada, leader of the family of Aaron, with 3700 men, and Zadok, a brave young warrior, with 22 officers from his family
Benjamin - 3,000 - most of whom had remained loyal to Saul's house until then
Ephraim - 20,800 brave warriors, famous in their own clans
Manasseh - 18,000, designated by name to come and make David king
Issachar - 200 chiefs who understood the times and knew what Israel should do along with unnumbered relatives under their command
Zebulun - 50,000 experienced soldiers prepared for battle with every type of weapon to help David with undivided loyalty
Naphtali - 1.000 officers with 37,000 men carrying shields and spears
Dan - 28,600 ready for battle
Asher - 40,000 experienced soldiers prepared for battle
Reuben, Gad and half tribe of Manasseh - 120,000 armed with every type of weapon
339,922 fighting men who volunteered to serve in the ranks. They volunteered to make David king over all Israel. They were "of one mind to make David king."
Imagine that. Over 300 thousand people of one mind. All volunteers. All ready to do what it takes to see that a mission is successful. They were armed and ready warriors, prepared for battle, experience oozing out of some of their pores. War was not their first rodeo. War was a part of them. It didn't come upon them by surprise. They were ready.
The elite among them, the Thirty, the Three, and the Chief of the Three didn't act in a vacuum. Their logistical and tactical support team/infrastructure was immense and priceless. Eleazar could only stand against the Philistines with his hand frozen to his spear because the unseen support of over 300,000 men were not far away, (hiding, depending on who is telling the story), but they were there.
They were ready. They were willing. They had their weapons.
Are you ready? Are you willing to fight the battles you are facing? Do you have your weapons sharpened?
M is for Multitudes of Mighty Men
2 Corinthians 10: 3-5