Many will be able to recall the well-known acts of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Samson, David, and many others who did amazing things for the LORD. But how many can also recall the deeds of Adino the Eznite, Eleazar the Ahohite, and Shammah the Hararite? Although these three men are not famous as the others, they are certainly worthy of study and discussion, and this we will do within this article.
In 2 Samuel 23:8-17, we find a record of the great deeds of Adino, Eleazar, and Shammah. They were all mighty men of war who served under King David. David is well known for his courage and faith as the Lord took him from being a shepherd boy to a mighty king and man of war, but let’s never neglect the fact that the LORD also worked many tremendous acts by the hands of the men who served David.
Adino the Eznite
Adino’s given name was Josheb-Basshebeth, but his name was changed because he did what was impossible for a man to do without the hand of God. At one time, he used his spear to slaughter 800 soldiers. Thus, he was called Adino the Eznite, which means “the strong spear.”
Eleazar the Ahohite
Eleazar, who’s name means “God is my help,” indeed received the help of God in battle. As the great Philistine army gathered for battle against Israel, the Israelite army retreated from the battle. However, Eleazar remained on the battlefield and he fought against the Philistine army until his “hand was weary, and his hand stuck to the sword.” At the end of the battle, Eleazar arose victorious, and the Israelites came back from retreat to gather up the valuables from the slain Philistines. Although Eleazar looks like the mighty victor, the text says that “The LORD brought about a great victory that day.”
Shammah the Hararite
Again, the great Philistine army lined up for battle and the army of Israel fled in fear. But Shammah did not flee, instead he stood his ground in the middle of the battle field and defended the land. In the end, the Philistine army was destroyed, defeated by Shammah. Shammah was certainly bold and mighty, but the scriptures again attribute the victory to the God of Heaven: “And the LORD brought about a great victory.”
The Mighty Men
The chapter continues (verses 13-17) with the three mighty men together with David in a stronghold while the Philistines’ garrison was in Bethlehem. David was thirsty and longed for a drink of water. Then the three mighty men went and broke into the garrison of the Philistines in order to get water for David. It is fascinating that these men would risk their lives in order to satisfy the thirst of their master.
These three are of the few that are mentioned with any details within this chapter, but David actually had a group of thirty-seven elite, mighty men (verses 24-39). I would like to make mention that of these thirty-seven elite is a man named Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 12:9). Now that’s interesting, isn’t it?
The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance is of the LORD” Proverbs 21:31. What we learned from the three mighty men, we also see repeated in the Proverbs. Men can make great preparations for the day of battle, but the victor of the battle will be the decision of the LORD. “Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies” Psalm 108:13.
Understanding that the LORD is the captain of His army and vengeance belongs to Him is critical for the Christian. For every Christian must realize that they are at war against wickedness. Every morning when the Christian rises, their armor must be on, tightly fastened and ready for battle (Ephesians 6:10-18). Putting on the “whole armor of God” (as Ephesians chapter six describes), or not putting it on is the difference between eternal victory and everlasting defeat. The armor commanded by God for the soldiers of Christ, according to Ephesians 6:13-17, is compiled of truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, and the word of God. Without any one of these things, the Christian may not rise victorious.
Have you ever seen a military leader fight for the soldiers who have the enemies uniform on? In like manner, how could one who does not wear the armor of God believe that God is on their side? If one does not wear the truth everyday, or wear righteousness everyday, then they don’t have on what God has commanded. And if they aren’t wearing God’s armor they are not His soldier.
For those who are honored to put on that which the belongs to the Lord, they are the true soldiers of Christ, these should not fear, nor worry about the struggles and battles in this life, because the LORD really is with them, to fight for them. And as the three mighty men were able to do incredible things because of the LORD, so will they, if they remain true to the Lord’s armor. “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15).