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Civil war: David and his mighty men battle Saul’s son (and his troops) for the throne and win: 2 Samuel 2–3:5; 1 Chronicles 3:1–4; 2 Samuel 23:8–17; 1 Chronicles 11:10–19; 2 Samuel 23:18–39; 1 Chronicles 11:20–47

You can just imagine the scene now. David and his men are chatting idly, and David says, in passing:

1 Chronicles 11:17 Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.

This comes from well before Saul died. David and his men were in hiding in a cave, not long after David fled Saul. They’d been fighting Philistines, and winning, but it looks like there was a lull in activity for some reason.

So three brave and mighty men, looking for something to do, decided to go and get this water.

You can almost hear the conversation. David mentions the water. The three look at each other, smiling, almost smirking. We could do it, you know, says one. Why not?We’ve never lost a fight, says another. Sounds good to me, says the third.  They start to gather their weapons and quietly leave for Bethlehem.

When they returned,with the water, David saw the unnecessary risk to life and poured the water onto the ground, ostensibly as an offering to the Lord. It was possible a bit of a warning about too much bravado, too:

2 Samuel 2:19 God forbid that I should drink this! This water is as precious as the blood of these men who risked their lives to bring it to me.