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"Benayahu" redirects here. For the former IDF spokesman, see Avi Benayahu.
Benaiah, depicted killing a man of Moab by William Etty 1829

Benaiah (Hebrew: בניהו‎, "Yahweh builds up"[1] "The first part of the name Benaiah comes from the verb (bana), which is the Hebrew common and ubiquitous verb meaning to build, but which seems to be closely related to the noun (ben), meaning son." [2]) was the son of the priest Jehoiada and David's general for the army of the Kingdom of Israel and his chief bodyguard (2 Samuel 23:20). The stories of him follow that he once killed an Egyptian with the Egyptian's own spear and a club. He was also said to have killed a lion in a snowy pit.

He was one of David's "mighty men" (1 Chronicles 27:6) who commanded the Cherethites and Pelethites. He was renowned for his heroism; with Zadok and Nathan, he kept his position under Solomon, and was appointed chief of Solomon's army.

Benaiah remained loyal to King David during the revolt of King David's son Adonijah. 1 Kings 1:8 As punishment for the revolt, Benaiah, under the orders of King Solomon, executed Adonijah.


  1. ^ Klein, Ralph W (2000). "Ezekiel, Book of". Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Amsterdam University Press. p. 447. 
  2. ^ Meaning and etymology of the name Benaiah