Of the many intriguing people you read about in scripture, Benaiah is one of my favorites. He was a famous warrior, one of King David’s “mighty men.” He fought and defeated powerful enemies of Israel. And while there were other great warriors in that day, Benaiah performed something unique, described in 1 Chronicles 11, which fascinates me to no end.
We are told that he “climbed down into a pit and killed a lion on a snowy day.” Wait, what? It seems that there are three unusual aspects to this story. One, snowy days were rare in this part of the world. Two, a lion in a pit was also uncommon. And three, a guy that would choose to climb down into that pit and fight that lion was one of a kind.
Was this a trap of some kind? Was the lion defending something valuable? Or when coming upon the lion in the pit did Benaiah’s buddies say, “I bet you can’t kill that lion,” and Ben said, “watch me,” and then hopped into the pit. I suspect it’s reason #3. That’s how guys role sometimes.
I don’t know why this story is included in the Bible, except that Benaiah is so badass that the author just couldn’t leave it out. You can’t make this stuff up. Regardless of the circumstances, all I know is that if there’s one guy from the Bible I’d want on my side in a fight, it would be Benaiah.