David’s Messengers Disgraced
(2 Samuel 10:1–8)
So David sent messengers to console Hanun concerning his father. But when David’s servants arrived in the land of the Ammonites to console him, 3 the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun, “Just because David has sent you comforters, do you really believe he is showing respect for your father? Have not his servants come to you to explore the land, spy it out, and overthrow it?”
4 So Hanun took David’s servants, shaved their beards, cut off their garments at the hips, and sent them away.
5 When someone came and told David about his men, he sent messengers to meet them, since the men had been thoroughly humiliated. The king told them, “Stay in Jericho until your beards have grown back, and then return.”
6 When the Ammonites realized that they had become a stench to David, Hanun and the Ammonites sent a thousand talents of silver a to hire for themselves chariots and horsemen from Aram-naharaim, b Aram-maacah, and Zobah. 7 So they hired for themselves thirty-two thousand chariots, as well as the king of Maacah with his troops, who came and camped near Medeba while the Ammonites came from their cities and marched out for battle.
8 On hearing this, David sent Joab and the entire army of mighty men. 9 The Ammonites marched out and arrayed themselves for battle at the entrance to the city, while the kings who had come stayed by themselves in the open country.
David Defeats Ammon and Aram
(2 Samuel 10:9–19)
10 When Joab saw the battle lines before him and behind him, he selected some of the best men of Israel and arrayed them against the Arameans. 11 And he placed the rest of the forces under the command of his brother Abishai, who arrayed them against the Ammonites.
12 “If the Arameans are too strong for me,” said Joab, “then you will come to my rescue. And if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come to your rescue. 13 Be strong and let us fight bravely for our people and for the cities of our God. May the LORD do what is good in His sight.”
14 So Joab and his troops advanced to fight the Arameans, who fled before him. 15 When the Ammonites saw that the Arameans had fled, they too fled before Joab’s brother Abishai, and they entered the city. So Joab went back to Jerusalem.
16 When the Arameans saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they sent messengers to bring more Arameans from beyond the Euphrates, c with Shophach d the commander of Hadadezer’s army leading them.
17 When this was reported to David, he gathered all Israel, crossed the Jordan, advanced toward the Arameans, and arrayed for battle against them. When David lined up to engage them in battle, they fought against him. 18 But the Arameans fled before Israel, and David killed seven thousand of their charioteers and forty thousand foot soldiers. He also killed Shophach the commander of their army.
19 When Hadadezer’s subjects saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and became subject to him. So the Arameans were unwilling to help the Ammonites anymore.
6 a 1,000 talents is approximately 37.7 tons or 34.2 metric tons of silver.
6 b That is, Mesopotamia; Aram-naharaim means Aram of the two rivers , likely the region between the Euphrates and Balih Rivers in northwestern Mesopotamia.
16 c Hebrew the River
16 d Shophach is a variant of Shobach ; also in verse 18; see 2 Samuel 10:16.