2 Samuel 10
David comforts the Ammonites
And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon
died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead.
Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his
father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of
his servants for his father. And David's servants came into the land of the
children of Ammon.
When the king of Ammon died, his son Hanun became king, and David said, "I'll be kind to Hanun, since his father, Nahash, was
kind to me.
(Nahash threatened to gouge out the eyes of the Israelite messengers.
That's a strange way to show kindness!)
So David sent messengers to comfort Hanun.
David attacks the Ammonites and slaughters the Syrians
And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord,
Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent
comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to
search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it?
But the princes of Ammon didn't trust David. That said to Hanun, "Do you really think David honors your father?
His messengers aren't here to comfort you. They're here to spy on us and overthrow your kingdom."
Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of
their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their
buttocks, and sent them away.
When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were
greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be
grown, and then return.
So Hanun took David's messengers and shaved off half of their beards, cut their clothes in half -- even to their buttocks --
and sent them away.
And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the
children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Bethrehob and the Syrians of
Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of
Ishtob twelve thousand men.
The Ammonites figured that they stunk to David, so they hired 33,000 Syrians to help them fight against him.
And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty
And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the
entering in of the gate: and the Syrians of Zoba, and of Rehob, and Ishtob,
and Maacah, were by themselves in the field.
David heard about that, so he sent Joab and all his mighty men.
When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and
behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array
against the Syrians:
And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his
brother, that he might put them in array against the children of Ammon.
And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me:
but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and
Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the
cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.
As the Ammonites and the Syrians gathered for war, Joab came up with a plan. He told his brother Abishai:
If the Syrians are too much for me, come help me.
If the Ammonites are too much for you, I'll help you.
Be brave. Let us be men for our people and for the cities of God
And let God do whatever seems good to him.
And Joab drew nigh, and the people that were with him, unto the battle
against the Syrians: and they fled before him.
And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, then fled
they also before Abishai, and entered into the city. So Joab returned from
the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem.
So the battle began. And the Syrians fled from Joab, and the Ammonites fled from Abishai.
And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they
gathered themselves together.
And Hadarezer sent, and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the
river: and they came to Helam; and Shobach the captain of the host of
Hadarezer went before them.
And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and passed
over Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in array
against David, and fought with him.
The Syrians gathered themselves together again, and David gathered all of Israel against them.
And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots
of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach
the captain of their host, who died there.
And when all the kings that were servants to Hadarezer saw that they were
smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them. So the
Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more.
After the slaughter, the Syrians made peace with Israel, and were afraid to help the Ammonites again.