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18 David finally subdued the Philistines and conquered Gath and its surrounding towns. He also conquered Moab and required its people to send him a large sum of money every year. He conquered the dominion of King Hadadezer of Zobah (as far as Hamath) at the time Hadadezer went to tighten his grip along the Euphrates River. David captured a thousand of his chariots, seven thousand cavalry, and twenty thousand troops. He crippled all the chariot teams except a hundred that he kept for his own use.

When the Syrians arrived from Damascus to help King Hadadezer, David killed twenty-two thousand of them; then he placed a garrison of his troops in Damascus, the Syrian capital. So the Syrians, too, were forced to send him large amounts of money every year. And the Lord gave David victory everywhere he went. He brought the gold shields of King Hadadezer’s officers to Jerusalem, as well as a great amount of bronze from Hadadezer’s cities of Tibhath and Cun. (King Solomon later melted the bronze and used it for the Temple. He molded it into the bronze tank, the pillars, and the instruments used in offering sacrifices on the altar.)

When King Tou of Hamath learned that King David had destroyed Hadadezer’s army, 10 he sent his son Hadoram to greet and congratulate King David on his success and to present him with many gifts of gold, silver, and bronze, seeking an alliance. For Hadadezer and Tou had been enemies and there had been many wars between them. 11 King David dedicated these gifts to the Lord, as he did the silver and gold he took from the nations of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Amalek, and the Philistines.

12 Abishai (son of Zeruiah) then destroyed eighteen thousand Edomites in Salt Valley. 13 He put garrisons in Edom and forced the Edomites to pay large sums of money annually to David. This is just another example of how the Lord gave David victory after victory. 14 David reigned over all of Israel and was a just ruler.

15 Joab (son of Zeruiah) was commander-in-chief of the army; Jehoshaphat (son of Ahilud) was the historian; 16 Zadok (son of Ahitub) and Ahimelech (son of Abiathar) were the head priests; Shavsha was the king’s special assistant;[a] 17 Benaiah (son of Jehoiada) was in charge of the king’s bodyguard—the Cherethites and Pelethites—and David’s sons were his chief aides.


  1. 1 Chronicles 18:16 special assistant, literally, “secretary,” or “scribe.”

David’s Victories(A)

18 In the course of time, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Gath and its surrounding villages from the control of the Philistines.

David also defeated the Moabites,(B) and they became subject to him and brought him tribute.

Moreover, David defeated Hadadezer king of Zobah,(C) in the vicinity of Hamath, when he went to set up his monument at[a] the Euphrates River.(D) David captured a thousand of his chariots, seven thousand charioteers and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He hamstrung(E) all but a hundred of the chariot horses.

When the Arameans of Damascus(F) came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down twenty-two thousand of them. He put garrisons in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, and the Arameans became subject to him and brought him tribute. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.

David took the gold shields carried by the officers of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. From Tebah[b] and Kun, towns that belonged to Hadadezer, David took a great quantity of bronze, which Solomon used to make the bronze Sea,(G) the pillars and various bronze articles.

When Tou king of Hamath heard that David had defeated the entire army of Hadadezer king of Zobah, 10 he sent his son Hadoram to King David to greet him and congratulate him on his victory in battle over Hadadezer, who had been at war with Tou. Hadoram brought all kinds of articles of gold, of silver and of bronze.

11 King David dedicated these articles to the Lord, as he had done with the silver and gold he had taken from all these nations: Edom(H) and Moab, the Ammonites and the Philistines, and Amalek.(I)

12 Abishai son of Zeruiah struck down eighteen thousand Edomites(J) in the Valley of Salt. 13 He put garrisons in Edom, and all the Edomites became subject to David. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.

David’s Officials(K)

14 David reigned(L) over all Israel,(M) doing what was just and right for all his people. 15 Joab(N) son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; 16 Zadok(O) son of Ahitub and Ahimelek[c](P) son of Abiathar were priests; Shavsha was secretary; 17 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites;(Q) and David’s sons were chief officials at the king’s side.


  1. 1 Chronicles 18:3 Or to restore his control over
  2. 1 Chronicles 18:8 Hebrew Tibhath, a variant of Tebah
  3. 1 Chronicles 18:16 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate and Syriac (see also 2 Samuel 8:17); most Hebrew manuscripts Abimelek