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David Defeats the Ammonites(A)

19 Now it happened after this that Nahash the king of the Ammonites died, and his son reigned in his place. Then David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. And David’s servants came to Hanun in the land of the Ammonites to comfort him.

But the leaders of the Ammonites said to Hanun, “Do you think that David is honoring your father because he sent consolers? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?” So Hanun took the servants of David, shaved them, cut their garments in half as far as the hip, and sent them away.

Then some came and told David about the men, so he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly humiliated. The king said, “Remain in Jericho until your beards grow full, and then return.”

When the Ammonites saw that they had become a stench to David, Hanun and the Ammonites sent one thousand talents[a] of silver to hire chariots and horsemen from Aram Naharaim, Aram Maakah, and Zobah. So they hired for themselves thirty-two thousand chariots, with the king of Maakah and his people. They camped before Medeba as the Ammonites gathered from their cities to go out to war.

When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army of the mighty men. So the Ammonites went out and formed ranks for battle at the entrance to the city while the kings who had come were by themselves in the open country.

10 When Joab saw the battle line was drawn in front of him and behind him, he chose some of the best men in Israel and arrayed them against the Arameans. 11 The rest of the people he placed in the charge of his brother Abishai, and they took up positions to engage the Ammonites. 12 Then he said, “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you will come help me, but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will come help you. 13 Take courage, and let us prove worthy of our people and the cities of our God. May the Lord do what seems right to Him.”

14 So Joab and the people who were with him drew near to the Arameans for battle, and they fled before him. 15 When the Ammonites saw the Arameans fleeing, they also fled before Abishai his brother and entered the city. So Joab returned to Jerusalem.

16 When the Arameans saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they sent messengers and summoned the Arameans who were beyond the River,[b] and Shophak, the commander of Hadadezer’s army went before them.

17 When David was told about it, he gathered all Israel, crossed over the Jordan, and came against them. He divided his ranks and prepared to engage the Arameans in battle, so they fought against him. 18 But the Arameans fled before Israel, and David killed seven thousand chariot drivers and forty thousand infantry men of the Arameans, and killed Shophak, the commander of the army.

19 And when the servants of Hadadezer saw that they were defeated before Israel, they negotiated peace with David and served him.

So the Arameans were not willing to aid the Ammonites in battle again.


  1. 1 Chronicles 19:6 About 38 tons, or 34 metric tons.
  2. 1 Chronicles 19:16 Euphrates River.