19 Some time later, King Nahash of Ammon died, and his son Hanun became king. 2 David said, “Nahash was kind to me, so I will be kind to his son.” He sent some officials to Ammon to tell Hanun how sorry he was that his father had died.
But when David’s officials arrived at Ammon, 3 the Ammonite leaders said to Hanun, “Do you really believe King David is honoring your father by sending these men to comfort you? He probably sent them to spy on our country, so he can come and destroy it.”
4 Hanun arrested David’s officials and had their beards shaved off and their robes cut off just below the waist, and then he sent them away. 5 They were terribly ashamed.
When David found out what had happened to his officials, he sent a message that told them, “Stay in Jericho until your beards grow back. Then you can come home.”
6 The Ammonites realized they had made David furious. So they paid over thirty tons of silver to hire chariot troops from Mesopotamia and from the Syrian kingdoms of Maacah and Zobah. 7 Thirty-two thousand troops, as well as the king of Maacah and his army, came and camped near Medeba. The Ammonite troops also left their towns and came to prepare for battle.
8 David heard what was happening, and he sent out Joab with his army. 9 The Ammonite troops marched to the entrance of the city[a] and prepared for battle, while the Syrian troops took their positions in the open fields.
10 Joab saw that the enemy troops were lined up on both sides of him. So he picked some of the best Israelite soldiers to fight the Syrians. 11 Then he put his brother Abishai in command of the rest of the army and told them to fight against the Ammonites. 12 Joab told his brother, “If the Syrians are too much for me to handle, come and help me. And if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I’ll come and help you. 13 Be brave and fight hard to protect our people and the towns of our Lord God. I pray he will do whatever pleases him.”
14 Joab and his soldiers attacked the Syrians, and the Syrians ran from them. 15 When the Ammonite troops saw that the Syrians had run away, they ran from Abishai’s soldiers and went back into their own city. Joab then returned to Jerusalem.
16 As soon as the Syrians realized they had been defeated, they sent for their troops that were stationed on the other side of the Euphrates River. Shophach, the commander of Hadadezer’s army, led these troops to Ammon.
17 David found out what the Syrians were doing, and he brought Israel’s entire army together. They crossed the Jordan River, and he commanded them to take their positions facing the Syrian troops.
Soon after the fighting began, 18 the Syrians ran from Israel. David killed seven thousand chariot troops and forty thousand regular soldiers. He also killed Shophach, their commander.
19 When the kings who had been under Hadadezer’s rule saw that Israel had defeated them, they made peace with David and accepted him as their new ruler. The Syrians never helped the Ammonites again.
19.9the city: Probably Rabbah, the capital city of Ammon.
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