19 Nahash was king of the Ammonite people. When Nahash died, his son became the king. 2 David said, “Nahash was kind to me. So I will be kind to Hanun son of Nahash.” Then David sent a group to comfort Hanun about the death of his father.
David’s men went to comfort Hanun in the country of Ammon. 3 But the Ammonite leaders said to Hanun, “Don’t be fooled. David didn’t send these men to comfort you. They are not here to honor your dead father. David sent his men to spy on you and your land. He wants to destroy your country.” 4 So Hanun arrested David’s men. To shame them he cut off their beards and cut off their clothes at the hips. Then he sent them away.
5 David’s men were too ashamed to go home. Some people came to David and told him what had happened to his men. So he sent messengers to meet them. He said, “Stay in Jericho until your beards have grown back. Then come home.”
6 The Ammonite people saw they had caused David to hate them. So Hanun and the Ammonites sent about 74,000 pounds of silver to hire chariots and chariot drivers. They hired Arameans from Northwest Mesopotamia, Aram Maacah and Zobah. 7 The Ammonites hired 32,000 chariots and chariot drivers. They also hired the king of Maacah and his army. So he and his army came and set up camp near the town of Medeba. The Ammonites themselves came out of their towns and got ready for battle.
8 David heard about this. So he sent out Joab and the whole army of Israel. 9 The Ammonites came out and got ready for battle. They were near the city gate. The kings who had come to help stayed out in the fields by themselves.
10 Joab saw that there were enemy troops in front of him and behind him. So Joab chose some of the best soldiers of Israel. And he sent them out to fight the Arameans. 11 Joab put the rest of the army of Israel under the command of Abishai, his brother. Then they went out to fight the Ammonites. 12 Joab said to Abishai, “The Arameans may be too strong for me. If they are, then you must help me. Or, the Ammonites may be too strong for you. If they are, then I will help you. 13 Let’s be strong. We must fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what he thinks is right.”
14 Then Joab and the army with him went to attack the Arameans. And the Arameans ran away from them. 15 The Ammonite army saw that the Arameans were running away. So they also ran away from Abishai and his army. The Ammonites went back inside their city. And Joab went back to Jerusalem.
16 The Arameans saw that Israel had defeated them. So they sent messengers to bring other Arameans from east of the Euphrates River. Shophach the commander of Hadadezer’s army led them.
17 When David heard about this, he gathered all the Israelites. And he led them across the Jordan River. He lined them up for battle, facing the Arameans. And they attacked the Arameans. 18 But the Arameans ran away from the Israelites. David and his army killed 7,000 Aramean chariot drivers. And they killed 40,000 Aramean foot soldiers. They also killed Shophach, the commander of the Aramean army.
19 Hadadezer’s officers saw that Israel had defeated them. So they made peace with David. They became his servants. So the Arameans refused to help the Ammonites again.
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