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1 Chronicles 18-20 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

David’s Kingdom Established and Extended

18 Some time afterward, David attacked the Philistines and subdued them; he took Gath and its villages from the Philistines.

He defeated Moab, and the Moabites became subject to David and brought tribute.

David also struck down King Hadadezer of Zobah, toward Hamath,[a] as he went to set up a monument at the river Euphrates. David took from him one thousand chariots, seven thousand cavalry, and twenty thousand foot soldiers. David hamstrung all the chariot horses, but left one hundred of them. When the Arameans of Damascus came to help King Hadadezer of Zobah, David killed twenty-two thousand Arameans. Then David put garrisons[b] in Aram of Damascus; and the Arameans became subject to David, and brought tribute. The Lord gave victory to David wherever he went. David took the gold shields that were carried by the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. From Tibhath and from Cun, cities of Hadadezer, David took a vast quantity of bronze; with it Solomon made the bronze sea and the pillars and the vessels of bronze.

When King Tou of Hamath heard that David had defeated the whole army of King Hadadezer of Zobah, 10 he sent his son Hadoram to King David, to greet him and to congratulate him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him. Now Hadadezer had often been at war with Tou. He sent all sorts of articles of gold, of silver, and of bronze; 11 these also King David dedicated to the Lord, together with the silver and gold that he had carried off from all the nations, from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, and Amalek.

12 Abishai son of Zeruiah killed eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 13 He put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became subject to David. And the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went.

David’s Administration

14 So David reigned over all Israel; and he administered justice and equity to all his people. 15 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; 16 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests; Shavsha was secretary; 17 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were the chief officials in the service of the king.

Defeat of the Ammonites and Arameans

19 Some time afterward, King Nahash of the Ammonites died, and his son succeeded him. David said, “I will deal loyally with Hanun son of Nahash, for his father dealt loyally with me.” So David sent messengers to console him concerning his father. When David’s servants came to Hanun in the land of the Ammonites, to console him, the officials of the Ammonites said to Hanun, “Do you think, because David has sent consolers to you, that he is honoring your father? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?” So Hanun seized David’s servants, shaved them, cut off their garments in the middle at their hips, and sent them away; and they departed. When David was told about the men, he sent messengers to them, for they felt greatly humiliated. The king said, “Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return.”

When the Ammonites saw that they had made themselves odious to David, Hanun and the Ammonites sent a thousand talents of silver to hire chariots and cavalry from Mesopotamia, from Aram-maacah and from Zobah. They hired thirty-two thousand chariots and the king of Maacah with his army, who came and camped before Medeba. And the Ammonites were mustered from their cities and came to battle. When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army of the warriors. The Ammonites came out and drew up in battle array at the entrance of the city, and the kings who had come were by themselves in the open country.

10 When Joab saw that the line of battle was set against him both in front and in the rear, he chose some of the picked men of Israel and arrayed them against the Arameans; 11 the rest of his troops he put in the charge of his brother Abishai, and they were arrayed against the Ammonites. 12 He said, “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will help you. 13 Be strong, and let us be courageous for our people and for the cities of our God; and may the Lord do what seems good to him.” 14 So Joab and the troops who were with him advanced toward the Arameans for battle; and they fled before him. 15 When the Ammonites saw that the Arameans fled, they likewise fled before Abishai, Joab’s brother, and entered the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem.

16 But when the Arameans saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they sent messengers and brought out the Arameans who were beyond the Euphrates, with Shophach the commander of the army of Hadadezer at their head. 17 When David was informed, he gathered all Israel together, crossed the Jordan, came to them, and drew up his forces against them. When David set the battle in array against the Arameans, they fought with him. 18 The Arameans fled before Israel; and David killed seven thousand Aramean charioteers and forty thousand foot soldiers, and also killed Shophach the commander of their army. 19 When the servants of Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with David, and became subject to him. So the Arameans were not willing to help the Ammonites any more.

Siege and Capture of Rabbah

20 In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, Joab led out the army, ravaged the country of the Ammonites, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. Joab attacked Rabbah, and overthrew it. David took the crown of Milcom[c] from his head; he found that it weighed a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone; and it was placed on David’s head. He also brought out the booty of the city, a very great amount. He brought out the people who were in it, and set them to work[d] with saws and iron picks and axes.[e] Thus David did to all the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

Exploits against the Philistines

After this, war broke out with the Philistines at Gezer; then Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Sippai, who was one of the descendants of the giants; and the Philistines were subdued. Again there was war with the Philistines; and Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. Again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great size, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; he also was descended from the giants. When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him. These were descended from the giants in Gath; they fell by the hand of David and his servants.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Chronicles 18:3 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. 1 Chronicles 18:6 Gk Vg 2 Sam 8.6 Compare Syr: Heb lacks garrisons
  3. 1 Chronicles 20:2 Gk Vg See 1 Kings 11.5, 33: MT of their king
  4. 1 Chronicles 20:3 Compare 2 Sam 12.31: Heb and he sawed
  5. 1 Chronicles 20:3 Compare 2 Sam 12.31: Heb saws
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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