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David Defeats the Ammonites and Arameans(A)

10 After this, the king of the Ammonites died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent a message by way of his servants to comfort him concerning his father, and the servants of David went to the land of the Ammonites.

But the Ammonite officials said to Hanun, their lord, “Has David honored your father in your eyes by sending comforters to you? Was it not in an effort to search out the city, to scout it in order to overthrow it, that he sent his servants to you?” So Hanun seized the servants of David, shaved half of the beard of each, cut their robes in half so that they were exposed, and sent them away.

When they reported what had happened to David, he sent messengers to meet them, because the men were severely ashamed. The king instructed them, “Remain at Jericho until your beards have regrown, then return.”

When the Ammonites saw that they had become odious to David, the Ammonites sent and hired the Arameans of Beth Rehob and the Arameans of Zobah, twenty thousand foot soldiers, and from the king of Maakah, one thousand men, and from Tob, twelve thousand men.

When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army with the warriors. The Ammonites came out and drew up in battle formation at the entrance of the gate. But the Arameans of Zobah, Rehob, Tob, and Maakah were by themselves in the open field.

When Joab saw that the battlefronts were both before and behind him, he selected some from the best men in Israel and lined them up opposite Aram. 10 The remainder of the people he placed under the charge of Abishai his brother, and lined them up opposite the Ammonites. 11 Then he said, “If Aram starts to prevail over me, you shall help me, but if the Ammonites begin to prevail over you, then I will come to help you. 12 Be strong and let us fight with resolve for the sake of our people and the cities of our God. May the Lord do what seems good to Him.”

13 Joab advanced the people that were with him to fight against Aram, and they retreated from before him. 14 When the Ammonites realized that Aram had fled, they retreated from before Abishai and entered the city. Then Joab turned away from fighting against the Ammonites, and he came to Jerusalem.

15 When Aram saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they assembled together. 16 Hadadezer sent for and summoned the Arameans who were beyond the River,[a] and they came to Helam. Shobak the commander of the army of Hadadezer led them.

17 When David was informed of this, he assembled all of Israel. They crossed over the Jordan and came to Helam. Aram was drawn up in formation opposite David, and they fought against him. 18 Aram retreated before Israel. David killed seven hundred charioteers, forty thousand horsemen from Aram, and wounded Shobak the commander of the army so that he died there. 19 When all of the kings who were subject to Hadadezer realized that they were being defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel and became subject to them.

From then on, Aram was fearful of further helping the Ammonites.


  1. 2 Samuel 10:16 Euphrates River.