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David’s Military Victories Continue

It happened afterwards that David attacked the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Metheg Ammah from the hands of the Philistines. When he defeated Moab, he measured them with the cord, making them lie on the ground. He measured two cords to kill and the third cord[a] to let live.[b] So Moab became servants of David, bringing tribute. Then David struck down Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when he went to restore his monument[c] at the Euphrates River. David captured from him one thousand and seven hundred horsemen and twenty thousand foot soldiers.[d] David hamstrung all the chariot horses, but from them[e] he spared a hundred chariot horses. When Aram of Damascus came to help Hadadezer, the king of Zobah, David killed twenty-two thousand men of Aram. David placed garrisons in Aram of Damascus, so Aram became servants of David, bringing tribute. Yahweh protected David everywhere he went.

David took the small round gold shields which had belonged[f] to the servants of Hadadezer, and he brought them to Jerusalem. From Betah and from Berothai, the towns of Hadadezer, King David took very many bronze items.

When Toi, the king of Hamath, heard that David had defeated all the army of Hadadezer, 10 Toi sent Joram his son to King David to greet him[g] and to congratulate him because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him; for Hadadezer had often been at war with Toi.[h] He brought with him[i] objects of silver and objects of gold and objects of bronze. 11 King David dedicated them also to Yahweh along with the silver and the gold that he had dedicated from all of the nations which he had subdued; 12 from Aram and from Moab and from the Ammonites[j] and from the Philistines and from Amalek and from the plunder of Hadadezer the son of Rehob, the king of Zobah. 13 So David made a name for himself when he returned from defeating Aram in the Valley of Salt, eighteen thousand. 14 He put garrisons in Edom; all over Edom he put garrisons, and all of Edom became servants of David. Yahweh protected David wherever he went.

15 David reigned over all of Israel, and he[k] was administering justice and righteousness for all his people. 16 Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army, and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was secretary. 17 Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were priests and Seraiah was scribe. 18 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and the Pelethites, and the sons of David were priests.


  1. 2 Samuel 8:2 Literally “the filling of a cord”
  2. 2 Samuel 8:2 This method of selection must have been well known to the reader, but the exact procedure has been obscured over the millennia. It may be that one out of three lived through the process, only to become subservient
  3. 2 Samuel 8:3 Hebrew “hand”
  4. 2 Samuel 8:4 Literally “men of infantry”
  5. 2 Samuel 8:4 Literally “from him”
  6. 2 Samuel 8:7 Literally “been”
  7. 2 Samuel 8:10 Literally “to ask peace for himself”
  8. 2 Samuel 8:10 Literally “for Hadadezer was a man of wars with Toi”
  9. 2 Samuel 8:10 Literally “In his hand were”
  10. 2 Samuel 8:12 Literally “sons/children of Ammon”
  11. 2 Samuel 8:15 Hebrew “David”