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Sometime later, David won a great victory over the Philistines, gaining superiority over them at Metheg-ammah. He also defeated the army of Moab; and making the captured lie down, he determined that ⅔ of them would be put to death while ⅓ would be allowed to live. As a result, the Moabites became servants to David and paid tribute. David also defeated Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah in southern Aram, when Hadadezer went to restore territory all the way to the Euphrates River. David captured from him 1,700 charioteers and 20,000 foot soldiers. He retained enough horses to drive 100 chariots and disabled the rest, cutting their leg tendons.

When the Arameans came from Damascus to fight alongside King Hadadezer of Zobah, David killed 22,000 of their soldiers as well. Then David set up outposts among the Arameans from Damascus, and they became servants of David and paid tribute. The Eternal helped David everywhere he went. David brought the gold shields that had been carried by Hadadezer’s men back to Jerusalem; and he plundered a vast quantity of bronze from Hadadezer’s towns, Betah and Berothai.

When King Toi of Hamath (in southern Aram) heard that David had defeated Hadadezer’s army, 10 he sent his son Joram to greet King David and to congratulate him on his victories because Toi had also defeated Hadadezer. Joram brought as gifts items of silver, gold, and bronze; 11 David dedicated these to the Eternal, as he had all the silver and gold he had received from those nations he defeated: 12 Aram, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, and Amalek, including the spoil from Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah.

13 David’s exploits improved his reputation. After his return, he went to war with the Edomites,[a] killing 18,000 in the valley of Salt. 14 David set up outposts throughout the land of Edom. All the Edomites became servants of David, and the Eternal One helped David wherever he went.

15 So David was king over a united Israel, ruling justly and fairly. 16 Joab, the son of David’s sister Zeruiah, was his general; Jehoshaphat, the son of Ahilud, was his recorder; 17 Zadok, the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech, the son of Abiathar, served as priests; Seraiah was his royal secretary; 18 Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, was in charge of the Cherethites and the Pelethites, foreign mercenaries loyal to David; and some of David’s sons served as advisors in David’s kingdom.


  1. 8:13 Some manuscripts read, “Arameans.”

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