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David’s Wars

Some time afterward, David attacked the Philistines and subdued them; David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines.

He also defeated the Moabites and, making them lie down on the ground, measured them off with a cord; he measured two lengths of cord for those who were to be put to death, and one length[a] for those who were to be spared. And the Moabites became servants to David and brought tribute.

David also struck down King Hadadezer son of Rehob of Zobah, as he went to restore his monument[b] at the river Euphrates. David took from him one thousand seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand foot soldiers. David hamstrung all the chariot horses, but left enough for a hundred chariots. When the Arameans of Damascus came to help King Hadadezer of Zobah, David killed twenty-two thousand men of the Arameans. Then David put garrisons among the Arameans of Damascus; and the Arameans became servants 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 Betah and from Berothai, towns of Hadadezer, King David took a great amount of bronze.

When King Toi of Hamath heard that David had defeated the whole army of Hadadezer, 10 Toi sent his son Joram 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 Toi. Joram brought with him articles of silver, gold, and bronze; 11 these also King David dedicated to the Lord, together with the silver and gold that he dedicated from all the nations he subdued, 12 from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, Amalek, and from the spoil of King Hadadezer son of Rehob of Zobah.

13 David won a name for himself. When he returned, he killed eighteen thousand Edomites[c] in the Valley of Salt. 14 He put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David’s servants. And the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went.

David’s Officers

15 So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered justice and equity to all his people. 16 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; 17 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was secretary; 18 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over[d] the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were priests.

David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth

David asked, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I may show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and he was summoned to David. The king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “At your service!” The king said, “Is there anyone remaining of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?” Ziba said to the king, “There remains a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.” The king said to him, “Where is he?” Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Machir son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.” Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. Mephibosheth[e] son of Jonathan son of Saul came to David, and fell on his face and did obeisance. David said, “Mephibosheth!”[f] He answered, “I am your servant.” David said to him, “Do not be afraid, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan; I will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you yourself shall eat at my table always.” He did obeisance and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon a dead dog such as I?”

Then the king summoned Saul’s servant Ziba, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. 10 You and your sons and your servants shall till the land for him, and shall bring in the produce, so that your master’s grandson may have food to eat; but your master’s grandson Mephibosheth[g] shall always eat at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant, so your servant will do.” Mephibosheth[h] ate at David’s[i] table, like one of the king’s sons. 12 Mephibosheth[j] had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in Ziba’s house became Mephibosheth’s[k] servants. 13 Mephibosheth[l] lived in Jerusalem, for he always ate at the king’s table. Now he was lame in both his feet.

The Ammonites and Arameans Are Defeated

10 Some time afterward, the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun succeeded him. David said, “I will deal loyally with Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father dealt loyally with me.” So David sent envoys to console him concerning his father. When David’s envoys came into the land of the Ammonites, the princes of the Ammonites said to their lord Hanun, “Do you really think that David is honoring your father just because he has sent messengers with condolences to you? Has not David sent his envoys to you to search the city, to spy it out, and to overthrow it?” So Hanun seized David’s envoys, shaved off half the beard of each, cut off their garments in the middle at their hips, and sent them away. When David was told, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. The king said, “Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown, and 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, as well as the king of Maacah, one thousand men, and the men of 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 array at the entrance of the gate; but the Arameans of Zobah and of Rehob, and the men of Tob and Maacah, were by themselves in the open country.

When Joab saw that the 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; 10 the rest of his men he put in the charge of his brother Abishai, and he arrayed them against the Ammonites. 11 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 come and help you. 12 Be strong, and let us be courageous for the sake of our people, and for the cities of our God; and may the Lord do what seems good to him.” 13 So Joab and the people who were with him moved forward into battle against the Arameans; and they fled before him. 14 When the Ammonites saw that the Arameans fled, they likewise fled before Abishai, and entered the city. Then Joab returned from fighting against the Ammonites, and came to Jerusalem.

15 But when the Arameans saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they gathered themselves together. 16 Hadadezer sent and brought out the Arameans who were beyond the Euphrates; and they came to Helam, with Shobach the commander of the army of Hadadezer at their head. 17 When it was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and crossed the Jordan, and came to Helam. The Arameans arrayed themselves against David and fought with him. 18 The Arameans fled before Israel; and David killed of the Arameans seven hundred chariot teams, and forty thousand horsemen,[m] and wounded Shobach the commander of their army, so that he died there. 19 When all the kings who were servants of Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel, and became subject to them. So the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites any more.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Samuel 8:2 Heb one full length
  2. 2 Samuel 8:3 Compare 1 Sam 15.12 and 2 Sam 18.18
  3. 2 Samuel 8:13 Gk: Heb returned from striking down eighteen thousand Arameans
  4. 2 Samuel 8:18 Syr Tg Vg 20.23; 1 Chr 18.17: Heb lacks was over
  5. 2 Samuel 9:6 Or Merib-baal: See 4.4 note
  6. 2 Samuel 9:6 Or Merib-baal: See 4.4 note
  7. 2 Samuel 9:10 Or Merib-baal: See 4.4 note
  8. 2 Samuel 9:11 Or Merib-baal: See 4.4 note
  9. 2 Samuel 9:11 Gk: Heb my
  10. 2 Samuel 9:12 Or Merib-baal: See 4.4 note
  11. 2 Samuel 9:12 Or Merib-baal’s: See 4.4 note
  12. 2 Samuel 9:13 Or Merib-baal: See 4.4 note
  13. 2 Samuel 10:18 1 Chr 19.18 and some Gk Mss read foot soldiers

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