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David’s Military Victories(A)

Sometime later, David defeated and subdued the Philistines, taking Metheg-ammah away from the Philistines. David also conquered Moab, then measured them with a cord, making them lie down on the ground. He executed everyone measured out in each two lengths’ measurement of the cord, but spared the ones measured out by every third length. Then the Moabites were placed under servitude to David, and made to pay tribute.

David also attacked King Hadadezer, Rehob’s son from Zobah, when he was attempting to restore his hegemony[a] over the Euphrates[b] River. David captured 1,000 of his chariots, 1,700[c] horsemen, and 20,000 foot soldiers. David hamstrung all the chariot horses except for enough to supply[d] 100 chariots. When Arameans came from Damascus to help King Hadadezer of Zobah, David killed 22,000 of them. David erected garrisons in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, placing the Arameans under servitude to him,[e] and they paid tribute to him. David also confiscated the gold shields that belonged to Hadadezer’s officers and took them to Jerusalem. He[f] also confiscated a vast quantity of bronze from Betah and Berothai, cities under Hadadezer’s control.

When King Tou of Hamath learned that David had conquered the entire army of King Hadadezer of Zobah, 10 Tou sent his son Joram to King David to greet him and congratulate him on his victory over Hadadezer, because he had been at war with Tou. Joram brought articles of silver, gold, and bronze with him, 11 and King David dedicated them to the Lord, along with the silver and gold that had been dedicated from all the nations that he had conquered, 12 including from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, Amalek, and spoil from King Hadadezer, Rehob’s son from Zobah.

13 David made a name for himself when he returned from killing 18,000 Edomites in the Salt Valley. 14 He erected garrisons throughout Edom, and all the Edomites became subservient to David, while the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went.

David’s Leaders(B)

15 David reigned over all of Israel, administering[g] justice and equity to every one of his people. 16 Zeruiah’s son Joab served in charge of the army, Ahilud’s son Jehoshaphat was his personal archivist,[h] 17 Ahitub’s son Zadok and Abiathar’s son Ahimelech were priests, Seraiah[i] was his personal secretary,[j] 18 Jehoida’s son Benaiah supervised the special forces[k] and mercenaries,[l] and David’s sons were priests.[m]


  1. 2 Samuel 8:3 Lit. hand
  2. 2 Samuel 8:3 The Heb. lacks Euphrates
  3. 2 Samuel 8:4 So MT; LXX reads 7,000; cf. 1Chr 18:4
  4. 2 Samuel 8:4 The Heb. lacks enough to supply
  5. 2 Samuel 8:6 Lit. David
  6. 2 Samuel 8:8 Lit. David
  7. 2 Samuel 8:15 Lit. with David administering
  8. 2 Samuel 8:16 Or recorder; an officer who kept official records of David’s administration
  9. 2 Samuel 8:17 Cf. 1Chr 18:16, which reads Shavsha
  10. 2 Samuel 8:17 Or scribe
  11. 2 Samuel 8:18 Lit. Cherethites; i.e. elite body guards
  12. 2 Samuel 8:18 Lit. Pelethites; i.e. special couriers
  13. 2 Samuel 8:18 Cf. 1Chr 18:17, which describes them as special officials