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10 Some time later, when the king of the people of ‘Amon died, his son Hanun became king in his place. David said, “I will show grace to Hanun the son of Nachash, as his father showed grace to me.” So David sent his servants to pass him a message of comfort concerning his father.

David’s servants entered the territory of the people of ‘Amon; but the leaders of the people of ‘Amon said to Hanun their lord, “Do you really think David is honoring your father by sending people to comfort you? Hasn’t David actually sent his servants to you in order to look the city over, reconnoiter it and overthrow it?” So Hanun took David’s servants, shaved off half their beards, cut off their clothes halfway up, at their buttocks, and then sent them away. On hearing how they had been treated, David sent a delegation to meet them, because the men had been deeply humiliated. The king said, “Stay in Yericho until your beards have grown back, and then return.”

Aware that they were utterly abhorrent to David, the people of ‘Amon sent and hired 20,000 Aram foot soldiers from Beit-Rechov and Tzovah, the king of Ma‘akhah with 1,000 men, and 12,000 soldiers from Tov. When David heard of it, he sent Yo’av with his entire army of trained soldiers.

The army of ‘Amon came out and went into battle formation at the entrance to the city gate; the men of Aram from Tzovah and Rechov and the men of Tov and Ma‘akhah were by themselves in the open countryside. When Yo’av saw that he would be fighting on two fronts, ahead and behind, he chose the best troops of Isra’el to deploy against Aram; 10 while the rest of the army he put under the command of Avishai his brother to deploy against the army of ‘Amon. 11 He said, “If Aram is too strong for me, you help me; but if the army of ‘Amon is too strong for you, then I will come and help you. 12 Take courage, and let’s be strong for the sake of our people and the cities of our God. May Adonai do what seems good to him.”

13 So Yo’av and the people with him went to battle Aram, and they fled before him. 14 When the people of ‘Amon saw that Aram had fled, they likewise fled before Avishai and retreated into the city. Yo’av returned from the people of ‘Amon and went to Yerushalayim.

15 When Aram saw that Isra’el had gotten the better of them, they gathered themselves together. 16 Hadad‘ezer sent and brought out the people of Aram who lived beyond the [Euphrates] River. They came to Heilam with Shovakh the commander of Hadad‘ezer’s army at their head. 17 It was reported to David; so he gathered all Isra’el together, crossed the Yarden and came to Heilam. Aram deployed themselves against David and fought him. 18 But Aram fled before Isra’el; David killed 700 chariot-drivers and 40,000 horsemen from Aram, and he struck Shovakh the commander of their army, so that he died there. 19 When all Hadad‘ezer’s vassal kings saw that they had been defeated by Isra’el, they made peace with Isra’el and became their subjects. So Aram was afraid to help the people of ‘Amon any more.

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