2 Samuel 10 Good News Translation (GNT)
David Defeats the Ammonites and the Syrians
10 Some time later King Nahash of Ammon died, and his son Hanun became king. 2 King David said, “I must show loyal friendship to Hanun, as his father Nahash did to me.” So David sent messengers to express his sympathy.
When they arrived in Ammon, 3 the Ammonite leaders said to the king, “Do you think that it is in your father's honor that David has sent these men to express sympathy to you? Of course not! He has sent them here as spies to explore the city, so that he can conquer us!”
4 Hanun seized David's messengers, shaved off one side of their beards, cut off their clothes at the hips, and sent them away. 5 They were too ashamed to return home. When David heard about what had happened, he sent word for them to stay in Jericho and not return until their beards had grown again.
6 The Ammonites realized that they had made David their enemy, so they hired twenty thousand Syrian soldiers from Bethrehob and Zobah, twelve thousand men from Tob, and the king of Maacah with a thousand men. 7 David heard of it and sent Joab against them with the whole army. 8 The Ammonites marched out and took up their position at the entrance to Rabbah, their capital city, while the others, both the Syrians and the men from Tob and Maacah, took up their position in the open countryside.
9 Joab saw that the enemy troops would attack him in front and from the rear, so he chose the best of Israel's soldiers and put them in position facing the Syrians. 10 He placed the rest of his troops under the command of his brother Abishai, who put them in position facing the Ammonites. 11 Joab said to him, “If you see that the Syrians are defeating me, come and help me, and if the Ammonites are defeating you, I will go and help you. 12 Be strong and courageous! Let's fight hard for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the Lord's will be done!”
13 Joab and his men advanced to attack, and the Syrians fled. 14 When the Ammonites saw the Syrians running away, they fled from Abishai and retreated into the city. Then Joab turned back from fighting the Ammonites and went back to Jerusalem.
15 The Syrians realized that they had been defeated by the Israelites, and so they called all their troops together. 16 King Hadadezer sent for the Syrians who were on the east side of the Euphrates River, and they came to Helam under the command of Shobach, commander of the army of King Hadadezer of Zobah. 17 When David heard of it, he gathered the Israelite troops, crossed the Jordan River, and marched to Helam, where the Syrians took up their position facing him. The fighting began, 18 and the Israelites drove the Syrian army back. David and his men killed seven hundred Syrian chariot drivers and forty thousand cavalry, and they wounded Shobach, the enemy commander, who died on the battlefield. 19 When the kings who were subject to Hadadezer realized that they had been defeated by the Israelites, they made peace with them and became their subjects. And the Syrians were afraid to help the Ammonites any more.
2 Samuel 10 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Ammonites and Arameans Are Defeated
10 Some time afterward, the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun succeeded him. 2 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, 3 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?” 4 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. 5 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.”
6 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. 7 When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army with the warriors. 8 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.
9 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,[a] 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.
2 Samuel 10 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
10 Some time later, when the king of the people of ‘Amon died, his son Hanun became king in his place. 2 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; 3 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?” 4 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. 5 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.”
6 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. 7 When David heard of it, he sent Yo’av with his entire army of trained soldiers.
8 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. 9 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.
2 Samuel 10 The Message (MSG)
10 1-2 Sometime after this, the king of the Ammonites died and Hanun, his son, succeeded him as king. David said, “I’d like to show some kindness to Hanun, the son of Nahash—treat him as well and as kindly as his father treated me.” So David sent Hanun condolences regarding his father.
2-3 But when David’s servants got to the land of the Ammonites, the Ammonite leaders warned Hanun, their head delegate, “Do you for a minute suppose that David is honoring your father by sending you comforters? Don’t you think it’s because he wants to snoop around the city and size it up that David has sent his emissaries to you?”
4 So Hanun seized David’s men, shaved off half their beards, cut off their robes halfway up their buttocks, and sent them packing.
5 When all this was reported to David, he sent someone to meet them, for they were seriously humiliated. The king told them, “Stay in Jericho until your beards grow out. Only then come back.”
6 When it dawned on the Ammonites that as far as David was concerned they stunk to high heaven, they hired Aramean soldiers from Beth-Rehob and Zobah—twenty thousand infantry—and a thousand men from the king of Maacah, and twelve thousand men from Tob.
7 When David heard of this, he dispatched Joab with his strongest fighters in full force.
8-12 The Ammonites marched out and arranged themselves in battle formation at the city gate. The Arameans of Zobah and Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah took up a position out in the open fields. When Joab saw that he had two fronts to fight, before and behind, he took his pick of the best of Israel and deployed them to confront the Arameans. The rest of the army he put under the command of Abishai, his brother, and deployed them to confront the Ammonites. Then he said, “If the Arameans are too much for me, you help me. And if the Ammonites prove too much for you, I’ll come and help you. Courage! We’ll fight with might and main for our people and for the cities of our God. And God will do whatever he sees needs doing!”
13-14 But when Joab and his soldiers moved in to fight the Arameans, they ran off in full retreat. Then the Ammonites, seeing the Arameans run for dear life, took to their heels from Abishai and went into the city.
So Joab left off fighting the Ammonites and returned to Jerusalem.
15-17 When the Arameans saw how badly they’d been beaten by Israel, they picked up the pieces and regrouped. Hadadezer sent for the Arameans who were across the River. They came to Helam. Shobach, commander of Hadadezer’s army, led them. All this was reported to David.
17-19 So David mustered Israel, crossed the Jordan, and came to Helam. The Arameans went into battle formation, ready for David, and the fight was on. But the Arameans again scattered before Israel. David killed seven hundred chariot drivers and forty thousand cavalry. And he mortally wounded Shobach, the army commander, who died on the battlefield. When all the kings who were vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been routed by Israel, they made peace and became Israel’s vassals. The Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites ever again.