Joab saw that there were ·enemies [battle lines] both in front of him and behind him. So he chose some of the ·best soldiers [elite troops] of Israel and ·sent them out to fight [deployed them against] the ·Arameans [Syrians].
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!”
Therefore Joab saw, that the battle was made ready against him, both even against him and behind his back; and he chose to himself of all the chosen men of Israel (and he chose for himself the best men out of all Israel), and ordained (the) battle array against (the) Syrians.
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