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2 Samuel 10


2 Samuel 10 depicts a significant military campaign during King David’s reign, involving conflict with the Ammonites and their Aramean allies. The chapter illustrates the complexities of diplomacy and warfare in the ancient Near East. Key aspects include:
David’s Diplomatic Gesture to Ammon: Following the death of Nahash, king of the Ammonites, David sends a delegation to express his condolences to Hanun, Nahash’s son, as Nahash had shown kindness to David.
Ammonites’ Humiliation of David’s Envoys: The Ammonite princes suspect the envoys of being spies. Hanun humiliates them by shaving off half of their beards and cutting their garments at the buttocks, an act of great disrespect in that culture.
Preparation for War: The Ammonites realize their actions have angered David and hire Aramean mercenaries to bolster their forces in anticipation of David’s response.
Israel’s Battle Against the Ammonites and Arameans: Joab leads Israel’s army against the combined forces of the Ammonites and Arameans. He divides his forces, placing some under the command of his brother Abishai, and prepares to engage in battle.
Joab’s Strategy and Encouragement: Joab devises a strategic plan to confront both fronts and encourages his troops to be strong and fight bravely for their people and the cities of God.
Israel’s Victory: Joab and his forces defeat the Arameans, who flee. Seeing the Arameans’ defeat, the Ammonites also retreat into their city. The Arameans, discouraged by their defeat, make peace with Israel and become subject to them.
The Ammonites’ Continued Hostility: Despite the setback, the Ammonites do not immediately make peace with Israel, setting the stage for further conflicts.
2 Samuel 10 presents a narrative of how a diplomatic incident can escalate into full-scale warfare. It showcases Joab’s tactical acumen and the strength of David’s forces. The chapter also highlights the importance of honor and reputation in ancient diplomacy and warfare, as the initial insult to David’s envoys triggers a series of events leading to military confrontation. This incident further solidifies David’s power and influence in the region.

2 Samuel 10

1  And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead.

2  Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.

3  And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it?

4  Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.

5  When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.

6  And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Bethrehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ishtob twelve thousand men.

7  And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men.

8  And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entering in of the gate: and the Syrians of Zoba, and of Rehob, and Ishtob, and Maacah, were by themselves in the field.

9  When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians:

10  And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the children of Ammon.

11  And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee.

12  Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.

13  And Joab drew nigh, and the people that were with him, unto the battle against the Syrians: and they fled before him.

14  And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, then fled they also before Abishai, and entered into the city. So Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem.

15  And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together.

16  And Hadarezer sent, and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the river: and they came to Helam; and Shobach the captain of the host of Hadarezer went before them.

17  And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and passed over Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him.

18  And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there.

19  And when all the kings that were servants to Hadarezer saw that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them. So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more.

End of 2 Samuel 10

1 Year Plan:  May 10 - 2 Sa 9, 2 Sa 10, Ps 54

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