David Wins the Victory Over the Ammonites
1The king of Ammon died. His son Hanun became the next king after him. 2David thought, “I’m going to be kind to Hanun. His father Nahash was kind to me.” So David sent messengers to Hanun. He wanted them to tell Hanun how sad he was that Hanun’s father had died.
David’s messengers went to the land of Ammon. 3The Ammonite commanders spoke to their master Hanun. They said, “David has sent messengers to tell you he is sad. They say he wants to honor your father. But the real reason they’ve come is to look the city over. They want to destroy it.” 4So Hanun grabbed David’s messengers. He shaved off half of each man’s beard. He cut their clothes off just below the waist and left them half naked. Then he sent them away.
5David was told about it. So he sent messengers to his men because they were filled with shame. King David said to them, “Stay at Jericho until your beards grow out again. Then come back here.”
6The Ammonites realized that what they had done had made David very angry with them. So they hired 20,000 Aramean soldiers who were on foot. The soldiers came from Beth Rehob and Zobah. The Ammonites also hired the king of Maakah and 1,000 men. And they hired 12,000 men from Tob.
7David heard about it. So he sent Joab out with the entire army of Israel’s fighting men. 8The Ammonites marched out. They took up their battle positions at the entrance of their city gate. The Arameans of Zobah and Rehob gathered their troops together in the open country. So did the men of Tob and Maakah.
9Joab saw that there were lines of soldiers in front of him and behind him. So he chose some of the best troops in Israel. He sent them to march out against the Arameans. 10He put the rest of the men under the command of his brother Abishai. Joab sent them to march out against the Ammonites. 11He said, “Suppose the Arameans are too strong for me. Then you must come and help me. But suppose the Ammonites are too strong for you. Then I’ll come and help you. 12Be strong. Let’s be brave as we fight for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what he thinks is best.”
13Then Joab and the troops with him marched out to attack the Arameans. They ran away from him. 14The Ammonites realized that the Arameans were running away. So they ran away from Abishai. They went inside the city. After Joab had fought against the Ammonites, he went back to Jerusalem.
15The Arameans saw that they had been driven away by Israel. So they brought their troops together. 16Hadadezer had some Arameans brought from east of the Euphrates River. They went to Helam under the command of Shobak. He was the commander of Hadadezer’s army.
17David was told about it. So he gathered the whole army of Israel together. They went across the Jordan River to Helam. The Arameans lined up their soldiers to go to war against David. They began to fight against him. 18But then they ran away from Israel. David killed 700 of their chariot riders. He killed 40,000 of their soldiers who were on foot. He also struck down Shobak, the commander of their army. Shobak died there. 19All the kings who were under the rule of Hadadezer saw that Israel had won the battle over them. So they made a peace treaty with the Israelites. They were brought under Israel’s rule.
After that, the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites anymore.