David’s Military Victories
1After this, David defeated and subdued the Philistines by conquering Gath, their largest town.#8:1 Hebrew by conquering Metheg-ammah, a name that means “the bridle,” possibly referring to the size of the town or the tribute money taken from it. Compare 1 Chr 18:1. 2David also conquered the land of Moab. He made the people lie down on the ground in a row, and he measured them off in groups with a length of rope. He measured off two groups to be executed for every one group to be spared. The Moabites who were spared became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money.
3David also destroyed the forces of Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when Hadadezer marched out to strengthen his control along the Euphrates River. 4David captured 1,000 chariots, 7,000 charioteers,#8:4 As in Dead Sea Scrolls and Greek version (see also 1 Chr 18:4); Masoretic Text reads captured 1,700 charioteers. and 20,000 foot soldiers. He crippled all the chariot horses except enough for 100 chariots.
5When Arameans from Damascus arrived to help King Hadadezer, David killed 22,000 of them. 6Then he placed several army garrisons in Damascus, the Aramean capital, and the Arameans became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money. So the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.
7David brought the gold shields of Hadadezer’s officers to Jerusalem, 8along with a large amount of bronze from Hadadezer’s towns of Tebah#8:8 As in some Greek manuscripts (see also 1 Chr 18:8); Hebrew reads Betah. and Berothai.
9When King Toi of Hamath heard that David had destroyed the entire army of Hadadezer, 10he sent his son Joram to congratulate King David for his successful campaign. Hadadezer and Toi had been enemies and were often at war. Joram presented David with many gifts of silver, gold, and bronze.
11King David dedicated all these gifts to the Lord, as he did with the silver and gold from the other nations he had defeated—12from Edom,#8:12 As in a few Hebrew manuscripts and Greek and Syriac versions (see also 8:14; 1 Chr 18:11); most Hebrew manuscripts read Aram. Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek—and from Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah.
13So David became even more famous when he returned from destroying 18,000 Edomites#8:13 As in a few Hebrew manuscripts and Greek and Syriac versions (see also 8:14; 1 Chr 18:12); most Hebrew manuscripts read Arameans. in the Valley of Salt. 14He placed army garrisons throughout Edom, and all the Edomites became David’s subjects. In fact, the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.
15So David reigned over all Israel and did what was just and right for all his people. 16Joab son of Zeruiah was commander of the army. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian. 17Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were the priests. Seraiah was the court secretary. 18Benaiah son of Jehoiada was captain of the king’s bodyguard.#8:18a Hebrew of the Kerethites and Pelethites. And David’s sons served as priestly leaders.#8:18b Hebrew David’s sons were priests; compare parallel text at 1 Chr 18:17.