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1 LATER, THE king of the Ammonites died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead.
2 David said, I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, as his father did to me. So David sent his servants to console him for his father's death; and they came into the land of the Ammonites,
3 But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun their lord, Do you think that it is because David honors your father that he has sent comforters to you? Has he not rather sent his servants to you to search the city, spy it out, and overthrow it?
4 So Hanun took David's servants and shaved off half their beards and cut off their garments in the middle at their hips and sent them away.
5 When it was told David, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards are grown, and then return.
6 And when the Ammonites saw that they had made themselves obnoxious and disgusting to David, they sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob and of Zobah, 20,000 foot soldiers, and of the king of Maacah 1,000 men, and of Tob 12,000 men.
7 When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army of the mighty men.
8 And the Ammonites came out and put the battle in array at the entrance of the gate, but the Syrians of Zobah and of Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah were stationed by themselves in the open country.
9 When Joab saw that the battlefront was against him before and behind, he picked some of all the choice men of Israel and put them in array against the Syrians.
10 The rest of the men Joab gave over to Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the Ammonites.
11 Joab said, If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will come and help you.
12 Be of good courage; let us play the man for our people and the cities of our God. And may the Lord do what seems good to Him.
13 And Joab and the people who were with him drew near to battle against the Syrians, and they fled before him.
14 And when the Ammonites saw that the Syrians had fled, they also fled before Abishai and entered the city. So Joab returned from battling against the Ammonites and came to Jerusalem.
15 When the Syrians saw that they were defeated by Israel, they gathered together.
16 Hadadezer sent and brought the Syrians who were beyond the river [Euphrates]; and they came to Helam, with Shobach commander of the army of Hadadezer leading them.
17 When David was told, he gathered all Israel, crossed the Jordan, and came to Helam. Then the Syrians set themselves in array against David and fought with him.
18 The Syrians fled before Israel, and David slew of [them] the men of 700 chariots and 40,000 horsemen and smote Shobach captain of their army, who died there.
19 And when all the kings serving Hadadezer saw that they were defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel and served them. So the Syrians were afraid to help the Ammonites any more.
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation