When the Ammonites realized that they had become a stench1 in David's nostrils, they hired twenty thousand Aramean2 foot soldiers from Beth Rehob3 and Zobah,4 as well as the king of Maacah5 with a thousand men, and also twelve thousand men from Tob.67
On hearing this, David sent Joab7 out with the entire army of fighting men.
The Ammonites came out and drew up in battle formation at the entrance to their city gate, while the Arameans of Zobah and Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah were by themselves in the open country.
Joab saw that there were battle lines in front of him and behind him; so he selected some of the best troops in Israel and deployed them against the Arameans.
He put the rest of the men under the command of Abishai8 his brother and deployed them against the Ammonites.
Joab said, "If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you are to come to my rescue; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come to rescue you.
Be strong9 and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The LORD will do what is good in his sight."1013
Then Joab and the troops with him advanced to fight the Arameans, and they fled before him.
When the Ammonites11 saw that the Arameans were fleeing, they fled before Abishai and went inside the city. So Joab returned from fighting the Ammonites and came to Jerusalem.