And Joab sent messengers to David
To acquaint him how he had proceeded, and what success he had had:
and said, I have fought against Rabbah;
laid siege to it, and skirmished with parties that sallied out upon them:
and have taken the city of waters;
the same with the royal city, and so the Targum here renders it; so called because situated by the waterside; Adrichomius says F24 the river Jabbok flowed round about it: or it abounded with fountains of water, from whence the other part of the city, or what was properly the city Rabbah, was supplied with water; and which communication being cut off, it could not hold out long, which Joab being sensible of, therefore sent for David. Junius and Tremellius render the words, "I have intercepted the water from the city"; with which the account of Josephus F25 agrees, who says, that he cut off the water from them, and precluded other supplies, so that they were in great distress for want of food and drink; and in like manner it was taken by Antiochus some hundreds of years later; for that; historian says F26 the siege by him lasted long, and they could not prevail, because of the multitude of men it, until one of the prisoners showed them a subterraneous passage, through which they came and fetched water; which they stopped up with stones and such like things, and then through want of water yielded.
F24 Theatrum T. S. p. 34.
F25 Antiqu. l. 7. c. 7. sect. 5.
F26 Polyb. Hist. l. 5. p. 414.