2 Samuel 10

War with the Ammonites

1 Some time later the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun became king in his place.
2 Then David said, "I'll show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me."[a] So David sent his emissaries to console Hanun concerning his father. However, when they arrived in the land of the Ammonites,
3 the Ammonite leaders said to Hanun their lord, "Just because David has sent men with condolences for you, do you really believe he's showing respect for your father? Instead, hasn't David sent his emissaries in order to scout out the city, spy on it, and overthrow it?"
4 So Hanun took David's emissaries, shaved off half their beards, cut their clothes in half at the hips, and sent them away.[b]
5 When this was reported to David, he sent [someone] to meet them, since they were deeply humiliated. The king said, "Stay in Jericho until your beards grow back; then return."[c]
6 When the Ammonites realized they had become repulsive to David, they hired 20,000 foot soldiers from the Arameans of Beth-rehob and Zobah, 1,000 men from the king of Maacah, and 12,000 men from Tob.
7 David heard about it and sent Joab and all the fighting men.
8 The Ammonites marched out and lined up in battle formation at the entrance to the city gate while the Arameans of Zobah and Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah were in the field by themselves.
9 When Joab saw that there was a battle line in front of him and another behind him, he chose some men out of all the elite troops[d] of Israel and lined up in battle formation to engage the Arameans.
10 He placed the rest of the forces under the command of his brother Abishai who lined up in battle formation to engage the Ammonites.
11 "If the Arameans are too strong for me," Joab said, "then you will be my help. However, if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I'll come to help you.
12 Be strong! We must prove ourselves strong for our people and for the cities of our God.[e] May the Lord's will be done." [f]
13 Joab and his troops advanced to fight against the Arameans, and they fled before him.
14 When the Ammonites saw that the Arameans had fled, they too fled before Abishai and entered the city. So Joab withdrew from the attack against the Ammonites and went to Jerusalem.
15 When the Arameans saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they regrouped.
16 Hadadezer sent [messengers] to bring the Arameans who were across the Euphrates River, and they came to Helam with Shobach, commander of Hadadezer's army, leading them.
17 When this was reported to David, he gathered all Israel, crossed the Jordan, and went to Helam. Then the Arameans lined up in formation to engage David in battle and fought against him.
18 But the Arameans fled before Israel, and David killed 700 of their charioteers and 40,000 foot soldiers.[g] He also struck down Shobach commander of their army, who died there.
19 When all the kings who were Hadadezer's subjects saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel and became their subjects. After this, the Arameans were afraid to ever help the Ammonites again.[h]

2 Samuel 10 Commentary

Chapter 10

David's messengers ill-treated by Hanun. (1-5) The Ammonites defeated. (6-14) The Syrians defeated. (15-19)

Verses 1-5 Nahash had been an enemy to Israel, yet had showed kindness to David. David therefore resolves gratefully to return it. If a Pharisee gives alms in pride, though God will not reward it, yet he that receives the alms ought to return thanks for it. Those who bear ill-will to their neighbours, are resolved not to believe that their neighbours bear any good-will to them. There is nothing so well meant, but it may be ill interpreted, and is wont to be so, by men who love nobody but themselves. The best men must not think it strange if they are thus misrepresented. Charity thinketh no evil. According to the usages of those days and countries, Hanun treated David's ambassadors in the most contemptuous manner. David showed much concern for his servants. Let us learn not to lay unjust reproaches to heart; they will wear off, and turn only to the shame of those who utter or do them; while the reputation wrongfully hurt in a little time grows again, as these beards did. God will bring forth thy righteousness as the light, therefore wait patiently for him, ( psalms 37:6 psalms 37:7 ) .

Verses 6-14 They that are at war with the Son of David, not only give the provocation, but begin the war. God has forces to send against those that set his wrath at defiance, ( Isaiah 5:19 ) , which will convince them that none ever hardened his heart against God, and prospered. Christ's soldiers should strengthen one another's hands in their spiritual warfare. Let nothing be wanting in us, whatever the success be. When we make conscience of doing our duty, we may, with satisfaction, leave the event with God, assuredly hoping for his salvation in his own way and time.

Verses 15-19 Here is a new attempt of the Syrians. Even the baffled cause will make head as long as there is any life in it; the enemies of the Son of David do so. But now the promise made to Abraham, #Ge. 15:18 |, and repeated to Joshua, ( Joshua 1:4 ) , that the borders of Israel should extend to the river Euphrates, was performed. Learn hence, that it is dangerous to help those who have God against them; for when they fall, their helpers will fall with them.

Footnotes 8

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO SECOND SAMUEL 10

This chapter gives an account of the ill treatment of David's messengers to the king of Ammon, who were sent to condole the death of his father, and were basely used by him, which David resented, 2Sa 10:1-5; which the Ammonites perceiving prepared for war, and got the Syrians to be confederates with them; of which David being informed, sent Joab and Abishai into their country, 2Sa 10:6-8; who divided the army between them, and attacked the Ammonites and Syrians with great courage, and routed them both, and returned to Jerusalem, 2Sa 10:9-14; after which the Syrians gathered together again to fight with David, who went out to meet them, and got an entire conquest over them, and made them servants to him, 2Sa 10:15-19.

2 Samuel 10 Commentaries