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2 Samuel 10

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 1 And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place.

 2 Then David said, "I will show kindness to Hanun, the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me." So David sent his servants to comfort him for his father's death. When David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon,

 3 The princes of the children of Ammon said to their lord Hanun, "Do you really think that David honors your father by sending comforters to you? Instead, isn't it more likely that David has sent his servants to survey the city, to assess it, and then to overthrow it?"

 4 Therefore Hanun took David's servants, shaved off half of each man's beard, cut off their garments in the middle down to their buttocks, and sent them away.

 5 When David was told this, he sent a messenger to meet them [before they arrived in Jerusalem] because the men were greatly ashamed; and the messenger from David told them, "Stay at Jericho until your beards have regrown, and then return."

 6 And when the children of Ammon saw that they were greatly resented by David, the children of Ammon sent for and hired the Syrians of Bethrehob and the Syrians of Zoba, a total of twenty thousand footmen; and from king Maacah a thousand men; and from Ishtob twelve thousand men.

 7 When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the host of the mighty men [to war with them].

 8 The children of Ammon came out, and took up their battle positions at the entrance of their gate, while the Syrians of Zoba, and of Rehob, and Ishtob, and Maacah, were by themselves in the field.

 9 When Joab saw that the enemy forces of the battle were arrayed against him both ahead and behind, he chose of all the best men of Israel, and set them in battle formation facing the Syrians behind them.

 10 He assigned the rest of the army to the command of his brother Abishai, to form in battle array against the children of Ammon in front of them.

 11 And Joab said, "If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the children of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will come and help you.

 12 Be of good courage, and let us show strength for our people and for the cities of our God; and may the LORD do what is good in his sight."

 13 Joab and the army with him advanced to battle against the Syrians, and the Syrians fled away from him.

 14 And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians had fled, then they also fled from Abishai, retreating back into the city. So Joab returned from the children of Ammon and came to Jerusalem.

 15 When the Syrians saw that they were defeated by Israel, they regrouped, gathering more of themselves together.

 16 Hadarezer sent for and summoned the Syrians who lived beyond the river, and they came to Helam, where they were led by Shobach, Hadarezer's commander of the army.

 17 When David was told of it, he gathered all Israel together, and crossed over the Jordan to go to Helam. The Syrians set themselves in battle array against David, and they fought with him.

 18 The Syrians fled before Israel, and David slew the men in seven hundred chariots of the Syrians; he slew forty thousand foot soldiers;1 and he struck Shobach, the commander of their army, who died there.

 19 And when all the kings, who were vassals to Hadarezer, saw that Syria had been defeated by Israel, they all made peace and served Israel. So the Syrians no longer dared to try to help the children of Ammon.

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1The text actually says 40,000 horsemen, yet 1 Chron. 19:18 gives the same account of this battle and states 40,000 foot sodiers, which is far more likely to be the case.


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