1 Chronicles 19

David sends men to the new king of the Ammonites

1 After that, Nahash, the king of Ammon, died and his son ruled instead. 2 David said, ‘Nahash was kind to me. So I will be kind to his son Hanun.’ So David sent some officers to Hanun. He wanted to say that he was sorry about the death of Hanun's father. David's servants came to Ammon to tell Hanun that David was sorry about it. 3 But the leaders of the people in Ammon said to Hanun, ‘David has sent these men to you. So perhaps you think that he really wants to honour your father. But really his men have come to look at our country so that he can beat you. He wants to rule our country. That is what we think.’

19:3Ammon was a country to the east of Israel. It was on the other side of the Jordan river.

Hanun makes David's men ashamed

4 So Hanun took David's servants and he cut off all their hair. His men cut off the lower half of their long clothes to the top of their legs. Then they sent them away.

5 Some people came and they told David about the men. So he sent men to meet them because they were very ashamed. The king said, ‘Stay in Jericho until your beards have grown again. Then return.’

The people in Ammon fetch help to fight David

6 Then the people in Ammon knew that they had caused David to be very angry. So Hanun and the people in Ammon sent about 1,000 talents of silver to Aram-Naharaim, Aram-Maacah and Zobah. That was to buy chariots and their drivers from them. 7 So they bought 32,000 chariots. They also bought the help of the king of Maacah and his army. These men put their tents near Medeba. At the same time the people from Ammon had come together out of their cities. And they were ready to fight.

8 People told David about it so he sent out Joab with all the Israelite army of good soldiers. 9 So the people from Ammon came out. And they stood ready to fight in front of their city's gate. The other kings who had come were outside in the fields.

Joab wins the fight with the two armies

10 Joab saw that there were armies in front of him and behind him too. So he took some of Israel's best soldiers. And he was their leader against the men from Syria. 11 He told his brother Abishai that he must be leader of all the other soldiers against the men from Ammon. 12 Joab said, ‘If the army from Syria is too strong for me, you must come to me. And you must help me. But if the army from Ammon is too strong for you, I will help you. 13 We must be strong and brave. We are fighting for our people and for our God's cities. The Lord will do what seems good and right to him.’

14 Then Joab and his soldiers went out to fight the men from Syria. And they ran from him. 15 The men from Ammon saw that the men from Syria had run away. And so they ran from his brother Abishai's men and they went into the city. So Joab returned to Jerusalem.

The men from Syria run away from the Israelites

16 The men from Syria saw that Israel's men had beaten them. So they sent men with a message to fetch more soldiers. More of their men came across the river, from Syria. Shophach, Hadadezer's most important officer, was at the front of those men.

17 Someone told David about it. Then he took all Israel's soldiers and he crossed the River Jordan. They stood in front of the men from Syria, ready to fight. And the men from Syria fought against David. 18 The men from Syria ran away from Israel's men. And David killed 7,000 men who drove chariots and 40,000 other soldiers. And he killed Shophach, the leader of their army.

All the kings who had fought him agree to be David's servants

19 The other kings saw that Israel had won the fight against Hadadezer. So they made peace with David. They agreed to be his servants. After that, the people from Syria did not want to help the men from Ammon again.