David fights against the Ammonites
1 After some time, Nahash, the king of the Ammonites, died. His son became the new king. 2 David thought, ‘Nahash was kind to me, so I will be kind to his son Hanun.’ So David sent some of his officers to give a message to Hanun. David wanted to tell Hanun that he was sorry that his father Nahash had died.
19:1Ammon was a country to the east of Israel. It was on the other side of the Jordan river.
David's officers took his kind message to the land of the Ammonites. 3 But the leaders of the Ammonites said to Hanun, ‘David has sent his officers to you with a kind message. But do not think that he really wants to give honour to your father. No, he has sent his men to look at our land. They want to see how they can attack our country and take it for themselves.’
4 So Hanun took hold of David's officers. He cut off their hair. He also cut off the lower half of their clothes up to their hips. Then he sent them away.
5 Some people came to tell David what had happened. His officers were very ashamed. So David sent men to them with a message. King David said, ‘Stay in Jericho city until your beards have grown again. Then you can return here.’
6 The Ammonites realized that they had caused David to be very angry. So King Hanun and his people made an agreement with the people of Aram-Naharaim, Aram-Maacah and Zobah. The Ammonites sent them about 34,000 kilograms of silver to get their help with chariots and their drivers. 7 They had 32,000 chariots to use in the battle. They also received help from the king of Maakah and his army. All these men made their camp near Medeba. At the same time King Hanun had brought together the Ammonite soldiers from their towns. They were all ready to fight.
8 David heard news about this. So he sent Joab with all the soldiers in his army to fight against them. 9 The Ammonite soldiers marched out from their city. They stood at the entrance of their city and they were ready to fight. The other kings and their soldiers stayed in the fields near the city.
10 Joab saw that there were two groups of the enemy's soldiers. They were ready to attack his army from different sides. So he chose some of Israel's best soldiers. Joab himself led them to attack the Syrian soldiers in the fields. 11 He told his brother Abishai to lead the rest of Israel's army to fight against the Ammonites. 12 Joab said to Abishai, ‘If the Syrian soldiers are too strong for me, you must come to rescue me. But if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will come to rescue you. 13 Be strong! We must be brave as we fight on behalf of our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what he decides is good.’
14 Then Joab and his group of soldiers went to fight against the Syrians. As they marched towards the Syrian soldiers, they ran away. 15 The Ammonites saw that the Syrians were running away from Joab. So they also ran away from his brother Abishai's men. They went back into their city.
So Joab returned to Jerusalem.
16 The Syrian soldiers realized that Israel had won the battle against them. So they sent men with a message to fetch more soldiers to help them. More Syrian soldiers came from the other side of the Euphrates river. Shophach, the captain of Hadadezer's army, led them.
17 David heard about what was happening. So he took all Israel's soldiers across the Jordan river. David led his army to attack the Syrian soldiers. The Syrians also prepared to fight. When the battle started, 18 the Syrians ran away from the Israelites. David and his army killed 7,000 Syrians who drove chariots. They killed 40,000 other Syrian soldiers. They also killed Shophach, the captain of the Syrian army.
19 The kings who were under King Hadadezer's authority saw that Israel had won the battle. So they made an agreement with David that they would not fight against Israel any more. They agreed to be under David's authority. After that, the Syrians would no longer agree to help the Ammonites.