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2 Samuel 10

David and the Ammonites

1 Some time after that, the king of the Ammonites died. His son Hanun became the new king. 2 David thought, ‘I will be kind to Hanun, because Nahash his father was kind to me.’ David was sorry that Nahash had died. So David sent a group of his officers to tell Hanun that he was sorry. So David's men came to the Ammonites' land.

10:2The country of Ammon was on the east side of Israel, across the river Jordan.

3 The most powerful Ammonites spoke to Hanun, their lord. ‘David wants you to think that he is honouring your father. But we do not believe that he has sent his officers to you because of that. This is what we think. He is not sorry because your father has died. They have come to see how strong your city is. Then his army can fight and they can win it from you.’

4 So Hanun took David's officers and he cut off half the hair from their beards. And he cut off the lower half of their clothes and he sent them away.

5 When somebody told David about this, he sent servants to meet the men. They were very ashamed. The king said, ‘Stay at Jericho until your beards have grown again. And then return here.’

6 Then the Ammonites knew that they had made David very angry. So they sent money to get 20,000 Syrian soldiers from Beth-rehob and Zobah. And they also had 1000 men with the king of Maacah and 12,000 men from Tob.

7 People told David about this. Then he sent out Joab with all the soldiers in his army. 8 The Ammonite soldiers came out and they stood in a group in front of the city's gates. The Syrians from Zobah and Rehob and the men from Tob and Maacah stayed in the land round the city.

9 Joab saw that there were the enemy's soldiers in front and behind him. So he took some of the best of Israel's soldiers and he caused them to look towards the Syrians. 10 He asked his brother Abishai to take all the other men to attack the Ammonites. 11 Joab said, ‘If the Syrians are too strong for me, you save me. But if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will come to you. And I will save you. 12 Be strong. We must be brave when we fight for our people and for God's cities. The LORD will do what seems good to him. And I pray that he will do that.’

13 Then Joab and his group went to fight the Syrians and their enemies ran away from them. 14 The Ammonites saw that the Syrians were running away from Joab. So they ran away from Abishai. They ran into the city. So Joab stopped fighting the Ammonites and he returned to Jerusalem.

15 But then the Syrians saw that Israel had won the fight with them. So, they made another army. 16 Hadadezer got more Syrians from across the River Euphrates. Shobach, his most important officer, led this army to Helam.

17 His servants told David what was happening. And he took all Israel's men across the River Jordan to Helam. The Syrian soldiers stood in front of them and they fought David's army. 18 But they ran away from Israel's men. And David killed 700 of the men in chariots and 40,000 soldiers who walked. He also hit the army leader, Shobach and he died there. 19 Israel had beaten all the kings that Hadadezer ruled. And all those kings knew that Israel had beaten them. So, they said that they did not want to fight against Israel after that. They became the servants of the Israelites instead. So the Syrians were afraid to help the Ammonites after that.