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Two Samuel Ten

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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2 Samuel 10:1 And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead.

2 Samuel 10:2 Then said David, I will show kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.

shewed kindness unto me. This particular incident is not recorded in the Bible, but may have happened sometime during David's exile.

2 Samuel 10:3 And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it?

2 Samuel 10:4 Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.

2 Samuel 10:5 When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.

2 Samuel 10:6 And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Bethrehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ishtob twelve thousand men.

2 Samuel 10:7 And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men.

2 Samuel 10:8 And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entering in of the gate: and the Syrians of Zoba, and of Rehob, and Ishtob, and Maacah, were by themselves in the field.

2 Samuel 10:9 When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians:

2 Samuel 10:10 And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the children of Ammon.

2 Samuel 10:11 And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee.

2 Samuel 10:12 Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.

2 Samuel 10:13 And Joab drew nigh, and the people that were with him, unto the battle against the Syrians: and they fled before him.

2 Samuel 10:14 And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, then fled they also before Abishai, and entered into the city. So Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 10:15 And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together.

2 Samuel 10:16 And Hadarezer sent, and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the river: and they came to Helam; and Shobach the captain of the host of Hadarezer went before them.

Hadarezer. Hadarezer is evidently the same as Hadadezer, king of Zobah (2 Samuel 10:8; also 2 Samuel 8:3). Zobah was a Syrian sub-kingdom.

2 Samuel 10:17 And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and passed over Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him.

2 Samuel 10:18 And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there.

seven hundred. The parallel account of the same battle between David and the Syrians in 1 Chronicles 19:18 says that “David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots.” One explanation for this apparent discrepancy is a copyist's error. The Hebrew characters for seven hundred and seven thousand are very easy to interchange. But see note for 2 Samuel 8:4. Also, some have said that each chariot may have carried ten men.

forty thousand horsemen. 1 Chronicles 19:18 says these were “forty thousand footmen.” The same men could fight either on horseback or on foot, as needed.

2 Samuel 10:19 And when all the kings that were servants to Hadarezer saw that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them. So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more.

all the kings. Many of the Syrian city states (Zobah, etc.) became servants of Israel after this battle, and the Ammonites would soon follow.