[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.
<<HANUN>> This is also a Hebrew name. It means "He Who Shows Mercy".
[2-Samuel 10:2] THEN SAID DAVID, I WILL SHEW KINDNESS UNTO HANUN THE SON OF NAHASH, AS HIS FATHER SHEWED 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.
<<NAHASH>>: In Hebrew this name means "snake".
<<AS HIS FATHER SHEWED KINDNESS UNTO ME>>: The kindness that had been showed to David is not mentioned in the Bible. The Midrash (Bamidbar Rabah 14:3) says that when David fled from before Saul he placed his parents in the safekeeping of the King of Moab with whom his family through Ruth was distantly related. The King of Moab betrayed David and killed his parents and other members of his family who were there. A brother of David escaped and fled to Amon. The king of Moab demanded that the King of Amon turn the brother of David over to him but the King of Amon refused. It may be that Nahash king of Amon is the same monarch whom Saul fought against and defeated (Samuel-1 11:11) or his son and successor. If this is so it could be that Nahash befriended David out of enmity for Saul. Whatever the motivation David appreciated the favor and was prepared to requite with a gesture of respect. David at this stage was already a very powerful figure in the Middle East and the King of Amon could have gained much from friendship and an alliance with David.
[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.
<<BUTTOCKS>>: Hebrew, "Shatotayhem".
The Commentary Daat Mikra: <<"Shatotayhem". From the word "shayt", this is a plural of "shatot" connoting "basis". According to this "Shatotayhem" means "their foundation", i.e. the place of sitting.>>
We see here the root "shayt" connected with sitting and in the North the "sh" became "s" and thus the word has a sound close to the English "sit" and "sat" in the past tense and meaning the same
[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.
SYRIANS OF BETHREHOB: "Aram Beth-Rechob" was probably in the north of present-day Syria.
SYRIANS OF ZOBA: "Aram Zoba" probably straddled the Euphrates River.
ISHTOB: "Ish Tob" (or "Tov") probably meaning "The Man (Prince) of Tob".
These principalities were to the north of the Land of Israel.
David had already established his domain up unto the Euphrates River (as we saw in chapter eight) but apparently not along the length of it northwards. The Aramaeans whom we encounter here are mainly those of the far north and of Mesopotamia.
[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.
The Ammonites arrayed themselves before their city Rabat Amon while their Aramaean allies were aligned in the Medba Plain about 30 kilometers away (Daat Mikra).
[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:
Joab was in difficult circumstances so he decided to concentrate his efforts against the main force.
[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.
The two brothers Joab ("Yoav") and Abishai ("Avishai") were in charge of the forces of David. Abishai dealt with the Ammonites before the city of Rabat Ammon while Joab took the best men out of his army and faced the Aramaeans ("Syrians"). We will see that Joab with the choice warriors in effect attacks the Aramaenas and defeats them while Abishai merely manages to hold the Ammonites at bay so that Joab does not have to fight on two fronts.
[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 10:1 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.
Failure would have endangered the settlements of Israel referred to as THE CITIES OF OUR GOD. Israel and the God of Israel as far as this world is concerned are almost identical. The God of Israel expresses HIMSELF through HIS people. When we do not go in HIS way we desecrate HIS name which is called on us.
ALL the Israelite Peoples have extra obligations beyond those that are universal to all humanity.
[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.
It would seem that Abishai remained with his section of the army in siege of Rabat Amon.
[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.
David had previously defeated Hadarezer (2-Samuel 8:3) and severely curtailed his abilities unless the victory over Hadarezer we were told about before is the same one we are being informed about at present only now more details are being given and its relationship to the campaign against Ammon explained whereas before itb was just mentioned in general terms as part of a list of military achievements.
The Aramaean (Syrian) allies of Ammon were defeated and fled. Hadarezer who up until now had not participated in the War may have been afraid that David would seek to follow up his victory by chasing the Aramaeans to their home bases in the north and conquering them.
BEYOND THE RIVER: Beyond the Euphrates in what is known as Mesopotamia (Iraq) which at time was the center of world civilization.
[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.
This is an important verse. David sends his Commanders-in-Chief to conduct engagements on the periphery of his domain against a relatively minor opponent. When however the Kingdom itself is in danger and faced with a powerful coalition it is David himself who takes charge.
[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 CHARIOTS>>: In 1-Chronicles 19:18 it says seven thousand chariots. The Radak explains the discrepancy by saying that here Scripture speaks of leading chariots whereas in 1-Chronicles chariots in general are spoken of.
[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.
Concerning the ending of this campaign the account in this Book of Samuel is to be interrrupted by the Bath-Sheba affair and returned to in Chapter 12 but for a summary see 1-Chronicles:
[1-Chronicles 20:1- AND IT CAME TO PASS, THAT AFTER THE YEAR WAS EXPIRED, AT THE TIME THAT KINGS GO OUT TO BATTLE, JOAB LED FORTH THE POWER OF THE ARMY, AND WASTED THE COUNTRY OF THE CHILDREN OF AMMON, AND CAME AND BESIEGED RABBAH. BUT DAVID TARRIED AT JERUSALEM. AND JOAB SMOTE RABBAH, AND DESTROYED IT.
[1-Chronicles 20:2] AND DAVID TOOK THE CROWN OF THEIR KING FROM OFF HIS HEAD, AND FOUND IT TO WEIGH A TALENT OF GOLD, AND THERE WERE PRECIOUS STONES IN IT; AND IT WAS SET UPON DAVID'S HEAD: AND HE BROUGHT ALSO EXCEEDING MUCH SPOIL OUT OF THE CITY.
[1-Chronicles 20:3] AND HE BROUGHT OUT THE PEOPLE THAT WERE IN IT, AND CUT THEM WITH SAWS, AND WITH HARROWS OF IRON, AND WITH AXES. EVEN SO DEALT DAVID WITH ALL THE CITIES OF THE CHILDREN OF AMMON. AND DAVID AND ALL THE PEOPLE RETURNED TO JERUSALEM.
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