1 Chronicles 19
David’s Campaign against the Ammonites1 Later King Nahash of the Ammonites died and his son succeeded him. 2 David said, “I will express my loyalty ▼
▼ Heb “do loyalty.”to Hanun son of Nahash, for his father was loyal ▼
▼ Heb “did loyalty.”to me.” So David sent messengers to express his sympathy over his father’s death. ▼
▼ Heb “to console him concerning his father.”When David’s servants entered Ammonite territory to visit Hanun and express the king’s sympathy, ▼
▼ Heb “and the servants of David came to the land of the sons of Ammon to Hanun to console him.”3 the Ammonite officials said to Hanun, “Do you really think David is trying to honor your father by sending these messengers to express his sympathy? ▼
▼ Heb “Is David honoring your father in your eyes when he sends to you ones consoling?”No, his servants have come to you so they can get information and spy out the land!” ▼
▼ Heb “Is it not to explore and to overturn and to spy out the land (that) his servants have come to you?” The Hebrew term לַהֲפֹךְ (lahafakh, “to overturn”) seems misplaced in the sequence. Some emend the form to לַחְפֹּר (lakhpor, “to spy out”). The sequence of three infinitives may be a conflation of alternative readings.4 So Hanun seized David’s servants and shaved their beards off. ▼ He cut off the lower part of their robes so that their buttocks were exposed ▼
▼ Heb “and he cut their robes in the middle unto the buttocks.”and then sent them away. 5 Messengers ▼
▼ Heb “they.” The logical referent, though not specified in the Hebrew text, has been supplied in the translation for clarity.came and told David what had happened to the men, so he summoned them, for the men were thoroughly humiliated. The king said, “Stay in Jericho ▼ until your beards grow again; then you may come back.”
6 When the Ammonites realized that David was disgusted with them, ▼
▼ Heb “that they were a stench [i.e., disgusting] with David.”Hanun and the Ammonites sent 1,000 talents ▼
▼ The Hebrew word כִּכַּר (kikar, “circle”) refers generally to something that is round. When used of metals it can refer to a disk-shaped weight made of the metal or, by extension, to a standard unit of weight. According to the older (Babylonian) standard the “talent” weighed 130 lbs. (58.9 kg), but later this was lowered to 108.3 lbs. (49.1 kg). More recent research suggests the “light” standard talent was 67.3 lbs. (30.6 kg). Using this as the standard for calculation, the Ammonites hired chariots and charioteers for about 33.7 tons (30,600 kg) of silver.of silver to hire chariots and charioteers from Aram Naharaim, Aram Maacah, and Zobah. ▼ 7 They hired 32,000 chariots, along with the king of Maacah and his army, who came and camped in front of Medeba. The Ammonites also assembled from their cities and marched out to do battle.
8 When David heard the news, he sent Joab and the entire army to meet them. ▼
▼ The words “the news” and “to meet them” are added in the translation for stylistic reasons and for clarification.9 The Ammonites marched out and were deployed for battle at the entrance to the city, while the kings who had come were by themselves in the field. 10 When Joab saw that the battle would be fought on two fronts, he chose some of Israel’s best men and deployed them against the Arameans. ▼ ▼
▼ Heb “and Joab saw that the face of the battle was to him before and behind and he chose from all the best in Israel and arranged to meet Aram.”11 He put his brother Abishai in charge of the rest of the army and they were deployed against the Ammonites. 12 Joab ▼
▼ Heb “he”; the referent (Joab) has been specified in the translation for clarity.said, “If the Arameans start to overpower me, ▼
▼ Heb “if Aram is stronger than me.”you come to my rescue. If the Ammonites start to overpower you, ▼
▼ Heb “if the sons of Ammon are stronger than you.”I will come to your rescue. 13 Be strong! Let’s fight bravely for the sake of our people and the cities of our God! The Lord will do what he decides is best!” ▼
▼ Heb “and the Lord, what is good in his eyes, he will do.”14 So Joab and his men ▼
▼ Heb “and the army which was with him.”marched toward the Arameans to do battle, and they fled before him. 15 When the Ammonites saw the Arameans flee, they fled before Joab’s ▼
▼ Heb “his”; the referent (Joab) has been specified in the translation for clarity.brother Abishai and withdrew into the city. Joab went back to Jerusalem. ▼
16 When the Arameans realized they had been defeated by Israel, they sent for reinforcements from beyond the Euphrates River, ▼
▼ Heb “the River,” referring to the Euphrates. This has been specified in the translation for clarity.led by Shophach the commanding general of Hadadezer’s army. ▼
▼ Heb “and Aram saw that they were struck down before Israel and they sent messengers and brought out Aram which is beyond the River, and Shophach the commander of the army of Hadadezer [was] before them.”17 When David was informed, he gathered all Israel, crossed the Jordan River, ▼
▼ The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.and marched against them. ▼ ▼
▼ Heb “and he came to them and was deployed against them.”David deployed his army against the Arameans for battle and they fought against him. ▼
▼ Heb “and David was deployed to meet Aram [for] battle and they fought with him.”18 The Arameans fled before Israel. David killed 7,000 ▼ Aramean charioteers and 40,000 infantrymen; he also killed Shophach ▼ the commanding general. 19 When Hadadezer’s subjects saw they were defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and became his subjects. The Arameans were no longer willing to help the Ammonites.
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