Campaigns Against Ammon. 1a Afterward Nahash, king of the Ammonites, died and his son succeeded him as king. 2David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun, the son of Nahash, for his father showed kindness to me.” Therefore he sent envoys to console him over his father. But when David’s servants had entered the land of the Ammonites to console Hanun, 3the Ammonite princes said to Hanun, “Do you think David is doing this—sending you these consolers—to honor your father? Have not his servants rather come to you to explore the land, spying it out for its overthrow?” 4So Hanun seized David’s servants and had them shaved and their garments cut off halfway at the hips. Then he sent them away. 5David was told about the men, and he sent word for them to be intercepted, for the men had been greatly disgraced. “Remain at Jericho,” the king told them, “until your beards have grown again; then come back here.”
6When the Ammonites realized that they had put themselves in bad odor with David, Hanun and the Ammonites sent a thousand talents of silver to hire chariots and horsemen from Aram Naharaim, from Aram-maacah, and from Zobah. 7They hired thirty-two thousand chariots along with the king of Maacah and his army, who came and encamped before Medeba. The Ammonites also assembled from their cities and came out for war.
8When David heard of this, he sent Joab and his whole army of warriors against them. 9The Ammonites marched out and lined up for battle at the entrance of the city, while the kings who had come to their help remained apart in the open field. 10When Joab saw that there was a battle line both in front of and behind him, he chose some of the best fighters among the Israelites and lined them up against the Arameans; 11the rest of the army, which he placed under the command of his brother Abishai, then lined up to oppose the Ammonites. 12And he said: “If the Arameans prove too strong for me, you must come and save me; and if the Ammonites prove too strong for you, I will save you. 13Hold firm and let us show ourselves courageous for the sake of our people and the cities of our God; and may the LORD do what is good in his sight.” 14Joab therefore advanced with his men to engage the Arameans in battle; but they fled before him. 15And when the Ammonites saw that the Arameans had fled, they too fled before his brother Abishai, and entered their city. Joab then came to Jerusalem.
16Seeing themselves vanquished by Israel, the Arameans sent messengers to bring out the Arameans from beyond the Euphrates, with Shophach, the commander of Hadadezer’s army, at their head. 17When this was reported to David, he gathered all Israel together, crossed the Jordan, and met them. With the army of David drawn up to fight the Arameans, they gave battle. 18But the Arameans fled before Israel, and David killed seven thousand of their chariot fighters and forty thousand of their foot soldiers; he also put to death Shophach, the commander of the army. 19When the vassals of Hadadezer saw themselves vanquished by Israel, they made peace with David and became his subjects. After this, the Arameans refused to come to the aid of the Ammonites.