THE ESTABLISHMENT OF DAVID'S KINGDOM

2 Samuel 5 - 10

5:1

5:6

5:17

6:1

6:20

7:1

8:1

9:1

10:1

Introduction

Headquarters

Religion

National Security

Religion in Practice

City taken

Threat

Ark

Michal

Covenant Promises

Victories

Kindness at home

Kindness abroad

Kindness accepted

Kindness rejected

 

KING OVER JUDAH AND ISRAEL

1. The Coronation of the King.

Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, "Behold, we are your bone and your flesh. 2 Previously, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and in. And the Lord said to you, 'You will shepherd My people Israel, and you will be a ruler over Israel.'"

So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them before the Lord at Hebron; then they anointed David king over Israel. (2 Samuel 5:1-3).

For the past 7 years David has ruled over the tribe of Judah. There has been civil war in the land as Judah followed David while the rest of Israel followed Ish-bosheth, the surviving son of Saul. David's forces have been increasing in size while those of Israel have been waning. But now Ish-bosheth has been killed, the victim of assassination. And so, David becomes king of a united Israel.

There is an interesting parallel between how David became king of Judah and how he now becomes king over all Israel.

2 Samuel 1:1 - 3:5

2 Samuel 3:6 - 5:16

Ammalekite tries to curry favor with David by bringing news of Saul's death.

Abner seeks to curry favor with David by negotiating the delivery of the kingdom.

Ammalekite is killed (1:14-16).

Abner is murdered (3:22-32).

David laments over Saul and Jonathan (1:17-21).

David laments over Abner (3:33-34).

David anointed (2:1-7).

David anointed (5:1-5).

David defeats Israel (2:8-32).

David takes Jerusalem (5:6-10).

Children born to David in Hebron (3:2-5).

Children born to David in Jerusalem (5:13-16).

2. The Span of the King's Reign.

David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.

At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah. (2 Samuel 5:4-5).

It has been theorized by modern scholars that the 40 year reigns ascribed to Moses, to Eli, to David and to Solomon are merely to be understood as a long, undetermined number of years. But this passage gives a breakdown of what comprised those forty years.

3. The Capital City of the King.

Up to this time, David had been reigning in Hebron. Hebron was centrally located in Judah and would always be associated with that tribe. If the other tribes were to accept the concept of a unified nation, it would be necessary to have a capital city which had no former associations. Jerusalem was such a city.

Jerusalem was a city of the Jebusites. They had been living here city before the days of Abraham. One of their kings had been Melchizedek, a priest of God. But now it was merely a Canaanite city. The Israelites under Joshua had been unable to drive out the Jebusites (Joshua 15:63). And even though the Israelites had captured and burned Jerusalem early in the days of the Judges (Judges 1:8), the Jebusites had returned to rebuild and refortify their city.

Now the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, and they said to David, "You shall not come in here, but the blind and lame shall turn you away"; thinking, "David cannot enter here." (2 Samuel 5:6).

The old city of Jerusalem was built upon a high ridge and was surrounded on three sides by steep ravines. An approaching enemy would have to climb to the top of the ridge and then would find himself facing high fortifications with no room to maneuver.

Furthermore, Jerusalem had its own internal water supply. A tunnel had been carved into the mountain leading down to a pool which was in turn fed by a natural spring.

The boast of the city was that, even if these fortification were manned by blind and lame, they would be enough to keep out any enemy.

Nevertheless, David captured the stronghold of Zion, that is the city of David. (2 Samuel 5:7).

The word "Zion" seems to refer to a "high place" or a "place of protection." The term is rare in the historical books.

And David said on that day, "Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him reach the lame and the blind, who are hated by David's soul, through the water tunnel." (2 Samuel 5:8a).

Located on the east side of the city is the Gihon Spring. It is the city's only local source of fresh water. Unfortunately, the spring is located at the bottom of the ridge upon which the city was built. The Jebusites resolved this problem by excavating a tunnel through the bedrock which went beneath the city walls and then down a vertical shaft to the spring.

The shaft was discovered by Captain Charles Warren of the British Engineers in 1867. He and his sergeant entered the Gihon Spring, followed the narrow tunnel into the mountainside, and came upon a vertical shaft rising nearly 40 feet straight up. It was possible for the inhabitants of Jerusalem to stand at the top of the shaft and drop a bucket with a line attached and draw up water.

Apparently, this was the route used to capture the city of Jerusalem. David's forces would have crept in through this route to come up inside the city gates.

So David lived in the stronghold, and called it the city of David. And David built all around from the Millo and inward. (2 Samuel 5:9).

Jerusalem now became David's capital city. Because it was in previously unoccupied territory, it was considered to be free of any tribal associations.

The "Millo"was the original fortification around which the city was built (the word means "to fill"). Its exact location remains uncertain.

4. Gifts Bestowed on the King.

Then Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David with cedar trees and carpenters and stonemasons; and they built a house for David. (2 Samuel 5:11).

The Phoenicians were the great sea power of that day (they were the only sea power of that day). They also had a great natural resource in forests of cedar trees - this resource of lumber had contributed to making them the sea power which they had come to be.

The major cities of Phoenicia were Byblos (from which we get our word "Bible"), Sidon and Tyre. As powerful as the king of Tyre was, he still saw the need of an alliance with David. And yet, David was not carried away with his fame and good fortune.

And David realized that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel. (2 Samuel 5:12).

Success and power always bring temptations which are difficult to resist. I have seen time and time again the specter of a successful man who develops an over-inflated ego, leading him to sin. The key to resisting such temptation is the realization of the sovereignty of God and the fact that we owe any success to Him.

5. The Victories of the King.

When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek out David; and when David heard of it, he went down to the stronghold. (2 Samuel 5:17).

The Philistines had won a great victory at the death of Saul. Now they saw their military advantage being threatened. They were all too aware of David's military capabilities. And they wanted to stop him before he became too powerful. They determine to make a pre-emptive strike.

There is a principle here. It is that Satan only attacks when there is a perceived threat to his authority. The Philistines didn't bother with David when he was a fugitive. To the contrary, they went so far as to give him one of their own cities. But when he was crowned king, they immediately attacked.

Satan does the same thing to us. If we are not committed to the cause of the Lord, Satan will often leave us alone. But when we begin to get serious about serving the Lord, Satan pulls out all the stops.

The Philistines came up in two separate attacks again David. Both attacks came through the Valley of Rephaim to the west of Jerusalem.

The eastern end of the Valley of Rephaim (mentioned in Joshua 15:8) abutted the Valley of Hinnom on the west side of Jerusalem. The Philistines evidently followed the route of the Sorek Wadi in an attempt to take David at Jerusalem.

The attack came in two stages and both times David inquired of the Lord as to what he should do.

First Attack (5:18-21)

David inquired of the Lord

The Lord said to go up

David is Victorious

Second Attack (5:22:25)

The Lord said to circle and come against Philistines from behind.

David's obedience to the Lord's instructions result in his victory over the Philistines. There is a principle here - simply stated yet profound in its results. Follow the Directions!

The term "Rephaim" comes from the root word "to sink." In Ugaritic mythology, the Rephaim were the inhabitants of the netherworld.

Our problem is rarely that we do not know what we ought to do. Our problem is not in the area of knowing but in the area of doing.

 

THE COVENANT RELATIONSHIPS OF THE KING

This next section is a part of a large chiastic structure going from chapter 5 to chapter 8. The focal point of that structure is upon God's covenant with David.

Appendix: David's children born in Jerusalem (5:13-16).

David defeats the Philistines (5:17-25).

David brings the ark to Jerusalem (6:1-23).

The Lord makes His covenant with David (7:1-17).

  • David wants to build a house for the Lord
  • The Lord will build a house for David

David's prayer (7:18-29).

David defeats his enemies (8:1-14).

Appendix: David's political staff in Jerusalem (8:15-18).

1. The Ark Comes to Jerusalem.

Now David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand.

And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baal-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim. (2 Samuel 6:1-2).

The ark was a wooden chest overlaid with gold. It had a top of solid gold on which were mounted the figures of two cherubim - two angels perched as an honor guard. The ark represented the throne of God. It was the place where God was said to be "seated above the cherubim."

The ark had been lost at the Battle of Ebenezer (1 Samuel 4). The Philistines had taken it and had placed in one of their pagan temples. But then they found their idols falling apart and plagues breaking out in their city. They had moved the ark from city to city and had experienced this same phenomenon in each city into which they brought the ark.

Finally, the Philistines had returned to ark to Israel. But the Israelites had no better luck. Some Levites had taken in upon themselves to look inside the ark and a number of men had died.

The ark had now sat in the house of Abinadab for nearly 70 years. Saul had not sought to change its place of residence. But David did. And by so doing, David demonstrated a care for the things of the Lord.

a. The first bringing of the ark.

And they placed the ark of God on a new cart that they might bring it from the house of Abinadab which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart.

So they brought it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Ahio was walking ahead of the ark.

Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals. (2 Samuel 6:3-5).

David and the Israelites were doing the right thing, but they were doing it in the wrong way. In the midst of their celebration, they were sowing the seeds of disaster.

God had given explicit instructions as to how the ark was to be handled. No one was to touch the ark. It was to be carried by two wooden poles which ran through rings along the side of the ark. These poles were never to be removed (Exodus 25:15).

But when the Philistines had sought to return the ark to Israel, they had placed it into a cart. The Israelites had now adopted that method of moving the ark. They even went so far as to obtain a brand new cart. But they ignored God's design.

We can fall into the same snare. We do this when we adopt the world's methods and ignore God's timeless truths concerning how we are to worship Him and how we are to do His work.

A lot of people want to love God without obeying His precepts. But when God says to do something a certain way, we need to do it that way.

b. The death of Uzzah.

But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it.

And the anger of the Lord burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there fore his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God. (2 Samuel 6:6-7).

Uzzah was the son of Abinadab, the high priest. He had grown up in the house with the ark. And it seems as through he had grown a little casual about the presence of the ark. And so, it did not seem an important thing to touch the ark. After all, he didn't want to ark to go bouncing down the street.

c. David's anger.

And David became angry because of the Lord's outburst against Uzzah, and that place is called Perrez-uzzah to this day. (2 Samuel 6:8).

There is a play on words here. It reads literally that "David became angry because of the PEREZ of the Lord PEREZED against Uzzah, and the place is now called PEREZ-Uzzah to this day." David's reaction to God's outburst was ANGER.

People sometimes become angry with God. They forget that we don't worship a little God. He is holy. He is other than we are. The question isn't why did God kill Uzzah, but rather why He doesn't kill us, too.

There is a lesson here. It is that we can get so used to God's grace that we come to take it for granted.

The disciples began to take Jesus for granted. They ate with Him and talked with Him and walked with Him. And then one night in the middle of a storm-tossed sea, they watch Him still the storm with a single word and they were startled with the terrifying realization that He was DIFFERENT.

d. David's fear.

So David was afraid of the Lord on that day; and he said, "How can the ark of the Lord come to me?"

And David was unwilling to move the ark of the Lord into the city of David with him; but David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.

Thus the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household. (2 Samuel 6:9-11).

David's next reaction is the reaction we will always have when confronted with the holiness of God. It is fear. If you haven't come before God and feared Him, then you haven't come before God.

e. The second bringing of the ark.

Now it was told King David saying, "The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, on account of the ark of God." And David went and brought the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness.

And so it was, that when the bearers of the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. (2 Samuel 6:12-13).

Do you see it? This time the ark was not placed upon a cart. This time it is moved by "bearers" (1 Chronicles 15:13-15 tells us that it was carried by the sons of the Levites with the poles).

It is important that we follow the letter of the law as well as the spirit of the law. Jesus warned against those who would annul "one of the least of these commandments" (Matthew 5:19).

This time, the ark is brought into the city and set "into the place inside the tent which David had pitched for it" (6:17).

David moves the ark (6:1-5)

David moves the ark (6:12-19)

Judgment against Uzzah (6:6-11)

Judgment against Michal (6:20-23)

2. David and Michal.

Then it happened as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. (2 Samuel 6:16).

Michal had once helped David to escape death by lowering him out a window. Now she looks at him "out of the window" and she despises him.

But when David returned to bless his household, Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, "How the king of Israel distinguished himself today in the eyes of his servants' maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!" (2 Samuel 6:20).

We need to understand that this was not an immodest scene. Rather, it was a shirt-sleeve scene.

David had been wearing a linen ephod (6:14). This was the type outer garment worn by the high priest. It was an outer coat. And David had taken off his coat to dance before the Lord.

Michal thought that a king ought to look more kingly. She remembered what her father was like - head and shoulders above the rest of the nation. And she was more interested in prestige and in what the maids might think than how the Lord might feel.

Is your heart like David's or like Michal's? What is your main concern when you come to the house of the Lord? Your answer will determine whether you are seeking the Lord's kingdom or whether you are really trying to establish your own.

So David said to Michal, "It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel; therefore I will celebrate before the Lord.

"And I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished."

And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death. (2 Samuel 6:21-23).

David's reply is to point to his own humility. Unlike Saul, he was content to be humble before the Lord and to realize that the Lord was the One to be given the greatest honor. Rather than lower his status in the eyes of the nation, this would result in his being distinguished.

Because of her sin, we learn that Michal went childless for the rest of her life. To be barren and without child was considered the worst possible state of a woman. Such a condition would leave her unfulfilled and worthless.

In the same way, a Christian who bears no fruit is worthless and unfulfilled. The good news is that Jesus tells us that, if we remain in Him, we WILL bear fruit (John 15:5). On the other hand, we are warned that if we do not abide in Him, we will be spiritually barren.

3. The Davidic Covenant.

Although chapter 7 does not use the word "covenant," it is commonly recognized that the Lord here establishes a covenant relationship with the house of David.

a. Quest for a house.

Now it came about when the king lived in his house, and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies, 2 that the king said to Nathan the prophet, "See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains." (2 Samuel 7:1-2).

David's next concern was a permanent dwelling in which to house the ark. Since the days of the Wilderness Wanderings, the ark had been kept within the Tabernacle - a tent designated as the "Tent of Meeting." In those early days, it was necessary for this structure to be a tent, for the Israelites were a nomadic people and they required a portable place of worship.

But that had now changed. They now had a land in which the Lord had given them rest. They had a capital city. And David felt that it was appropriate that a permanent place of worship be established - a House of God.

b. God promises a house for David.

"...The Lord also declares to you that the Lord will make a house for you." (2 Samuel 7:11b).

While David had desired to build a house for the Lord, God says that it is He who will build a house for David.

"When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant [seed] after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.

"He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish his kingdom forever.

"I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but my lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.

"And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever." (2 Samuel 7:12-16).

The promise to David revolves around the establishment of a SEED. This

takes us all the way back to Genesis 3:15. It was there that the Lord had promised Adam and Eve that there would come One who would be of the seed of the woman. This Seed would crush the serpent's head. He would be the destroyer of the works of Satan. This promise is fulfilled in two parts. The immediate fulfillment will be in the person of Solomon. He will be the seed who will build a house in the name of the Lord. It will be Solomon who constructs the temple of God in Jerusalem. Solomon will found the Davidic dynasty. But the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy is seen in Jesus.

Solomon

Jesus

Son of David.

Ultimate son of David.

Established the united monarchy of Israel.

Established the kingdom of God upon earth.

Built the temple.

He WAS the temple.

Established a kingdom that would continue until 586 B.C.

Established an eternal kingdom that will never end.

Chastened because of his iniquity.

Took upon Himself the sins of the world.

The first part of verse 14 ("I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me") is quoted twice in the New Testament.

The implications of this are striking. This passage refers, not only to Solomon, not only to Jesus, but also to US. We are a part of the house of God which He promises to establish.

 

THE MILITARY EXPANSIONS OF THE KING

Chapter 8 sets forth the military expansions of King David.

1. The Philistines were the traditional enemies of Israel. David managed to bring them under control.

2. Moab (8:2).

The Moabites were descended from Lot's incestuous union with one of his daughters.

We are not told why David chose to attack Moab. David's relations with the Moabites had previously been friendly. When he had been a fugitive, he had relocated his parents to the land of Moab. Jewish tradition has it that the Moabites turned and murdered his parents. If there is any truth to this tradition, then it may explain David's actions.

3. Zobah (8:3-4).

The exact location and identity of this kingdom is unknown. Saul had fought with them in his day (1 Samuel 14:47) and they were evidently located on the northern border of Israel.

4. Aram (8:5-6).

This was the ancient name of the place we know today as Syria. The Aramean capital was the city of Damascus.

The Arameans in David's day had attained to the rank of a super-power. They were organized into a number of small city-states. One Aramean king had even taken the throne of Babylon.

5. Edom (8:14).

These were the descendants of Esau. They were located in the desert lands to the south of the Dead Sea.

 

DAVID AND MEPHIBOSHETH

David intends to show favor to Jonathan's descendants (9:1).

David speaks to Ziba (9:2-5).

David expresses favor to Mephibosheth (9:6-8).

David speaks to Ziba (9:9-11).

David shows favor to Jonathan's descendant (9:11-13).

1. David's Quest for Kindness.

Then David said, "Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" (2 Samuel 9:1).

David had made a covenant with Jonathan that "the Lord would be between" both them and their descendants forever (1 Samuel 20:42).

It was the custom in that day that when a king came to a throne he would put to death all members of the previous dynasty and thereby negate any threat against his reign.

The conditions of David's covenant forbade such an action of vengeance upon the house of Jonathan. But David wishes to go beyond this. He wished to act, not merely out of mercy, but in grace, showing actual kindness to the house of Jonathan.

2. Mephibosheth.

By consulting with Ziba, a former steward of the house of Saul, David learns that there is "a son of Jonathan who is crippled in both feet" (9:3).

The account of how this crippling had taken place was given back in chapter 4.

Now Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the report of Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened that in her hurry to flee, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth. (2 Samuel 4:4).

Mephibosheth had become a cripple on the same day that his father and his grandfather had died. In a single day, he had gone from prince to pauper. As a cripple, he would be unlikely to be considered for the throne.

The name "Mephibosheth" means "he scatters shame" (note the similarity to "Ish-bosheth," the "man of shame").

So the king said to him, "Where is he?" And Ziba said to the king, "Behold, he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel in Lo-debar." (2 Samuel 9:4).

Lo-debar was located in Gilead to the east of the Jordan River. These were lands which had gathered under the banner of Ish-boseth.

3. The Kindness of the King.

Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David said, "Mephibosheth." And he said, "Here is your servant!"

David said to him, "Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathan, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul; and you shall eat at my table regularly." (2 Samuel 9:6-7).

I'm certain that it was with no small trepidation that Mephibosheth came into the presence of the king. He knew what was the normal custom of execution of families of the king's enemies. And he knew how both Saul and Ish-bosheth had fought against David.

There is a beautiful picture here of what Christ has done on our behalf.

David & Mephibosheth

Christ & the Church

Mephibosheth's grandfather had been David's mortal enemy.

Adam, our original ancestor, rebelled against God in the garden.

Mephibosheth fell and was crippled

We were born fallen and crippled by sin.

By all standards of that society, Mephibosheth was deserving of death.

We lived under the penalty of death.

David showed mercy to Mephibosheth by not killing him.

We were shown mercy at the cross.

David also demonstrated grace by giving Mephibosheth a seat at his own table.

We have been given a seat at the table of the Lord.

Mephibosheth was given an inheritance.

We have been granted an inheritance.

 

WAR AGAINST AMMON AND ARAM.

1. David's Plans for Kindness to Ammon.

Now it happened afterwards that the king of the Ammonites died, and Hanun his son became king in his place. (2 Samuel 10:1).

The Ammonites had in the past been enemies of Israel. At the beginning of Saul's reign, he had led Israel against the Ammonites and had defeated them. In spite of this past history of warfare, David now determines to "show kindness" to the Ammonites.

Then David said, "I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me." So David sent some of his servants to console him concerning his father" (2 Samuel 10:2a).

Nahash had been the king which Saul had defeated in 1 Samuel 11. What is not recorded in Scripture is what way Nahash had showed kindness to David. Evidently, Nahash had sought to befriend the enemy of Saul. David resolves to send a funeral delegation to the Ammonites to pay their respects to the dead king.

2. The Abuse of David's Servants.

But when David's servants came to the land of the Ammonites, 3 the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun their lord, "Do you think that David is honoring your father because he has sent consolers to you? Has David not sent his servants to you in order to search the city, to spy it out and overthrow it?"

So Hanun took David's servants and shaved off half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle as far as their hips, and sent them away. (2 Samuel 10:2b-4).

To have one's beard shaved was a mark of shame. A beard was a mark of honor (slaves were often restricted from having beards). The cutting of the garments was accomplished in such a way as to expose their loins - an obvious abasement. This was an overt act of war. And it was to bring about a swift retribution.

There is an interesting parallel in this chapter between David and the Ammonites as opposed to the Lord and mankind.

David Versus Ammorites

The Lord Versus Mankind

David sent his emissary to the Ammorites as an act of kindness.

God sent His emissary (Jesus) to man to show kindness and love.

The Ammonites humiliated David's emissaries shaving half their beards and cutting off their clothes and sent them home in shame and degradation.

Mankind attempted to do the same with Jesus by stripping Him of His clothes and dignity, spitting on Him, mocking Him, making Him a crown of thorns, and nailing Him to a cross.

2. War with Ammon.

Now when the sons of Ammon saw that they had become odious to David, the sons of Ammon sent and hired the Arameans of Beth-rehob and the Arameans of Zobah, 20,000 foot soldiers, and the king of Maacah with 1,000 men, and the men of Tob with 12,000 men.

When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army, the mighty men. (2 Samuel 10:6-7).

This outrageous insult to the Lord's ambassadors was to bring about open warfare. Knowing that they could not withstand David alone, the Ammonites hired mercenaries from the Arameans to the north.

The Aramean military machine was state-of-the-art. The Arameans had survived conflict with their Assyrian neighbors and they were well-versed in the arts of war.

David's reaction was swift and sure. He seized the initiative and invaded the lands of Ammon. Two separate campaigns are described.

Battle

Antagonists

Results

First Battle (10:9-14).

Fought against Ammon and their Aramean mercenaries.

Israelite victory caused the Ammonites to retreat to their cities.

Second Battle (10:15-19).

Fought against Aram and their reinforcements from "beyond the river."

Israelite victory caused the Arameans to fear helping the Ammonites.

As a result of these victories, the Arameans made peace with Israel and did not again ally themselves with the enemies of the Israelites in David's lifetime.


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