2 Samuel
Chapter 10

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1 And it came to passe, after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his sonne reigned in his stead.

2 Then said Dauid, I will shewe kindnes vnto Hanun the sonne of Nahash, as his father shewed kindnes vnto me. And Dauid sent to comfort him by the hand of his seruants, for his father: and Dauids seruants came into the land of the children of Ammon.

3 And the princes of the children of Ammon saide vnto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that Dauid doeth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters vnto thee? Hath not Dauid rather sent his seruants vnto thee, to search the citie, and to spie it out, and to ouerthrow it?

4 Wherefore Hanun tooke Dauids seruants, and shaued off the one halfe of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, euen to their buttocks, and sent them away.

5 When they told it vnto Dauid, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the King saide, Tarie at Iericho vntill your beards be growen, and then returne.

6 And when the children of Ammon saw that they stanke before Dauid, the children of Ammon sent, and hired the Syrians of Beth-Rehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twentie thousand footmen, and of king Maacah, a thousand men, and of Ishtob twelue thousand men.

7 And when Dauid heard of it, he sent Ioab, and all the hoste of the mightie men.

8 And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battell in aray at the entring in of the gate: and the Syrians of Zoba and of Rehob, and Ishtob, and Maacah, were by themselues in the field.

9 When Ioab saw that the front of the battell was against him, before and behind, he chose of all the choise men of Israel, and put them in aray against the Syrians.

10 And the rest of the people he deliuered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put them in aray against the children of Ammon.

11 And he said, If the Syrians bee too strong for me, then thou shalt helpe me: but if the children of Ammon bee too strong for thee, then I will come and helpe thee.

12 Be of good courage, and let vs play the men, for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the Lord doe that which seemeth him good.

13 And Ioab drew nigh, and the people that were with him, vnto the battell against the Syrians: and they fled before him.

14 And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fledde, then fled they also before Abishai, and entred into the citie: so Ioab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Ierusalem.

15 And when the Syrians sawe that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselues together.

16 And Hadarezer sent, and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the riuer, and they came to Helam, and Shobach the captaine of the hoste of Hadarezer went before them.

17 And when it was told Dauid, he gathered all Israel together, and passed ouer Iordane, and came to Helam: and the Syrians set themselues in aray against Dauid, and fought with him.

18 And the Syrians fled before Israel, and Dauid slew the men of seuen hundred charets of the Syrians, and fourtie thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captaine of their hoste, who died there.

19 And when all the kings that were seruants to Hadarezer sawe, that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and serued them: so the Syrians feared to helpe the children of Ammon any more.

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Commentary for 2 Samuel 10

David's messengers ill-treated by Hanun. (1-5) The Ammonites defeated. (6-14) The Syrians defeated. (15-19)1-5 Nahash had been an enemy to Israel, yet had showed kindness to David. David therefore resolves gratefully to return it. If a Pharisee gives alms in pride, though God will not reward it, yet he that receives the alms ought to return thanks for it. Those who bear ill-will to their neighbours, are resolved not to believe that their neighbours bear any good-will to them. There is nothing so well meant, but it may be ill interpreted, and is wont to be so, by men who love nobody but themselves. The best men must not think it strange if they are thus misrepresented. Charity thinketh no evil. According to the usages of those days and countries, Hanun treated David's ambassadors in the most contemptuous manner. David showed much concern for his servants. Let us learn not to lay unjust reproaches to heart; they will wear off, and turn only to the shame of those who utter or do them; while the reputation wrongfully hurt in a little time grows again, as these beards did. God will bring forth thy righteousness as the light, therefore wait patiently for him, #Ps 37:6,7|.

6-14 They that are at war with the Son of David, not only give the provocation, but begin the war. God has forces to send against those that set his wrath at defiance, #Isa 5:19|, which will convince them that none ever hardened his heart against God, and prospered. Christ's soldiers should strengthen one another's hands in their spiritual warfare. Let nothing be wanting in us, whatever the success be. When we make conscience of doing our duty, we may, with satisfaction, leave the event with God, assuredly hoping for his salvation in his own way and time.

15-19 Here is a new attempt of the Syrians. Even the baffled cause will make head as long as there is any life in it; the enemies of the Son of David do so. But now the promise made to Abraham, #Ge 15:18|, and repeated to Joshua, #Jos 1:4|, that the borders of Israel should extend to the river Euphrates, was performed. Learn hence, that it is dangerous to help those who have God against them; for when they fall, their helpers will fall with them.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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