The Message

1 Chronicles 19

11-2 Some time after this Nahash king of the Ammonites died and his son succeeded him as king. David said, “I’d like to show some kindness to Hanun son of Nahash—treat him as well and as kindly as his father treated me.” So David sent condolences about his father’s death.

2-3 But when David’s servants arrived in Ammonite country and came to Hanun to bring condolences, the Ammonite leaders warned Hanun, “Do you for a minute suppose that David is honoring your father by sending you comforters? Don’t you know that he’s sent these men to snoop around the city and size it up so that he can capture it?”

So Hanun seized David’s men, shaved them clean, cut off their robes half way up their buttocks, and sent them packing.

When this was all reported to David, he sent someone to meet them, for they were seriously humiliated. The king told them, “Stay in Jericho until your beards grow out; only then come back.”

6-7 When it dawned on the Ammonites that as far as David was concerned, they stank to high heaven, they hired, at a cost of a thousand talents of silver (thirty-seven and a half tons!), chariots and horsemen from the Arameans of Naharaim, Maacah, and Zobah—thirty-two thousand chariots and drivers; plus the king of Maacah with his troops who came and set up camp at Medeba; the Ammonites, too, were mobilized from their cities and got ready for battle.

When David heard this, he dispatched Joab with his strongest fighters in full force.

9-13 The Ammonites marched out and spread out in battle formation at the city gate; the kings who had come as allies took up a position in the open fields. When Joab saw that he had two fronts to fight, before and behind, he took his pick of the best of Israel and deployed them to confront the Arameans. The rest of the army he put under the command of Abishai, his brother, and deployed them to deal with the Ammonites. Then he said, “If the Arameans are too much for me, you help me; and if the Ammonites prove too much for you, I’ll come and help you. Courage! We’ll fight might and main for our people and for the cities of our God. And God will do whatever he sees needs doing!”

14-15 But when Joab and his soldiers moved in to fight the Arameans, they ran off in full retreat. Then the Ammonites, seeing the Arameans run for dear life, took to their heels and ran from Abishai into the city.

So Joab withdrew from the Ammonites and returned to Jerusalem.

16 When the Arameans saw how badly they’d been beaten by Israel, they picked up the pieces and regrouped; they sent for the Arameans who were across the river; Shophach, commander of Hadadezer’s army, led them.

17-19 When all this was reported to David, he mustered all Israel, crossed the Jordan, advanced, and prepared to fight. The Arameans went into battle formation, ready for David, and the fight was on. But the Arameans again scattered before Israel. David killed seven thousand chariot drivers and forty thousand infantry. He also killed Shophach, the army commander. When all the kings who were vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been routed by Israel, they made peace with David and served him. The Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites ever again.

New International Reader's Version

1 Chronicles 19

David Wins the Battle Over the Ammonites

1Nahash was king of Ammon. After he died, his son became the next king after him. David thought, “I’m going to be kind to Hanun. His father Nahash was kind to me.” So David sent messengers to Hanun. He wanted them to tell Hanun how sad he was that Hanun’s father had died. David’s messengers went to the land of Ammon. They told Hanun how sad David was.

The Ammonite commanders spoke to Hanun. They said, “David has sent messengers to tell you he is sad. They say he wants to honor your father. But the real reason they’ve come is to look the land over. They want to destroy it.” So Hanun grabbed David’s messengers. He shaved them. He cut off their clothes just below the waist and left them half naked. Then he sent them away.

Someone came and told David what had happened to his men. So David sent messengers to them because they were filled with shame. King David said to them, “Stay at Jericho until your beards grow out again. Then come back here.”

The Ammonites realized that what they had done had made David very angry with them. So Hanun and the Ammonites got 38 tons of silver. They used it to hire chariots and chariot riders from Aram Naharaim, Aram Maakah and Zobah. They hired 32,000 chariots and riders. They also hired the king of Maakah and his troops. All of them came out and camped near Medeba. At the same time the Ammonites brought their troops together from their towns. Then they marched out to fight.

David heard about it. So he sent Joab out with the entire army of Israel’s fighting men. The Ammonites marched out. They took up their battle positions at the entrance to their city. The kings who came to help them gathered their troops together in the open country.

10 Joab saw that there were lines of soldiers in front of him and behind him. So he chose some of the best troops in Israel. He sent them to march out against the Arameans. 11 He put the rest of the men under the command of his brother Abishai. They were sent to march out against the Ammonites. 12 Joab said, “Suppose the Arameans are too strong for me. Then you must come and help me. But suppose the Ammonites are too strong for you. Then I’ll come and help you. 13 Be strong. Let’s be brave as we fight for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what he thinks is best.”

14 Then Joab and the troops with him marched out to attack the Arameans. They ran away from him. 15 The Ammonites realized that the Arameans were running away. So they also ran away from Joab’s brother Abishai. They went inside the city. Then Joab went back to Jerusalem.

16 The Arameans saw that they had been driven away by Israel. So they sent messengers to get some Arameans from east of the Euphrates River. The Arameans were under the command of Shophak. He was the commander of Hadadezer’s army.

17 David was told about it. So he gathered together the whole army of Israel. They went across the Jordan River. David marched out against the Arameans. He lined up his soldiers opposite them. He lined them up to meet the Arameans in battle. The Arameans began to fight against him. 18 But then they ran away from Israel. David killed 7,000 of their chariot riders. He killed 40,000 of their soldiers who were on foot. He also killed Shophak, the commander of their army.

19 The people who were under the rule of Hadadezer saw that Israel had won the battle over them. So they made a peace treaty with David. They were brought under his rule.

After that, the Arameans wouldn’t help the Ammonites anymore.