2Samuel 10

 

2Samuel 10:1–19

Israel Wars Against Ammon and Aram


Outline of Chapter 10:

 

Introduction

 

         vv.     1–5           David’s Sympathy to the New Ammonite King is Rebuffed

         vv.     6–8           Ammon Lures Joab’s Army into a Trap

         vv.     9–14         Joab Defeats Ammon and Aram

         vv.    15–19         David’s War with Aram at Helam

 

Addendum


Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines:

 

         Introduction         The Accurate Historical Nature of the Old Testament

         Introduction         Map of Ancient Bible Lands

         Introduction         Map of the Kingdoms of Saul, David and Solomon

         Introduction         The Abbreviated Doctrine of Aram (Syria)

         Introduction         The Abbreviated Doctrine of Ammon

         Introduction         The Principles of Warfare

         Introduction         Why all of this War and Tactics in the Bible?

         Introduction         The Background for David’s Era (the Short Version)

         Introduction         The Background for David’s Era (the Longer Version)

         Introduction         Theories as to the Relationship between 2Samuel 8 and 2Samuel 10

 

         v.       1              “It Came to Pass After This”

         v.       2              The Doctrine of (David’s Friend) Nahash

         v.       2              A Map of Rabbah in Ammon

         v.       3              The Pettiness of Hanun and his State Department

         v.       3              The Mental Attitude Sins of Hanun’s State Department

         v.       4              Summary Points for 2Samuel 10:1–4

         v.       4              Impressing the Leaders and Citizens of Heathen Countries

         v.       4              The Arrogance of Hanun and his State Department

         v.       4              The Arrogance of Leadership and the Plan of God

         v.       5              Accurate Information is Required in Order to Make Good Decisions

         v.       6              The Results of Arrogant and Impulsive Actions

         v.       6              A Map of Aram

         v.       6              Aram of Beth-Rehob

         v.       6              The Doctrine of Zobah

         v.       6              Map of the Kingdoms of Saul, David and Solomon

         v.       6              The Land of Tob

         v.       6              Explaining the Differences between 2Samuel 10:6 and 1Chronicles 19:6–7

         v.       7              Why Not a More Measured Response to Ammon?

         v.       9              The Principle of Offensive Action

         v.       9              The Principle of Mass

         v.       9              Joab Applies the Principles of Warfare

         v.       9              Joab’s Thinking and Strategy Comment

         v.       9              Interior Lines and Exterior Lines in Battle

         v.       9              The Doctrine of Leadership

         v.      12              God’s Promises and Encouragement in War

         v.      16              Maps of Ancient and Modern Middle East

         v.      16              A Map of Israel’s Battles with Ammon and Syria

         v.      16              The Doctrine of Helam

         v.      18              700 or 7000 Killed?

         v.      19              Principles of Freedom

         v.      19              Freedom Versus Equality

 

         Addendum          Josephus on Israel’s Wars with Aram

         Addendum          A Summary of David’s Wars with Aram

         Addendum          The Wars of King David

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of 2Samuel 10


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

Aram

Black Liberation Theology

 

 


Psalms Alluded To

 

 

 

 

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Psalm 44

Psalm 57

Psalm 60

Psalm 108

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

1Chron. 11:10–47

1Chron. 19

 

 


There are several military terms contained in this chapter.


Definition of Terms

Client Nation

Client-Nation, is a national entity in which a certain number of spiritually mature Christians (the salt of the earth) have formed a pivot sufficient to sustain the nation and through which God specifically protects this nation so that believers can fulfill the divine mandates of evangelism, communication and custodianship of Bible doctrine, providing a haven for Jews, and sending missionaries abroad. The United States is a client-nation to God. A client nation must have freedom: Freedom to seek God, freedom to use one’s own volition and self-determination to succeed or fail, freedom from anarchy and tyranny, freedom for evangelism, freedom for believers to hear Bible teaching without government interference and, therefore, to grow spiritually, and freedom to send missionaries to other nations.

Divine Good

That which is good in God’s eyes. That which we do when filled with God the Holy Spirit (i.e., when we are in fellowship) is divine good.

Fighting on Interior Lines

Fighting from interior lines means that your army starts from a point and expands to attack several points.

Fighting on Exterior Lines

Fighting from exterior lines means you begin from several different places and converge upon a point.

Flying Column

A flying column, in military organization, is a small, independent land forces unit capable of rapid mobility and usually composed of all arms. It is often an ad hoc unit, formed during the course of operations. Footnote

Klicks

1 klick is equivalent to 1 kilometer (0.62 miles). One source I read put this as a relatively recent term, used in the Vietnam War, although I hear R. B. Thieme Jr. (World War II soldier) use it all the time when dealing with military movement. The source I read said klick was an abbreviation of kilometer.

The Laws of Divine Establishment

God has ordained certain laws for the survival and freedom of the human race during the course of human history. Anarchy exists when segments of nations ignore these laws. The laws of divine establishment provide the freedom to fulfill the divine plan as ordained in the divine decrees under many types of government. The laws of divine establishment are designed and directed toward both believer and unbeliever. They operate from the fall of man to the second advent, as well as in the Millennium with some modification in compatibility with perfect environment. These laws establish certain authority organizations: volition, marriage, family and nation.

Personal Sense of Destiny

A personal sense of destiny is God's meaning, purpose, and definition for the believer's life which becomes stronger as he progresses through the three stages of spiritual adulthood.

Pivot

The number of mature believers within a client nation, which provides that nation spiritual stability, guidance and direction. The smaller the pivot, the weaker the nation, the greater the possibility that our nation can end up on the trash heap of nations. Furthermore, the smaller the pivot, the greater the likelihood of a nation collapsing from within from degeneration and evil (e.g., developing a greater faith in the government than in God).

Relaxed Mental Attitude

This is an attitude which you have toward life and toward people; you are not cycling through various mental attitude sins in your thinking. You are able to remain flexible and loose. You are not mad, arrogant, implacable, jealous or inflexible. This mental attitude improves as you grow spiritually.

Spin-off

This is related to the pivot. When believers turn away from Bible doctrine and begin spending increasing time in carnality, this is known as spin-off, and a country will decline because of it.

Strategic Single Envelopment

A strategic single envelopment is attacking an army at a weaker point. When an army advances, its strength is generally in front; therefore, an envelopment is a tactic where the army is attacked at its flank (side) or from the rear. Also, part of the strategy is surrounding the army as much as possible.

Supergrace

A term which denotes spiritual maturity.

Some of these definitions are taken from

http://www.bibledoctrinechurch.org/?subpages/GLOSSARY.shtml

http://www.bigrick.org/pubs/terms.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d&sf=rea&did=28


——————————


An Introduction to 2Samuel 10


I ntroduction: 2Sam. 10 is quite fascinating. Whereas 2Sam. 8 described a few of the nations which Israel defeated in battle or allied themselves with, 2Sam. 10 will cover one conflict which became two; and this time, we study some of the strategy and tactics involved. Whereas, there was little detail in 2Sam. 8, there is a lot of detail in this chapter (which is still quite sparse, given the international and historical importance of the final 5 verses). What we have found in the Bible on other occasions is, we are given a bare bones coverage of an incident in one chapter, and then, the writer goes back and covers that same incident again, but in much greater detail. That is not what is happening here. David did defeat the Aramæans (= Syrians) in 2Sam. 8; however, 2Sam. 10 is not a revisiting of that war, but a new conflict. This will be made clear at the end of this chapter, when we summarize the two conflicts under the doctrine: A Summary of David’s Wars with Aram.


As a personal note, this is the first time I have gone back to compare my notes with those I took under the teaching of R. B. Thieme Jr. (I have, on occasion, consulted his books about certain doctrines). However, in the past, it should be clear that the basic Bible doctrine and my exegetical, isagogical and categorical approach come from 30 years under his teaching. Given my lack of experience with the subject matter herein contained (wars in the ancient world), I depended greatly upon Thieme’s teaching to fill in the many gaps which I had.


On the other hand, this will not be a rehash of Thieme’s teaching. In fact, I may even have some important tactics and explanations for what happened, which Bob overlooked (given the kind of schedule which he kept, it is not out of the question that he might miss something here or there).


There is a lot of introductory material, so be patient; it will all pay off.


An important characteristic to deal with is the general accuracy of the Old Testament itself.

The Accurate Historical Nature of the Old Testament

1.      Because of the very nature of the Bible—it being God’s Word to man—it is attacked in every way possible. Books written by Moses are said, even by major theological seminaries, to be the work of several groups of men at various times, long after the time of Moses. The timeline of the Bible is disparaged. And the historicity of the Bible is under continual attack.

2.      There are other existing ancient histories. However, these mostly exist in a fragmented forms. Furthermore, the history of nations like Assyria or Egypt are often (and obviously) slanted in favor of these countries, where historical disasters are ignored, and victories and expansions are exaggerated.

3.      The Bible is very different from this. We examine the historical events as well as the people, but the chief focus is man’s relationship to God and God’s plan.

4.      Although the Bible in no way purports to be a full and accurate history of Israel, it is the most significant and extensive history of any ancient country in existence.

5.      Because of the religious nature of the Old Testament, the text was preserved with greater accuracy and in more volumes than any other ancient work of any sort. This has been preserved by various groups who have been, from time to time and in varying degrees, hostile toward one another (for instance Christians and Jews). Yet the text is just as reliable, whether preserved by Jewish scribes or by Christian churches.

6.      We find no attempt in the preservation of the Old Testament to misrepresent or exaggerate the events related to Israel. We know this, in part, because of the numerous manuscripts which are in existence. No one could make wholesale changes to the Bible in ancient times any more than someone could do so today and make it stick—there are just too many manuscripts in existence. Furthermore, the character of Israel’s kings and Israel’s people is never favored or exaggerated. King David, the greatest king of Israel, is presented here in all of his royalty as well as in all of his flaws (the next few chapters will make this clear). His flaws are not glossed over, edited out of the text; nor are the tenets of God changed in order to conform with David’s bad behavior. He is simply presented as God’s man, but a man with feet of clay.

7.      We have several simultaneous witnesses to the history of Israel. We have Samuel and Kings, which present a chronological history of Israel from about 1100 to 400 b.c., written very close to the time of these events often by eyewitnesses to the events; and then we have the book of Chronicles, written hundreds of years later, summarizing these events, using Samuel, Kings and other ancient historical books, no longer available to us. Chronicles supplies a second witness, so to speak. A man with a good historical perspective revisits Israel’s history, and again, there is no glossing over of negative events, or any exaggeration of what would be seen as the good portions of Israel’s history.

8.      In addition to this, there are prophets who write, and they comment on the same historical events that we find in Kings and Chronicles. Their view of many kings is anything but complementary.

9.      Then we have the history of Josephus, which incorporates Jewish traditions and probably other historical documents, as well as the Bible as a source, and his extensive histories, for the most part, confirm the history of the Bible.

10.    I have mentioned other historical documents. None are as complete and as well preserved as the Old Testament. Furthermore, none are clearly written by eyewitnesses, and 1000's of years stand between these manuscripts and the events which they describe. It does not mean that other historical documents are worthless; the point I am making is, if these historical documents can be trusted, then much more the Old Testament record.

11.    There are some exceptions to this:

         a.      There are the approximately 350 clay tablets known as the Amarna letters (or tablets), which are letters written between Egypt and Canaan and Amurru. These were written between 1388–1353 b.c. and provide us with a good historical background for that time period (which would have coincided with the early period of the Judges in Israel).

         b.      There are various stelae, which are commemorative stones, which tell us about this or that event (or about a person who has died). One of the most famous stele is the Mesha Stele, also known as the Moabite Stone, which commemorates King Mesha’s victories, including his rebellion against Israel , when Ahab was king.

12.    There is continual archeological support for Biblical places and events. For several hundred years, the Bible was disparaged because ancient historians poo-pooed the idea of the Hittites being some sort of great ancient empire. To them, at most, the Hittites were some small tribe from the Middle East. However, archeology has shown the Hittites to be every much the great empire as they are presented in the Bible.

13.    Finally, we have the testimony of some ancient historians, like the famous ancient historian Will Durant, who wrote, The discoveries here summarized have restored considerable credit to those chapters of Genesis that record the early traditions of the Jews. In its outlines, and brring supernatural incidents, the story of the Jews as unfolded in the Old Testament has stood the test of criticism and archeology; every year adds corroboration from documents, monuments, or excavations...We must accept the Biblical account provisionally until it is disproved.1

1 The Story of Civilization; 1. Our Oriental Heritage, by Will Durant; MJF Books, ©1963; p. 300 (footnote).


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Map of Ancient Bible Lands:

2sam_10.gifThis map may be helpful when examining all of the isagogics associated with this chapter of 2Samuel. It was taken from E-sword, Son Light, Bible Lands (Ancient); © 1998 Son Light Publishers, Inc..

There is the problem of 2Sam. 8 and 10. Portions of 2Sam. 8 deal with Israel at war with Aram (Syria); and most of this chapter is about Israel being at war with Aram. Many theologians accept these as consecutive wars, in the order in which they are found. The most serious objection to this approach is, Aram appears to be so badly beaten in 2Sam. 8 that how could they be at war with David only 2 chapters later? The explanation is not difficult: 5–10 years passed between these 2 wars. There is nothing in the history of Samuel or Chronicles to suggest that little or no time intervened between these two wars. One of the biggest problems in 2Sam. 8 is v. 13, which the text reads Aram, but it should read Edom. So, after David decisively defeats the Aramaeans, there is an alliance with King Toi and an extensive war with Edom, as well as extensive administration which must be set up over the kingdoms conquered by David. Therefore, a passage of time between 2Sam. 8 and 10 would be expected. And since Aram is one of the greatest world powers of that era, it does not seem unusual that they would later test Israel, and an easy way to test them is by fighting a proxy war with Israel using mercenaries (2Sam. 10).


The 2nd theory is, 2Sam. 10 expands upon the war with Aram in 2Sam. 8. There are simply too many differences between these chapters to accept that theory. In fact, at the end of this chapter, I summarize the wars between Israel and Syria (Aram), and you may want to refer to that first in order to get these wars fixed in your mind as separate events. A Summary of David’s Wars with Aram


Finally, the 3rd theory is, 2Sam. 10 occurs first in time. This is quite possible; however, the chapters in Samuel and Chronicles appear to be arranged in chronological order, for the most part.


2Sam. 10 begins innocently enough—an ally of David’s, King Nahash of Ammon, dies, and David sends ambassadors to Ammon to convey David’s sympathies Hanun, the son of Nahash and the new king of Ammon (2Sam. 10:1–2a). However, the state department of Ammon suggest to King Hanun that these men had only come into their city with the idea that they would spy it out for David, so that David could later come and overthrow Ammon (2Sam. 10:2b–3). Hanun then humiliated this delegation from David, shaving off a portion of their beards and cutting off a part of their clothes, humiliating them (2Sam. 10:4). David sends out men to meet them, upon hearing what had happened to them, and allowed them to remain in Jericho until their beards could grow back (2Sam. 10:5).


The Ammonites apparently did have spies out there, and when it became apparent that this really made David mad, they hired Syrian mercenaries to supplement their own army (2Sam. 1:6). David sends Joab and his elite forces to war with Ammon (2Sam. 10:7). The Ammonite army faced off Joab from their front gate, but the Syrian army came in behind Joab from the field (2Sam. 10:8–9a). Joab pealed off a portion of his men, and took them to fight against the Syrians, while his brother Abishai took the remainder of his forces and deployed them as a holding force against the Ammonites (2Sam. 10:9b–10). The strategy was, if either army lost ground, the other army would send reinforcements in the help (2Sam. 10:11). Joab told his brother to remain strong and courageous, and to allow Jehovah Elohim to do according to His plan (2Sam. 10:12).


Joab pushed back the mercenary army of the Syrians, and the Ammonites, seeing their paid army being defeated, retreated back into the city (2Sam. 10:13–14a). Interestingly enough, Joab then returns to Jerusalem (2Sam. 10:14b).


Even though the Syrians were a mercenary army who had turned tail and retreated, Hadadezer gathered a larger Syrian army and gathered to meet David on the opposite side of the Jordan so that any army deployed to go to Ammon would have to go through this Syrian army first (2Sam. 10:15–17a). David defeats the Syrians on the other side of the Jordan, killing thousands of their men (2Sam. 10:17–18). These Syrian forces make peace with Israel and do not ally themselves with Ammon anymore (2Sam. 10:19).




Map of the Kingdoms of Saul, David and Solomon

This map will give you a good idea as to what results from these wars which David is involved in. Saul was, at first, a great warrior; however, for the final decade or more of his rule, Saul spent all of that time chasing David, which did not increase the holdings of Israel.


However, David, as we have seen, has conquered country after country. In the blue area is what David controlled and where he had soldiers stationed in order to collect tribute.


This map is also helpful because it shows the geographical relationship between Israel, Aram and Ammon, the principle players in this chapter of 2Samuel.

sauldavidsolomon.jpg

 

Map taken from http://www.oneblood-onerace.org/images/Map7.jpg


There are 2 nations which we will deal with in this chapter, and it might be good that we get a background on these nations first.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


At this point in time, we ought to examine The Doctrine of Aram (HTML) (PDF), which was originally covered back in the book of Deuteronomy (Deut. 26). The shortened version of this doctrine follows:

I don’t believe that Aram has really received a fair shake in recorded history. Some histories of this area just see it as a plot of ground through which a variety of peoples and cultures came and went, conquered from time to time. However, ancient Aram, although never seen as an empire by some historians, Footnote still, at its Zenith, controlled a great deal of land (almost from the Mediterranean to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and beyond) and it left behind an enduring language and alphabet adopted by much of the ancient world, including the Jews.

The Abbreviated Doctrine of Aram (Syria)

1.      Aram is called Syria in the Greek, and there is no relationship between Syria and Assyria (other than they are both made up of Semitic peoples and were in conflict with one another on many occasions). Gen. 10:21–22

2.      The Aramæans are first cousins to the Jews (the Jews come through the line of Arpanchshad, Aram’s brother). Gen. 10:22 11:11–27

3.      Like all nations, there is an ebb and flow when it comes to the borders. Aram, at its largest, was north of Israel and stretched from the Mediterranean Sea all the way to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. However, like any other country, its boundaries varied dramatically over the centuries. Although modern-day Syria is located in roughly the same place, there is no relationship between modern and ancient Syrians.

4.      In researching secular history, I found very few resources which treated Aram as an robust, independent power; and some simply treated Aram as a plot of land invaded, conquered and held by a series of peoples (which is essentially true of any plot of land). What I had a difficult time locating were timelines of ancient peoples which included the Aramæans as a separate group or Aram as a separate country.

         1)      There are several possible reasons for this. The Aramæans seemed to function as separate city-states but with strong alliances.

         2)      They may not have left much by way of records.

         3)      Like all ancient countries, there were conflicts with outside powers and there were certainly times when Aram had been conquered or put down by other countries.

         4)      I also believe in the Satanic influence on history. In this particular case, if Aram is portrayed as simply a plot of land through which other empires marched or which other empires conquered, then the Israeli-Aram wars are not seen as significant to human history.

         5)      However, to ee Aram as an insignificant nation is belied by the fact that Aramaic was spoken throughout the middle east between 700 b.c. and 700 a.d..

5.      Important dates in Syrian history: Footnote

         1)      Unidentified people live in Syria before 4500 b.c. Footnote

         2)      Semites settle Syria circa 3500 b.c. Footnote

         3)      2700–2200 b.c.: Ebla, an early city-state, established in Syria. Footnote All of these dates are probably compressed and closer to 2300–2000 b.c., as the flood ended approximately 2343 b.c. Footnote

         4)      Circa 2300 b.c.: The Akkadians conquer northern and eastern Syria.

         5)      Circa 2000 b.c.: Canaanites move into the southwest, Phœnicians settle along the Mediterranean coast and then carry aspects of Syrian culture throughout the Mediterranean world (I am assuming that this would have occurred through trade and/or war).

         6)      1700 b.c. the Amorites had consolidated their control over Syria.

         7)      Circa 1500 b.c.: The Aramæans arrive in Syria.

         8)      By 1200 b.c., Damascus became a prosperous Aramæan city.

         9)      During the late 1200's b.c., the Jews entered into this general territory, bringing with them the news of the One God, Jehovah Elohim.

         10)    King David has many conflicts with Aram around 1000 b.c., at which time the Aramæan empire appears to be composed of several city-states, closely allied, whose attempts at expansion are curtailed by King David. 2Sam. 8 10

         11)    732 b.c.: The Assyrians conquer most of Syria.

         12)    572 b.c.: The Chaldeans take control of the Assyrian empire, which includes Syria.

         13)    538 b.c.: Syria becomes a part of the Persian Empire.

         14)    333 b.c.: Alexander the Great gains control of Syria.

         15)    64 b.c.: Syria falls to the Romans.

         16)    a.d. 300's: Christianity becomes the state religion of Syria.

         17)    a.d. 637: Muslim Arabs invade Syria and take control. Islam replaces Christianity and Arabic replaces Aramaic as the language of the land.

6.      Ancient Syrian history in a nutshell: Ancient Syria was conquered by Egypt about 1500 B.C., and after that by Hebrews, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Persians, and Alexander the Great of Macedonia. From 64 B.C. until the Arab conquest in A.D. 636, it was part of the Roman Empire except during brief periods. Footnote This particular site listed nothing of Aram’s greatness.

7.      At least two of the Patriarchs married Aramæan women; some of whom were fairly closely related to the patriarchs. Isaac and Rebekah (Gen. 24); Jacob and Rachel (and Leah—Gen. 28–29). Jacob and Rachel were also first cousins, which means that there was some intermarriage between the Aramæans and the line of Arpachshad.

8.      Interestingly enough, one of the most ancient cities in the world is Damascus, the principle city of Aram, which is mentioned as early as Gen. 14:15 15:2. Perhaps nearly as ancient, the city of Hamath, mentioned in Num. 13:21 34:8.






ole.gif



9.      

ole1.gif

Also interesting: Israel, although a cohesive nation, was very much a confederation of tribes. The two nations most similar to Israel in this regard bordered Israel (Phœnicia and Aram, both of which were a confederation of city-states).


10.    The name Aram, as applied to a country or state or city-state is first found in the 23rd century b.c. in a cuneiform inscription of the Akkadian King Naram-Sin. There is evidence of nomads in the area of Aram as far back as the 3rd millennium b.c.1 However, these nomads do not appear to be Aramæans.

11.    When we think back to great empires, we often dwell upon Rome, Greece or Assyria, and see these are empires which controlled vast land masses at various times. However, Aram appears to be more a loose confederation of city-states, much like the Philistines.

         1)      Therefore, we read about the Aramæans of Damascus coming to help King Hadadezer, the king of Zobah in 2Sam. 8:5; however, these are both Aramaic cities, as are Betah and Berothai, which are mentioned in 2Sam. 8:8.

         2)      King David acts as a mediating factor with regards to the kingdom of Aram, keeping it from growing too large, and maintaining it both as a buffer country, and as a source of tribute. 2Sam. 8:3, 6–8

12.    David’s conflicts with Aram defined both his enemies (e.g., Ammon—2Sam. 10) and his allies (e.g., King Toi—2Sam. 8:9–10).

13.    Although David appears to have had an alliance with Ammon (which alliance is never fully developed or even explained in the Old Testament), this alliance was shattered by King Hanun, who embarrassed David’s ambassadors and resulted in a war between David and Ammon allied with Aram, which morphed into a war with Aram. R. B. Thieme, Jr. calls the battle between Israel and Aram (the Battle of Helam) one of the most important and decisive in Israel’s history. 2Sam. 10

14.    According the ZPEB, Footnote Aram’s greatest political influence was in the 11th and 10th centuries and its decline would have coincided with David’s several victories over the Aramæans.

15.    Because Syria borders the Northern Kingdom, there continued to be alliances and conflicts between Israel and Aram for many centuries.

16.    Aram’s great lasting contribution to culture is its language. The book of Esther and portions of Daniel are written in Aramaic. The Jews apparently adopted their alphabet to their Hebrew. For reasons which are not completely clear, the use of Aramaic was found throughout the Middle East, and the Jews used this language, in part, for at least a couple hundred years; and much of the Old Testament was paraphrased and translated into Aramaic (e.g., the targum of Onkelos). The Midrash and a portion of the Talmud (Jewish commentaries on the Old Testament, as well as a codification of their doctrines) was written in Aramaic. However, both Jews and Christians alike view the Hebrew Old Testament as being the inspired Word of God. Some branches of Christianity give particular reverence to the Syriac translation of the Bible, which is one of the most ancient. Syriac is a form of Aramaic.

1 The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible; Merrill Tenney, ed., Zondervan Publishing House, ©1976; Vol. 1, p. 246.

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Since Ammon is going to play a prominent part in this chapter, we ought to examine the Doctrine of Ammon.

The Abbreviated Doctrine of Ammon

1.      Lot was Abraham’s nephew. Although Abram and Lot went to the Land of Promise together, they eventually split up. Lot ended up in Sodom and Gomorrah. He was rescued from there by Abraham before God rained down fire and brimstone, destroying this degenerate people. He moved to a cave with his two daughters (his wife turned to a pillar of salt when she looked back upon this city), and these women decided that their prospects for husbands were poor. They moved from a vibrant and degenerate pair of cities off to no man’s land, and they were concerned that they would never have children. Today, they would have gone to a fertility clinic. However, what they did was, on two consecutive nights, they got their father drunk and had sex with him, and each bore a son, one’s name was Moab and the other was Benammi (son of Ammi). These two became the progenitors of the nations of Moab and Ammon. Gen. 19:30–38

         1)      It is important to recognize what is going on here. These women have either rejected the doctrine of right man/right woman or they do not know enough basic doctrine to even know this.

         2)      What these women did here was not only a degenerate mistake, but a complete rejection of what God is able to provide.

         3)      They looked at their situation—they used to live in this great and wonderful city with lots of men (this is from their viewpoint) and now they live in a cave with their father.

         4)      God is able to provide.

         5)      The focus of these women needs to be upon their own souls, not upon their immediate circumstances.

         6)      And example of such faith will be Ruth, a Moabite, whom we will study in this doctrine.

2.      Fausset contrasts the people of Moab with the people of Ammon: Moab was probably the more civilized half of Lot's descendants; whence we read of the plentiful fields, hay, summer fruits, vineyards, presses, songs of those who tread grapes, of Moab (Isaiah 15 16 Jeremiah 48): Ammon the more fierce, plundering, predatory Bedouin–like half; whence we read of their threat of thrusting out the right eye of all in Jabesh Gilead (1Sam. 11:2), ripping up pregnant women in Gilead (Amos 1:13), treacherously murdering, as Ishmael, Baalis' agent, did (Jer. 40:14 41:5–7), suspecting and insulting their ally David to their own ruin (2Sam. 10:1–5 12:31).1

3.      Although Moab and Ammon had been kept from easily intermixing with the Jews for 10 generations (because of their treatment of the Jews when the Jews were going through the desert), this did not mean that a Moabite or an Ammonite could not come into Israel as a convert to worshiping Jesus Christ, the God of Israel. Deut. 23:2, 46 Neh. 13:2

4.      After the Israelites had spend nearly 40 years in the desert wilderness, the began to move north along the King’s Highway east of the Dead Sea. Part of this involved going through the territories of Moab and Ammon. Num. 21:11–24

         1)      The King of the Moabites, Balak, became quite concerned about the Israelites moving through his territory (particularly since they had just conquered the Amorites), and he hired Balaam, who apparently was a believer in Jesus Christ and a prophet, to curse the Israelites. Balaam ended up blessing the Israelites instead. Num. 22–24 Joshua 24:8–10

         2)      God said that the people of Moab and Ammon should have met Israel with bread and water instead of with hostility. For this reason, Moab and Ammon would not enjoy a spiritual relationship with God side-by-side with the Jews. Deut. 23:2–5

         3)      When the Jews marched northward along the east side of the Dead Sea, they fought against the enemies of Moab and Ammon, and this should have engendered some good will from Moab and Ammon. However, overall, it did not.

         4)      However, the real problem was when the Israelite men became interested in the daughters (women) of Moab, and got involved in idolatry because of their desire for these women. Num. 25:1–9

         5)      Although there were wars with Moab and Ammon, God did not want Israel to take from them their land. Deut. 2:9, 19, 37

         6)      Because they are first cousins, Moab and Ammon should have been natural allies of the Jews. Furthermore, since God gave them plots of land and forbade Israel to take it, there should have been mutual respect between Israel, Moab and Ammon, if not an alliance. However, from the very beginning, Moab and Ammon treated Israel with contempt.

5.      There were hostilities between Israel and Moab and Ammon during the time of the Judges. The greatest problem of Israel was chasing after their gods. Judges 3 10–11

6.      Saul developed a life-long fan club in Jabesh-Gilead by defeating Nahash the Ammonite, who threatened to not only enslave these people, but to gouge out their right eyes. 1Sam. 11

7.      Saul faced many enemies early on, including wars with Ammon and Edom. He was a very successful warrior. 1Sam. 14:47–49

8.      David and the Moabites and the Ammonites:

         1)      David apparently had a good relationship with Nahash, the King of Ammon, although the Bible gives us little by way of detail on this matter (2Sam. 10:1–2). As we have examined, this was probably the more gracious son of Nahash who was defeated by King Saul in 1Sam. 11.

         2)      David had an early run-in with the new King of Ammon, a son of Nahash, whose nobles turned him against David. Ammon brought in Syria (Aram) as an ally so that Israel would have to fight on two fronts. David sent his two top generals to fight against Ammon and Syria and Israel was victorious. 2Sam. 10 1Chron. 19

         3)      While being disciplined for the Bathsheba incident (the wife of the soldier mentioned above), David’s army was still victorious over Ammon. The Ammonites were made slaves of David’s. 2Sam. 12:26–31 1Chron. 20:1–3

         4)      Interestingly enough, when David was on the run from Absalom (his son, as a part of the discipline for his affair with Bathsheba), Shobi, the son of Nahash the Ammonite (see 1Sam. 11), brought food and supplies to David and his army. 2Sam. 17:26–29

9.      Some of the women who Solomon married or kept as mistresses were Moabite and Ammonite women. Such foreign women turned his heart away from God toward their heathen gods. Solomon build sanctuaries to Chemosh, a god of Moab and to Molech, a god of Ammon. Worship of these gods included human and even child sacrifice (although it is unclear whether it went that far with Solomon’s wives). 1Kings 11:1–3, 5–7

10.    Solomon’s son Rehoboam, who reigned over the southern kingdom circa 931–913 b.c., was half-Ammonite. 1Kings 14:21, 31 2Chron. 12:13

11.    There continued to be conflicts between Kings of Judah [Jehoshaphat (870–848 b.c.), King Joash (835–796 b.c.), King Uzziah (circa 767–740 b.c.), Josiah (640–608 b.c.), Jehoiakim (608–697 b.c.)] and Moab and Ammon. 2Chron. 20 24:23–27 26:8 27:5 2Kings 23:3–15 24:1–3

12.    After Zedekiah (597–586 b.c.) rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar put Gedeliah in charge as governor of the few people who remained in the land. Several Jews who ran for their lives began to return from places like Moab and Ammon. The King of the Ammonites successfully plotted against Gedeliah. Jer. 40–41

13.    The Prophets and Moab and Ammon:

         1)      Amos prophesies against Moab and Ammon. Amos 1:13–15 2:1–2

         2)      Isaiah prophesies about the destruction of Moab. This apparently would be fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar. Isa.  11:10–14 15–16 25:10

         3)      Zephaniah prophesies against Moab and Ammon, promising that they will be like Sodom and Gomorrah. Zeph. 2:8–9

         4)      Jeremiah prophesies against nations which have been against Israel, which includes Moab and Ammon. This appears to refer to the coming of Nebuchadnezzar as well as to the final judgment against Moab and Ammon in the end times (not to those nations in particular, but to nations which occupy those areas today and which nations display unrelenting hatred for Israel). Jer. 9:25–26 25:17–38 27:1–9 48 49:1–6

         5)      Ezekiel prophesies about the sword of Babylon coming into Jerusalem and Ammon. Ezek. 21:19–32 25:1–12

         6)      Daniel predicts the destruction of Moab and parts of Ammon. Dan. 11:41

14.    A partial history of one Moabite King, Mesha, is found on what is called the Moabite Stone, which dates back to approximately 900 b.c.

The complete doctrine can be found at www.kukis.org/Doctrines/Moab_ammon.htm

1 Andrew Robert Fausset, Fausset’s Bible Dictionary; from e-Sword, topic: Ammon (some slight editing).


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Blessing by association will play a prominent part in the first half of this chapter. David is receiving tribute from Ammon (2Sam. 8:11–12). This is because David has a close alliance with Nahash II, the king of Ammon (2Sam. 10:1–2). As a result, Ammon is at peace and they are prosperous (1Chron. 19:6). However, as they become arrogant, they will turn against David. They will ally themselves with Aram, which is unable to protect them; they will lose a great portion of their riches (by purchasing mercenaries from Aram), and their lives will generally suck because the turned against David. They had enjoyed blessing by association, and now they would receiving cursing from God. As God promised Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.” (Gen. 12:3).


Weapons change, uniforms change but these principles of war never change. Although I first heard these principles in church, they are attributable to J. F. C. Fuller and to Clausewitz and have been enshrined in the 1921 Army Field Manual.

The Principles of Warfare

1.      The principle of the objective. The most fundamental principle of warfare is the destruction of your enemy’s forces and the removal of their will to fight. Each military operation needs to contribute to this ultimate objective. Each military operation will have its own objective (s), which is (are) both clearly defined and obtainable. In any military operation, there must be more going on that a general yelling charge and his army moving forward. The objective is the ultimate guide for the understanding and interpretation of orders, for the formulation of decisions, and for the use of the available assets.

         1)      There are generally 2 sub-principles of the objective: the enemy’s military forces must be neutralized or destroyed. This objective is generally accomplished in battle and is the primary focus. Rather than seizing and holding geographical locations, the defeat of the enemy’s main force is the primary objective.

         2)      It is certainly important to take and hold specific localities if this contributes to the overall objective of decisively defeating of the enemy..

         3)      In this chapter, the objective of David’s army is the neutralization of both the Syrian army and the Ammonite army.

         4)      David’s original objective was to capture Rabbah, the capital city of Ammon. In moving into position, Joab found himself trapped between two enemy forces: the Ammonites and the Aramaeans (Syrians). After walking into this trap (which we will study), Joab will quickly develop a plan. He will use his elite forces in an offensive against the Syrians, and employ a holding force against the Ammonites. Joab does not have the time or the need to confer with David (who is in Jerusalem) in order to determine what he needs to do. When it become apparent that Ammon has employed Syrian mercenaries, defeating them becomes another objective, which will contribute to the original objective.

2.      The principle of the offensive. Offensive action concentrates force in a decisive direction. Going on the offensive is the only way of attaining the objective. Being on the offensive promotes a concentration of forces, greater freedom of movement and it raises morale. Offensive action can attain victory while defensive action can, at best, stave off a defeat. Defensive action is sometimes employed in order to assist offensive action. Defensive action should only be temporary.

3.      Principle of mass: Mass is the concentration and synchronization of a subset of elements of combat power at a specific place and time, with the intent of having a decisive effect on the enemy force during this relatively short period of time. An illustration of mass, which I read is, hit the enemy with a closed fist as opposed to poking him with the fingers of an open hand. Mass must be sustained so that the effects are decisive and, if possible, crippling to enemy forces. Mass is the application of combat power—where men and equipment are placed—with respect to the enemy. Besides men and equipment, the application of mass must include consideration of the tactical skill, fighting ability, determination, discipline, and morale of one’s army, in addition to the leadership of that army. Success in war is the application of mass at the right time in the right place with the result that, the objective is gained.

4.      The principle of economy of force: Economy of force is the judicious use of resources when mass is employed against the enemy. This is not skimping on resources, but the application of sufficient force in order to achieve a particular objective.

5.      The principle of maneuver or movement. There are five forms of tactical maneuver: envelopment, turning movement, infiltration, penetration, and frontal attack (all of which I believe are found in the Bible).1 The selection of maneuvers depends upon the forces involved, as well as their location. These various movements are usually combined during a military effort, each maneuver having a different tactical objective (the ultimate objective being, of course, to neutralize the enemy army). Movement is more effective when concealed, because it brings in the element of surprise (which is the next principle).

6.      The principle of surprise. Surprise means, you strike the enemy at a time, place or manner that is unexpected, and therefore, the enemy finds himself unprepared for such a strike. Surprise can compensate for the imbalance of combat power (1Sam. 14 is an illustration of this). Surprise can achieve success well out of proportion to the effort expended. Surprise can take the form of movement, speed, the size and maneuverability of force, weaponry used, direction or location of main effort, and timing. Surprise can result in the achievement of a set of objectives with an economy of force and a minimal loss

         1)      Initially, the Syrians will appear to have the advantage here. The Ammonite army stands right outside the city walls of Rabbah as bait. Across from the Ammonite and hidden is the cavalry and chariots of the Syrians. Their strategy here is to maneuver against Joab’s army with the advantage of surprise. When Joab moves his army into place, he is going to find himself trapped between the Ammonite and Syrian armies.

         2)      Therefore, when it comes to the principle of movement and surprise, the Syrians will have the initial advantage (but Joab will turn it around on them).

7.      The principle of security: Security is simply the protection of one’s own forces. The intent of security is to preserve the safety and integrity of one’s forces from hostile acts, influence or surprise during all phases of an operation. This requires a constant application of imagination to the situation; what is the enemy capable of doing and what might they do?

         1)      Lack of security will be one of Joab’s problems. He will place his men into position without considering that there might be additional forces behind him.

         2)      Joab should have sent out reconnaissance teams in all directions. Joab did not due to lack of imagination in this engagement.

8.      The principle of simplicity: Orders and plans need to be clear, uncomplicated and concise so that their implementation up and down the chain of command is possible. Such orders and plans are more likely to be successful, as there is less likely to be misunderstanding and confusion among the troops. All other things being equal, the simplest plan is the best. Furthermore, because there is a wide range of intelligence within any military organization, a military operation is more likely to be successful when every person understands his place and objective in the operation. Also, war being what it is, simple plans are easier to execute under pressure.

9.      Principle of cooperation. The component parts of a military operation must function as a united and cooperative force, which includes the sharing of risks, burdens, and opportunities in every aspect of warfare. Given the alpha-dog nature of most commanders, friction at the top can ruin any military operation.

10.    Unity of Command: Whenever possible, there needs to be one commander guiding all the moving parts of a was theater.

11.    The principle of sustainability: logistical support must be available from entry to withdrawal.

References:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/24707009/Principles-of-Warfare

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principles_of_War

http://www.uc.edu/armyrotc/ms2text/msl_201_l02b_intro_to_principles_of_war_and_operations.pdf

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/3-0/ch7.htm

http://bibleprophecyfortoday.wordpress.com/the-art-of-spiritual-warfare/

These sites were accessed April 23–14, 2011.

http://www.thoughtstorm.com/2008/05/principles-of-war-military/

http://www.sailthechannel.com/stories/wp-content/uploads/images/3sigma/2008/02/principles-of-war.pdf

Accessed May 7, 2011.

See http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/2007/07/2807407 for a more updated set of military principles, including the greatest awareness possible of the environment, the enemy, his strengths and weaknesses; the principle of continuous, organic planning; the ability to adapt to chancing circumstances (flexibility); and the principle of efficiency of command, so that there are no more layers of command than necessary.

1 See http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/3-0/ch7.htm for examples of each.

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Because people in churches engage in little or no Bible study, very little is known about the Old Testament. Many churches become dramatically warped in their theology because they do not know what is in the Old Testament. In this chapter, there is a lot of war as well as war tactics; therefore, we ought to ask why God the Holy Spirit includes this in the Bible.

Why all of this War and Tactics in the Bible?

1.      Satan is constantly at war with believers in Jesus Christ. He will distort Bible doctrine, he will distort the Word of God, and he will do everything possible to distort our thinking.

2.      In our nation, there was a time when believers and skeptics alike knew the Bible and what was in it, almost cover to cover. I read through journals of my great grandfather, who was quite a skeptic of things religious in the Mormon family (I have no idea whether he was a believer or not; I don’t think that he was). What he did know was the Bible and he would make various arguments and statements based upon his own philosophy, reasoning and the Bible. I say this not to extol my great grandfather in any way, but to indicate that, at one time, we knew what was in the Bible in this nation. We had thoughts and ideas and opinions, and the Bible—the mind of Christ—was a part of this thinking.

3.      As we drift further and further away from the Bible in our churches and schools (schools were originally established to teach the Bible, for the most part), our understanding of God, man, and history becomes more and more warped.

4.      One of the best examples of this is the American Black church. At one time, they taught a reasonable amount of Bible doctrine. However, they became more and more emotional; then they became involved in social issues (the civil rights movement); and finally, today (2010), as many as a tenth of Black churches today teach hatred of America, hatred of whites, and they extol collectivism (socialism and/or communism) based upon a few Scriptures taken out of their context. See Black Liberation Theology (HTML) (PDF). The Catholic Church in Latin and South America have followed a similar route. Being a Catholic church, they did not teach much doctrine in the first place. Then church leaders became enamored of human suffering, and became more activist in the realm of dealing with human suffering; and finally, many of them today espouse Liberation Theology, which is communism made palatable to the religious masses.

5.      Part of the teaching of Liberation Theology is that evil whites came and destroyed all of the pristine cultures here in the Americas and replaced them with evil capitalism, built upon the blood of those who originally lived here in peace and harmony.

6.      When we study the Bible, we find out that the borders of nations do change, and this is done by means of warfare, and that warfare is a part of man’s existence. We find out that many nations lose out because they become very heathenistic and hedonistic (as was true of the Indians in the Americas).

7.      The Bible shows the expansion of Israel under David and Solomon, through warfare (some aggressive and some defensive).

8.      The Bible also teaches that slaves have rights and privileges, as given by God in the Law.

9.      Throughout the Bible, it is clear that David brought in a large number of foreigners into his army, which indicates that, even when Israel conquered a nation, they did not necessarily go in and kill everyone in that nation, unless ordered to do so by God. Many times, that nation would be given some measure of sovereignty, which was maintained by bringing tribute to Israel. However, sometimes that nation was destroyed and all of its people.

10.    In both the Old and New Testaments, members of the armed forces are treated with great respect. The Bible never disparages the military or soldiers.

11.    The importance of having a military is found by the study of the Old Testament.

12.    The inevitability of war is taught by Jesus in the New Testament. War will be a part of world history pretty much each and every year. If you pick some miscellaneous year, then you can find 5–50 wars which go on during that particular year.

13.    The Bible never teaches that a nation ought to disband its military in the name of peace (along these same lines, we do not reduce our weapons capabilities; and particularly, unilaterally).

14.    The United States, to some degree, paid attention to the Bible as it expanded westward. Some Indian tribes were wiped out, some were given land on which to live independently (although we make the mistake of subsidizing them; we ought to collect tribute from them) and many Indians were absorbed into our society (I had an uncle who was half American-Indian). Although the United States has not learned perfectly the doctrine of the Bible, it is clear that our founding fathers and those who pushed westward understood doctrine and tried to apply it as the United States expanded. This has resulted in one of the most diverse societies in the world, which, for many, has aimed for some homogenization (for decades, those who came to America became Americans and not hyphenated-Americans).

15.    In any case, nations contract and expand; nations maintain their own borders, and nations raise up armies to deal with their enemies.

16.    Just as the Jews always had enemies; the United States will always have enemies. You cannot have a nation where there are a number of born again believers and think that you can just continue merrily along without conflict. That is pure foolishness.

17.    The Jews in modern-day Israel recognize that they are surrounded by enemies, and that, oft times, their friends are not much better (e.g., the United States). Therefore, all Israelis are drafted and remain soldiers for most of their lives. 2 years ago (I write this in 2010), many of our nation’s people thought that we could elect a smooth-talking president of color, and that, somehow, this will take the place of having a large, well-trained army. We believed that he could travel about and engage in tough diplomacy of carrots and sticks, and reduce war in the world. If we knew the Bible, we would understand the folly of that approach.

18.    On the one hand, our President, Barrack Obama, speaks of a time when nuclear weapons can be removed from the face of the earth; and on the other hand, it is clear in the Bible that you cannot simply wish away warfare and hatred. Nor can you eliminate warfare and hatred through hard work and tough diplomacy. Do you recall David’s tough diplomacy against the Edomites? He laid their defeated army down and killed 2 out of every 3 men (2Sam. 8:2). The Muslim ties of our President mean nothing to Islamic radicals. They kill far more Muslims than westerners. They understand one thing: the increasing pile of dead radical Muslim bodies. We may have to kill almost every single radical Muslim in order to end this war of terror. To our President’s credit, he has given the order to kill lots of radical Muslims.

19.    Knowing the Old Testament allows a believer to properly understand and interpret both history and current events. As an example of this, R. B. Thieme, Jr., back in the 1970's, touted Israel, South Africa and Rhodesia as good and honorable nations. He said that the Shah of Iran was a leader which we ought to continue supporting and that things were fine in Rhodesia and South Africa. Almost every news source in the United States disagreed with him. President Carter, of that era, contributed what he could to the fall of the Shah of Iran, and Carter did what he could to end apartheid in South Africa and Rhodesia (which meant shifts in power in all of these 3 nations). The end result was a nation which would prove to be an enemy of the United States for the next several decades (Iran); and evil and despotic rulers in South Africa and Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) which has made the lives of the people in all 3 of these nations much worse. Divine viewpoint would have sought to maintain the status quo of those nations and human viewpoint sought to change them. The key is knowing the Old Testament.

20.    Four of our greatest generals (Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathon Jackson, George Patton and Douglas MacArthur) knew the Bible and knew Bible doctrine. MacArthur understood the importance of Christian missionaries in nation building, something which seems to have eluded former President George W. Bush (despite all of the history reading which he did).

21.    God does not expect us to be Gandhi-types, although liberal theology portrays Jesus as a long-haired homeless hippy, wandering about advocating peace and love and spouting pacifism and anti-war slogans (and they have been very successful at selling this wrong-headed portrayal of Jesus).

22.    If we understand what the Bible teaches, both Old and New Testaments, then we have a more well-rounded approach to our purpose on this earth.

23.    If we understand Bible doctrine, we can properly evaluate historical events and current events.

24.    Because war is an integral part of human existence, so are tactics, and the Bible presents warfare tactics on several occasions. Those who study the Bible—particularly military-types—learn from what the Bible teaches in this realm. Generals can actually learn military strategy and tactics from the Old Testament.

25.    If we know and understand the Bible, we will not go about crying, “Peace, peace” when there is no peace (Jer. 6:14b).

Always bear in mind that, every word of the Old and New Testaments are placed there by God the Holy Spirit. War is an integral part of human civilization, despite our best intentions.


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I should make an admission at this point; there were portions of this chapter which confused me, primarily because I did not have a good grasp of all the isagogics related to it. Therefore, I returned to Bob Thieme, Jr.’s David series, much of which I heard already (30 years ago), and began to listen again. His knowledge of ancient history is encyclopedic. Interestingly enough, Bob taught much of this series during the administration of President Carter (one of our worst presidents, who made a mess of foreign and domestic policy), and I write this during the administration of Barack Obama, who appears as if he might emulate Jimmy Carter.


Also, those who have a history with Berachah know that R. B. Thieme, Jr. loved teaching Ephesians. He would teach it, and then, go back, and re-teach it, having discovered more things in it. In the Old Testament, I believe that this might have been Bob’s favorite passage. Footnote He got to deal with a myriad of ancient peoples, their military movements, language and motivation. Furthermore, he got to concentrate on the strategy and tactics of David’s army, under Joab’s leadership, and that is something which I believe that Bob thoroughly enjoyed as well. Furthermore, Bob taught this passage during the Carter administration, which provided Bob with numeral examples of stupidity, lack of honor, a president’s absolute inability to understand the time in which he found himself, and a series of the worst international policies which have affected us and the world in which we live for decades after. My guess is, Bob had to keep his emotions in check while teaching this chapter, because it was no doubt a great emotional experience for him.


The Background for David’s Era (the Short Version)

For 3 centuries, the 3 empires of Assyria, Egypt and the Hittites dominated the world stage. Egypt was south-southwest of Israel, Assyria was off to the east, and the Hittite empire was to the north. There were also the sea peoples, who were a composite of Mycenaeans, Lydians, Lykians, Dorians, Mycians, Phrygians, and Thracians. All of these nations and groups were at war with one another throughout the middle east. However, just as David came to the throne, the Assyrians had a set of weak kings and were driven out of the Mesopotamian area by the Syrians (the Aramæans). The 20th dynasty in Egypt was made up of incompetent kings so that they were unable to challenge the Phœnician Navy. However, during all of this, even though Israel was smack dab in the middle of all these warring parties, their conflicts were, for the most part, with smaller nations.

seapeo~1.gifFrom http://sitemaker.umich.edu/mladjov/files/seapeoples.jpg

The great sea peoples came in many waves; one swept through Palestine and were stopped by Rameses. One group settled in the Gaza strip and became the Philistines. The Phœnicians are the same people who went north and settled, and David was friendly with them. The Philistines were a very tough group, and David stopped them. Then there were the Phrygians who were in Turkey (then called Anatolia). They did not cross the Taurus mountains. David had a very unusual period of history. Outside of the Aramæans in the north, there were no empires to contend with. Philistines had reached their peaks and David could defeat them.

 

All of this shows that Jesus Christ controls history. Edom, Moab and Ammon were all strong, but David conquered them. David defeated the Philistines, even though they were at their peak. This illustrates that Jesus Christ controls history.

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The Background for David’s Era (the Longer Version)

David’s reign in 2Samuel takes place between 1004–960 b.c. is when this portion of 2Samuel is occurring. About 200 years before David had come to the throne (circa 1004 b.c.), the great Hittite empire north of Israel, was suddenly destroyed because of the movement of the Great Sea Peoples who came out of Europe.

 

From Wikipedia: The Sea Peoples is the term used for a confederacy of seafaring raiders of the second millennium b.c. who sailed into the eastern Mediterranean, caused political unrest, and attempted to enter or control Egyptian territory during the late 19th dynasty and especially during Year 8 of Ramesses III of the 20th Dynasty. The Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah explicitly refers to them by the term "the foreign-countries (or 'peoples') of the sea." Footnote

aegean_map.jpgFrom http://iris.haverford.edu/athens/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Aegean_Map.png

These Sea Peoples had crossed over the Hellespont (a peninsula which allowed the Greeks to cross over from Thrace into Asia Minor—see the map above). They took Troy and Bogaz-Keui. The latter city was the capital of the Hittite empire; and later known as Hattusas. It is also spelled Boğazköy or Boghazkeui Footnote

 

These people were apparently a part of the great Dorian thrust which caused the dark ages in Greece. They later became known as Phrygians, Lykians, Mycenaeans. These people were warriors who were often at war. They moved throughout Anatolia, which is ancient Turkey, but they did not cross over the Taurus mountains into the plains of Syria [not on the map below, but obviously between Anatolia and Syria]. This kept them from having a continuous and direct effect upon Israel during the time of David.

anatolia.jpgFrom http://www.peacepension.com/Map%20of%20Turkey.jpg

 

These Greek people continued to moved about and they did make one excursion through Palestine while heading for Egypt. Ramses III stopped them in Egypt. The remnants of this attacking force moved into the Gaza strip and became the Philistines. The Philistines are an amalgamation of some Greek groups, including the Mycenaeans (or Achaeans) and the various Dorian groups. Since these Greek peoples operated in the seas of the Mediterranean, they took places like Cypress and Crete and they would eventually become the Etruscans in Italy.

 

North of Israel is Tiglath Pileser, whose Assyrian empire went into a sudden decline. The Egyptians of the 20th dynasty also went into a mysterious decline. A this same time, the Hittite empire was broken down into various states, including the neo-Syrian states.

 

According to Wikipedia: The ends of several civilizations around 1175 BC have instigated a theory that the Sea Peoples may have caused the collapse of the Hittite, Mycenaean and Mitanni kingdoms. Footnote

 

However, also at this time in history, the Aramaeans become prominent and well-known. They began as Semitic nomads wandering about in the east. They called themselves Aramæans while the Greeks called them Syrians.. Abraham’s brother Nahor had a son, Aram, who is the source of the Aramæans (others trace the Aramæans back to Aram, the son of Shem—Gen. 10:22) . They began to take over the area later called Aram. North of them was a Neo-Hittite empire which was fairly quiet at that time.

 

Next to that was a people known as the Phœnicians, who were part Greek, part Canaanite and part Semitic (historians recently discovered this). They became a great sea-faring empire. They probably learned how to function on the seas from the Great Sea peoples, and from the Achaeans.

 

Suddenly, there is this strange interlude during which all of the big empires become relatively quiet. The Philistines tried to increase their holdings, but David stopped them (there were many wars between Israel and the Philistines). The Edomites and the Ammonites also began to act up, and David stopped them as well (the details of David and the Ammonites is one of the focal points of this chapter).

 

The most active empire during this time is Aram, which is to the north and east of Israel. David himself will keep Aram in check (which is part of the subject of this chapter).

 

However, for most of the 80 years of Israel’s golden era—when David and Solomon ruled over Israel—most of these world empires became strangely quiet, resulting in an unusual peacefulness throughout the Middle East. This came about because Jesus Christ controls history. He stopped the expansion of the dominant empires during this time period. There is very little advancement on the part of Assyria for about 100 years. However, after the death of Solomon, they will start to become more active. The Assyrian empire will then become the great neo-Assyrian empire, under the rulership of Tiglath Pileser III, Sargon II, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal.

 

During this same period, we see the decline of the Hittites and the Egyptian 20th dynasty. What normally happens is, when one country loses power, then another steps in, because of the power void. However, all of these great empires appeared to decline. Although ancient historians do not have a full explanation nfor this, we do: Jesus Christ controls history.

 

David’s great success is because God made all of this possible through this period of time where most great empires are static or go into decline. The Phrygian empire conquered the Anatolian high plateaus. However, they did not move down into Palestine to conquer there. The Phrygians would settle in around Turkey, with several great kings, including Midas; but their great expansion would come after David.

 

The Assyrians, who would eventually conquer the northern kingdom and place them under God’s discipline, were restrained in part, by the Aramæans.

 

The Hurrians are also quiet at this time. The Hurrians developed the horse training systems in the ancient world. They also produced a fairly cumbersome chariot which would be later replaced by a sleeker war model.

 

The Aramaens pushed back on the kingdom of Natani, invading them. The Hittites were a vassal state to the Aramæans at this time.

 

Interestingly, around this time, the Jews are friendly with the Phœnicians. Very likely there was trading between them. It is the Phœnician alphabet which the Jews apparently adopted, which made it possible for us to speak phonetically and for us to have writing.

 

The Canaanite branch of the Phœnicians who took from the hieroglyphics the oxhead, and changed it into a word which stands for a letter, and then eventually changed into an aleph. The Phœnicians took their language about, and other people made a few changes to it. Every letter from our alphabet can be traced back to the Phœnicians. When the Greeks came in contact with the Phœnicians, and they showed their alphabet to these Barbaric Greeks, these barbaric Greeks learned how to use it. Virtually overnight, the Greeks developed their own written language and the golden era of 5th Century Greek was simply based upon taking this alphabet all over the world.

 

This great 5th century golden age of the Greeks all goes back to blessing by association with David and Solomon. They Greeks traveled all over the world, taking their alphabet with them.

 

At the time of 2Sam. 10, there is one great advancing empire, and that is Aram. The Aramæans had conquered all of the lands above Israel. When Israel comes into contact with Aram, that could potentially end David’s Israel.

Some of this information comes from several entries in Wikipedia.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


The briefest version of all this is: almost every great empire of this era—Assyria, Hatti (the Hittite empire) and Egypt—suddenly becomes quiet. This is an era when the greatest empire is Syria (Aram), so that David’s defeat of Aram in this chapter is quite remarkable.


I will admit to spending the past year struggling with 2Sam. 8 10 1Chron. 18–19 and Psalm 60. I do not yet feel comfortable coming down with a definite opinion as to the timing or exact nature of the historical events portrayed in this chapters.

Theories as to the Relationship between 2Samuel 8 and 2Samuel 10

Theories

Commentary

2Sam. 8 is an overview; 2Sam. 10 fills in some details:

Throughout the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, we find events summarized, and then some of these events later expanded upon in subsequent verses and chapters. David’s successful military endeavors (all were successful) are summarized in 2Sam. 8. Mentioned here are wars with Moab, Hadadezer of Aram, and Edom. Tribute is said to be collected from the king of Hamath (via an alliance), Aram, Moab, Ammon, the Philistines, Amalek, and specifically from Hadadezer of Aram. Tribute from Edom is implied.


The war with Ammon and with Aram, found in 2Sam. 10 simply gives some of the details of the conflicts alluded to above.

Problems with this view: There are a fair amount of details given in 2Sam. 8 about David’s conflict with Aram, including the casualty statistics and the name Hadadezer, who apparently is the one overseeing this war with Israel. There are differences which are quite pronounced between 2Sam. 8 and 10 concerning the war (s) with Aram which seem to preclude them being the same conflict.

2Sam. 8–10 describe consecutive events

At the end of this chapters, we will examine the differences between these two conflicts, and they are substantial. There is also enough detail about Israel’s war with Aram in 2Sam. 8 for this to be more than a simple summary of the war, which 2Sam. 10 then takes up.

Problems with this view: The biggest problem with this is, Hadadezer, in 2Sam. 8:3 tells us that Hadadezer went to restore his rule at the River, and that is when David made his move to stop him. In 1Chron. 19:6, some of the forces of Aram are coming from Mesopotamia, which would be the River. This would suggest that enough time passed for Aram to take this area again, but without any interference from David.

2Sam. 10 occurs before 2Sam. 8

This would be kind of an odd approach, but it may make sense when it comes to the details. 2Sam. 8 gives us more or less and overview, with some details. However, in 2Sam. 10 we go back to a previous conflict that David had with Ammon and with Aram. This would help to explain the verb restore which is used in 2Sam. 8:3. He had the power over that area in 2Sam. 10, but was beat so badly by David, that he lost it; and then we went to retake it in 2Sam. 8.

Problems with this view: The biggest problem with this is, we are no longer in chronological order. Now, that is not the end of the world, as there is no reason to assume every chapter is in chronological order relative to the chapters around it. However, there are verses like 2Sam. 13: and 15:1 which appear to place things into chronological order.

In any case, Aram included territory which extended beyond the Euphrates, which is confirmed in 2Sam. 10:16 and 1Chron. 19:16.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


I don’t want to spoil the narrative of this chapter for you, but brothers Joab and Abishai will go to war against the Aramaeans and the Ammonites and defeat them. The Bible gives us very little information at this point as to exactly what happens; however, there is enough information in this chapter in order to allow a more complete explanation as to how a smaller and less diverse army was able to defeat the Aramæan army, which seemingly had all of the advantages. All of the clues are there, and I will lay this out for you how this must have all gone down on the battlefield, and why Joab’s elite forces were able to defeat and demoralizes an Aramæan army of infantry, calvary and charioteers.


——————————


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David's Sympathy to the New Ammonite King is Rebuffed

1Chronicles 19:1–5


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so he is after thus, and so dies king of sons of Ammon; and so reigns Hanun his son instead of him.

2Samuel

10:1

And so it is after this, that the king of the sons of Ammon died and his son Hanun reigned in his place.

After these things, it came to pass that the king of Ammon died and his son Hanun reigned instead of him.


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts, using the Douay-Rheims translation Footnote ; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation as revised and edited by Paul W. Esposito, respectively. I often update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.). I often use the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible instead of Brenton’s translation, because it updates the English text.

 

The Septuagint was the earliest known translation of a book (circa 200 b.c.). Since this translation was made before the textual criticism had been developed into a science and because different books appear to be translated by different men, the Greek translation can sometimes be very uneven.

 

When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s (or the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible), I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). I use the Greek LXX with Strong’s numbers and morphology available for e-sword. The only problem with this resource (which is a problem for similar resources) is, there is no way to further explore Greek verbs which are not found in the New Testament.

 

The Masoretic text is the Hebrew text with all of the vowels (vowel points) inserted (the original Hebrew text lacked vowels). We take the Masoretic text to be the text closest to the original. However, differences between the Masoretic text and the Greek, Latin and Syriac are worth noting and, once in a great while, represent a more accurate text possessed by those other ancient translators.

 

In general, the Latin text is an outstanding translation from the Hebrew text into Latin and very trustworthy (I say this as a non-Catholic). Unfortunately, I do not read Latin—apart from some very obvious words—so I am dependent upon the English translation of the Latin (principally, the Douay-Rheims translation).

 

Underlined words indicate differences in the text.

 

Latin Vulgate                          And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanon his son reigned in his stead.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so he is after thus, and so dies king of sons of Ammon; and so reigns Hanun his son instead of him.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    AFTER this the king of the Ammonites died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead.

Septuagint (Greek)                And it came to pass after this that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Some time later, King Nahash of Ammon died, and his son Hanun became king.

Easy English (Pocock)           Some time later, Nahash, the king of the *Ammonites, died. His son Hanun became king.

Easy-to-Read Version            Later {Nahash} king of the Ammonites died. His son Hanun became the new king after him.

The Message                         Sometime after this, the king of the Ammonites died and Hanun, his son, succeeded him as king.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Well, the king of the sons of AmMon died, and his son became the new king.

God’s Word                         Later the king of Ammon died, and his son Hanun became king in his place.

New American Bible              Some time later the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun succeeded him as king.

NIRV                                      The king of Ammon died. His son Hanun became the next king after him.

New Jerusalem Bible             After this, when the king of the Ammonites died and his son Hanun succeeded him,...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      So afterwards, the king of the sons of Amman had died, and Hanun his son reigned instead.

Bible in Basic English             Now after this, death came to the king of the children of Ammon, and Hanun, his son, became king in his place.

NET Bible®                             David and the Ammonites

Later the king of the Ammonites died and his son Hanun succeeded him [Heb "reigned in his place."]. When it comes to making an actual material change to the text, the NET Bible® is pretty good about indicating this. Since most of these corrections will be clear in the more literal translations below and within the Hebrew exegesis itself, I will not continue to list every NET Bible® footnote.

New International Version      In the course of time, the king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun succeeded him as king.

The Scriptures 1998              And after this it came to be that the sovereign of the children of Ammon died, and Ḥanun his son reigned in his place.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   DAVID DEFEATS THE SONS OF AMMON AND THE ARAMIY

And so be it, afterward,

the sovereign of the sons of Ammon dies

and Hanun his son reigns in his stead.

LTHB                                     And it happened afterward, the king of the Ammonites died. And his son Hanun reigned in his place.

Syndein                                  And it came to pass after this, {change of subject} {after David manufactures grace toward Jonathan's son} that the king {Nahash} of the people of Ammon died. And Hanun his son ruled in his place.

World English Bible                It happened after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place.

Young’s Updated LT             And it comes to pass afterwards, that the king of the Bene-Ammon dies, and Hanun his son reigns in his stead.

 

The gist of this verse:          Nahash, the king of the Ammonites, and a friend to David, dies, and his son, Hanun, reigns in his stead.


2Samuel 10:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

ʾachărêy (אַחֲרֵי) [pronounced ah-kuh-RAY]

behind, after; following; after that, afterwards; hinder parts

preposition; plural form

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

kên (כֵּן) [pronounced kane]

so, thus; upright, honest; rightly, well; [it is] so, such, so constituted;

properly, an active participle; used primarily as an adverb

Strong's #3651 BDB #485

These two words together literally mean after so; however, they appear to mean afterward, afterwards, after these things, after this, [and] after that. See Gen. 15:14 23:19 25:26 Lev. 14:36 Deut. 21:13 1Sam. 10:5.


Translation: And so it is after this,... A phrase like this occurs periodically throughout most of the 2nd half of 2Samuel. This tells us that we are dealing with sets of events which are presented to us chronologically. It is interesting because, in the first 7 chapters, although these were clearly chronological events, this phrase is not found (perhaps because it was not needed).


It could be that God the Holy Spirit, realizing that we would struggle with the relationship between 2Sam. 8 and 10, to insert this simple phrase to end any question or debate on the matter. 2Sam. 8 occurred first and 2Sam. 10 occurred later.


Life is always in a state of flux.

“It Came to Pass After This”

1.      Even in times of great prosperity, things never remain the same in this life. Things are always changing and we are always changing. Prosperity can only be perpetuated under the principle that Jesus Christ controls history. When a country has a significant pivot, that nation often enjoys increasing prosperity. As that pivot shrinks and as there is more spin-off, that nation goes into decline.

2.      You, as a believer, are either worse today or better. When you spend a day without listening to Bible doctrine, then your spiritual life retrogresses (unless your mind is thinking doctrine and functioning under divine viewpoint on that day).

3.      Even in times of prosperity for a nation, things never remain the same. Calvin Coolidge, on 4December, 1928, summed up his state of the union address with, “The country is in the midst of an era of prosperity more extensive and of peace more permanent than it has ever before experienced. But, having reached this position, we should not fail to comprehend that it can easily be lost.” President Coolidge did not realize how soon his prophetic words would come to pass. Less than a year later, in October of 1929, the stock market crashed, and continued to falter for the next 20 years (the stock market did not continue to go down; but it was erratic and undependable for more than 20 years). 10 years later, most of the world would be involved in the Great War; soon thereafter, we would join in.

4.      Life never stand still. Your life becomes better or it becomes worse.

5.      The only solution to crisis or disaster is the ability to think. The Greeks were some of the most barbarous people who have lived. The Dorians, Lykians, Thracians, Ionians, etc. all were barbaric. Once they were given words and an alphabet which was phonetic, and then they became the brilliant people that they were. This allowed them to express their thinking in writing and to pass down their thoughts from generation to generation. They were able to think, which requires words and new words and concepts.

6.      In our culture, the ability to think is being destroy by drugs. Drugs actually destroy the mechanism of the brain, so that drug-addled people bring our society down by their inability to think clearly. Much of their thinking and motivation revolves around getting high.

7.      We lose our greatness as a nation when we lose the ability to think. Today, millions of people have become hooked on drugs, and have compromised or even lost their ability to think objectively.

8.      The only chance for such a person is to give up drugs and to reinvigorate the thinking with Bible doctrine. Bible doctrine will give such a one a capacity for life because they are able to think again. That person’s mind will open up to new thoughts and new subjects and books.

9.      Even though life is a continuum changing circumstances, the mature believer develops the capacity for thinking and for change. Furthermore, he may develop a great enthusiasm for many subjects.

10.    Science, when it is not politicized, has a capacity to deal with an ever-changing world.

         1)      Our science is based upon faulty notions, like global warming, and the decreasing ozone layer, and, in particular, the evils of DDT. Science has become politicized, and, wherever science is politicized, that area of science goes on the decline. When science become politicized, people lose their objectivity. It is no longer a matter of experimentation leading to this or that conclusion, but data which is collected with a political goal in mind.

         2)      One example which comes to mind is the treatment of homosexuality by psychology. It is statistically demonstrable that there are a myriad of negative psychological and physiological aspects related to the homosexual lifestyle. Actual diseases and physiological syndromes are directly associated with male homosexual activity, as well as a dramatic reduction of life expectancy (a person who regularly engages in homosexual activity will see his life shortened even more than a smoker or a drinker). However, as the science of psychology began to make greater inroads in altering the behavior of homosexuals, psychology found itself under political attack, until it finally relented and removed homosexuality from its list of psychological disorders. None of this came about as a result of experimentation and research; it came about as a result of political pressure. As a result, research which even implies defect in relation to homosexuality is shouted down or denied funding.

         3)      In Africa, millions of people have died because DDT was not used to control mosquitoes. Again, politics trumps science. DDT, the most effective poison to use against mosquitoes, should have been used, at least initially, and then replaced as the mosquito population was reduced.

11.    As believers with doctrine, we must be able to recognize change when it occurs, properly analyze that change and orient to it. We develop our stability on the inside, with Bible doctrine in the soul.

12.    The unchanging world is Bible doctrine; the chancing world is all around us. As we become more filled with the unchanging truth of Bible doctrine, the easier it is for us to cope with changing circumstances.

         1)      As an example, I know from the Bible that homosexuality is a degenerate sin. Therefore, I understand that the practice of homosexuality is bad for the individual and bad for society.

         2)      However, when I see changes in our society with regards to homosexuality, I know from Bible doctrine that this is simply the advancement of evil in our society.

         3)      The lack of advancement in psychology with regards to homosexuality does not perturb me, because Bible doctrine teaches that Satan will attempt to pervert all divine principles.

         4)      The solution is spiritual advancement of the individual believers, not a political restructuring of the United States.

13.    What is true of the believer is also true of the client nation. A client nation is called of God to have laws of divine establishment operate so well that freedom is prioritized. We are a client nation with maximum freedom. We are free to accept or to reject Jesus Christ. Our government does not yet persecute believers for gathering or evangelists for spreading the gospel. Our client nation is also a haven for the Jews.

         1)      One of the great heresies to seep into the Republican party was anti-Semitism. This, in part, destroyed the Republican party. Far-left liberal Lyndon Johnson, one of the worst presidents in our history, soundly defeated a Jewish Barry Goldwater.

         2)      Goldwater understood conservatism and articulated it well. He understood communism and how evil it was, and opposed making treaties with the Communists.

         3)      A lot of doctrine in the souls of believers would have allowed them to clearly see the difference between Johnson and Goldwater. However, because Johnson was elected, not only did we lose the war in Vietnam, but he put into place policies that threaten to destroy the economy of the United States.

         4)      So we, as a client nation, will never stand still. However, the key to our prosperity is doctrine in the souls of the resident believers, and an expansion of the spiritual base (more evangelism).

The believer and human history never stand still. We may yearn for the good old days, but our memories of those times are often softened by time. In the good old days, we lived in the devil’s world; in the good old days, depending upon our spiritual status and that of our parents, we may or may not have been under demonic attack. Being able to enjoy your memories of the past, and yet also enjoy this day in your life ought to be the attitude of every believer. We live one day at a time. As an aside, even though human history moves forward that does not mean that we accept new norms and standards nor does that mean that all moving forward is wrong. In our society, skin color has become less and less of an issue in my lifetime, which is a good thing; but, at the same time, homosexuality has become more and more accepted, which is evil. Comment


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2Samuel 10:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mûwth (מוּת) [pronounced mooth]

to die; to perish, to be destroyed

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

meleke (מֶלֶך׃) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

ʿAmmôwn (עַמּוֹן) [pronounced ģahm-MOHN]

hidden; transliterated Ammon

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #5983 BDB #769


Translation: ...that the king of the sons of Ammon die... This is Nahash, with whom David appeared to have had a good relationship. We discussed him a little in the previous chapter, when examining the tribute which David was paid from Ammon. However, we actually know very little about Nahash and about his relationship to David.


2Samuel 10:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mâlake (מָלַך׃) [pronounced maw-LAHKe]

to reign, to become king or queen

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #4427 BDB #573

Chânûwn (חָנוּן) [pronounced khaw-NOON]

favored, gracious, graciously given; transliterated Hanun, Chanun

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #2586 BDB #337

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

tachath (תַּחַת) [pronounced TAH-khahth]

underneath, below, under, beneath; instead of, in lieu of; in the place [in which one stands]; in exchange for; on the basis of

preposition of location or foundation with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8478 BDB #1065


Translation: ...and his son Hanun reigned in his place. Sometimes, the name of a son tells us more about the parents than it tells us about the son. Nahash named his son gracious, graciously given. He recognized what a gift his son was to him—and, perhaps for many years, Hanun was a nice child.


However, despite Nahash’s correct orientation to life, he was unable to impart this to his son. It will become clear that Hanun is unqualified to reign over Ammon.


——————————


And so says David, “I will do grace with Hanun, son of Nahash as which did his father with me grace.” And so sends David to comfort him by a hand of his servants unto his father. And so come in servants of David [to] a land of sons of Ammon.

2Samuel

10:2

And so, David said, “I will manufacture grace toward Hanun, the son of Nahash just as his father manufactured grace toward me.” Therefore, David sent [an envoy] of his servants to comfort Hanun [lit., sent to comfort him by means of his servants] concerning his father. And the servants entered the land of the sons of Ammon.

And so, David said, “I will manufacture grace toward Hanun, the son of Nahash, just as his father manufactured grace toward me.” Therefore, David sent his ambassadors to comfort Hanun concerning his father. And the ambassadors entered into the land of the Ammonites.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And David said: I will shew kindness to Hanon the son of Daas, as his father showed kindness to me. So David sent his servants to comfort him for the death of his father. But when the servants of David were come into the land of the children of Ammon.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says David, “I will do grace with Hanun, son of Nahash as which did his father with me grace.” And so sends David to comfort him by a hand of his servants unto his father. And so come in servants of David [to] a land of sons of Ammon.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Then said David, I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me. So David sent by his servants to comfort him for his father. And David's servants came to the land of the Ammonites.

Septuagint (Greek)                And David said, I will show mercy to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father dealt mercifully with me. And David sent to comfort him concerning his father by the hand of his servants; and the servants of David came into the land of the children of Ammon.

 

Significant differences:           to show is an okay translation of the 2nd verb (although to do, to manufacture are better choices). The directional preposition in the Hebrew is an interesting choice, which is reflected in the Greek (however, not in most English translations). One would expect to find a direct object after sends in the second sentence (as we have in the English translation from the Latin; and in many English translations); however the Hebrew, Greek and Latin all have a prepositional phrase as the object of the verb (more or less). So, the only significant difference is between the direct object of the Hebrew and the English translation from the Latin.


There is nothing magical about the separation of the Bible into chapters and verses. For the most part, the people who did this (who were not the original writers of Scripture), did a good job. However, in the translations below, it will become apparent that half of v. 2 really belongs with v. 3.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David said, "Nahash was kind to me, and I will be kind to his son." So he sent some officials to the country of Ammon to tell Hanun how sorry he was that his father had died.

Easy English (Pocock)           David thought, `I will be kind to Hanun because his father Nahash was kind to me.' So, David sent some of his servants to Hanun. David wanted to show sympathy to Hanun after his father's death.

David's men came to the country called Ammon.

Easy-to-Read Version            David said, “Nahash was kind to me. So I will be kind to his son Hanun.” So David sent his officers to comfort Hanun about his father’s death.

Good News Bible (TEV)         King David said, "I must show loyal friendship to Hanun, as his father Nahash did to me." So David sent messengers to express his sympathy. When they arrived in Ammon,...

The Message                         David said, "I'd like to show some kindness to Hanun, the son of Nahash--treat him as well and as kindly as his father treated me." So David sent Hanun condolences regarding his father. But when David's servants got to the land of the Ammonites,...

New Century Version             David said, "Nahash was loyal to me, so I will be loyal to his son Hanun." So David sent his messengers to comfort Hanun about his father's death.

David's officers went to the land of the Ammonites.

New Life Bible                        Then David said, "I will show kindness to Nahash's son Hanun, just as his father showed kindness to me." So David sent some of his servants to comfort him in the loss of his father. But when David's servants came to the land of the Ammonites,...

New Living Translation           David said, "I am going to show loyalty to Hanun just as his father, Nahash, was always loyal to me." So David sent ambassadors to express sympathy to Hanun about his father's death.

But when David's ambassadors arrived in the land of Ammon,...


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then David said: `I'll do something nice for AnNon, the son of NaAs, because his father was so kind to me.' So, David sent his servants to the land of the sons of AmMon to comfort him over his father.

Ancient Roots Translinear      David said, "I will do mercy with Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father did mercy with me." David sent the hand of comfort from his servants to his father. And David's servants came from the land to the sons of Amman.

God’s Word                         David thought, "I will show kindness to Hanun as his father Nahash showed me kindness." So David sent his servants to comfort Hanun after his father's death. But when David's servants entered Ammonite territory,...

New American Bible              David thought, "I will be kind to Hanun, son of Nahash, as his father was kind to me." So David sent his servants with condolences to Hanun for the loss of his father. But when David's servants entered the country of the Ammonites,...

NIRV                                      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.

New Jerusalem Bible             David thought, 'I shall show Hanun son of Nahash the same faithful love as his father showed me.' And David sent his representatives to offer him condolences over his father. But, when David's representatives reached the Ammonites' country,...

New Simplified Bible              David thought: »I will show kindness to Hanun since his father Nahash showed me kindness.« David sent his servants to comfort Hanun after his father’s death. When David’s servants entered Ammonite territory,...

Revised English Bible            David said, ‘I must keep up the same loyal friendship with Hanun son of Nahash as his father showed me,’ and he sent a mission to condole with him on the death of his father.

When David’s envoys entered the country of the Ammonites,...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And David said, I will be a friend to Hanun, the son of Nahash, as his father was a friend to me. So David sent his servants, to give him words of comfort on account of his father. And David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.

Context Group Version          And David said, I will show family allegiance { Hebrew: hesed } to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed family allegiance { Hebrew: hesed } to me. So David sent by his slaves to comfort him concerning his father. And David's slaves came into the land of the sons of Ammon.

HCSB                                     Then David said, "I'll show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me." So David sent his emissaries to console Hanun concerning his father. However, when they arrived in the land of the Ammonites,...

JPS (Tanakh)                         David said, “I will keep faith with Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father kept faith with me.” He sent his courtiers with a message of condolence to him over his father. But when David’s courtiers came to the land of Ammon,...

NET Bible®                             David said, "I will express my loyalty2 to Hanun son of Nahash just as his father was loyal [Heb "did loyalty."] to me." So David sent his servants with a message expressing sympathy over his father's death [Heb "and David sent to console him by the hand of his servants concerning his father."]. When David's servants entered the land of the Ammonites,...

New International Version      David thought, "I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me." So David sent a delegation to express his sympathy to Hanun concerning his father.

When David's men came to the land of the Ammonites,...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      And David said, "I will deal loyally with Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father dealt loyally with me." So David sent by his servants to console him concerning his father. And David's servants came into the land of the Ammonites.

exeGeses companion Bible   And David says,

I work mercy to Hanun the son of Nachash

as his father worked mercy to me.

And David sends to sigh over him

by the hand of his servants concerning his father:

and the servants of David

come into the land of the sons of Ammon.

NRSV                                     David said, `I will deal loyally with Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father dealt loyally with me.' So David sent envoys to console him concerning his father. When David's envoys came into the land of the Ammonites,...

Syndein                                  Consequently, {as a result of the death} David said {both his thought and the follow-through action of his grace thought}, "I will manufacture {`asah - out of doctrine resident in his soul} grace {checed} to Hanun, the son of Nahash {grace here includes the attributes of: courtesy, respect, thoughtfulness, kindness} as his father manufacture {`asah - out of doctrine resident in his soul} grace {checed} to me. And David sent to comfort him concerning his father by the hand of his ambassadors. {these would have been high nobles in David's court acting as his ambassador}

And David's ambassadors came into the land of the people of Ammon... {Hanun will assume they are spies because that is what HE would do if he sent men to Jerusalem}.

Young’s Updated LT             And David says, “I do kindness with Hanun son of Nahash, as his father did with me kindness;” and David sends to comfort him by the hand of his servants concerning his father, and the servants of David come in to the land of the Bene-Ammon.

 

The gist of this verse:          David sends and envoy to Ammon to convey to Hanun sympathy for the loss of his father and to continue a relationship of friendship with Hanun.


2Samuel 10:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

cheçed (חֶסֶד) [pronounced KHEH-sed]

grace, benevolence, mercy, kindness

masculine singular noun

Strong's #2617 BDB #338

ʿîm (עִם) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by near; like; from; against; toward; as long as; beside, except; in spite of

preposition of nearness and vicinity

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

Chânûwn (חָנוּן) [pronounced khaw-NOON]

favored, gracious, graciously given; transliterated Hanun, Chanun

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #2586 BDB #337

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Nâchâsh (נָחָש) [pronounced naw-KHAWSH]

serpent and is transliterated Nahash

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #5176 BDB #638


Translation: And so, David said, “I will manufacture grace toward Hanun, the son of Nahash... You may recall that the previous chapter was David during his downtime (when he was not at war). This chapter begins the same way—David is not at war and he receives word that his ally Nahash, King of Ammon, has died, and David wants to show sympathy toward Nahash’s son.


2Samuel 10:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

Together, kaʾăsher (כַּאֲשֶר) [pronounced kah-uh-SHER] means as which, as one who, as, like as, just as; because; according to what manner. Back in 1Sam. 12:8, I rendered this for example.

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

ʾâb (אָב) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household, clan or tribe; founder, civil leader, military leader

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3

ʿîm (עִם) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by near; like; from; against; toward; as long as; beside, except; in spite of

preposition of nearness and vicinity with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

cheçed (חֶסֶד) [pronounced KHEH-sed]

grace, benevolence, mercy, kindness

masculine singular noun

Strong's #2617 BDB #338


Translation: ...just as his father manufactured grace toward me.” This is another of the great untold stories of the Bible—David’s relationship to Nahash, the King of Ammon. This leads us to:


Although we are going to try to piece the relationship of David and Nahash together, this is one of the great untold stories of Scripture.

The Doctrine of (David’s Friend) Nahash

1.      First of all, there are 3 Nahash’s in the Bible:

         1)      There is the Nahash, King of Ammon, during the time of Saul (during his early years), who gave the citizens of Jabesh-Gilead the choice between all being killed or all having one eye gouged out. Saul rescued this city and despite Saul’s failings, these citizens never forgot what he did. 1Sam. 11

         2)      There is his son, Nahash, King of Ammon, a contemporary of David’s (perhaps a little older) who befriended David. Some treat #1 and 2 as identical. 2Sam. 10:2

         3)      There is another Nahash who is the father of David’s sister, which is rather confusing, as David’s father is Jesse and not Nahash. We will discuss this more when we come to it (however, the common explanation is, this Nahash was the original husband of David’s mother, and he sired Abigail and Zeruiah, making them David’s half-sisters). 2Sam. 17:25

2.      There is the possibility that the Nahash of 1Sam. 11 and 2Sam. 10 are one and the same. Nahash in 1Sam. 11 was a bloodthirsty monster. If that is the case, (1) there would have been a radical personality change and (2) he would have lived a long time, his career spanning the entire kingship of Saul and the first 10+ years of David’s reign..

3.      The second possibility is, there is Nahash, the King of Ammon, the enemy of Saul; and he had a son, Nahash, who became a friend of David’s. If the first Nahash was, say, 20+ years older than Saul when their paths crossed (Saul was a young man and Nahash was an established king at this time), the time frame for 2 Nahash’s would have made sense. Given the character of the first Nahash, naming his son after him would have been apropos to his own egotistical character. Furthermore, the time frame here would make perfect sense.

4.      There is an elapse of about 50 years between 1Sam. 11 and 2Sam. 10. If Nahash, the enemy of Israel, was older than Saul, then we have more than enough time for him to die, for his son (who is perhaps 20 years younger) to reign and to die as well.

5.      Do you think that God would have allowed such a cruel man—an enemy of Israel—to live so long? Also, would God have allowed such a one to preside over a prospering Ammon?

6.      Furthermore, what a sweet and grand irony it would be for such an enemy of Israel and of God (i.e., Nahash Sr.) to be replaced by a man who is a friend to David Nahash Jr.). God does appear to enjoy irony, as there is so much of it in the world.

7.      So, taking into consideration the time frame, the personalities of Nahash the elder and Nahash the younger, and the history presented (the first Nahash is a cruel enemy of Israel and the second apparently has a close relationship with David), it is most likely that are two men named Nahash, father and son, and that these are not the same man.

8.      According to Josephus, Saul killed Nahash the elder (Antiquities VI, v, 3). This would also support there being a Nahash I and Nahash II.

9.      Somehow, David crossed paths with Nahash Jr. and they became friends and allies. David, for awhile, had a good relationship with the king of Moab, entrusting his parents to him during David’s time on the run (which relationship changed dramatically as we saw in 2Sam. 8:2). Very likely, this was a result of a regime change, not unlike the one we are studying in this chapter.

         1)      ZPEB suggests1 that David’s treatment of Moab in 2Sam. 8 caused Nahash to befriend David, but that strikes me as unlikely because of the time frame. We are probably not even 10 years removed from that war. Such an act of David might have gained quick respect from the Ammonites, but not necessarily a friendship as we have here. Although this relationship is possible based upon David’s cruel treatment of the Moabites, it is unlikely in my opinion.

         2)      Others have suggested that, because Nahash was an enemy of Saul and Saul made David his enemy, that was the basis of their friendship (in other words, Nahash I = Nahash II). However, Nahash’s potentially cruel treatment of the people of Jabesh-Gilead would not have endeared Nahash I to David, whereas, Saul’s action in that situation would have garnered respect from David (David would have been a very young man when this occurred).

         3)      My theory is this: at some point during David’s run from Saul, Nahash II and David crossed paths, and they became friends (Nahash brought David and his army food or something along these lines). Nahash II may have felt badly about what his father had done, and was looking for the opportunity to patch things up with Israel. Whatever it was that happened, David did not forget this and an alliance was formed. I suspect that after Israel’s war with Moab, Nahash II began to send tribute to David without being asked for it (which is a common ancient world custom).

         4)      R. B. Thieme, Jr. suggests that David developed a friendship with Nahash when he was on the run from Saul, and that David never forgot a kindness done to him.2

10.    We are told in 2Sam. 8:12 that David received tribute from the Ammonites, and this could be understood in two ways—this was either a gloss, which took place in time after most of the incidents in 2Sam. 8 (as a result of David defeating Ammon in this chapter); or this could represent tribute paid by Nahash II to David, as was typical in those days. Weaker nations paid tribute to stronger nations with whom they are allied or before whom they have fallen in battle. This happened all of the time in the ancient world; it was a common practice.

11.    However, there is no historical narrative giving us any information about David and Nahash II, apart from this chapter. So we know that Nahash II manufactured grace toward David (2Sam. 10:2), but nothing by way of specifics besides that.

12.    Hanun, the son of Nahash the Younger, will respond to David’s graciousness with arrogance and hostility, which will result in a war which will devastate Ammon’s army. 2Sam. 10

13.    Several years down the road, another son of Nahash the Younger will treat David with graciousness, (1) out of respect for his own father and his father’s relationship to David when his father was alive; and (2) to try to correct the lousy treatment of his brother toward David’s ambassadors (2Sam. 10:3–4). When David is on the run from his son, Absalom, Shobi ben Nahash will personally bring food and supplies to David and his men. 2Sam. 17:27–29

14.    Nahash the Younger apparently learned from his father to befriend the Jews. His father made the Jews his enemies and probably died when fighting them. Nahash the Younger, rather than respond to this incident with anger and revenge, appeared to learn from it—he looked at the facts objectively, and befriended David.

15.    Similarly, Shobi, the son of Nahash, learned from Hanun his brother. Hanun treated David’s ambassadors despicably and Ammon, as a country, paid the price; so Shobi chose to go another route, and to treat David with grace.

16.    Like Mephibosheth of the previous chapter, Nahash and his sons will enter into David’s life throughout are various points, and we will learn solid spiritual lessons from these interactions.

17.    This continues to fulfill God’s promise to Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who despise you.” (Gen. 12:3a), a promise which holds true even today.

1 The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible; Merrill Tenney, ed., Zondervan Publishing House, ©1976; Vol. 4, p. 355.

2 From http://syndein.com/ii_samuel_10.html accessed December 27, 2009.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Application: So we have 2 Nahash’s and 2 different results. One Nahash cursed Israel and was filled with cruelty; and God took him down (along with the nation). His son, whom I have called Nahash II (or, Nahash, Jr.), apparently had a good relationship with David and the nation Israel, and therefore, Ammon, under him, was prosperous and lived in peace. There will be another change now; Hanun will turn against Israel, and his nation will then go into an economic spiral and be defeated militarily. So, it should be obvious that, the smart move is to befriend Israel. These are events which took place 3000 years ago, and they tell us all about how we ought to function today. The Bible is an amazing book! A study of this chapter also helps to confirm that we need to examine the Old Testament as well as the New.


Application: Most Bibles (depending upon the typeface) are around 1200–1400 pages. God did not give us a 10 page theological pamphlet upon which we are to base our entire spiritual lives. A baby believer might be able to boil down what he ought to know to about 10 pages, but God gave us a book thick with meaning, which ought to be the focus of every day of our lives. God does not necessarily expect you to spend hours buried in His Word day after day. That is the job of the pastor-teacher. However, you need about an hour’s worth of teaching every day, and it needs to come out of the Old and New Testaments.


2Samuel 10:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (שָלַח) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for [forth, away], to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth, to stretch out, to reach out

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

nâcham (נָחַם) [pronounced naw-KHAHM]

to comfort, to console, to have compassion, to show compassion

Piel infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5162 BDB #636

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yâd (יָד) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular construct

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

This combination of the bêyth preposition and hand literally means in [the] hand of; and can be rendered in the power of; by the power of; with; through, by, by means of; before, in the sight of.

ʿôbêd (עֹבֵד) [pronounced ģoh-BADE]

a slave, a servant

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5660 BDB #713

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʾâb (אָב) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household, clan or tribe; founder, civil leader, military leader

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3


Translation: Therefore David sent [an envoy] of his servants to comfort Hanun [lit., sent to comfort him by means of his servants] concerning his father. As previously discussed, David had a very good relationship with Nahash II, Hanun’s father, and was doing here what most normal people would do—convey sympathy for the loss of a loved one. David has no ulterior motive beyond this.


It is reasonable to ask, why did David send ambassadors and not go himself? There is a balance to be struck here. Because we know almost nothing about why David and Nahash II are allies. It is possible that they have not met in person but 1 or 2 times, and that much of their interaction as of late has been by ambassadors bringing David tribute. So David’s response here is proper. Our president will not attend every funeral of every world leader; however, in many cases, our president will send the secretary of state and/or the vice president to the funeral to convey the sympathy of the United States. So what we find here is a reasonable protocol.


2Samuel 10:2d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

ʿôbêd (עֹבֵד) [pronounced ģoh-BADE]

a slave, a servant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #5660 BDB #713

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular construct

Strong's #776 BDB #75

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

ʿAmmôwn (עַמּוֹן) [pronounced ģahm-MOHN]

hidden; transliterated Ammon

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #5983 BDB #769


Translation: And the servants entered the land of the sons of Ammon. The word for servant here is ʿôbêd (עֹבֵד) [pronounced ģoh-BADE], which generally means slave, servant. However, it ought to be clear that David is sending some of his top-level ambassadors to Ammon. Therefore, we need to expand the understanding of this word to include men who are simply under David’s authority.

A Map of Rabbah in Ammon

I have always found it easier to understand what is going on if you understand the geography. Ammon is east of central Israel, and their capital city, Rabbah, where David’s emissaries are going, is on the other side of the Jordan from Jerusalem, roughly the same distance from the Jordan.


This is about a 40 mile trip.

2sam_101.gif

 

From http://readingthebible365.wordpress.com/maps/ accessed January 30, 2010.


——————————


And so say chiefs of Bene-Ammon unto Hanun, their lords, “[Is] honoring David your father in your eyes because he sent to you comforters? [Has] not in a passing over search out the city, and to explore her and to overthrow her, sent David his servants unto you?”

2Samuel

10:3

And the officials of the sons of Ammon said unto Hanun, their lord, “Is David honoring your father in your eyes [simply] because he sent comforters to you? Has he not [done this] in order to [thoroughly] search out the city, to explore it [as a spy], and to overthrow it—[and this is why] David sent his ambassadors to you?”

And the state department of Ammon said to Hanun their sovereign, “Is David really honoring your father in your opinion simply because he sent comforters to you? Did not David send his ambassadors to you in order to thoroughly search out the city, for them to scope out the city as spies, and to later overthrow it?”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          The princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanon their lord: “Do you think that for the honour of thy father, David sent comforters to you, and hasn’t David rather sent his servants to you to search, and spy into the city, and overthrow it?

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so say chiefs of Bene-Ammon unto Hanun, their lords, ‘[Is] honoring David your father in your eyes because he sent to you comforters? [Has] not in a passing over search out the city, and to explore her and to overthrow her, sent David his servants unto you?

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun their lord, Do you think that David is honoring your father, that he has sent comforters to you? Has not David rather sent his servants to you to spy out the city and to explore it and to overthrow it?

Septuagint (Greek)                And the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun their lord, Is it to honor your father before you that David has sent comforters to you? Has not David rather sent his servants to you that they should search the city, and spy it out and examine it?

 

Significant differences:           In an oddity of the Hebrew, lord is in the plural, which is common. The (English translation from the) Latin moves into the city to another phrase, which is not really a problem in the translation. The moving of the phrase David sent his servants (in the Latin, Syriac and Greek) simply makes the translation sound better to our English ears.

 

According to Rotherham, one early printed edition has the land rather than the city; and then references 1Chron. 19:3, which also as the land. Footnote


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       But Hanun's officials told him, "Do you really believe David is honoring your father by sending these people to comfort you? He probably sent them to spy on our city, so he can destroy it."

Easy English (Pocock)           The leaders in Ammon said to the king, `Do not imagine that David really feels sympathy for you. He does not really want to give honour to your father. No! David has sent his servants to explore our city. They will see everything. Then David's army will be able to overcome us.'

Easy-to-Read Version            But the Ammonite leaders said to Hanun, their lord, “Do you think that David is trying to honor your father by sending some men to comfort you? No! David sent these men to secretly study and learn things about your city. They plan to make war against you.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         ...the Ammonite leaders said to the king, "Do you think that it is in your father's honor that David has sent these men to express sympathy to you? Of course not! He has sent them here as spies to explore the city, so that he can conquer us!"

The Message                         ...the Ammonite leaders warned Hanun, their head delegate, "Do you for a minute suppose that David is honoring your father by sending you comforters? Don't you think it's because he wants to snoop around the city and size it up that David has sent his emissaries to you?"

New Century Version             But the Ammonite leaders said to Hanun, their master, "Do you think David wants to honor your father by sending men to comfort you? No! David sent them to study the city and spy it out and capture it!"

New Living Translation           ...the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, their master, "Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out the city so they can come in and conquer it!"


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          However, the governors of the sons of AmMon went to their lord and asked, `Is David really sending you comforters to glorify your father, or has he really sent them as spies to look at [our fortifications]?'

Ancient Roots Translinear      The leaders of the sons of Amman said to Hanun their lord, "In your eye, does David honor your father by sending comforters to you? Is not David sending his servants to you because he questions and spies the city to transform it?"

New American Bible              ...the Ammonite princes said to their lord Hanun: "Do you think that David is honoring your father by sending men with condolences? Is it not rather to explore the city, to spy on it, and to overthrow it, that David has sent his messengers to you?"

NIRV                                      The Ammonite nobles spoke to their master 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 city over. They want to destroy it."

New Jerusalem Bible             ...the Ammonite princes said to Hanun their master, 'Do you really think David means to honour your father when he sends you messengers with sympathy? On the contrary, the reason why David has sent his representatives to you is to explore the city, to reconnoitre and so overthrow it.'

Revised English Bible            ...the Ammonite princes said to Hanun their lord, ‘Do you suppose David means to do honor to your father when he sends envoys to condole ith you? These men of his are spies whom he has sent in to find out how to overthrow the city.’

Today’s NIV                          ...the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun their lord, "Do you think David is honoring your father by sending envoys to you to express sympathy? Hasn't David sent them to you only to explore the city and spy it out and overthrow it?"


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             But the chiefs of the children of Ammon said to Hanun their lord, Does it seem to you that David is honouring your father by sending comforters to you? has he not sent his servants to go through the town and make secret observation of it, and overcome it?

HCSB                                     ...the Ammonite leaders said to Hanun their lord, "Just because David has sent men with condolences for you, do you really believe he's showing respect for your father? Instead, hasn't David sent his emissaries in order to scout out the city, spy on it, and overthrow it?"

JPS (Tanakh)                         ...the Ammonite officials said to their lord Hanun, “Do you think David is really honoring your father just because he sent you men with condolences? Why, David has sent his courtiers to you to explore and spy out the city, and to overthrow [Emendation yields “reconnoiter”; cf. Deut. 1:22 Joshua 2:2–3] it.”

Judaica Press Complete T.    And the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun their lord: "Do you think that David honors your father that he sent you comforters? Is it not in order to investigate the city and to spy it out, and to search it that David has sent his servants to you?"

NET Bible®                             ...the Ammonite officials said to their lord 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, David has sent his servants to you to get information about the city and spy on it so they can overthrow it!" [Heb "Is it not to explore the city and to spy on it and to overthrow it [that] David has sent his servants to you?"]


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun their lord, "Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Has not David sent his servants to you to search the city and to spy it out and to overthrow it?"

ExeGeses companion Bible   And the governors of the sons of Ammon

say to Hanun their adoni,

In your eyes,

is it because David honors your father,

that he sends to sigh over you?

Sends not David his servants to you

to probe the city and to spy it out and to overturn it?

Fred Miller’s Revised KJV     And the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun their lord, Do you think that David honors your father, because he has sent comforters to you? has not David rather sent his servants to you, to search the city and to spy it out and to overthrow it?

Syndein                                  Consequently, the chief ministers of the sons/people of Ammon said to Hanun . . . their lord, {the authority resides with Hanun but soon these men will use Hanun to take the power to themselves - dooming the nation in the process} "In your thinking/'In your viewpoint'/'From your standpoint' is David honoring your father, because he has sent comforters unto you? {putting doubt in the thoughts of the young king and appeals to his pride} Is it not for the purpose of making a recognizance of the city, both by spying it out . . . and overthrowing it that David has sent his embassy to you?" {Chain of Violence from Young King with Power Hungry Advisors}.

Young’s Updated LT             And the heads of the Bene-Ammon say unto Hanun their lord, “Is David honoring your father in your eyes because he has sent to you comforters? For to search the city, and to spy it, and to overthrow it, has not David sent his servants unto you?”

 

The gist of this verse:          Hanun’s ruling staff reason with Hanun, suggesting that David was not honoring him or his father, but that he was sending spies in to reconnoiter the city so that they can return and overthrow it.


2Samuel 10:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

sar (שַׂר) [pronounced sar]

chieftain, chief, ruler, official, captain, prince, leader, commander

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #8269 BDB #978

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

ʿAmmôwn (עַמּוֹן) [pronounced ģahm-MOHN]

hidden; transliterated Ammon

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #5983 BDB #769

This is often transliterated Bene-Ammon and is a common designation for this country.

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Chânûwn (חָנוּן) [pronounced khaw-NOON]

favored, gracious, graciously given; transliterated Hanun, Chanun

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #2586 BDB #337

ʾădônây (אֲדֹנָי) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]

Lord, Master, my Lord, Sovereign; can refer to the Trinity or to an intensification of the noun; transliterated Adonai

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #113 & #136 BDB #10


Translation: And the officials of the sons of Ammon said unto Hanun, their lord,... Hanun inherited a state department from his father. Unlike an election in the United States, when a president will come in with his own cabinet (with some exceptions), when a son took over his father’s place as king, much of the state department remains intact. The new king may bring in some additional personal advisors whom he trusts, but, for the most part, he inherits his fathers state department. The exception to this would be, if the son kills his father in order to wrest power from him. Then he may retain some of the members of the state department, if they were in on the conspiracy (and kill or imprison the others).


As we have studied, Hanun’s father, Nahash, has a warm and friendly relationship with David. Ammon was more or less a protectorate (so we have hypothesized) and they regularly sent tribute to David (the other option being that, because of this chapter, they sent tribute to David).


Power is an incredible drug, and some people have this great desire to exert their authority over others. Here, the state department comes in to speak to Hanun about David having sent comforters to him, and he is called their lord, which is in the intensive plural. However, they seek to exert their influence over him; they seek to tell him what to do. Even though they will not have the office of ruler, they will exert their authority over their lord, which is almost as good to them.


Also, in this mix, is their opinion of David and of Israel. These are men who are very antisemitic. They are suspicious of David and of the Jews in general. They believe that David is sneaky and underhanded, much like they are. They believe that David desires greater power, much as they do. They view David through the prism of their own eyes, and their own shortcomings and naked power ambitions, they attribute to him.


Some of these men in Hanun’s state department could be very sincere. They could have honest concern about David sending spies into their country. However, the emphasis here is upon getting Hanun, their king, to do what they want him ot do. They do not sit around and discuss the likelihood of David sending in men to spy out his country and review their history with David; they are going to make a power play here, to exercise control over their own king, and for these men, this trumps everything, including the truth.


Application: You need to always have a healthy suspicion of those who are in power. Some of them are there for the power alone, and they desire to exert more and more of it. Even more disturbing is when ideologues come into power. They make choices and do things according to their ideology—many even with the thinking that this will make things better—and they are unable to change course, despite all that they see around them. They have the power and they have the ideology, and so they put these 2 to work. This is Hanun’s state department—their ideology teaches them that Jews in general, and David in particular, are sneaky, underhanded people. This ideology permeates all that they do and overrides any evidence to the contrary. They have the power to influence the ruler of Ammon to see things as they do. Notice that this combination of power and ideology is going to be the downfall of Ammon.


Application: We have the same thing going on today (2009) in the United States. We have an executive branch filled with amateur ideologues and a legislative branch filled with a variety of ideologues, and none of them seem to understand the founding principles of our country or what made our country great. They see rich and powerful men as their enemies; they see large corporations as evil (unless these corporations agree with them), and just as Hanun here influenced by his state department slandering David, so has our government and nation been colored by our politicians slandering big business, Wall Street, insurance companies and even doctors. They, like Hanun’s state department, are filled with anger and ideology and power lust; and now they are exerting this over our nation. It is a most amazing thing to watch.


Application: We ought to have a healthy suspicion of anyone in power, even if we think that they agree with us. Having a position of power does not make a person evil; but, particularly in a democracy (actually, a democratic republic), it is best for us to keep our eyes on those in power and to consider their actions.


The more that you understand about the Bible, the more you see that it has application to today.


Application: Our founding fathers understood the Bible, the nature of man and the lure of power. This is why they set up a constitution with checks and balances in who holds power, and a system with is, in some people’s opinion, unwieldy when it comes to getting things done. This was by design. You may personally believe that Barrack Obama is the most kind and benevolent man in human history to occupy the presidency (or whomever is in power when you read this), and you may want everyone to stop opposing him and let him get his agenda through. That was not how our constitution was designed. Our founding fathers understood the heart of man, that it is evil and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:6), and that this power needs to be kept in check by a Congress, some of whom will be voted out of office after only 2 years; and that this power needs to be kept in check by a Supreme Court, who rules on the constitutionality of the law passed; and that this power needs to be kept in check by both the states and the people who are governed. So, even though our Commander-in-Chief may be a wonderful man with great ideas and plans, he may also be a wolf in sheep’s clothing; or an ideologue with no understanding of the truth; and his power is kept in check by the other power spheres.


Application: We learn much of this in the Old and New Testaments. We learn about the heart of man throughout Scripture. We learned about the spiritual life in the epistles. We learn about government and world rulers in Rom. 9, in portions of the book of Acts and in Samuel and Kings and Chronicles. We learn about changing political circumstances throughout these same books and chapters. Since these things change dramatically, we must also be able, as believers in Jesus Christ, to adapt to these changes. In the United States, we have been moving closer and closer to a welfare state with a guaranteed safety net for all citizens of the United States. Despite the fact that this is evil, we must know how to deal with it, and what our lives ought to be as believers in this system. We learn all of this through the Word of God.


2Samuel 10:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hă (הֲ) [pronounced heh]

interrogative particle which acts almost like a piece of punctuation, like the upside-down question mark which begins a Spanish sentence. The verb to be may be implied.

Strong’s #none BDB #209

kâbêd (כָבֵד) [pronounced kawb-VADE]

to make heavy, to make insensible; to honor, to do honor to

Piel participle

Strong's #3513 BDB #457

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾâb (אָב) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household, clan or tribe; founder, civil leader, military leader

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʿêynayim (עֵינַיִם) [pronounced ģay-nah-YIM]

eyes, two eyes, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes; face, appearance, form; surface

feminine plural noun with the 2nd person singular suffix

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

This phrase is literally in your eyes, but it can be translated in your opinion, in your estimation, to your way of thinking, as you see [it]. The dual and plural forms of this word appear to be identical.

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

shâlach (שָלַח) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for [forth, away], to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth, to stretch out, to reach out

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

nâcham (נָחַם) [pronounced naw-KHAHM]

comforters, consolers, those having [showing] compassion

masculine plural, Piel participle

Strong’s #5162 BDB #636


Translation:...“Is David honoring your father in your eyes [simply] because he sent comforters to you? The first thing which Hanun’s state department does is question David’s motives, but, you will notice, they state this in such a way as to make it sound as if Hanun, by his own perception, recognizes this. They use the phrase in your eyes, which means in your opinion, as you see it, in your estimation. So even though this is their opinion which they will give to Hanun, they will make it sound as if he himself thought this through and figured out that David’s comforters were there as a ruse. Hanun’s state department is thinking circles around him.


Hanun’s state department see this act by David as a sign of weakness. They treat this act of grace as if David is no longer strong and powerful. If they are paying tribute to Israel, they make the determination that, David is unable to enforce that, because he is weak. However, courtesy and grace should never be mistaken for weakness or cowardice.

Comment

Lying, dishonesty and deception take many forms. Here, these men misrepresent David’s intentions to their king—intentions which they do not know—and there is no discussion. No one says, let’s think about this for a moment; David had a good relationship with your father, Nahash, for decades; and David is known throughout the world as a man of honor.


Application: Have you every heard the phrase the debate is over; or, there is no need for us to debate this any more. That is what has happened here. Enough of these state department types have convinced Hanun of David’s insincerity, so that is not up for debate. I write this in 2009, and at this time, man-caused global warming is a big issue, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Those who believe in this keep saying, this is settled science; the debate is over. However, it is coming out that much of this science is based up the tree rings of only 3 trees. Much of the original data has been destroyed and all that remains is data which has been manipulated (ideally, it has been manipulated scientifically; but now there are great doubts about that). The end result is, we have great dishonesty in this branch of the scientific community, which bleeds into all other areas (people today are suspicious of the H1N1 flu virus shot in numbers never seen before). What we have in this movement are those who desire power, and they are willing to use a false science based upon corrupted data in order to advance their policies.


Application: The use of this phrase the debate is over is designed to take over control of this or that; once someone has proclaimed that the debate is settled, then they want to go about with laws and regulations which will bring about their own desires (oft times, the end result ends up filling up their pockets with gold). We have a former vice president who has become incredibly rich as a result of global warming; and I suspect, of all members of any administration, that he has increased his wealth by a greater factor than anyone in the past.


Application: Power over truth is the oldest connection in the realm of corruption; if you will recall, Satan sought power over the first man and the first woman through deception. Today, we have the same thing with the global warming movement. And, what are supposed to be purveyors of truth—our newspapers—walk in lock-step with this movement. During the Climate Change conference in Copenhagen a month ago, there were demonstrators in favor of doing something about climate change. However, many of them carried Communists signs and banners, and our news organizations here all but ignored this. In fact, one week, I went looking for pictures of these demonstrators carrying Communist signs, and I could not find any. Apparently, no newspaper thought that this was important or newsworthy. Or, more likely, they realized that if Americans see how closely allied the Climate Change Fanatics were with Communism, it might give them pause. Therefore, there is very little news on this alliance. Footnote Again, this is a manipulation of the truth, by those who are supposed to be telling us the truth; and their desire is to have control over us.


2Samuel 10:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hă (הֲ) [pronounced heh]

interrogative particle which acts almost like a piece of punctuation, like the upside-down question mark which begins a Spanish sentence. The verb to be may be implied.

Strong’s #none BDB #209

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

Hă lôʾ together expect an affirmative answer. In fact, these two words together present a question with an obvious, self-evident answer.

baʿăbûwr (בַּעֲבוּר) [pronounced bah-ģub-VOOR]

because of, for, that, for the sake of, on account of, in order that; while

preposition/conjunction; substantive always found combined with the bêyth preposition

Strong’s #5668 BDB #721

Actually a combination of the bêyth preposition (in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before) and ʿâbûwr (עֲבוּר) [pronounced ģawv-BOOR] which means a passing over, a transition; the cause of a crossing over; the price [of transferring ownership of something]; purpose, objective. Properly, it is the passive participle of Strong’s #5674 BDB #720. Strong’s #5668 BDB #721.

châqar (חָקַר) [pronounced khaw-KAHR]

to search out, to search for, to investigate, to thoroughly investigate

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #2713 BDB #350

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʿîyr (עִיר) [pronounced ģeer]

encampment, city, town

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #5892 BDB #746

1Chron. 19:3 and one early printed edition has the land here instead of the city. Footnote Ordinarily, if this were one errant manuscript, comment would not be necessary; however, this is in the parallel passage, which prompts us to ask, which did they say? It may seem like a minor point, but we cannot have one passage of the Bible saying one thing and another passage saying something entirely different. What makes the most sense to me is, Hanun has several underlings talking to him, and one says, “They’re here to spy out the city” and another says, “They are here to spy out the land.”


Translation: Has he not [done this] in order to [thoroughly] search out the city,... I have split the rest of this up into phrases, and, in order to preserve the separation of these phrases, I will have to insert a few extra words. However, by moving the final phrase up to here, these extra words are not needed (we will see this at the end of v. 3).


David has sent some men to Hanun to express his own sympathy concerning the death of Hanun’s father, Nahash. Hanun’s state department suggest they have been sent to thoroughly search out the city.


2Samuel 10:3d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

râgal (רָגַל) [pronounced raw-GAHL]

to move the feet, to foot it, to tread, to go about, to go about as an explorer, to go about as a spy, to go on foot to scope something out; to slander

Piel infinitive construct with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #7270 BDB #920


Translation: ...to explore it [as a spy],... As these comforters of David walk through Rabbah, the capitol city of Ammon, these advisors to Hanun believe that they are mapping out the city and determining how and where they ought to attack.


Now, it is unclear as to whether this is what Hanun’s state department really believes. The treatment of David’s ambassadors will belie these words.


2Samuel 10:3e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

hâphake (הָפַך׃) [pronounced haw-FAHKe]

to turn [as a cake, a dish, one’s hand or side], to turn oneself; to turn back, to flee; to overturn, to overthrow [e.g., cities]; to convert, to change; to pervert, to be perverse

Qal infinitive construct with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #2015 BDB #245

shâlach (שָלַח) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for [forth, away], to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth, to stretch out, to reach out

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʿôbêd (עֹבֵד) [pronounced ģoh-BADE]

a slave, a servant

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5660 BDB #713

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39


Translation: ...and to overthrow it... Hanun’s advisors suggest to him that these men are there to search out the city, to map it out, so that David can return with an army to overthrow it. Exactly what they are warning against, they will cause.


Again, we don’t know if this is what these men really believe or not. The actions which Hanun will take is not how one ought to deal with spies entering into one’s country. Whether this is Hanun’s complete incompetence or the insincerity of his cabinet, we do not know.


2Samuel 10:3f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

shâlach (שָלַח) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for [forth, away], to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth, to stretch out, to reach out

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʿôbêd (עֹבֵד) [pronounced ģoh-BADE]

a slave, a servant

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5660 BDB #713

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39


Translation: ...—[and this is why] David sent his ambassadors to you?” Hanun’s advisors claim that this is why David sent these men—they are not here to comfort Hanun, but to walk through their city and to take mental notes, so that David can come back and destroy the city.


You will notice that, in order to maintain the word order, I have to insert several words: And the officials of the sons of Ammon said unto Hanun, their lord, “Is David honoring your father in your eyes [simply] because he sent comforters to you? Has he not [done this] in order to [thoroughly] search out the city, to explore it [as a spy], and to overthrow it—[and this is why] David sent his ambassadors to you?” However, we can make this all come out nice and easy to understand, simply by moving this final phrase up to the beginning of this particular question (which most English translations do): And the state department of Ammon said to Hanun their sovereign, “Is David really honoring your father in your opinion simply because he sent comforters to you? Did not David send his ambassadors to you in order to thoroughly search out the city, for them to scope out the city as spies, and to later overthrow it? This can be understood in either translation; but the second requires fewer additions to make this sound good in English.


So far, our passage reads: After these things, it came to pass that the king of Ammon died and his son Hanun reigned instead of him. And so, David said, “I will manufacture grace toward Hanun, the son of Nahash, just as his father manufactured grace toward me.” Therefore, David sent his ambassadors to comfort Hanun concerning his father. And the ambassadors entered into the land of the Ammonites. And the state department of Ammon said to Hanun their sovereign, “Is David really honoring your father in your opinion simply because he sent comforters to you? Did not David send his ambassadors to you in order to thoroughly search out the city, for them to scope out the city as spies, and to later overthrow it?” (2Sam. 10:1–3).

The Pettiness of Hanun and his State Department

1.      What David does here is an act of grace. Petty people do not understand grace because they never act in grace. Hanun’s state department assumes that David is up to something or is attempting to manipulate them in some way.

2.      Petty people are unable to understand honorable motivation and gracious acts. They look at everything as it relates to them, and grace and honor are outside of their own modus operandi.

3.      Hanun’s state department is petty, and they are unable to understand the thinking or actions of a great man.

4.      Hannun’s state department is jealous of Israel and their prosperity (probably because they are paying them tribute) and the Ammonite people have developed hatred for the people of Israel.

         1)      We see much of this today in class warfare.

         2)      We have overpaid teachers, police and firefighters all over the United States; however, because they see someone who is much richer, and contributes to their salary, they believe that they are entitled to even more wealth.

         3)      Public unions have ginned up a great deal of anger, and we find huge numbers of state workers marching about, causing damage to capitol buildings, and screaming slogans (I write this in 2011).

         4)      These are people who are involved in what are traditionally honorable professions, but they have become jealous of riches, and want more, no matter what the effect this has upon their own state treasury.

         5)      Hanun’s state department is going to egg Hanun on to treat this gracious envoy from David shamefully, with the result that it will destroy the very nation that they head. Even though these are leaders, they have no ability to see the big picture.

         6)      We live in a time of budgetary madness, where our debt threatens to undo us, and politicians are only able to see as far as the next election cycle.

         7)      Let me give you a contemporary example from the Republican side. Many Republicans think that they must agree to raise the debt ceiling, even though they are calling for balancing the budget. At the time that I write this (1May 2011) this is being debated. The simplest approach would be to simply vote against raising the debt ceiling. That would result in a defacto balanced budget amendment. That would force the president to fund only those things for which he has the income to fund. Our country would do fine for weeks or even months with such a defacto balanced budget. However, my fear is, too many Republicans will vote to raise the debt ceiling and they will get very little in exchange for it.

         8)      Just as the state department of Ammon is short-sighted about the welfare of their own country, the same is true of most of our politicians.

5.      Whatever treaty was in place between David and Ammon would have been up for review because Ammon is now under this new administration.

6.      It is clear that this state department is rejecting their alliance with David.

7.      Pettiness of soul often results in sins of the tongue. Ammon’s state department beings to malign David. They incorrectly evaluate his motivation and then they malign him.

8.      Petty people reveal their own petty thinking when they malign the genuine motivation of others. They reveal what is in their own minds. They accuse David of the sort of thing that they would do.

         1)      We have observed this in American politics. Democrats have accused the TEA party (a grassroots movement which wants to see a reduction of government and government spending) of racism. They impute their own thinking to others.

         2)      Any group which wants to see racial preferences of any sort is racist. They see the racial group that is favored as inferior and unable to advance in life without their help.

         3)      Democrats accused FoxNews of receiving faxes of talking points from the Republican White House each day; and it turns out that, there was a large group of journalists who participated in a conference call each morning to receive liberal talking points (in a story which was almost completely ignored by the traditional media).

         4)      So, when these administrators of Ammon observe David doing something gracious, it is outside of their realm of experience, so they assigned to David evil motivation and ulterior motives.

9.      Because petty people are envious of others, they impugn the motivations of David in order to make themselves look good by comparison. However, it is these men in the state department who have all of the hidden motivations of evil.

10.    Petty people often employ strawman arguments. A strawman is a position or a motivation that someone else doesn’t really have, but petty people portray them as having this position or motivation. Then they attack he straw man and tear it down.

         1)      Politics is rife with such strawman arguments. President Obama used strawman arguments continually in his run for the presidency: "There seems to be a set of folks who -- I don't doubt their sincerity -- who just believe that we should do nothing."1

         2)      Other Obama examples: he said that America's economic difficulties resulted when "regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market."2 Here, he both imputes evil motivation to an implied perpetrator of such a gutting.

         3)      He has also said: "I reject the view that . . . says government has no role in laying the foundation for our common prosperity."2 Something which no one has ever said.

         4)      Hanun’s state department is intentionally giving a false impression of who David is and what his true motivation is. Therefore, they end up looking pretty good, by comparison. However, they are not really comparing themselves to David, but to their lying portrayal of him.

11.    Like many politicians, Hanun’s state department does not look into the future to see the harsh consequences of this bad advice. They either suffered a failure of imagination or they misjudged David terrible. It did not occur to them that David would bring his army into Ammon and take down Rabbah, their capitol city.

12.    Because they are arrogant, they are unable to see the consequences of their actions.

         1)      When I write this in 2011, it is abundantly clear that we have a president who is arrogant in the extreme. Because he has never run a business, had to make payroll, or lay anyone off, he has no idea as to the consequences of his actions. He sees himself as always being right; he is unable to see the other side of the argument, and has assumed that his programs and policies will have good results. His arrogance blinds him to the unintended consequences of liberalism.

         2)      This president has been quite effective in moving our country far to the left; far more than any president in my lifetime.

13.    Ammon’s state department knows what David did to the Philistines and to the Edomites. They are familiar with David as an army commander. David conquered the Moabites, the Jebusites, the Edomites, and he could conquer them just as well. They view David as being weak because he sends this envoy of grace.

14.    An arrogant person often tries to gain power by being the advisor. If he is not a leader, then he wants to be the 2nd best thing—he wants to have the ear of the leader. The person who has the ear of the president is very powerful indeed.

15.    The advice of Hanun’s state department is offered up only to gain more power for themselves; however, they are taking their own country in a terrible and even suicidal direction.

         1)      There is a very close coterie of advisors to President Barrack Obama, most of whom are ideologues and in far over their heads.

         2)      Nahash kept the arrogance of his state department in check. If they offered up a goofy idea, he would shoot it down and give the reason why.

         3)      However, it is obvious that, if this was Nahash’s state department, that he was clearly able to hear opposing points of view.

         4)      On the other hand, Nahash’s son, Hanun, does not have the intelligence and the common sense to understand what he is doing here. He is manipulated into a course of action which will destroy his country.

         5)      Let’s use the example of, say, these 3 kids bully another kid, and they egg each other on in this bullying. It may not occur to them that this little kid has a big brother, or perhaps, 2 or 3 big brothers, who will step in and kick their asses.

16.    These ministers of state wanted to send our their own ambassadors to Israel, in order to spy out the country, so that they might defeat the Jewish army. They are judging David by their own ideas; by their own motivation. This is what they would do. When you judge others, your opinion of their motivations reveals your own inner thinking.

17.    The members of this state department are arrogant and jealous; and so they impute this thinking onto David.

18.    Furthermore, because they are arrogant, they lack imagination and they are very short-sighted.

19.    Their arrogance, pettiness and short-sightedness will result in the bankruptcy of Ammon. Does this remind you of any other country that we know?

1 From http://www.gop.gov/wtas/09/02/11/washington-post-criticizes-obamas accessed May 1, 2011.

2 From http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123561484923478287.html accessed May 1, 2011.


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Again, our passage reads: After these things, it came to pass that the king of Ammon died and his son Hanun reigned instead of him. And so, David said, “I will manufacture grace toward Hanun, the son of Nahash, just as his father manufactured grace toward me.” Therefore, David sent his ambassadors to comfort Hanun concerning his father. And the ambassadors entered into the land of the Ammonites. And the state department of Ammon said to Hanun their sovereign, “Is David really honoring your father in your opinion simply because he sent comforters to you? Did not David send his ambassadors to you in order to thoroughly search out the city, for them to scope out the city as spies, and to later overthrow it?” (2Sam. 10:1–3).

The Mental Attitude Sins of Hanun’s State Department

1.      The new king apparently has no frame of reference with which to understand David. Furthermore, he has no imagination—he does not consider the mess that he is going to get himself into.

2.      Hanun talks to his ministers about what to do about David’s graciousness. They do not understand or relate to grace. They all perceive David’s graciousness as weakness.

3.      Grace can only be understood by people who have a framework for grace in their own souls. Niether Hanun nor those in his state department see David’s act as gracious; they appear to perceive it as being obsequious, and therefore weak.

4.      Hanun’s state department have a lust for power and for recognition. They want to go home and tell their friends and loved ones, “King Hanun is a good man, but he does not quite see the big picture yet. However, we explained it to him. As a result, we aren’t going to be paying any more tribute to Israel.”

5.      People who lack honor are confused by honorable motivation; their own arrogance blinds them.

6.      A desire for greater power, a lack of personal integrity, along with a resentment of Israel (a mental attitude sin) will cause Hanun and his state department to make decisions which will result in the ruin of Ammon.

7.      Wherever we find jealousy, we often find pettiness as well. The ministers of Ammon are both petty and jealous. As a consequence, these ministers of Ammon impugn David’s motivation and speak malevolently about him.

8.      Furthermore—and this is something which we see in the Middle East all the time—these ministers of Hanun have a hatred toward the Jews. They may believe that it has a solid basis—like the Jews collecting tribute from them—but they are only looking to justify mental attitude sins. Today, those in the Middle East hate Israel for some perceived maltreatment of the Palestinians or because they believe Jews to be descended from dogs, pigs and monkeys (really; here too) (or vice versa; also here).

9.      Because Hanun’s state department is filled with jealousy and hatred, they have a deep desire to humiliate David and to conquer the Jews.

10.    Furthermore, they make judgments on the thinking of David based upon how they think Therefore, because this state department would desire to send their own ambassadors into Israel to do reconnaissance, they assume that is what David is doing here.

11.    When we judge others, we reveal our own thinking and motivation.

         1)      A few years ago, Democrats accused Fox News of getting their talking points from the Republican White House (see here, here, here and here).

         2)      Since then, it was discovered that literally hundreds of journalists were receiving talking points nearly every day from the left (here, here and here).

12.    Because of their hatred, their arrogance, their pettiness and their jealousy, Hanun and his state department work each other up to formulate a conspiracy against David and against Israel.

13.    The end result would be, these evil and arrogant men would die horrible deaths when at war with Israel or they will end up as slaves for the rest of their lives. This would also be the fate of their own subjects.


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Application: We have had numerous examples of this over these past few years in American politics (from 2008–2010). Media types, who are, for all intents and purposes, shills for the Democratic party, accuse FoxNews for being a shill for the Republican party. Many of them have accused FoxNews commentators (like Bill O’Reilly) of getting their news from talking points faxed to them from Republican leaders. It has since come out that there are Democratic talking points sent out to media types regularly (and it has been going on for a long time). So when someone you barely know accuses you of something outlandish, recognize that they are likely guilty of exactly what they accuse you of (or, in the very least, they want to do what they accuse you of doing).

 

One commentator writes, It's hard to explain why these advisers to Hanun said this to the king of Ammon. It's possible that they genuinely suspected David, or they may have just used this as a way to appear wise and cunning to King Hanun. It is common for liars to always suspect others of lying. Footnote Another suggests that David’s harsh treatment of Moab in 2Sam. 8:2 may have caused Hanun’s state department to react in this way. Footnote I believe that both of these commentators miss the boat here.


Power lust is not a lust which all people have, and, sometimes if you do not have a particular lust, it is hard to relate to those who have it. These are probably Nahash’s state department, inherited by his son, and there is going to be a tug of war for power and control. They know he is king and none of them will be king; but, they can always be a part of the shadow government—the ones who make the big decisions. Here is the test for them; the new king is grieving over his father, and this state department attempts to influence his decision. They try to lead him by the nose.


Furthermore, do not underestimate the power of negative volition. Even though Nahash was friendly with David, this does not mean that his state department was. Nahash was probably a believer in Jehovah Elohim; whereas those in his state department were not. However, they did not reveal their unbelief or disagree with Nahash, when they found out that was futile. I had a situation like this in a department where I taught. A new department head had taken over and some of those below her began to gossip and malign me, as they had always done in the past. This new department head set them straight that this was not going to occur any more, and apparently embarrassed them in front of other members of the department. These women did not curb their mental attitude sins toward me, but they kept their verbal sins under control, just waiting for the opportunity to act on their mental attitude sins in the future. We may reasonably suppose this was the state department under David. David was the representative of Jehovah Elohim to them, and they hated God, and therefore, they ran down David, until Nahash told them, in no uncertain terms, “Shut the hell up.” So they held their peace for years. Now, they can let it all out. They hate God; they hate David. However, rather than come out expressing their hatred clearly, they attack David a different way. “Don’t you think these might be spies? Don’t you think David is sending these men to spy out Ammon to later destroy it?” I can testify to such a scenario, because this played out in one of the department’s where I worked. Evil conspirators were told to shut the hell up, but once they got into a position of power, they let out all of their anger and frustration.


When you combine power lust with mental attitude sins and negative volition toward God, you have a potent mix. It is going to become clear, as we continue in this chapter, that Ammon will go from being a prosperous nation to being a nation which is financially devastated and militarily defeated—all because of these men who hate God, who hate David and who desire power.


Application: I write this in 2010 and one of the most arrogant politicians I have known in my lifetime is our president. A thoughtful man like him had no business even running for president, because he lacked any real world experience; and yet he ran, in arrogance, desirous of the power. He has no understanding of the free enterprise system, and no one in his cabinet does either (just as no one in Hanun’s state department understood Israel’s place in history or David’s graciousness). President Obama has never had to run a business before; he has never had to make a payroll before; he has never really faced difficult decisions before. Suddenly, this man without a clear understanding of reality, without any leadership skills or experience, is the most powerful man in the world. The results of his decisions are going to be very destructive to America, just as these decisions made by Hanun, encouraged by his state department, will be very destructive to his country Ammon. In 5 years, Ammon will be transformed from a peaceful and prosperous nation to a nation devastated by war and economic crisis.


Application: What is the key? What is the solution? Believers are the solution in the United States. This does not call for political action, although some believers will be moved to be politically active. This does not call for a new political movement, even though, in a Democracy, part of our responsibility as believers is to be reasonably knowledgeable and vote according to principle. But the true key is Bible doctrine in the souls of as many believers as possible. Why are we not cast into hell? My personal sins condemn me to hell, along with my sin nature and my position in Adam. There is no good thing in me. But, God looks on me and sees His Son, because I am in Christ. Because I have believed in Jesus Christ, I stand justified and righteous before God. So, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, I will not be thrown into the Lake of Fire. Similarly, if we have God’s truth in our souls, God will vindicate this truth. God loves the other members of the Trinity and He loves truth. Our deliverance in time is based upon the truth in our souls. If there are a significant number of mature believers in a national entity, God will not allow that national entity to go down.


Application: When you have doctrine in your soul, it is not difficult to choose the best candidate, even if there is no D or R by their name. You simply listen to the candidates. If they demonize this or that group or promise to take money from this or that set of people, you know they are lying, power-hungry politicians. If they promise to give you something of nothing, as long as you vote for them, you know they are lying, power-hungry politicians. If they promise to take money and resources from those who work for it and give it to those who do not, you know they are lying, power-hungry politicians. Bible doctrine in the soul tells you who these people are, without doing extensive research. Many of them, you can hear one time, and that is enough to tell you who they are. They might fool 60% of the electorate, but their lies and empty promises are apparent to those who know the Word of God and who know what man is like.


Application: Chapters like this in the Bible are fantastic. We will never be able to go behind the scenes and by a fly on the wall for meetings between Barrack Obama, Robert Gibbs, Rahm Emanuel and Eric Holder, but we are behind the scenes here in a meeting between Hanun and his state department, and this meeting tells us what we need to know about politicians and their state departments today. Here, we observe David being wrongfully demonized. In today’s political scene, we hear bankers and Wall Street workers being castigated and demonized. It is all the same thing. It is a lust for power. It is a set of mental attitude sins (jealousy, negative volition toward God, anger, implacability, self righteousness).


This is one of the many amazing chapters in the Word of God. We understand what man is in chapters like this; we understand the higher echelons of power in chapters like this. Man hasn’t changed; man hasn’t evolved. The heart of man in the time of David is like the heart of man today. Our hope is in Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever. Our stability is in Him and our blessing is in Him. We are able to appropriate this through His Word. We are able to know Him through His Word.


——————————


And so seizes Hanun servants of David and so he shaves off half of their beard and so he cuts off their garments in the middle as far as their buttocks and so he sends them away.

2Samuel

10:4

Therefore, Hanun seized the ambassadors of David and shaved off half of their beard and cut off their garments in the middle up to their buttocks and then dismissed them.

Therefore, Hanun seized David’s ambassadors and shaved off half of each man’s beard and cut off their garments in the middle up to their waist, and then he threw them out of his palace.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          Wherefore Hanon took the servants of David, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut away half of their garments even to the buttocks, and sent them away.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so seizes Hanun servants of David and so he shaves off half of their beard and so he cuts off their garments in the middle as far as their buttocks and so he sends them away.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Wherefore Hanun took David's servants and shaved off the one-half of their beards and cut off their garments in the middle as far as their buttocks, and sent them away.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Hanun took the servants of David, and shaved their beards, and cut off their garments in the midst as far as their haunches, and sent them away.

 

Significant differences:           The Greek does not indicate that only half of their beards are shaved off. No other differences are noted.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Hanun arrested David's officials and had their beards shaved off on one side of their faces. He had their robes cut off just below the waist, and then he sent them away.

Easy English (Pocock)           So Hanun took David's servants. He shaved off half of each man's beard. He cut off their clothes level with their bottoms. Then Hanun sent them away. They were ashamed.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Hanun seized David's messengers, shaved off one side of their beards, cut off their clothes at the hips, and sent them away.

The Message                         So Hanun seized David's men, shaved off half their beards, cut off their robes halfway up their buttocks, and sent them packing.

New Century Version             So Hanun arrested David's officers. To shame them he shaved off half their beards and cut off their clothes at the hips. Then he sent them away.

New Life Bible                        So Hanun took David's servants and cut off half the hair from their faces. Then he cut off half their clothing, almost up to the belt, and sent them away.

New Living Translation           So Hanun seized David's ambassadors and shaved off half of each man's beard, cut off their robes at the buttocks, and sent them back to David in shame.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So then, AnNon took David's servants, shaved their beards, cut off their uniforms to their hips, and sent them away.

 

od’s Word                            So Hanun took David's men, shaved off half of each man's beard, cut off their clothes from the waist down, and sent them away.

New American Bible              Hanun, therefore, seized David's servants and, after shaving off half their beards and cutting away the lower halves of their garments at the buttocks, sent them away.

NIRV                                      So Hanun grabbed hold of David's men. He shaved off half of each man's beard. He cut their clothes off just below the waist and left them half naked. Then he sent them away.

New Jerusalem Bible             Whereupon Hanun seized David's representatives, shaved off half their beards, cut their clothes off halfway up, at their buttocks, and sent them away.

Revised English Bible            So Hanun took David’s servants, shaved off half their beards and cut off half their garments up to the buttocks, and then dismissed them.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             So Hanun took David's servants, and after cutting off half the hair on their chins, and cutting off the skirts of their robes up to the middle, he sent them away.

JPS (Tanakh)                         So Hanun seized David’s courtiers, clipped off one side of their beards and cut away half of their garments at the buttocks, and sent them off.

NET Bible®                             So Hanun seized David's servants and shaved off half of each one's beard. He cut the lower part of their robes off so that their buttocks were exposed [Heb "and he cut their robes in the middle unto their buttocks."], and then sent them away.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      So Hanun took David's servants and shaved off half the beard of each and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away.

Green’s Literal Translation    And Hanun took David's servants and shaved off half of their beards, and cut off their long robes in the center, to their buttocks; and he sent them away.

LTHB                                     And Hanun took David's servants and shaved off half of their beards, and cut off their long robes in the center, to their buttocks; and he sent them away.

Syndein                                  Therefore Hanun violently seized David's embassy/ambassadors, and shaved off the one half of their beards, {a great insult in this day - like branding someone} and cut off their upper garments in the middle above their buttocks {meaning that they were naked from the waist down and had to walk back to Jerusalem in this state - a great indignity}, and sent them away.

Young’s Updated LT             And Hanun takes the servants of David, and shaves off the half of their beard, and cuts off their long robes in the midst—unto their buttocks, and sends them away.

 

The gist of this verse:          Hanun humiliates the delegation sent by David to comfort him. He shaves off half of their beards and cuts off their garments so that they look ridiculous.


2Samuel 10:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take from, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize, to take possession of; to send after, to fetch, to bring; to receive

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

Chânûwn (חָנוּן) [pronounced khaw-NOON]

favored, gracious, graciously given; transliterated Hanun, Chanun

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #2586 BDB #337

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʿôbêd (עֹבֵד) [pronounced ģoh-BADE]

a slave, a servant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #5660 BDB #713

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: Therefore, Hanun seized the ambassadors of David... We do not know how many ambassadors David sent. Since this is in the plural and not the dual, we may assume 3 or more. This is a perfect example of a metonym. Hanun does not personally seize one ambassador and then seize the next and then seize the next. He gives the orders, and his royal guards grab these men, probably 2 or 3 guards for each of David’s men. Hanun gives the orders, but as influenced by his state department. Since he gives the orders and since he is in charge, he is the one responsible.


Application: In your job, you may have pressure from above or below to get you to do this or that thing; but, at the point at which you make the decision to do that thing, and carry it out, it is all on you. Hanun’s state department cannot, apart from Hanun, treat these men like dirt. Hanun has to give the order, and he did. Therefore, this is all on him. Hanun, most likely, does absolutely nothing in this verse, except give the orders. However, the responsibility for what is done here is on him. Down the road in time, Hanun’s brother will meet David with supplies when David is in need, an act which required him to order some men around, and an act which was probably criticized and objected to. However, it was the right thing to do. Here, Hanun makes the wrong decision, gives orders which are wrong-headed, and so, the Bible assigned the blame to him, as he is in charge.


Application: Hanun’s responsibility in this matter is recorded for all time in the eternal Word of God. If you have any authority at all, you have to be careful as to the exercise of your authority.


2Samuel 10:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

gâlach (גָּלַח) [pronounced gaw-LAKH]

to shave [one’s beard or head], to shave off, to cut off; to shave oneself; metaphorically to shave [a land by fire and sword], to devastate

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #1548 BDB #164

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

chătsîy (חֲצִי) [pronounced khuh-TSEE]

half, middle

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #2677 BDB #345

zâqân (זָקָן) [pronounced zaw-KAWN]

chin, beard, the bearded chin [of a man]

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #2206 BDB #278


Translation: ...and shaved off half of their beard... Again, although the verbs are in the 3rd person masculine singular, all referring back to Hanun, he may or may not have actually taken part in the shaving of these men’s beards. However, he gave the order, and, therefore, the blame is on his shoulders.


The masculine singular construct is in the singular, as is beard. However, affixed to beards is the 3rd person masculine plural suffix. This means that each man had half of his beard shaved off.


Throughout the Bible are cultural references which have particular meaning for that period of time, and ought to be interpreted in accordance with that time. At this period of time (as others), the beard was a symbol of manhood, virility, and, in some places, freedom (as slaved were often compelled to shave their beards as a token of servitude). Hanun was treating these ambassadors with contempt and intentionally exposing them to great ridicule. Footnote


2Samuel 10:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

kârath (כָּרַת) [pronounced kaw-RAHTH]

to cut off, to cut down; to kill, to destroy; to make a covenant

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3772 BDB #503

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

medev (מֶדֶו) [pronounced MEH-dehv]

garment

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #4063 BDB #551

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

chătsîy (חֲצִי) [pronounced khuh-TSEE]

half, middle

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2677 BDB #345

ʿad (עַד) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

shêth (שֵת) [pronounced shayth]

seat, buttocks

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #8357 BDB #1059


Translation: ...and cut off their garments in the middle up to their buttocks... Unlike the singular beard in v. 4c, garments is in the plural, because these men wore more than one garment each, and what were cut off below the waist. How I envision this is, their garments were cut off so that these mem were wearing something a bit more racy than hot pants or mini-skirts, which is a great insult and humiliation, even more so in the ancient world.


Hanun’s approach here is interesting. Even though his cabinet got him going by suggesting that these men were there to spy out the land, this is not how a king would treat a spy. He might interrogate him or jail him, but Hanun chose instead to humiliate these men. This suggests that Hanun was, to some extent, a real ass here, using the influence of his advisors to guide him, but then not really dealing with this situation appropriately. How do I explain this? Because Hanun is in charge, he can do whatever he wants with these men. He does not choose to treat them as enemy combatants or as spies. He simply chooses to humiliate them. Now, either this man does not really believe that these ambassadors are spies, or, he is so arrogant, as to treat them this way and then to cut them loose, so as to tell David, “So, how do you like me now, David?”


Application: North Korea is a modern-day example. 2 media reporters wandered over into North Korean territory and were seized and accused of being spies. Now, whether these young women did this on purpose or not is not at issue, but the mentality of the North Korean government is. They did not torture these women, per se; they did not physically harm them in order to gain intelligence from them. The North Korean administration knew that, at most, these were just nosey western reporters, and that they could be used. Whether money exchanged hands or not, we will never know, but the leader of North Korea got a sit-down with President Bill Clinton in order to release these women, who posed absolutely no threat to the North Koreans (which the North Korean administration knew).


So here is Hanun. He is not really worried that these men are spies. He is not concerned about David planning an attack on Ammon. He is having some fun, and no doubt being egged on by his state department. He is gaining points with those advisors around him, but at the expense of David’s sincere ambassadors; and, as he will find out, at the expense of his own country.


Application: Any position of authority is important, and if you are a believer with any kind of authority, even if it is only over a 3 year-old and a 5 year-old, then you have to take your position of authority seriously. You do not do things to gain the favor of this 3 or 5 year-old, if these things are the wrong thing to do, all authority is given by God, and we need to recognize the serious nature of our positions of authority. This does not mean that you cannot have fun and kid around, in some circumstances and under certain conditions, but the scope and responsibility of your authority comes first.


Application: I see this through the eyes of a teacher, since I taught school for 29 years. Now, there were many times when I could kid around with my students and laugh with them. However, what was first and foremost was teaching them the subject which was at hand and making certain that they were disciplined enough as a classroom for me to teach them. That meant, there were limits as to how far I could go. For instance, I could not belittle a child who had person confidence problems or social problems to begin with (i.e., I could not pick on a kid who was picked on by others). However, I could gently give a hard time to kids with stronger egos, as long as this kidding did not degenerate into personal insults or some sort of degrading comment, and as long as it did not detract from my responsibilities as a teacher.


Application: As a teacher of high school children, I recognized that these students needed to have some modicum of freedom as well as a good response to my authority; and I tried to walk a line where they had both personal freedom and personal responsibility. This was much easier to do in the environment in which I taught, because I worked at a school that, for many years, had very good overall discipline. This also took place during a time when most parents took their responsibilities as parents quite seriously; whereas, the generation of parents which came up after them, were quite the opposite, and many of them saw no reason to have high expectations for their own children nor did they see any reason to every view their own children with objectivity. During the final years that I taught, there were more and more parents who had abandoned their authority positions, and spent their time trying to run interference for their children; and their children were always right, and those who disagreed (counselors, principals and teachers) were wrong.


What we observe here, in 2Sam. 10:4, is Hanun doing everything exactly wrong. He is in charge and he chooses to do exactly the wrong things. As the man in authority, his decision here will negatively impact almost every citizen of Ammon. David offers him a sincere gesture of sympathy, which is also meant as offering a hand of friendship to Hanun as a new king. Hanun responds from the arrogance in his soul and does exactly the wrong thing.


2Samuel 10:4d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (שָלַח) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send off, to send away, to dismiss, to give over, to cast out, to let go, to set free, to shoot forth [branches], to shoot [an arrow]

3rd person masculine singular, Piel perfect; with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018


Translation: ...and then dismissed them. These men are in Hanun’s royal palace. They have just been humiliated, and now Hanun throws them out of the palace. They are thrown out onto the street, so to speak, and all of the people on the street see these men and laugh at them. Each has half of his beard shaved off; each is walking around in a miniskirt or worse, and they are absolutely humiliated, having to travel miles in this condition, being the laughingstock of anyone who sees them.


2Sam. 10:1–4 reads: After these things, it came to pass that the king of Ammon died and his son Hanun reigned instead of him. And so, David said, “I will manufacture grace toward Hanun, the son of Nahash, just as his father manufactured grace toward me.” Therefore, David sent his ambassadors to comfort Hanun concerning his father. And the ambassadors entered into the land of the Ammonites. And the state department of Ammon said to Hanun their sovereign, “Is David really honoring your father in your opinion simply because he sent comforters to you? Did not David send his ambassadors to you in order to thoroughly search out the city, for them to scope out the city as spies, and to later overthrow it?” Therefore, Hanun seized David’s ambassadors and shaved off half of each man’s beard and cut off their garments in the middle up to their waist, and then he threw them out of his palace.

Summary Points for 2Samuel 10:1–4

1.      David’s character is revealed by his aggressive use of grace here. Sometimes grace is active and aggressive (as in, David sending an envoy of men to express his sorrow) and sometimes grace is passive (when we avoid sticking our nose into someone else’s business).

2.      It is the understanding of doctrine which helps believers to determine when their grace ought to be active and when it ought to be passive.

3.      In this situation, David did that which was honorable. Sending an envoy of men indicated that David wanted peace to continue between Israel and Ammon.

         1)      We do not know the exact terms of peace which existed between David and Nahash.

         2)      It is likely that Nahash paid David tribute.

         3)      Nevertheless, we are going to find that Ammon was very prosperous. That is, what David required did not impoverish the people of Ammon.

         4)      Again, assuming this suzerain-vassal arrangement between the two countries also indicates that David did not kill the goose that laid the golden eggs.

4.      As a military type, David much preferred peace over war, because those in the military understand the horrors of war far more than the average person.

5.      David’s aggressive approach of grace here indicates that David had both a desire and an expectation of peace between the two countries.

6.      Arrogance on the part of Hanun’s cabinet will turn to implacability and they will see David’s envoy as weakness. This would be particularly true if they were paying David tribute.

7.      No matter what the relationship between Israel and Ammon, these Jewish ambassadors should have been treated with courtesy and dignity, in the same spirit of grace in which they were sent.

8.      However, arrogance, because it is unstable, is impetuous and rash. Hanun and his state department do not seem to even consider treating this envoy graciously. They will horrible demean these Jewish ambassadors.

9.      The Bible does not always provide a full context for every incident, but the nation of Ammon worships Molech, which involves the phallic cult and child sacrifice.

10.    Despite their association with Israel and the true God of Israel, Ammon worships that which is evil.

11.    Therefore, God will allow David to sound defeat Ammon, which defeat will involve the killing of thousands of their soldiers, as well as their wives and children.

12.    Ammon is a nation which could have enjoyed tremendous prosperity, had they only chosen to worship the God of Israel. They enjoy considerable prosperity simply in their association with Israel. However, with their rebellion, the die is cast. David will have to take down this city.

13.    To get a modern-day example, just think of any middle eastern nation today. If one of their own believes in Jesus Christ, they will persecute this individual and even have him executed.

14.    Modern middle eastern nations practice child sacrifice as well, but in a different way. They raise their children to hate Jews—to believe that they have been descended from dogs and pigs—and even at age 3, some of their children already, through cartoons and cultural propaganda, have a desire to kill Jews and Christians.

15.    This helps to explain the arrogance of the Ammonites and their modern-day counterparts: they love a lie more than they love the truth.

16.    The relationship between Nahash and David very likely included the truth. Nahash was probably a believer in Jehovah Elohim. However, Hanun and his state department, in their arrogance, worshiped Molech.

17.    Choosing to worship that which is not God is an arrogant choice.

18.    Hanun’s state department—most of whom remained intact from Nahash’s regime—were arrogant. They had a little power, and they had influence over their king.

         1)      The arrogance of power lust is fascinating.

         2)      Often, such men are terribly deluded. They have no real answers for the problems which their country faces (all countries face problems). Yet, in their arrogance, they feel as if they are the best-suited to solve these problems.

         3)      Hanun’s state department, hoping to become popular with the people and to exercise control over Hanun, completely misread David’s aggressive use of grace, and they conclude that David as weak.

         4)      David, as a professional soldier, is not weak. He has developed a great army in Israel and reserves which can be gathered at a moment’s notice (which we will observe in this chapter).

         5)      Therefore, Hanun’s state department is wrong about David, wrong about worshiping Molech, and wrong about the popularity and admiration they would receive from the people. They will bring their country down with their arrogance.

19.    Although Hanun is given the option to continue a beneficial relationship with a supergrace believer, he rejects that for personal and national destruction instead.


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How should Hanun have handled this? Ideally speaking, Hanun should have known something about his father’s relationship to David. If the Ammonites were paying tribute to David, then he certainly knew about that. If, as the king’s son, he was no privy to all that went on, Hanun certainly could have found others with a different viewpoint and asked them their opinion. Hanun has specifically limited the input which he receives. He wants to impress this state department and he wants to seem like he is one of the guys, so he goes along with their prodding—exactly the wrong thing for him to do.


Application: We saw a similar situation with our President this past week. Let’s just assume for a moment that President Obama is seriously concerned about the economy and about job creation—he just held a jobs summit, but he did not invite the Chamber of Commerce or any organization which represents businesses from the D.C. area. Small business creates 3 out of 4 jobs in the United States and unions create a handful of jobs (union bosses and officials); but our president invited all kinds of union representatives to a jobs summit and almost no representatives from those who actually create jobs. Just like Hanun, the president has intentionally limited the input he would receive. So, whatever advice he receives is limited right from the beginning. Whatever the President’s motivation and thinking, the end results of this summit and the advice he will receive will do nothing to increase the number of jobs.


Let me offer some deep points: sometimes it is true, like father, like son; but sometimes, there are dramatic differences between a parent and their offspring. David and Solomon are great men. R. B. Thieme Jr. pointed out Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great, as two great men of history. In our passage, Hanun acts like a complete ass and completely disrespects David. He does things here which his father would never consider doing, and he allows himself to be overly influenced by his state department.


At this point, Hanun reveals himself to be incredibly arrogant. He has ignored David’s graciousness and treated it with contempt. He has assumed that David’s sympathy indicates that David is weak. Much to his chagrin, Hanun will discover that David is one of the toughest and most powerful man in that part of the world. Hanun and all that he knows will be destroyed in a war with David. Whatever intelligence that Hanun has, has been compromised by his arrogance. The choices he makes will destroy his beloved city and send every person he knows into slavery or death in battle.


Again, 2Sam. 10:1–4 reads: After these things, it came to pass that the king of Ammon died and his son Hanun reigned instead of him. And so, David said, “I will manufacture grace toward Hanun, the son of Nahash, just as his father manufactured grace toward me.” Therefore, David sent his ambassadors to comfort Hanun concerning his father. And the ambassadors entered into the land of the Ammonites. And the state department of Ammon said to Hanun their sovereign, “Is David really honoring your father in your opinion simply because he sent comforters to you? Did not David send his ambassadors to you in order to thoroughly search out the city, for them to scope out the city as spies, and to later overthrow it?” Therefore, Hanun seized David’s ambassadors and shaved off half of each man’s beard and cut off their garments in the middle up to their waist, and then he threw them out of his palace.

Impressing the Leaders and Citizens of Heathen Countries

1.      Hanun, the new king of Ammon, has no appreciation for courtesy or thoughtfulness of others. This will not just be a problem for him, but for the entire country of Ammon. A person in a position of leadership affects nearly all of those beneath him.

2.      Hanun was being offered friendship and grace from David and the nation Israel. Hanun will choose the alternative, which will be war against a powerful client nation of God enjoying great prosperity and military power.

3.      Since graciousness has not effect upon King Hanun, then a strong military will have to make an impression on him.

         1)      Let’s look at a modern-day example. Just this week, as I am working on the revision of this chapter, Osama bin Laden has been killed by a special forces military action in Pakistan.

         2)      For awhile, the President was trying to determine whether photos of Laden’s dead body ought to be released.

         3)      These people could enjoy prosperous and amiable relations with the United States.

         4)      These people in the Middle East could enjoy peace with Israel.

         5)      This would result in great blessing to these nations.

         6)      However, many of the people are just like Hanun and his state department.

         7)      They do not understand graciousness and peace; they understand force.

         8)      Our President has made great attempts to reach out to the Muslim world, so much so that he offends his own citizens. However, the Muslims have not responded in kind.

         9)      One of our allies is Pakistan, and yet, it appears that many of their high-ranking officials were complicit in the hiding of Osama bin Laden in a well-fortified compound.

         10)    They have a choice—cooperate with the United States in putting down the terrorists within their own borders or continue to suffer drone attacks.

         11)    On the one hand, they can choose grace and peace from the United States; or they can choose an uneasy relationship which may involve the killing of some of their citizenry.

         12)    What Muslims have learned in Iraq and Afghanistan is, they can enjoy relative peace as being allied with the United States; or they can face our military.

4.      Because Israel functions under the laws of divine establishment, because they are a client nation to God, and because there is a pivot of believers in Israel, Israel will subdue Ammon.

5.      There are some people who can only be impressed with force and violence. They do not relate to graciousness. They relate well to stacks of dead bodies all around them.

         1)      The concept here is the relationship between genuine and enforced humility.

         2)      The state department in Ammon has no genuine humility.

         3)      They do not possess grace and they do not recognize grace.

         4)      Therefore, they treat the ambassadors from David cruelly.

         5)      David’s alternative approach is to put them under enforced humility.

         6)      They will understand a military invasion. They will understand superior military force. They will understand death and/or slavery.

6.      Having no concept of grace and not being gracious, is often characteristic of are criminal.

         1)      A criminal only understands his own wants and desires.

         2)      When someone is gracious to a criminal, the criminal sees that as weakness.

         3)      When someone gives the criminal a break, the criminal sees this as putting something over on the other person.

         4)      Such people can only be deterred by force. Since a criminal has no concept of humility or discipline, then this must be enforced.

         5)      Criminals understand a stronger force; they understand pain, incarceration and death.

7.      In some instances, only warfare will restrain an arrogant nation. When Ammon is totally defeated, this will restrain their arrogance.


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Another doctrine from my notes.

The Arrogance of Hanun and his State Department

1.      David’s personal integrity is revealed by his aggressiveness in grace. As an honorable king, David makes the first move to express sympathy toward Hanun at the loss of his father.

2.      Assuming that Nahash paid tribute to David, David could have taken two approaches with the new king. David could have sent his army to Ammon and beat them down, and laid down the law with the new king Hanun. Or, David could have expressed sympathy toward Hanun at the loss of his father. David, as a man of grace, chose to do that latter.

3.      Military men love peace. Since they understand war, they are even more appreciative of peace than others.

4.      When a nation is at war, the innocent suffer with the guilty. When a nation is under attack, it has an effect upon all the citizens of that nation.

5.      A smart professional soldier remains in a state of readiness for war. This dissuades others from their aggressive use of force. This preparedness for war often maintains the peace.

6.      The arrogance of Hanun and his state department led to implacability and implacability rejected David’s aggressive use of grace.

7.      The ambassadors sent by David should have been treated with respect and dignity. Their coming to Ammon should have been recognized as an act of graciousness.

8.      Instead, Hanun and his state department maltreated David’s ambassadors, demonstrating impulsive arrogance.

9.      Where does this come from in Ammon? They Molech, which both involves the phallic cult and child sacrifice. These two acts are very anti-establishment. They are destructive to marriage and, obviously, to family. If a parent does not have a normal affection for his own child, that parent is in deep degeneracy. Therefore, such a people cannot understand gracious and honorable motivation. A people who institutionalize adultery and the killing of their own children are incapable of understanding graciousness.

         a.      A modern-day example. Muslim nations which train their children, from age 3 on up, through the use of cartoons and propaganda, to hate Jews, they are sacrificing their children to Allah.

         b.      The ancient-world child sacrifice finds its duplication in the propagandizing of pre-school children.

         c.      People who would do this to their own children cannot be reasoned with. There is no frame of reference that we share; there are no basic fundamental principles upon which we can agree.

         d.      Therefore, graciousness and kindness are misunderstood as weakness, and such acts only encourage military retribution.


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Also apropos to this passage:

The Arrogance of Leadership and the Plan of God

1.      Men who are arrogant tend to underestimate others; this is more pronounced when these arrogant men have any sort of power and authority.

2.      Arrogance tends to keep people from properly evaluating their life; in many ways, they are divorced from reality. Rulers like Saddam Hussein, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il and Hanunall quickly come to mind.

3.      Hanun believed that David was a man he could bully or tweak. His state department, a group of arrogant men, led him and encouraged him in this arrogance.

4.      However, David, a man Hanun sorely underestimated, would both defeat Ammon but the great world power Aram, and David would do this while involved in great sinfulness (God is obviously faithful).

5.      David ruled over a nation of great military types and God blessed his nation militarily. This is because David was growing spiritually and the people of Israel were growing spiritually. God blessed David in this way despite his great sin with Bathsheba and Uriah.

6.      Hanun’s state department was ignorance of divine establishment, of Bible doctrine, and they did not realistically grasp their place in the world. Again, arrogance distorted their understanding of reality. They could not simply hate David and hate Israel, but then, recognize that, David’s army could make their lives miserable.

7.      The Ammonites will recognize that their actions have consequences, so they will take a great deal of their money and pay for Aramæan (Syrian) mercenaries to help back them up.

8.      However, in their arrogance, they did not consider the God of Israel. No multi-national alliance can stand before God.

9.      Jesus Christ controls history. What God has determined for Israel, God will bring to pass. God is going to give David’s son, Solomon, 40 years of peace and prosperity; therefore, God is going to guide historical events which will bring that to pass. That means, no major nation is going to threaten Israel; they will all recognize Israel’s might and stand down. David however, is going to face war for the rest of his kingship.

10.    All the great empires around Israel have been neutralized or, for whatever reason, they are quiet at this point in time. Only Aram is aggressively expanding her borders and influence.

11.    Coming up in this chapter, General Joab will be caught between the army of Ammon and a mercenary army from Aram (one of the natural resources which Aram sold was mercenaries). This all came to pass by divine design.

12.    Although this may spoil for you some of the chapter coming up, Joab will defeat the Aramæan mercenaries. He will send them running in defeat.

13.    Hanun, because of his arrogance, and his state department, because of their arrogance, underestimate David, and their humiliating David’s ambassadors is going to result in the defeat of both Aram and Ammon. Jesus Christ controls history and He is setting things up in such a way that, Israel will enjoy 40 years of great peace and prosperity under Solomon.

14.    Arrogant men cannot hinder the plan of God. God uses the arrogance of Hanun and his state department in such a way as to result in great blessing for Israel.

15.    Powerful armies cannot hinder the plan of God. God will cause David’s army to soundly defeat Aram, one of the greatest world powers (if not the greatest).

16.    Since cannot hinder the plan of God. David is in the midst of receiving discipline for his great sin with Bathsheba and Uriah, and yet, David will retain his throne and Israel, as a nation, will be advanced among the nations of the world.

17.    We cannot hinder, slow, or derail the plan of God—not with our sins, our arrogance, our power or our good works.


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The proper response of Aram and Ammon would be to recognize that the God of Israel was the God of the Universe. Establishing an alliance with Israel would have resulted in blessing by association for these nations. However, they chose, instead, cursing. As God told Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you.” (Gen. 12:3).


2Sam. 10: Therefore, Hanun seized David’s ambassadors and shaved off half of each man’s beard and cut off their garments in the middle up to their waist, and then he threw them out of his palace. These men sent by David, would have made a trek through the streets of Ammon, and it is very likely that the arrogant people of Ammon pointed and laughed and found great humor in these Jews being treated in this manner. There is no reason why Hanun would have gone to any trouble to try to give David’s ambassadors some sort of cover or discretion when leaving his palace. My point here is, the people of Ammon participate in this act of humiliation. Don’t think for a moment that Hanun and the state department are the only culprits here. A nation gets the leadership it deserves. These men were treated shabbily by Hanun and his state department, and, it is reasonable to assume that their leaving Rabbah became somewhat of an impromptu parade, with many people of Rabbah making fun of them as they left.


I mention this because Joab will attack all of Ammon. Joab will not come to the gates of Ammon and call for Hanun and his state department to come out. All Ammon would be punished for this (which represents negative volition toward God).


——————————


And so they made known to David and so he sends to meet them for were the men ashamed greatly. And so says the king “Remain in Jericho until growing your beard and you have returned.”

2Samuel

10:5

When this was made known [lit., and so they made known] to David, he sent [servants] to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. Therefore, the king said, “Remain in Jericho until your beards have grown, then you [may] return.”

After this was made known to David, he sent servants to meet them, because these men were greatly ashamed. Therefore, the king told them, “Just stay here in Jericho until your beards have grown back; then you may return to Jerusalem.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          When this was told David, he sent to meet them: for the men were sadly put to confusion, and David commanded them, saying: Stay at Jericho, till your beards be grown, and then return.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so they made known to David and so he sends to meet them for were the men ashamed greatly. And so says the king “Remain in Jericho until growing your beard and you have returned.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    When they told it to David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed; and the king said to them, Tarry at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return.

Septuagint (Greek)                And they announced to David concerning the men; and he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly dishonored. And the king said, Remain in Jericho till your beards have grown, and then you shall return.

 

Significant differences:           The wâw consecutive, when followed by a kîy conjunction can be translated if...then; when...then; when...that; when.... I am not sure if that precisely applied to this verse, but that would explain the English translation of the Latin and Syriac.

 

The Greek adds the phrase concerning the men, which does not do damage to the overall meaning, but is not found in the Hebrew.

 

Confusion is one possible rendering of the verb most translate ashamed. Given the context of this verse, these men could have been as much confused as they were ashamed.

 

The English translation of the Latin adds one additional verb before to say, which does not compromise the meaning of this verse.

 

Logically, the final verb would seem to be an imperative; and so, we find this in the Latin and Syriac. However, it is a simple Qal perfect in the Hebrew. The Latin and Syriac do not violate the text here.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       They were terribly ashamed. When David found out what had happened to his officials, he sent a message and told them, "Stay in Jericho until your beards grow back. Then you can come home."

Easy English (Pocock)           David heard what had happened. He sent a message to the men because they were so ashamed. David said, `Stay in the town of Jericho until your beards have grown again. Then come home.

Easy-to-Read Version            When the people told David, he sent {messengers} to meet his officers. He did this because these men were very ashamed. King David said, “Wait at Jericho until your beards grow again. Then come back {to Jerusalem}.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         They were too ashamed to return home. When David heard about what had happened, he sent word for them to stay in Jericho and not return until their beards had grown again.

The Message                         When all this was 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."

New Century Version             When the people told David, he sent messengers to meet his officers because they were very ashamed. King David said, "Stay in Jericho until your beards have grown back. Then come home."

New Living Translation           When David heard what had happened, he sent messengers to tell the men, "Stay at Jericho until your beards grow out, and then come back." For they felt deep shame because of their appearance.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Well, when this was reported to David, he sent men to meet them, because they had been so extremely dishonored. And the king told them to stay in Jericho until their beards grew back.

Ancient Roots Translinear      They told David, and he sent to greet them, for the men were embarrassed a hundredfold. The king said, "Return and dwell at Jericho until your beards sprout."

God’s Word                         After David was told what had happened, he sent someone to meet them because they were deeply humiliated. The king said to them, "Stay in Jericho until your beards have grown back, and then return to Jerusalem."

NIRV                                      David was told about it. So he sent messengers to his men because they were filled with shame. King David said to them, "Stay at Jericho until your beards grow out again. Then come back here."

Revised English Bible            Hearing how they had been treated, David ordered them to be met, for they were deeply humiliated; he told them to wait in Jericho and not return until their beards had grown again.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             When David had news of it, he sent men out with the purpose of meeting them on their way, for the men were greatly shamed: and the king said, Go to Jericho till your hair is long again, and then come back.

Context Group Version          When they told it to David, he sent to meet them; for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Wait at Jericho until your { pl } beards are grown, and then return.

HCSB                                     When this was reported to David, he sent someone to meet them, since they were deeply humiliated. The king said, "Stay in Jericho until your beards grow back; then return."

JPS (Tanakh)                         When David was told of it, he dispatched men to meet them, for the men were greatly embarrassed. And the king gave orders: “Stop in Jericho until your beards grow back; then you can return.”

Judaica Press Complete T.    And they told it to David; and he sent to meet them; for the men were very much ashamed. And the king said: 'Remain seated in Jericho until your beards grow, and then you shall return.'

NET Bible®                             Messengers8 told David what had happened [The words "what had happened" are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons], so he summoned them, for the men were thoroughly humiliated. The king said, "Stay in Jericho10 until your beards have grown again; then you may come back."


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      When it was told David, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, "Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return."

exeGeses companion Bible   And they tell David; and he sends to meet them;

because the men shame mightily.

And the sovereign says,

Settle at Yericho until your beards sprout and return.

Syndein                                  When they announced it to David, then he went out to see/meet them {personally} {he went out to meet them personally - personal touch to remove some of the shame}, because the men {the ambassadors} were extremely humiliated/embarrassed. So the king said, "Remain/Tarry {yashab} at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return.".

World English Bible                When they told it to David, he sent to meet them; for the men were greatly ashamed. The king said, Wait at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.

Young’s Updated LT             And they declare it to David, and he sends to meet them, for the men have been greatly ashamed, and the king says, “Abide in Jericho till your beard does spring up—then You have returned.”

 

The gist of this verse:          The difficulties that these men endured were made known to David, so he sends a delegation to them (it is possible that David goes himself). Because these men are ashamed, David tells them to remain in Jericho before returning to Jerusalem.


2Samuel 10:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

When a wâw consecutive is followed by a kîy conjunction, the result is often a conditional or a causal sentence, and can be reasonably rendered if...then; when...then; when...that; when....

The wâw consecutive can also be rendered so, that, yet, therefore. There are times when the wâw consecutive simply carries the action along and we do not need an English translation in order to indicate that.

Wâw consecutives can be used before causal sentences like כִּי to mean because, for, in that; and a wâw consecutive can be used before conclusive or inferential sentences, and mean so that, therefore, wherefore. Footnote

nâgad (נָגַד) [pronounced naw-GAHD]

to make conspicuous, to make known, to expound, to explain, to declare, to inform, to confess, to make it pitifully obvious that

3rd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #5046 BDB #616

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: When this was made known [lit., and so they made known] to David,... These ambassadors which David had sent to Ammon had been terrifically embarrassed. Their beards were half-shaved, their clothes cut off into sort of a miniskirt and they had to walk from Ammon to Jericho, the first Jewish city on the other side of the Jordan, and that is where they stopped. They sent word to David of what had occurred.


I translated the wâw consecutive as when, because there is a kîy conjunction which follows. However, structurally, we really have one wâw consecutive followed by another wâw consecutive. Several translators, including Owen, Thieme, the ESV and the WEB, render the wâw consecutive as when, which makes perfect sense. However, I am having a difficult time justifying that in Gesenius or BDB. Holding all of this together with some and so’s is not problematic in any way. The concept of the use of several wâw consecutives is to set up a series of logical and/or chronological events, but which do not always conform to an exact chronology. Or, as Davidson better states it, [The] chief function [or a series of wâw consecutives] is to mark the continuation of a piece of narrative or discourse over at least one but more often several stages. The sequence they establish is essentially chronological, though not necessarily one of strict succession, but it is also frequently logical as well. Footnote I am probably over-obsessing over this, but if I offer up a translation either slightly different than others have or slightly different than what is found in the standard set of definitions, then I like to offer some sort of explanation. Most of you could have probably skipped over this paragraph and lived an excellent life and not missed anything.


David will have to make several important decisions here, decisions which will involve the lives of his soldiers; therefore, he must have accurate information upon which to base his decisions.

Accurate Information is Required in Order to Make Good Decisions

1.      Good leaders need honest and forthright underlings. A leader surrounded by “yes men” will never hear the truth.

2.      We observe this very thing today (2011) in the United States where almost everything is politicized and almost every act has a political end.

3.      President Obama’s men, apart from many of his military advisors, are yes-men who calculate everything in terms or reelecting President Obama in the coming election.

         1)      This is why our president, on occasion, makes some good military decisions, but, at the same time, makes the absolute worst domestic policy.

         2)      The President has a few military advisors who tell him the truth, who operate in an area where the President has absolutely no expertise.

         3)      Therefore, no matter what goofy philosophy the President has when it comes to Islam or United States power, strong military types are obviously able to reason with the President. I would not be shocked if these military advisors sometimes explained conditions on the ground in terms of the President’s reelection. For instance, “If you pull out of Iraq, and this nation is invaded and taken over by Iran within a few months, you will no survive as president, and Democrats, who are historically weak, will be voted out of office in such numbers, that it would make your head swim.”

         4)      Arrogant leaders often underestimate the intelligence and capabilities of the military. The Democrats for years have portrayed military men as the dregs of society, of those who cannot get a real job, and the military is their only hope.

         5)      Therefore, it is reasonable for the President’s military advisors to think circles around the President.

4.      A great leader needs to have accurate facts as his disposal in order to make good decisions. The President needs honest men to explain to him why his economic policies are no good. Hanun needs his state department to tell him, “Look, we all hate King David, but, he can kick our butts militarily. However, right now, David is giving us a great deal of freedom at a very low cost. So let’s hold our tongues, accept his sympathy, so that we may live and prosper.”

5.      However, a leader cannot be guided by arrogant advisors and a leader cannot be guided by yes men.

6.      Bad policy is a result of arrogance, of believing that which is false, and/or having bad advisors.

7.      Hanun has an arrogant state department who lust after power.

8.      The President has a state department all of whom believe that which is false (they believe that government is the solution to every problem).

9.      David, despite his sin, will be able to make good decisions with regards to Ammon, because he will be given good information. What happened will not be sugar-coated or interpreted in some goofy way.

         1)      A great example of this is the Stimulus Bill, which was the first great act of President Obama when coming into office. He needs an honest economist to tell him, “Look, this did not work; in every recession which has ever occurred prior to now, our country came out of that recession much faster and with greater vigor. Your Stimulus Bill, if anything, prolonged the agony of our economy.”

         2)      Instead, all the effort has been made on spinning the economic numbers, to the point of actually proclaiming a recovery summer, when here was none.

         3)      Either the President has a warped view of things from the bubble of the White House, or, his arrogance is so great that, despite the facts, he moves ahead with his big government politicizes.

10.    David’s state department tells David exactly what happened. The information is not spun in any way. There I a problem in Ammon, and David must deal with this problem.

11.    Many times a delusional leader builds up a false view of what is going on all around him and, too often, his subordinates either spin the news which comes in or avoid giving him bad news. In the United States, this is known as the White House bubble. A president can become so detached—particularly with sycophantic underlings—that he has no clue as to what is going on in the outside world.

12.    All leaders require facts in order to make good decisions. All leaders need reliable and honest subordinates who will tell them the truth.

         1)      In the past few days, Osama bin Laden was killed on the orders of President Obama. The actual killing of Osama was brilliantly done because decisions were made based upon good intelligence.

         2)      However, when it came to making decisions after the fact—what to say about the operation, how to portray it, what information to share, and what decisions to make—this was bungled.

         3)      Post-operation decisions were made which political considerations by a very indecisive leader.

         4)      So, good intelligence led to a tremendously competent military operation; and bad advice led to an incompetent follow up.

13.    No leader can act and appear competent if he is relying upon lousy information.

         1)      Bad information can lead to the bombing of an aspirin factory.

         2)      Bad information can lead to the greatest waste of taxpayer money in the history of the United States, also known as the Stimulus Bill.

         3)      Prior to the Stimulus Bill, some underling should have sat President Obama down and explained to him the following information:

                  (1)     FDR’s big government approach did not work. The United States was the only nation to suffer a Great Depression at that time. The stock market did not fully recover until Eisenhower. All of FDR’s big government solutions prolonged the depression.

                  (2)     Several recessions quickly were solved by government doing nothing or by government reducing taxes.

                  (3)     Japan recently tried to spend its way out of a recession, and that is not working.

         4)      Good and accurate information can lead to good decisions by leadership.

14.    Hanun had a state department who were arrogant and who desired to usurp his power through their bad advice. It was more important to them to influence Hanun’s decision than it was to do that which was right for Ammon.

15.    We see a great contrast between David and Hanun. David has good and accurate information; it may not be what he wants to hear, but it is accurate, nonetheless. Therefore, what David will decide will be the best route for Israel.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


2Samuel 10:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (שָלַח) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for [forth, away], to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth, to stretch out, to reach out

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

qârâʾ (קָרָא) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to encounter, to befall, to meet; to assemble [for the purpose of encountering God or exegeting His Word]; to come, to assemble

Qal infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #7122 & #7125 BDB #896

This is a homonym; the other qârâʾ means to call, to proclaim, to read, to assemble.

This is also spelled qîreʾâh (קִרְאָה) [pronounced keer-AW], which is the spelling in this passage.


Translation: ...he sent [servants] to meet them,... David sent men to speak with them and to carry a personal message. Although David could have gone himself, it appears as though he send additional staff to speak with them. Although we are not told in this passage, they either received additional clothing in Jericho or David sent appropriate garb to these men.


2Samuel 10:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

ʾănâsîym (אֲנָשִֹים) [pronounced uh-NAW-seem]; also spelled ʾîyshîym (אִישִים) [pronounced ee-SHEEM]

men; inhabitants, citizens; companions; soldiers, followers

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #376 BDB #35

kâlam (כָלַם) [pronounced kaw-LAHM]

to be ashamed, to be put to shame, to be disgraced

masculine plural, Niphal participle

Strong's #3637 BDB #483

meʾôd (מְאֹד) [pronounced me-ODE]

exceedingly, extremely, greatly, very

adverb

Strong’s #3966 BDB #547


Translation: ...for the men were greatly ashamed. Sometimes this word is translated confused, which is somewhat apt here (although, I am sure they figured out what had happened, and why the Ammonite king’s son acted so abrasively to them). In any case, they were very ashamed, having to make that long trek half-naked. I am sure that you have had that dream where you are naked in an inappropriate place, and you felt some shame (I hope you did, anyway); they endured this for real, and were very upset about it.


2Samuel 10:5d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

meleke (מֶלֶך׃) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

yâshab (יָשַב) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

to remain, to stay; to dwell, to live, to inhabit; to sit

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperative

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yerêchôw (יְרֵחוֹ) [pronounced yeray-KHOH]

city of the moon; transliterated Jericho

proper singular noun

Strong’s #3405 BDB #437

There are 2 other very similar spellings as well.

ʿad (עַד) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

tsâmach (צָמַח) [pronounced tsaw-MAHKH]

to grow; to sprout, to spring up, to spring forth [often used of a man’s hair and beard in the Piel]

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #6779 BDB #855

zâqân (זָקָן) [pronounced zaw-KAWN]

chin, beard, the bearded chin [of a man]

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #2206 BDB #278

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to return, to turn, to turn back, to reminisce, to restore something, to bring back something, to revive, to recover something, to make restitution

2nd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #7725 BDB #996


Translation: Therefore, the king said, “Remain in Jericho until your beards have grown, then you [may] return.” Quite obviously, beards were a big cultural thing for the Jews, as it is today for some Muslim groups. One of the things which we need to be mindful of—and this will be difficult for some—is that there is a cultural context in which the various narratives of the Bible take place. There may be absolutes associated with the cultural norms of that day, and those absolutes may even find some sort of an application today (e.g., applying some of the laws of slavery to voluntary labor today), but without carrying over the cultural norm of that time (again, slavery is a good example of this). In that day and time, beards were the norm, very much like a clean-shaven face is the norm in the United States circa 2000 a.d. We do not need to read this passage and rediscover the beard, and decide that we all ought to be growing beards. However, what had happened to these men, apart from the partial nakedness, was a great cultural embarrassment. It is as if some Ammonites down the street from you jumped you and shaved your head so that you had a Mohawk. For most people, this would be embarrassing.


Jericho is more or less in a straight line between Rabbah and Jerusalem. There are likely roads between Jerusalem, Jordan, Gilgal and Rabbah (see A Map of Rabbah in Ammon, back in v. 2). A road to Rabbah would have been established as a trade route and for the times that Ammon paid tribute to Israel. Even though there were populations of Ammonites throughout their territory, we primarily associate them with their capital city of Rabbah.


Because of what these emissaries endured, there is certainly great embarrassment on their parts. What happened has probably been broadcast throughout Jerusalem, so they are embarrassed about the beards and their walking around half-naked for a day or two. Therefore, David insists that they spend a month or two at Jericho, allowing their beards to grow, and allowing their embarrassment to subside.


It is interesting that David uses a Qal perfect rather than a Qal imperative for return. This is the gentlest of imperatives that David could possibly give—so gentle that it carries with it no imperative force. Obviously, these men have to get back to work under David, but by using a Qal perfect, David is indicating that for certain, they would return (the perfect tense indicates an accomplished event); but David is giving them a reasonable amount of time to recover from their embarrassment.


Guzik Footnote makes a good point here: David could have used these men in order to rouse up Israel’s anger against Ammon, but he did not. He could have paraded these men to a few cities and gotten his army frenetic about this whole situation. However, an army needs to profession and well-trained. It does no good to whip up an army into an emotional frenzy. Often, the end result is they become less professional and therefore less effective.


Application: There are few if any gains when the emotion is appealed to in every realm of life. You are faithful to your wife not because you love her and you feel great about her, but you are faithful because it is a principle of honor and integrity. One sports team defeats another because they play better and smarter; not because they are old-time rivals and everyone is emotionally worked up.


Although Jericho is mentioned extensively throughout the Old Testament, this is its only mention in the book of Samuel. For this reason, we will discuss this city in more detail at another time. I have covered this city in some detail back in Joshua 6 (HTML) (PDF), when Israel invaded it.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Ammon Lures Joab's Army into a Trap

1Chronicles 19:6–8


And so sees Bene-Ammon that made themselves odious in David and so send Bene-Ammon and so they hire Aram of Beth-Rehob and Aram of Zobah 20,000 footmen and king of Maacah a thousand of man and Ishtob 12,000 a man.

2Samuel

10:6

When the sons of Ammon saw that they had made themselves odious before David, they [lit., Bene-Ammon] sent and hired 20,000 infantry [from] Aram of Beth-Rehob and Aram of Zobah, 1000 men [from] the king of Maacah and 12,000 men [from] Ishtob.

When the sons of Ammon recognized that they had made themselves odious before David, they sent and hired 20,000 infantry from Aram of Beth-Rehob and Aram of Zobah, 1000 men from the king of Maacah and 12,000 men from Ishtob.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And the children of Ammon seeing that they had done an injury to David, sent and hired the Syrians of Rohob, and the Syrians of Soba, twenty thousand footmen, and of the king of Maacha a thousand men, and of Istob twelve thousand men.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so sees Bene-Ammon that made themselves odious in David and so send Bene-Ammon and so they hire Aram of Beth-Rehob and Aram of Zobah 20,000 footmen and king of Maacah a thousand of man and Ishtob 12,000 a man.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And when the Ammonites saw that they had acted foolishly toward David, the Ammonites sent and hired the Arameans of the son of Rehob and the Arameans of the son of Zobah, twenty thousand footmen, and of the king of Maacah a thousand men and of Ish-tob twelve thousand footmen.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the children of Ammon saw that the people of David were ashamed; and the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth Rehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, and Rehob, twenty thousand footmen, and the king of Maacah with a thousand men, and Ish-Tob with twelve thousand men.

 

Significant differences:           What the Ammonites saw that they did varies greatly in the ancient languages. Neither the Latin nor Syriac see themselves as doing something to themselves. In the Greek, they observe what the people of David felt, which is completely different in the Hebrew.

 

The Syriac has son of Rehob instead of Beth [house of] Rehob. They insert son of before Zoba as well.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The Ammonites realized that they had made David very angry, so they hired more foreign soldiers. Twenty thousand of them were foot soldiers from the Aramean cities of Beth-Rehob and Zobah, one thousand were from the king of Maacah, and twelve thousand were from the region of Tob.

Easy English (Pocock)           The *Ammonites realised that they had greatly offended David. So they hired 20,000 *Aramean soldiers. The soldiers came from Beth Rehob and Zobah. They also hired 1000 men from the king of Maacah. And 12,000 men came from Tob.

Easy-to-Read Version            The Ammonites saw that they had become David’s enemies. So the Ammonites hired Arameans from Beth Rehob and Zobah. There were 20,000 Aramean foot soldiers. The Ammonites also hired the king of Maacah with 1,000 men and 12,000 men from Tob.

Good News Bible (TEV)         The Ammonites realized that they had made David their enemy, so they hired twenty thousand Syrian soldiers from Bethrehob and Zobah, twelve thousand men from Tob, and the king of Maacah with a thousand men.

The Message                         When it dawned on the Ammonites that as far as David was concerned they stunk to high heaven, they hired Aramean soldiers from Beth-Rehob and Zobah--twenty thousand infantry--and a thousand men from the king of Maacah, and twelve thousand men from Tob.

New Century Version             The Ammonites knew that they had insulted David. So they hired twenty thousand Aramean foot soldiers from Beth Rehob and Zobah. They also hired the king of Maacah with a thousand men and twelve thousand men from Tob.

New Living Translation           When the people of Ammon realized how seriously they had angered David, they sent and hired 20,000 Aramean foot soldiers from the lands of Beth-rehob and Zobah, 1,000 from the king of Maacah, and 12,000 from the land of Tob.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And when the sons of AmMon saw how David had been disgraced, they hired and sent twenty thousand Syrians from BaithRaAm, Souba, and RoOb, a thousand infantrymen from the king of Amalech, and twelve thousand men from IshTob. 7 And when David heard about this, he sent JoAb and all his best soldiers there.

Ancient Roots Translinear      The sons of Amman saw that they fouled David. The sons of Amman sent and hired 20,000 on-foot from the Syrians in Beth-Rehob and the Syrians in Zobah; 1,000 men from King Maachah, and 12,000 men of the men of Tob.

God’s Word                         The Ammonites realized that they had made themselves offensive to David. So they hired the Arameans from Beth Rehob and Zobah (20,000 foot soldiers), the army of the king of Maacah (1,000 men), and the men of Tob (12,000 men).

New American Bible              In view of the offense they had given to David, the Ammonites sent for and hired twenty thousand Aramean foot soldiers from Beth-rehob and Zobah, as well as the king of Maacah with one thousand men, and twelve thousand men from Tob. [6-9] A Hebrew text from Qumran (4Q Sam * ) comes closer in these verses to what is given in 1 Chron 19:6-9. The scene of the conflict is more likely Rabbath-Ammon, with Josephus (Ant.,vii,123), than Madeba, as in 1 Chron; compare ch. 11.

NIRV                                      The Ammonites realized that what they had done had made David very angry with them. So they hired 20,000 Aramean soldiers who were on foot. The soldiers came from Beth Rehob and Zobah. The Ammonites also hired the king of Maacah and 1,000 men. And they hired 12,000 men from Tob.

New Jerusalem Bible             When the Ammonites realised that they had antagonised David, they sent agents to hire twenty thousand foot soldiers from the Aramaeans of Beth-Rehob and the Aramaeans of Zobah, one thousand men from the king of Maacah and twelve thousand men from the prince of Tob.

Today’s NIV                          When the Ammonites realized that they had become obnoxious to David, they hired twenty thousand Aramean foot soldiers from Beth Rehob and Zobah, as well as the king of Maakah with a thousand men, and also twelve thousand men from Tob.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And when the children of Ammon saw that they had made themselves hated by David, they sent to the Aramaeans of Beth-rehob and Zobah, and got for payment twenty thousand footmen, and they got from the king of Maacah a thousand men, and from Tob twelve thousand.

HCSB                                     When the Ammonites realized they had become repulsive to David, they hired 20,000 foot soldiers from the Arameans of Beth-rehob and Zobah, 1,000 men from the king of Maacah, and 12,000 men from Tob.

JPS (Tanakh)                         The Ammonites realized that they had incurred the wrather of David; so the Ammonites sent agents and hired Arameans of Beth-rehob and Arameans of Zobah—20,000 foot soldiers—the king of Maacah [with] 1000 men, and 12,000 men from Tob.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And the children of Ammon saw that they had become odious to David; and the children of Ammon sent and hired of the Arameans of Beth-rehob, and the Arameans of Zobah, twenty thousand footsoldiers, and of the king of Maacah, a thousand men, and of Ish-tov, twelve thousand men.

NET Bible®                             When the Ammonites realized that David was disgusted with them [Heb "that they were a stench [i.e., disgusting] with David."], they [Heb "the Ammonites."] sent and hired 20,000 foot soldiers from Aram Beth Rehob and Aram Zobah [Or "Arameans of Beth Rehob and Arameans of Zobah."], in addition to 1,000 men from the king of Maacah and 12,000 men from Ish-tob [Or perhaps "the men of Tob." The ancient versions (the LXX, the Syriac Peshitta, and Vulgate) understand the name to be "Ish-tob." It is possible that "Ish" is dittographic and that we should read simply "Tob," a reading adopted by a number of recent English versions.].

NIV – UK                                When the Ammonites realised that they had become an offence to David's nostrils, they hired twenty thousand Aramean foot soldiers from Beth Rehob and Zobah, as well as the king of Maacah with a thousand men, and also twelve thousand men from Tob.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And when the Ammonites saw that they had made themselves obnoxious and disgusting to David, they sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob and of Zobah, 20,000 foot soldiers, and of the king of Maacah 1,000 men, and of Tob 12,000 men.

English Standard Version      When the Ammonites saw that they had become a stench to David, the Ammonites sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob, and the Syrians of Zobah, 20,000 foot soldiers, and the king of Maacah with 1,000 men, and the men of Tob, 12,000 men.

exeGeses companion Bible   And the sons of Ammon see that they stink to David;

and the sons of Ammon send and hire

the Aramiy of Beth Rechob and the Aramiy of Sobah

twenty thousand on foot;

and of sovereign Maachah a thousand men;

and of Ish Tob twelve thousand men:...

Fred Miller’s Revised KJV     And when the children of Ammon saw that they reeked before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Bethrehob and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen and a thousand men of king Maacah and twelve thousand men of Ishtob.

Hebrew Names Version         When the children of `Ammon saw that they were become odious to David, the children of `Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beit-Rechov, and the Syrians of Tzovah, twenty thousand footmen, and the king of Ma`akhah with one thousand men, and the men of Tov twelve thousand men.

New King James Version       When the people of Ammon saw that they had made themselves repulsive to David, the people of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth Rehob and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand foot soldiers; and from the king of Maacah one thousand men, and from Ish-Tob twelve thousand men.

Syndein                                  And when the people/citizens of Ammonsaw that they 'had become malodorous'/stank before David, then as a result, the people of Ammon sent and hired {mercenaries} the Syrians/'Aram of Bethrehob/'Beyth R@chowb', and the Syrians/'Aram of Zoba . . . totally twenty thousand infantry/footmen . . . and also of king Maacah . . . a thousand men, {one of the smaller Syrian city-states} and of 'Iysh-Towb . . . twelve thousand men. {name means 'people of prosperity/good' - this is another Syrian city - a very wealthy and prosperous people} {Note: From the parallel passage at I Chronicles 19:6-8, we see the Ammonites and Syrians concentrated their 33,000 plus army at Medeba. But Joab and part of his army are going to Rabbah and hit them in the rear.} {Note: The timing of this is about 990BC.}.

Third Millennium Bible            And when the children of Ammon saw that they were a stench before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Bethrehob and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of King Maacah a thousand men, and of Ishtob twelve thousand men.

World English Bible                When the children of Ammon saw that they were become odious to David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth Rehob, and the Syrians of Zobah, twenty thousand footmen, and the king of Maacah with one thousand men, and the men of Tob twelve thousand men.

Young's Updated LT              And the Bene-Ammon see that they have been abhorred by David, and the Bene-Ammon send and hire Aram of Beth-Rehob, and Aram of Zoba, 20,000 footmen, and the king of Maacah with a thousand men, and Ish-Tob with 12,000 men.

 

The gist of this verse:          The sons of Ammon realized that they had made a terrible mistake in offending David the way that they did, so they went and hired a number of mercenaries from Aram and elsewhere.


2Samuel 10:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

ʿAmmôwn (עַמּוֹן) [pronounced ģahm-MOHN]

hidden; transliterated Ammon

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #5983 BDB #769

This is often transliterated Bene-Ammon and is a common designation for this country.

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

bâʾash (בַּאַש) [pronounced baw-AHSH]

to make oneself odious, to become odious, to cause to stink, to become malodorous

3rd person plural, Niphal perfect

Strong’s #887 BDB #92

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: When the sons of Ammon saw that they had made themselves odious before David,... As we examined earlier, I have translated and so as when, which does not receive any support from my Hebrew grammar books, but is in line with many of the good translations (ACV, AKJV, BBE, ESV, HCSB, JPS, KJV, NET, NJB, RV, VW, WEB, among others).


This is an interesting statement, and we do not have any details here. Did the Ammonites have spies in Jerusalem and they figured out that David was preparing for war? Although the verb here can refer to cognition, it is also possible that this was observed visually, which is the primary meaning of this verb. Remember, what occurred in the previous couple of verses would have taken place over a month or two. Given all that we find in the Old Testament, it is likely they know this as a result of gathering intelligence, which would have come from the observation of spies. The Ammonites quickly figured out that this was a very bad move.


Now, how to deal with this situation? The quick and honorable solution would be for the state department to tell Hanun, “I believe we were wrong; we messed up here.” Then for Hanun to say, “I believe you are right; let me put together a set of emissaries with gifts for David and for the men we humiliated, and dispatch them immediately to Israel, in addition to a $500,000 tribute payment.” However, that would involve admitting blame; that would involve admitting to a mistake. They are too arrogant to do that.


Application: In the United States, the Community Reinvestment Act was passed, with the idea of providing more and more houses to the poor and disadvantaged. This was legislatively ramped up under Clinton, and put into effect under Bush (much of our government functions separately from the direct actions of the president). In place was the secondary mortgage market, known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These entities both made home loans possible and they stabilized the housing market. A mortgage company does not lend out $100,000 for a home and then hold on to that loan until it is paid up, and then loan it out again. They loan the money and then sell the loan to the secondary mortgage market, which then sells it to FNMA or FHLMC. FNMA and FHLMC set the standards for the mortgages which they will accept. A mortgage company is not going to make a mortgage to those who do not meet these standards because they could not sell their loan, and therefore, could not make a new loan (a mortgage company makes money on the initial fees of the loans it makes). All of a sudden, FNMA and FHLMC lowered their standards dramatically, as a result of the Community Reinvestment Act, and then various entities, supported by the government (like ACORN) began demanding that mortgage loans with these lesser qualifications be made. All of a sudden, millions of people who did not qualify for a mortgage before now qualified for a mortgage; they were being loaned money for houses that they could not afford (based upon the new governmental regulations), and this drove up housing prices dramatically. When these millions of new loans were not paid back, what was once the gold standard in investments—mortgage loans—took a nose dive, which infected pretty much every investment anyone had, including investments of banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, etc., sending our economic system into a tailspin. None of this information is disputed. So, when was the last time you heard a government official stand up and say, “We screwed up. We thought that giving loans to the underprivileged would be a good thing, and we sent our economy into a tailspin because of this.” It is 2010, years after this has occurred, and I have not heard a single politician admit to this. So, Hanun does not admit to his error. His state department does not admit to its error. These fools screwed up their country, and some humility and some quick groveling action could solve their problem; and they refuse to do it. Just like politicians today, who forced banks and mortgage companies to take risky loans by their policies at FNMA and FHLMC.


2Sam. 10:6: When the sons of Ammon recognized that they had made themselves odious before David, they sent and hired 20,000 infantry from Aram of Beth-Rehob and Aram of Zobah, 1000 men from the king of Maacah and 12,000 men from Ishtob. Arrogant people act arrogantly and impulsively. Because they act out of arrogance, they do not think their actions through. As a result, they are unable to undo the stupid things that they do because they are still arrogant after doing the stupid things which result in their new predicament. Most of the time, they are unable to admit they have made a mistake because of their great arrogance.

The Results of Arrogant and Impulsive Actions

1.      At best, arrogance can recognize that, after an impulsive act, they are in worse shape than they were originally. However, even with hindsight, arrogant people are still arrogant.

2.      Therefore, many of the things which they do subsequently reflect this arrogance.

         1)      The modern-day example of President Obama and his Stimulus Bill has been given. This was a great act of arrogance.

         2)      The results of the Stimulus Act were not stimulative to the economy.

         3)      In order to “solve” this problem, the administration began a propaganda campaign that the Stimulus Bill was now working.

3.      Hanun and his state department realized that, David would not let this go. David would not simply say, La de dah; obviously I should not send ambassadors to Ammon.”

4.      If Ammon was paying tribute to David, and if that was part of the problem, now they are going to take a much higher percentage of the GNP and spend it on Aramean mercenaries.

5.      Their arrogance caused them to do a stupid thing. They are still arrogant; therefore, they cannot easily turn around and fix what they messed up.

         1)      President Obama, out of great arrogance, has made many economic decisions, all of which have turned out badly.

         2)      As long as the President remains arrogant, he will not be able to solve the financial mess that we are in, which mess is exacerbated by his arrogance and incompetence.

         3)      Similarly, because Hanun’s state department is still arrogant, they unable to come up with a plan which will solve their dilemma.

6.      There is an actual solution here. The state department, when they came to their senses, should have realized, “We will all be killed, and so will our families and all of our friends and everyone in Ammon will be killed or enslaved.” Then, the correct solution would be to, resign as Hanun’s state department, and then to present themselves to David as his loyal slaves. In this way, they would have taken responsibility for their stupid decision to humiliate David’s ambassadors, and David would not have attacked Ammon. Such a solution would have been inexpensive, honorable and it would have saved their families and friends. However, when arrogance makes a bad decision, arrogance is unable to fix the results of that bad decision.

7.      The arrogance of Hanun’s state department led to the impulsive act of abusing these ambassadors from Israel. This action is not related to reality. As a songwriter once wrote, “You don’t spit into the wind and you don’t step on Superman’s cape.”

8.      Arrogance distorts reality. If Hanun and his state department refuse to view the world theater in a realistic way, then they cannot make good decisions.

9.      It is much better to start out by making good decisions. The time to act out of humility and with good information is now, not after making a lot of stupid decisions.

         1)      This is very true of the believer.

         2)      God gives us the filling of the Holy Spirit and Bible doctrine so that we can make intelligent, informed decisions.

         3)      Humility and teachability area a result of the inculcation of Bible doctrine. We cannot make good decisions apart from Bible doctrine.

         4)      Most believers do stupid things today—not unlike what Hanun did—out of ignorance of doctrine or because they reject the authority of doctrine.

10.    There is plenty of arrogance to go around in Ammon. The Ammonite population are also stimulated by their own arrogance. The sight of David’s ambassadors being paraded through the streets humiliated was probably a great source of amusement to them. It I likely that they talked about this for days.

11.    At some point in time, the power and ferocity of Israel’s army would have come into their sphere of reality. At some point, they would think, “Hmmm, maybe we ought to think about David’s army invading Ammon.”

12.    In his great arrogance, Hanun, or members of the state department, probably figured, “We will just employ some Aramean mercs; they will help us defeat David’s army.” Arrogance continues to blind them to the cold, hard reality of David’s army being led by the Living God.

13.    At some point, possibly in the midst of war with Israel, the king of Ammon will realize that he has bitten off more than he can chew; that his arrogant act will result in being a war that they cannot win.

14.    These men should have recognized, “Even though David is collecting tribute [an assumption I have made], we are still quite prosperous. Why rock the boat?”

         1)      The poor in the United States have a great life. The biggest problem of the poor in America is obesity. They have no idea what the life of the poor outside of the United States is like.

         2)      The poor in American, if they act in arrogance, will vote more and more in opposition to big and small business, with the eventual result that, they will destroy the economy of the United States.

         3)      The poor who vote arrogantly, see the successful as their enemies.

         4)      Poor people who understand some modicum of truth, recognize that, when business does well, they do well.

         5)      Only a stupid person could think that, [here is a very contemporary issue} it is a good idea to raise taxes on oil companies because they make too much money. Such a person is not voting to reduce profits to oil companies, but to increase their own cost at the pump. It is like saying, “I am upset because gas costs nearly $5/gallon; I want to tax the oil companies so severely that they will have to charge me $7/gallon.”

15.    The Ammonites were enjoying an extremely prosperous time in their history. Given Israel’s power but willingness to be at peace, it would make sense for Ammon to maintain a good relationship with Israel. Why screw up a good thing?

16.    If you plan to commit violence, then you need to consider what you are doing first. You must be motivated by thought and not by emotion; you must know the facts and you need imagination to understand what could happen as a result. You need to think with divine viewpoint if you are a believer; and you need to function within the laws of divine establishment if you are an unbeliever. King Hanun needed one advisor to tell him, “Look, David is powerful; he is decisive. The decision of humiliating his ambassadors could result in the destruction of our capitol city, Rabbah. Do we want to take that chance?”

17.    It is nearly impossible to back away from an impulsive act motivated by arrogance. When you want to push or push back, think about where this can lead and be willing to accept the consequences of your actions.


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Application: When you screw things up because of arrogance, you need to fix things by approaching the solution with humility.


2Samuel 10:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (שָלַח) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for [forth, away], to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth, to stretch out, to reach out

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

ʿAmmôwn (עַמּוֹן) [pronounced ģahm-MOHN]

hidden; transliterated Ammon

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #5983 BDB #769

This is often transliterated Bene-Ammon and is a common designation for this country.

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

sâkar (שָׂכַר) [pronounced saw-KAHR]

to hire; to recompense; to bribe

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7936 BDB #968

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾĂram (אֲרַם) [pronounced uh-RAHM]

the highland, high region; exalted; and is transliterated Aram; sometimes rendered Syria, Mesopotamia

proper noun, singular construct form

Strong’s #758 BDB #74

Bêyth Rechôwb (רֶחוֹבֿ תי̤) [pronounced beyth-reh-KHOHBv]

place [house] of street [market?]; house of Rehob; region of breadth; transliterated Beth-Rehob

proper singular noun/location

Strong’s #1050 BDB #112

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾĂram (אֲרַם) [pronounced uh-RAHM]

the highland, high region; exalted; and is transliterated Aram; sometimes rendered Syria, Mesopotamia

proper noun, singular construct

Strong’s #758 BDB #74

Tsôwbâh (צוֹבָה) [pronounced tzohb-VAW]

transliterated Zobah

Proper noun, territory

Strong’s #6678 BDB #844

ʿeserîym (עֶשְׂרִים) [pronounced ģese-REEM]

twenty

plural numeral adjective

Strong’s #6242 BDB #797

ʾeleph (אֶלֶף) [pronounced EH-lef]

thousand, family, (500?); military unit

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #505 (and #504) BDB #48

ragelîy (רַגְלִי) [pronounced rahge-LEE]

on foot, footmen; foot soldier

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #7273 BDB #920


Translation: ...they [lit., Bene-Ammon] sent and hired 20,000 infantry [from] Aram of Beth-Rehob and Aram of Zobah,... First off, I want you to notice the word hired. The Hebrew verb here is the Qal imperfect of sâkar (שָׂכַר) [pronounced saw-KAHR], which means to hire; to recompense; to bribe. Strong’s #7936 BDB #968. As I have already suggested, the Ammonites were probably already paying some sort of tribute to David, and this had been set up between David and Nahash, and this was a friendly agreement. David did not squeeze Nahash, as they had a good relationship. This would have been standard operating procedure for this time period. However, Nahash’s arrogant son, Hanun, an ass of a man, most certainly broke off this arrangement in his treatment of David’s ambassadors. Now, it is going to cost the country of Ammon a lot more money to hire mercenaries from Aram and elsewhere, so this arrogant move did not save them any money.


Now, why does God the Holy Spirit not mention the money? The key issue here is the way Hanun treated David’s ambassadors. As I suggested, there was tribute paid to Israel from Ammon (2Sam. 8:11–12). Whether this is a gloss, and comes about because of 2Sam. 10 or whether it simply indicates that Nahash was paying tribute to David (which is what I believe to be the case), the money is not the issue to David. The money is not the issue to God the Holy Spirit. The issue is, David is God’s man. His ambassadors represent him. They came into Ammon on a goodwill mission. They were doing nothing untoward. And Hanun, in his great arrogance, treats them deplorably. This will cost Ammon a lot. What they pay for in mercenary soldiers is only a part of what this will cost them.


Application: What you do when motivated by arrogance has long-term effects; your initial losses may not be all that you lose.


It is doubtful that Hanun or anyone in his state department suddenly said, “We really screwed up. What can we do to fix this?” Had they been able to admit to their stupid, arrogant act, they might have been able to repair the damage. Hanun should have gathered up every dime in his kingdom, put someone else in charge, and rode to Israel as quickly as possible with this money, bringing with him his state department, with the provision that David could do to them whatever he wanted, which would include execution if necessary. This would have saved his country. But, as already discussed, arrogance is unable to see things clearly. Arrogance is unable to own up to its mistakes, arrogance is unable to be humble.


Option #2: make an alliance with the greatest army in the world at that time. Well, not an alliance exactly; Hanun purchases mercenaries from the greatest army in the world. The imperfect tense of the verb to hire indicates that this was a process. They did not go to one king in Syria and say, “Here’s the money; how many soldiers can we purchase with this?” They went throughout the Syrian empire, talking to various kings, purchasing a 1000 soldiers from here, 10,000 from there. I once worked as a realtor, and when a commission was paid, I got half of it and my broker got half of it. As a new agent, I did not think that was fair; and as I learned more and more about the business, the more I appreciated my broker. What probably happened here is, Hanun’s ambassadors would work out a deal with an individual king. The king would then send in some of his men, who might or might not be paid at that time. Once the job had been completed, then the soldiers or their families would be paid (their families would possibly be paid if the soldier died in battle). However, the king probably kept half of the money. That was his cut as the broker. You may think that is unfair, but who paid to train these men? Who kept the Aramæan army organized? The king had his expenses and his own risks, so half the money was probably his share.


According to R. B. Thieme, Jr., the only people who were as tough as the Syrians were the Dorians, who are described in history as tall blonde blue-eyed ox-eating Greeks. They would be organized under Alexander the Great and conquer the world. Footnote


Ammon went to the largest empire near to them—Aram (called Syria by the Greeks).

A Map of Aram

This maps shows us where Rehob and Maacah are, the general direction of Zobah and the location of Damascus in Syria. This maps does not take in all of Aram, which stretches almost to the Euphrates River (see 2Sam. 8:3).


Hiring these mercenaries was not an easy thing. It is not clear whether the Ammonites made all of the stops themselves or whether this was negotiated in Damascus. Since all of these places are cited in our passage, I suspect that initial negotiations take place in Damascus, but that Ammon’s delegation made separate agreements with these other states (which is why they are listed separately in our text).

2sam_102.gif

 

Taken from http://www.truthnet.org/Biblicalarcheology/8/United_kingdom-2aa.jpg


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

We know very little about Beth-Rehob

Aram of Beth-Rehob

1.      The Syrian empire, at this time, appears to be broken down into a number of city-states, not unlike the Philistines, which we have dealt with in more detail.

2.      The name Beth-Rehob means house of streets.

3.      When the original Jewish spies checked out the land, it appears that they went as far north as Rehob (Num. 13:21). Some have suggested that this is the same place.

4.      When the tribe of Dan decided that they inherited land that was too difficult for them to control, they moved north and wiped out of peaceful people in Laish, a city north of Israel and apparently not too far from Beth-Rehob. Judges 18:28

5.      The site of the town is unknown. It has been conjecturally identified with Hunin, West of Banias, and, more plausibly, with Banias itself (Thomson, The Land and the Book (2), 218; Buhl, Geog., 240; Moore, ICC, Jgs, 399).1

6.      Clarke places them at the extremity of the valley between the Lebanon and Antilebanon mountains.2

7.      It seems very unlike that this is identical to Mesopotamia, which is named in 1Chron. 19:6 (the parallel passage, which reads: And when the children of Ammon saw that they had made themselves odious to David, Hanun and the children of Ammon sent a thousand talents of silver to hire them chariots and horsemen out of Mesopotamia, and out of Aram-Maachah, and out of Zobah).

         1)      Mesopotamia is quite a distance east from there, which would have required a northerly and then easterly route for the Ammonites, in order to avoid the desert.

         2)      Furthermore, in 2Sam. 8, David kept Aram from expanding in that direction.

8.      

1 The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; James Orr, Editor; ©1956 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Ⓟ by Hendrickson Publishers; from E-Sword; Topic:  Beth-Rehob.

2 Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Bible; from e-Sword, 2Sam. 10:6. .

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The Doctrine of Zobah was taken from 1Chron. 18 (PDF document)

Zobah, as a kingdom, was a significant enemy of Israel’s during the monarchy of the unified kingdom. It is located northeast of Israel, although its exact location is disputed (see geography under the ISBE reference).

The Doctrine of Zobah

1.      Zobah appears to have been an independent country northeast of Israel, which eventually allied itself with Aram (Syria) or was conquered by the Syrians. Smith suggests that this was an independent portion of the Syrian kingdom during the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon.

2.      Easton describes it as a Syrian province or kingdom to the south of Coele-Syria, and extending from the eastern slopes of Lebanon north and east toward the Euphrates.

3.      We first hear of Zobah when Saul’s military victories are spoken of in 1Sam. 14:47. These were victories over Moab, Ammon, Edom, Zobah, and Philistia.

4.      Zobah is not mentioned again until our passage (and the parallel passage in 2Sam. 8:3–6) where David defeats Hadadezer, king of Zobah, which expanded Israel’s borders as far as the Euphrates River. David decimated Hadadezer’s army, wiping out its armor division along with 10's of 1000's of soldiers. 1Chron. 18:3–4

5.      Syrians from Damascus joined in the fray, and David defeated them as well. 2Sam. 8:5–6 1Chron. 18:5–6

6.      In this war, David scored big time against Hadadezer, carrying away shields of gold, and other articles of silver, gold and bronze. 2Sam. 8:7–8, 11–12 1Chron. 18:7–8, 10–11

7.      David became allied with Toi, King of Hamath, because David defeated Hadadezer, King of Zobah. 2Sam. 8:9–10 1Chron. 18:9–10

8.      When we get to 2Sam. 10, the writer speaks of the Syrians of Zobah. My first impression was, the Syrians took over this area after David defeated Hadadezer. However, Hadadezer is mentioned by name in 1Kings 11:23. This suggests that Zobah is a region, and that, at some point in time, the Syrians had control over a portion of that region so as to be identified with it. It could be that Zobah was always an Aramæan kingdom, but not specifically identified until 2Sam. 10. In any case, David defeats a large coalition of enemy forces (Aram, Zobah, Ammon, along with enemies from Bethrehob, Ishtob and Maacah). ISBE nicely describes this war: During David's Ammonite war, the enemy was strengthened by alliance with Zobah, Maacah and Beth-rehob, and Israel was attacked from both North and South at the same time. The northern confederation was defeated by Joab, but Hadadezer again gathered an army, including levies from beyond the Euphrates. These, under Shobach the captain of the host, were met by David in person at Helam, and a great slaughter ensued, Shobach himself being among the slain (2Sa_10:6-19, the King James Version “Zoba”; 1 Ch 19:3-19). 2Sam. 10 1Chron. 19

9.      ISBE adds: The kingdom of Zobah in addition to its mineral wealth must have been rich in vineyards and fruitful fields, and its conquest must have added greatly to the wealth and power of Israel's king.

10.    Psalm 60 appears to have been composed after David defeated Aram-zobah (2Sam. 10) and Edom (2Sam. 8). Psalm 60 inscription

11.    During the time of Solomon, Rezon, a fugitive from Hadadezer, established himself as king of Damascus and was a problem for Solomon, David’s son,. He was a man who loathed Israel. 1Kings 11:23–25

12.    In 2Chron. 8, Solomon goes up ot Hamath-zobah and takes it (this is the only time it is called by this name in the Bible). He also rebuilds cities given to him by Hiram; so, under Solomon, there is a northward expansion; however, it does not appear as though this area was conquered by warfare (except, indirectly by David’s wars). Zobah is never mentioned again after this passage. ISBE suggests that, by the time of the writing of Chronicles, the distinction between Hamath and Zobah had faded, so that this reference simply refers to the northern territory taken in by Solomon. See the map below:

13.    Smith: 2Chron. 8:3...is the last that we hear of Zobah in Scripture. The name however, is found at a later date in the inscriptions of Assyria, where the kingdom of Zobah seems to intervene between Hamath and Damascus

Some additional material culled from:

M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary; 1897; from e-Sword, topic: Zobah.

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; James Orr, Editor; ©1956 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Ⓟ by Hendrickson Publishers; from E-Sword; Topics:  Hamath-zobah, Zobah.

Dr. William Smith, Smith’s Bible Dictionary; 1894; from e-Sword, topic: Zobah.

The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible; Merrill Tenney, ed., Zondervan Publishing House, ©1976; Vol. 5, pp. 1069–1070.

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Map of the Kingdoms of Saul, David and Solomon


To help explain that final point in the doctrine of Zobah, the pinkish area at the top is Hamath-zobah, an area taken over by Solomon in 2Chron. 8.


You will see that Edom, Moab and Ammon are separate territories enclosed in purple (David’s kingdom), which indicates that David gave them some autonomy, but collected tribute (taxes) from them.


Also placed in 1Chron. 18 (PDF document)

davidkingdom.jpg

 

Graphic from: http://biblenews1.com/maps/DavidKingdom.gif


Chapter Outline

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So, because of Hanun’s dumb-ass move, Ammon went north to Syria and purchased 20,000 mercenaries from Aram of Beth-Rehob and Aram of Zobah.


2Samuel 10:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

meleke (מֶלֶך׃) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Maʿăkâh (מַעֲכָה) [pronounced maw-ģuh-KAW]

depression; oppression, pressed [lit., she has pressed]; and is transliterated Maacah

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #4601 BDB #590

ʾeleph (אֶלֶף) [pronounced EH-lef]

thousand, family, (500?); military unit

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #505 (and #504) BDB #48

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man; a husband; one of virile age; an inhabitant of, a citizen of [when followed by a genitive of a place]; companion of, solider of, follower of [when followed by a genitive of king, leader, etc.]; anyone, someone, a certain one, each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35


Translation: ...1000 men [from] the king of Maacah... Although Maacah was a piece or property which was once under the control of Manasseh, it fell into the hands of the Syrians, although we do not know how. In any case, when the Jews conquered the land, and Reuben, Gad and Manasseh took the land east of the Jordan, they apparently allowed the people of that area (the Maachathites) to live (Deut. 3:13–14 Joshua 12:5 13:11).

 

Fausset probably gives us the best description of Maacah: Abel–beth–Maacah was not in it, but in Israel; in the direction of Maacah, and somehow connected with it (2Sam. 20:14–16). A small kingdom outside Argob (Deut. 3:14), and Bashan (Joshua 12:5). Between Bashan and the kingdom of Damascus, on the skirts of Mount Hermon, east of the Lejah. The mention of Maacah with the Geshurites points to a connection between them; probably by affinity, as the Geshurite Talmai's daughter bears the name Maacah. Both were connected with Syria (1Chron. 19:6–7; 2Sam. 10:6; 2Sam. 10:8). The king of Maacah was Ammon's ally against David; his small contingent, 1,000 men, shows the pettiness of the region. Footnote


Maacah is on the other side of the Jordan, near the territory of Gilead (Deut. 3:14). They were allowed to remain in this area for many years, since Israel conquered that territory (Joshua 13:13). Since they are functioning as a separate military unit here, they have obviously broken away from Israel and allied with or under the control of Aram.


There is an odd connection found in 1Chron. 4:19: The sons of the wife of Hodiah, the sister of Naham, were the fathers of Keilah the Garmite and Eshtemoa the Maacathite. 1Chron. 4 deals with the line of Judah, but this particular portion of the line (1Chron. 4:8–20) is not exactly clear as to how it is tied to Judah (see the Sons of Judah, a chart in 1Chron. 4). The Jews conquered the land about 400 years after Judah. This suggests either some intermarriage or that the Maacathites were 2nd cousins to the Jews.


In any case, the Ammonites were able to hire 1000 mercenaries from Maacah.


2Samuel 10:6d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man; a husband; one of virile age; an inhabitant of, a citizen of [when followed by a genitive of a place]; companion of, solider of, follower of [when followed by a genitive of king, leader, etc.]; anyone, someone, a certain one, each, each one, everyone

masculine singular construct (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35

ţôwb (טוֹב) [pronounced tohbv]

pleasant, pleasing, agreeable, good, better; approved

masculine feminine singular adjective which can act like a substantive

Strong’s #2896 BDB #373

The two previous words are joined together by a măqqēf, which is a high, short horizontal stroke which connects two words together, making them function as one. Therefore, this should be taken as one word, standing for one place (city, state or country), which gives us the following word:

ʾĪysh-Tôwb (טוֹב ־שי.א) [pronounced eesh-TOBV]

man of Tob and is transliterated Ishtob

masculine singular proper noun:

Strong’s #382 BDB #36

shenêym (שְנֵים) [pronounced she-NĀM]

two, two of, a pair of, a duo of

dual numeral construct

Strong’s #8147 BDB #1040

This is followed by a măqqē´f, (מַקֵּף) [pronounced mahk-KAHF], which is a high, short, horizontal stroke which connects two words together, making them function as one, and they are, therefore, pronounced as one word.

ʿâsâr (עָשָׂה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWR]

ten; –teen [resulting in numbers 11–19]

masculine/feminine singular noun

Strong’s #6240 BDB #797

ʾeleph (אֶלֶף) [pronounced EH-lef]

thousand, family, (500?); military unit

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #505 (and #504) BDB #48

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man; a husband; one of virile age; an inhabitant of, a citizen of [when followed by a genitive of a place]; companion of, solider of, follower of [when followed by a genitive of king, leader, etc.]; anyone, someone, a certain one, each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35


Translation: ...and 12,000 men [from] Ishtob. Another 12,000 soldiers were hired from Ishtob (or, from the men of Tob).


Ish-Tob simply means men of Tob.

The Land of Tob

Source

Information

Clarke

Ishtob was probably equivalent to Tob, which is where Jephthah fled from the cruelty of his brothers. It was situated in the land of Gilead. Footnote

Easton

A district on the east of Jordan, about 13 miles south–east of the Sea of Galilee, to which Jephthah fled from his brethren (Judges 11:3, Judges 11:5). It was on the northern boundary of Perea, between Syria and the land of Ammon (2Sam. 10:6, 2Sam. 10:8). Its modern name is Taiyibeh. Footnote

Fausset

Tob means "good". Where Jephthah was expelled by his stepbrothers; here he gathered to him a band of freebooters; from Tob the elders of Gilead brought him to oppose Ammon. Toward the desert E. of Gilead. Ish-tob, i.e. the men of Tob, supported the Ammonites against David (2Sam. 10:6; 2Sam. 10:8). Ptolemy (Geogr. v. 19) mentions a Thauba S.W. of Zobah, probably N.E. of Ammon. There is a Tell Dobbe or Dibbe, a ruined site south of the Lejah. Footnote

ISBE

It was to Tob that Jephthah escaped from his brethren after his father's death (Judges 11:3), and perfected himself in the art of war, making forays with “the vain fellows” who joined him. Here the elders of Gilead found him, when, reduced to dire straits by the children of Ammon, they desired him to take command of their army (Judges 11:5 ff). This country contributed 12,000 men to the forces of the allies, who with the Ammonites were defeated by Israel (2Sam. 10:8). In 1Macc 5:13 we read of the land of Tubins where the Jews, about 1,000 men, were slain by the Gentiles, their wives and children being carried into captivity. The Tubieni, “men of Tobit” of 2Macc 12:17, were probably from this place. Ptolemy (v. 19) speaks of Thauba, a place to the Southwest of Zobah, which may possibly be Tobit. The Talmud (Neubauer, Geog. du Talmud, 239) identifies the land of Tobit with the district of Hippene. Tobit would then be represented by Hippos, modern Susīyeh, to the Southwest of Fiḳ on the plateau East of the Sea of Galilee. Perhaps the most likely identification is that supported by G. A. Smith (HGHL, 587), with eṭ–Ṭaiyibeh, 10 miles South of Umm Ḳeis (Gadara). The name is the same in meaning as Tobit. Footnote

Smith

A place in which Jephthah took refuge, when expelled from home, by his half–brother, Judges 11:3, and where he remained, at the head of a band of freebooters, till he was brought back, by the sheikhs of Gilead. Judges 11:5.


The narrative implies that the land of Tob, was not far distant from Gilead; at the same time, from the nature of the case, it must have lain out toward the eastern deserts. It is undoubtedly mentioned again in 2Sam. 10:6; 2Sam. 10:8, as Ishtob, that is, man of Tob, meaning, according to a common Hebrew idiom, the men of Tob. After a long interval, it appears again, in the Maccabaean history, 1Ma. 5:13, in the names of Tobie and Tubieni. 2Ma. 12:17. No identification of the ancient, district with any modern one has yet been attempted. Footnote

Hanun went all over in order to contract mercenaries.


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Hanun of Ammon was able to hire 12,000 mercenaries from Tob. Altogether, this is a 33,000 man Aramæan army to supplement their own army. This is not a huge army. David had already captured 20,000 infantrymen from Hadaezer in 2Sam. 8:3–4 and when the Syrians sent backup to help David, he killed 22,000 of them (2Sam. 8:5), so even if you know little or nothing about military movements, we know that Ammon has purchased an army which is small. Every country has an upper limit of what they can spend. We may reasonably assume that the Ammonites did not spend every last dime on an army. However, based upon their own G2, they determined that this is a force which should be able to withstand the Jewish army and yet not completely destroy their economy.


In 1Chron. 19:6, we find that a 1000 talents of silver was spent in order to hire an army from Naharaim, Maacah and Zobah, city-states of Syria. According to the CEV Bible, this is 30 tons of silver (the ERV version has this as 75,000 pounds, which is about 37.5 tons; the GNB has nearly 40 tons of silver). Let’s go with the 75,000 pounds of silver and look at it from a 2010 perspective: today’s spot price of silver is $17/ounce. The value of silver is relative to an economy, so in our day and time, this would be $20.4 million dollars for 75,000 lbs. of silver. This tells us 2 things: hiring a mercenary at that time was relatively cheap (although, bear in mind, this will be essentially for one battle) and Ammon was reasonably wealthy. Essentially, they were paying these mercenaries about $600 each for going to war for a month or two. As Americans, this may seem to be ridiculously low; however, in many countries, where people make $100–600/year (over half the world in 2000 lived on $2 or less per day), $600 for a month or two of work is quite reasonable. No doubt, this was split with the nation of Aram, so each soldier probably pocketed half that.


As I have mentioned earlier, the choices which the Ammonites make here are very short-sighted. They were probably paying tribute to David for probably much less than this Aramæan army cost, and they lived in peace. It is also worth noting that, the Ammonites, despite paying tribute to David, were financially well off, since they are able to afford to pay $20 million to Aram for an army. This is blessing by association, that they could amass this wealth; they were blessed in their association with David. However, this will turn into be cursing by association because they have turned against the Jews and will now associate themselves with Aram.


Application: We in the United States are in a precarious economic situation, and we are here because of our own personal greed and because of the failure of our leaders to guide us toward responsible stewardship. I write this in 2010, and we are presently going through a mild recession (although, the leadership of our country has proclaimed this the greatest economic disaster since the Great Depression). The solutions to our recession are quite simple: Cut government spending by a third (except for the military), reimpose taxes on those who are not paying taxes, and reduce the taxes on the those who are paying the most. We have leaders who are too arrogant to know what to do. They have their own economic theories and their own predispositions, and fiscal responsibility and a shared tax revenue (to be taken from the poor as well as from the rich) is anathema to them.


Application: One historical question which haunted me for decades was the cause of the Great Depression. I wondered, what exactly took us to this place where our nation suffered such a great depression? The mistake in my thinking was my initial question. I had been led to believe, in all of my schooling, that somehow, we fell into this great depression, and that Franklin Delano Roosevelt saved us. It never occurred to me that the Great Depression was directly related to the government instituting a bunch of programs which did not make things better, but made things worse. There were not this handful of things which caused the Great Depression; what happened was, we went into an economic tailspin and government policies managed to keep us in an economic tailspin.


Do you see the price of arrogance here to Ammon? Hanun’s state department is arrogant, so they push to get Hanun to listen to them, to heed their advice. Hanun wants to be a popular king and to arrogantly show off his strength, so he goes along with his state department. The end result is, he will pay out far more money for mercenaries that will do Ammon no good; and, within a few years, his people will be defeated in battle and poor, because of how much they paid to Aram.


Application: One of the worst mental attitudes that a national leader can possess is arrogance. As I write this, the two national leaders of North Korea and Iran are quite odious in this regard. It is very likely that Iran will wake up one morning to a pummeling of aircraft bombing, which will kill hundreds of thousands of people, and all because of one arrogant little man. However, we need not look that far out into the world; the President of the United States seems to be extremely arrogant, thinking that he knows about things with which he has absolutely no experience (like the free market). When a leader is arrogant, there is a price to be paid.


Application: The Bible tells us that we get the leaders that we deserve. In the United States, it is even more apparent, as we elect our president. We as a country looked at this self-righteous, arrogant man, and chose him over a man of much greater humility; so we deserve the leader we have. We heard promises which, had we given them any thought, would have been obviously illogical, but we chose to believe them. The actions of King Hanun and President Barrack Obama are quite different, but they proceed from a mental attitude of arrogance; and we will pay, just as the Ammonite people paid. As arrogant people, we deserve the arrogant leader that we have.


Do not disassociate the people of Ammon from their leader, King Hanun. He is a reflection of his people. He cannot take the approach that he takes if his people do not support him. However, these people do not respond with, “Fight the Jews? But the Jews are a good and righteous people; and they have a brilliant general as their king.” They go along with their king, many of them having the same opinion which is shared by Hanun’s state department. Hanun’s arrogant state department said just the opposite, and this seemed right and good to Hanun himself, and the people joined with them (you cannot man an army without people).


There are some differences between the Samuel and the Chronicles passages. Bear in mind that the writer of Chronicles had the Samuel passage and other historical material before him when writing Chronicles. Therefore, in the mind of the chronicler, there is no contradiction between the text of Samuel which he had and the facts.

There is always the option that the Samuel text which we have is faulty, which is not out of the question.

Explaining the Differences between 2Samuel 10:6 and 1Chronicles 19:6–7

 

2Sam. 10:6

1Chron. 19:6–7

Passage

And the sons of Ammon saw that they were odious to David. And the sons of Ammon sent and hired Syrians from Beth-rehob, and Syrians from Zobah, 20,000 footmen; and the king of Maacah with a 1000 men; and the men of Tob with 12,000 men.

And the Ammonites saw that they had made themselves odious to David; and Hanun and the Ammonites sent a 1000 talents of silver [≈ 75,000 lbs.] in order to hire to themselves chariots and horsemen from Syria of Naharaim [= Mesopotamia] and Syria of Maachah and from Zobah. And they hired 32,000 chariots to themselves, and the king of Maachah and his people. And they came in and pitched before Medeba; and the Ammonites had gathered out of their cities and had come to the battle.

The numbers and types of soldiers

20,000 footmen; and the king of Maacah with a 1000 men; and the men of Tob with 12,000 men.

And they hired 32,000 chariots to themselves, and the king of Maachah and his people.

The fact that 20,000 + 12,000 = 32,000 means nothing. Both foot soldiers and chariots were hired.

Cities, areas

Beth-rehob, Zobah, Maacah, and Ishtob.

Mesopotamia, Maacah and Zobah.

Mesopotamia is also translated Aram-Naharaim (Aram of the 2 rivers), and could simply refer to eastern Aram. Aram appears to be a loose confederation of city-states, not unlike the Philistine empire. The difference of the cities and areas named has to do with what was hired from them. Foot soldiers were hired from the cities named in 2Sam. 10:6 and chariots (and the commanding general) were hired from the cities named in 1Chron. 19:6–7.

1Chron. 19:7 gives us an interesting additional fact. When hiring so many mercenaries who are going to function as a separate unit from the Ammonites, you need a commanding officer; so it appears as though the king of Maacah was hired in order to perform this function.


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——————————


And so hears David and so he sends Joab and a whole the army the mighty ones.

2Samuel

10:7

When David heard, he dispatched Joab and the whole army—the elite force [lit., the mighty ones].

When David heard this, he dispatched Joab and his entire elite army.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And when David heard this, he sent Joab and the whole army of warriors.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so hears David and so he sends Joab and a whole the army the mighty ones.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And when David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the host of the mighty men.

Septuagint (Greek)                And David heard, and sent Joab and all of his army, [even] the mighty men.

 

Significant differences:           Both the English translation and the Syriac add pronouns after heard, which could just reflect the translation rather than the original (most of the English translations add something along these same lines).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David heard what they had done, and he sent out Joab with all of his well-trained soldiers.

Easy English (Pocock)           David heard about this. So he sent Joab and the whole *Israelite army to fight them.

Easy-to-Read Version            David heard about this. So he sent Joab and the whole army of powerful men.

Good News Bible (TEV)         David heard of it and sent Joab against them with the whole army.

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

New Life Bible                        When David heard about it, he sent Joab and all the army of the powerful men.

New Living Translation           When David heard about this, he sent Joab and all his warriors to fight them.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And when David heard about this, he sent JoAb and all his best soldiers there.

God’s Word                         After David heard about this, he sent Joab and all the elite troops.

New American Bible              On learning this, David sent out Joab with the entire levy of trained soldiers.

NIRV                                      David heard about it. So he sent Joab out with the entire army of Israel's fighting men.

New Jerusalem Bible             When David heard this, he sent Joab with the whole army, the champions.

Revised English Bible            When this was reported to David, he sent Joab out with all the fighting men.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And hearing of this, David sent Joab and all the army and the best fighting-men.

JPS (Tanakh)                         On learning this, David sent out Joab and the whole army—[including] the professional fighters.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And David heard of it, and he sent Joab, and the entire host of the mighty warriors.

NET Bible®                             When David heard the news, he sent Joab and the entire army to meet them [The words "the news" and "to meet them" are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons and for clarification.].

NIV – UK                                On hearing this, David sent Joab out with the entire army of fighting men.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Updated Emphasized Bible    And, when David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army of heroes,...

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and David hears

and sends Yah Ab and all the host of the mighty:.

LTHB                                     And David heard, and he sent Joab and all the army, the mighty men.

NRSV                                     When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army with the warriors.

Syndein                                  Consequently when David heard of it {a G2 summary report - on Rabah concentration}, he dispatched Joab, and all the army/host {means the new recruits} {sent the new recruits to give them experience, with the elite ranger battalions} including the mighty men {the elite forces}. {from I Chronicles 19:8 we see this is Joab leading all the recruits plus the 'most experienced troops' - like the Army rangers today}.

Young's Updated LT              And David hears, and he sends Joab and all the host [= army]—the mighty men.

 

The gist of this verse:          When David found out through his military intelligence that the Ammonites were hiring soldiers from Aram, he sent Joab with the Israeli army, along with the elite troops.


2Samuel 10:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

Following the lead of most translators, again, I render this wâw consecutive as when.

shâmaʿ (שָמַע) [pronounced shaw-MAHĢ]

to listen [intently], to hear, to listen and obey, [or, and act upon, give heed to, take note of], to hearken to, to be attentive to, to listen and be cognizant of

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #8085 BDB #1033

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: When David heard,... The Ammonites did not send David a telegram saying, “We just hired a small Syrian army; what are you going to do about it?” It is clear that David had a G2 (intelligence) force functioning in and around Ammon, particularly because of the absolutely boorish behavior of the Ammonites. David probably has a rough headcount of the Syrian army which the Ammonites hired; however, his G2 will not know the exact movement of this army.


2Samuel 10:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (שָלַח) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for [forth, away], to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth, to stretch out, to reach out

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Yôwʾâb (יוֹאָב) [pronounced YOH-awbv]

Yah is father and is transliterated Joab

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3097 BDB #222

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all of, the entirety of, all; can also be rendered any of

masculine singular construct followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

tsâbâʾ (צָבָא) [pronounced tsawb-VAW]

army, war, or warfare