2 Samuel 10: The Ammonites start a war

Synopsis:

The Ammon king dies and his son Hanun reigns. David sends comforters to him as the king had been kind to him. The princes of Ammon tell Hanun not to trust David. So Hanun shaves off one half of the beards of David’s servants, cuts off their garments and the waste and sends them home – half naked.  David is rightly upset by this so he sends Joab with a host of men. The children of Ammon get help from the Syrians. Joab and his brother Abishai spilt up their army. That way if the Syrians are too strong, they have a back up regiment. But Joab wins and the Syrians flee.  The Syrians regroup at Helam. So David gathered all of Israel together, crossed the Jordan and met the Syrians at Helam.  David is victorious, slew the men of 700 chariots, and 40,000 horeemen and smote Shobach the captain of this host.  The servants of Hadarezer makes peace with Israel and the Syrians refuse to help the Ammonites any more.

Favorite bit:

2 Samuel 10:4: “Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.”  He only did that to shame them. He intentionally provoked David. What happens next – is pretty much Hanun’s fault.

Pretty smart bit:

2 Samuel 10:11 “And he (Joab) said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee.” Military strategy, nice.

Moral Lesson Learned:

Don’t assume the worst. You may create the very enemy you feared. (2 Samuel 10)