1 Chronicles 19: David
defeats the Ammonites & Arameans
Notes: Continuing the theme of David's victories, we
are presented with an illustration of ongoing folly seen in national
pride, in the following sequence of events:
David, with a good heart, sends sympathy for the death of a neighbouring
David's envoys are treated badly by the Ammonites.
Realizing what they have done, the Ammonites expect retribution
and gear up for war, and get help from the Arameans.
Hearing of the threat, David sends Joab with the whole army, and
they defeat the Ammonites and their Aramean helpers.
The Arameans, perhaps having lost face, gather more of their troops.
When David hears of this, he leads his army and thy rout the enemy.
ONE: v.1-4: A Foolish Act of non-diplomacy
David sends sympathy over a death
In the course
of time, Nahash king of the Ammonites
died, and his son succeeded him as king.
thought, ‘I will show kindness to Hanun son
of Nahash, because his father showed kindness to me.' So David
sent a delegation to express his sympathy to Hanun concerning
The Ammonites foolishly abuse David's envoys
David's envoys came to Hanun in the land of the Ammonites to express
sympathy to him,
Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, ‘Do you think David is honouring
your father by sending envoys to you to express sympathy? Haven't
his envoys come to you only to explore and spy out the country
and overthrow it?'
Hanun seized David's envoys, shaved them, cut off their garments
at the buttocks, and sent them away.
TWO v.5-7: A Foolish Act of Antagonistic Defensiveness
The Ammonites gear-up for war with Aramean help
someone came and told David about the men, he sent messengers
to meet them, for they were greatly humiliated. The king said,
‘Stay at Jericho till your beards have grown, and then come back.'
the Ammonites realised that they had become obnoxious to David,
Hanun and the Ammonites sent a thousand talents of silver to hire
chariots and charioteers from Aram Naharaim,
Aram Maakah and Zobah.
hired thirty-two thousand chariots and charioteers, as well as
the king of Maakah with his troops, who came and camped near Medeba,
while the Ammonites were mustered from their towns and moved out
THREE: v.8-15: A Consequent Defeat
Joab & Abishai defeat the Ammonites & Arameans
hearing this, David sent Joab out with the entire
army of fighting men.
Ammonites came out and drew up in battle formation at the entrance
to their city, while the kings who had come were by themselves
in the open country.
saw that there were battle lines in front of him and behind him;
so he selected some of the best troops in Israel and deployed
them against the Arameans.
put the rest of the men under the command of Abishai
his brother, and they were deployed against the Ammonites.
said, ‘If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you are to
rescue me; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I
will rescue you.
strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities
of our God. The Lord
will do what
is good in his sight.'
Joab and the troops with him advanced to fight the Arameans, and
they fled before him.
the Ammonites realised that the Arameans were fleeing, they too
fled before his brother Abishai and went inside the city. So Joab
went back to Jerusalem.
FOUR v.16-19: Ongoing foolishness and defeat
The Arameans gather extra help
the Arameans saw that they had been routed by Israel, they sent
messengers and had Arameans brought from beyond the River Euphrates,
with Shophak the commander of Hadadezer's army leading them.
David defeats the Arameans
David was told of this, he gathered all Israel and crossed the
Jordan; he advanced against them and formed his battle lines opposite
them. David formed his lines to meet the Arameans in battle, and
they fought against him.
they fled before Israel, and David killed seven thousand of their
charioteers and forty thousand of their foot soldiers. He also
killed Shophak the commander of their army.
the vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been routed by Israel,
they made peace with David and became subject to him.
the Arameans were not willing to help the Ammonites any more .