13 1 When the king of the Ammonites died and Hanun his son reigned in his place, 2 David said, “I will be kind to Hanun son of Nahash as his father was kind to me.” So David sent his servants to comfort him over his father’s death. When David’s servants arrived in the land of the Ammonites, 3 the Ammonite chiefs told Hanun their lord, “Do you think that, by sending men with condolences, David is honoring your father? Has not David rather sent his servants to you to explore the city, spy on it and overthrow it?”
4 At this, Hanun seized David’s servants, shaved off half their beard, cut away the lower halves of their garments even up to their hips and sent them away. 5 When this was reported to David, he sent messengers to meet these men who felt greatly ashamed and to tell them, “Stay in Jericho and return after your beards have grown.”
6 The Ammonites saw that David could no longer bear with them, so they sent for and hired the Arameans of Beth-rehob and of Zobah numbering twenty thousand foot soldiers, the king of Maacah with one thousand men and also twelve thousand men of Tob. 7 On hearing this, David sent out Joab with all the warriors. 8 The Ammonites came out in battle formation at the entrance gate while the Arameans of Zobah and Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah grouped separately in the open country.
9 When Joab saw that there were two battlefronts, one in front of him and the other behind, he selected picked men of Israel and arranged them in battle formation against the Syrians. 10 Then he entrusted the rest of his army to Abishai his brother and arranged them in battle formation against the Ammonites. 11 And he said, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, you shall help me; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will come to your assistance. 12 Take cou rage! Let us act like men for the sake of our people and God’s cities; and may Yahweh do what seems good to him.”
13 Joab and the people who were with him launched the attack against the Arameans and put them to flight. 14 When the Ammonites saw the Arameans fleeing, they too fled before Abishai and entered the city. Then Joab returned from his battle against the Ammonites and came to Jerusalem.
15 When the Arameans saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they gathered to gether. 16 Hadadezer sent for the Syrians and had them brought from beyond the Euphra tes. They came to Helam with Shobach, the commander of Hadadezer’s army, leading them. 17 This was reported to David who, in turn, gathered together all Israel and came to Helam after crossing the Jordan. The Arameans then arranged themselves in battle formation and fought against David, 18 but they fled before Israel. David had seven hundred of the men in chariots and forty thousand horsemen killed. Shobach, too, the commander of their army was slain and died there. 19 After having been defeated by Israel, all the kings who depended on Hadadezer made peace with Israel and became subject to them. So the Arameans no longer dared to help the Ammonites.