The First Book of the Chronicles

Chapter 19

David's messengers, sent to comfort Hanun the son of Nahash, are villainously treated, 1-5. The Ammonites, strengthened by the Syrians, are overcome by Joab and Abishai, 6-15. Shophach, making a new supply of the Syrians, is slain by David, 16-19.

1 Now it came to pass after this, that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon died and his son reigned in his stead. 2 And David said, "I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash because his father showed kindness to me." And David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. So the servants of David came into the land of the children of Ammon to Hanun to comfort him. 3 But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, "Do you think that David honors your father in that he has sent comforters to you? Have his servants not come to you to search, to overthrow, and to explore the land?" 4 Therefore, Hanun took David's servants, shaved them, and cut off their garments in the midst, even past the small of the back, and sent them away. 5 Then some went and told David how the men were served. And he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, "Remain in Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return."

6 And when the children of Ammon saw that they had made themselves odious to David, Hanun and the children of Ammon sent one thousand talents of silver to hire themselves chariots and horsemen out of Mesopotamia, out of Syria-maachah, and out of Zobah. 7 So they hired thirty-two thousand chariots and the king of Maachah and his people, who came and encamped before Medeba. And the children of Ammon assembled from their cities and came to battle. 8 And when David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the host of the mighty men. 9 And the children of Ammon came out and put the battle in array before the gate of the city. And the kings who had come were by themselves in the field.

10 Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him before and behind, he selected all the choice of Israel and put them in array against the Syrians. 11 And the rest of the people he delivered to the hand of Abishai his brother, and they set themselves in array against the children of Ammon. 12 And he said, "If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the children of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will help you. 13 Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people and for the cities of our God. And let the LORD do that which is good in his sight." 14 So Joab and the people who were with him drew near before the Syrians to the battle, and they fled before him. 15 And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians had fled, they likewise fled before Abishai his brother and entered into the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem.

16 And when the Syrians saw that they were defeated before Israel, they sent messengers and drew forth the Syrians who were beyond the river, and Shophach the captain of the host of Hadarezer went before them. 17 And it was told to David. And he gathered all Israel, passed over the Jordan, came upon them, and set the battle in array against them. So when David had put the battle in array against the Syrians, they fought with him. 18 But the Syrians fled before Israel, and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men who fought in chariots, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Shophach the captain of the host. 19 And when the servants of Hadarezer saw that they were defeated before Israel, they made peace with David and became his servants. And the Syrians would not help the children of Ammon anymore.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Chronicles, Chapter 19[➚]