Click on the link below to see maps of Syria and the Middle East:
The Second Book of Samuel
(Parallel Chapter - 1 Chronicles, Chapter 19)
Biblical Syria Bible Truth
Ancient Syria in the Bible Events
Greetings to you once again from Daily Bread ... So glad you're
back! Last time we studied together, David had remembered he made a
promise to Jonathan that he would always show kindness to his
family. So David found and took in Jonathan's son Mephibosheth as if
he were one of his own sons.
After that, Nahash, the king of the Ammonites died, and Hanun, his
son, took over as king. David said, "I'll show kindness to Hanun,
because his father Nahash was kind to me."
Now, wait just a minute! Isn't this the same Nahash that threatened
to gouge out all the right eyes of the men of Jabesh-gilead? Yep,
that was in 1
Samuel, Chapter 11. And he was a friend of David's?
Biblical Syria Bible Research
Ancient Syria in the Bible Story
Well, one must say that a lot of strange relationships have occurred
since we started studying the Bible together, now haven't they? Most
recently, we thought it was strange that David was chummy with the
king of Moab, and asked him if his mom and pop could hang out with
him while he hid from Saul, remember?
Then we thought it was strange that he was pals with the Achish, the
king of Gath ... Also while he was hiding from Saul. So apparently,
there were other leagues made with other kings as well, during
David's lifetime, specifically while hiding from Saul, that we're not
No doubt there was good reason for David to befriend Nahash, because
we know that David was a righteous kinda guy, and like we said
before, sometimes when people have a common enemy, that's enough to
spark a friendship.
Biblical Syria Bible Teaching
Ancient Syria in the Bible Concern
So David sent some of his servants to express sympathy to Hunan and
to assure him that he (David) would show him (Hunan) the same
kindness that Nahash showed to him (David). But when they arrived,
Hanun's advisors questioned why they were there saying to the king,
"Do you really think David sent these men here to console you for
your father's death? Don't you know he sent them to spy on us so he
can overthrow the land?"
So Hanun took David's servants and shaved off one half of their
beards, and cut off their garments to a shameful length and sent them
away. When David heard what happened, he told them to stay at Jericho
until their beards had grown back because they were so embarrassed of
how they looked.
Biblical Syria Bible Facts
Ancient Syria in the Bible War
When the Ammonites saw how they made themselves repulsive in David's
eyes, they hired 20,000 Syrian soldiers from Beth-rehob and Zoba,
1000 men from king Maacah, and 12,000 men from Ish-tob. (Do those
first two names ring a bell? Beth-rehob and Zoba? Aren't they
strikingly similar to Rehob and Zobah? Remember? I'll give you a hint
... That's king Hadadezer's people.) When David heard what was
happening, he sent out Joab and his army of mighty men. The Ammonite
army approached the city gates and initiated the battle, and those
they hired hid waiting in the field.
When Joab saw they were stationed in two different areas, he chose
his best men and sent them out to battle against the Syrians, and
sent the rest of the army under his brother, Abishai, to battle the
Biblical Syria Bible Message
Ancient Syria in the Bible Warning
(Oh, you gotta know that Joab and Abishai loved this kind of
action!) Joab told Abishai, "If the Syrians are too much for me and
my army to handle, then you come help me. If the Ammonites are too
much for you, I'll come and help you. Let's be brave for our people
and let's save the cities of our God and may His will be done."
May God's will be done ... That is definitely the way to pray. It
shows complete confidence in God. They were trusting HIM.
Here is a study that talks about how we should pray for God's will to
be done, rather than our own will:
Back to the front lines ... When Joab and his army began to approach
the Syrians, they (the Syrians) ran away from them! When the
Ammonites saw the Syrians running away, they ran away too! So ...
Joab and his army returned back home.
Biblical Syria Bible Discussion
Ancient Syria in the Bible Danger
Remember, when God is on your team, you never know what to expect
... They weren't finished yet though ...
When the Syrians saw they were no match for Israel, they gathered
more soldiers together. You'll find that in this chapter Hadadezer's
name is spelled Hadarezer, and he sent the Syrians that were beyond
the river (Jordan), under the command of his General Shobach, to go
to Helam. When David heard they were there, he sent out his army to
cross the river to meet them.
The Syrians prepared themselves and fought against David's army ...
But ended up running away again. In the end, David had killed 700
charioteers, 40,000 horsemen, and their commander, Shobach.
Biblical Syria Bible Conclusion
Ancient Syria in the Bible Summary
When all the kings that Hadarezer hired saw that they were defeated
by Israel, they made peace with them, and became their servants ...
And yes, of course that means they gave Israel "gifts." After that,
the Syrians were afraid to help the Ammonites any more.
Next time, we'll find out about a war that David fought against
temptation ... And lost. We've all lost that battle at one time or
another in our lives. You'll learn how it affected David's future and
the future of his entire family, right here at Daily Bread.
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