1Sometime after this, Nahash, the Ammonite king died and his son Hanun succeeded him.
2David said, “I will be kind to Hanun, son of Nahash, just as his father was kind to me.” So David sent representatives to take his condolences to Hanun regarding his father. But when they arrived in the country of the Ammonites,
3the Ammonite military leaders said to Hanun their king, “Do you really believe David sent condolences to you out of respect for your father? Isn't it more likely that David sent his representatives to scout out the city, spy on it, and then conquer it?”
4So Hanun had David's representatives detained, shaved off half of each man's beard, cut off their clothes at the buttocks, and then sent them back home.
5When David was told about this, he sent messengers to meet them, because they were very embarrassed. The king instructed them, “Stay in Jericho until your beards have re-grown, and then you can return.”
6When the Ammonites realized they had become like a bad smell to David, they sent a request to the Arameans and hired twenty thousand of their foot soldiers from Beth Rehob and Zobah, as well as one thousand men from the king of Maakah, and also twelve thousand men from Tob.
7When David learned of this, he sent Joab and the entire army to confront them.
8The Ammonites set up their battle lines near the entrance to their town gate, while the Arameans of Zobah and Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah took up positions by themselves in the open fields.
9Joab realized he would have to fight both in front of him and behind him, he chose some of Israel's best troops and he took charge of them to lead the attack the Arameans.
10He put the rest of the army under the command of Abishai, his brother. They were to attack the Ammonites.
11Joab told him, “If the Arameans are stronger than me, you come and help me. If the Ammonites are stronger than you, I'll come and help you.
12Be brave, and fight your best for our people and the towns of our God. May the Lord do what he sees as good!”
13Joab attacked the Arameans with his forces and they ran away from him.
14When the Ammonites saw that the Arameans had run away, they also ran away from Abishai, and retreated into the town. So Joab went back to Jerusalem after fighting the Ammonites.
15As soon as the Arameans saw they had been defeated by the Israelites they reassembled their forces.
16Hadadezer sent for more Arameans to be brought from beyond the Euphrates River. They arrived in Helam under the leadership of Shobach, commander of Hadadezer's army.
17When this was reported to David, he assembled all Israel together. He crossed the Jordan and advanced on Helam. The Arameans positioned themselves in battle line against David and fought him.
18But the Aramean army ran away from the Israelites, and David killed 700 charioteers and 40,000 infantry. He also attacked Shobach, their army commander, and he died there.
19When all the kings allied with Hadadezer realized that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and became subject to him. As a result, the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites any more.