1It came about later that the king of the people of Ammon died, and that Hanun his son became king in his place.
2David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent his servants to comfort Hanun concerning his father. His servants entered the land of the people of Ammon.
3But the leaders of the people of Ammon said to Hanun their master, “Do you really think that David is honoring your father because he has sent men to comfort you? Has not David sent his servants to you to look at the city, to spy it out, in order to overthrow it?”
4So Hanun took David's servants, shaved off half their beards, cut off their garments up to their buttocks, and sent them away.
5When they explained this to David, he sent to meet with them, for the men were deeply ashamed. The king said, “Stay at Jericho until your beards have grown back, and then return.”
6When the people of Ammon saw that they had become a stench to David, the people of Ammon sent messengers and hired the Arameans of Beth Rehob and Zobah, twenty thousand foot soldiers, and the king of Maacah with a thousand men, and the men of Tob with twelve thousand men.
7When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army of soldiers.
8The Ammonites came out and formed a line of battle at the entrance to their city gate, while the Arameans of Zobah and of Rehob, and the men of Tob and Maacah, stood by themselves in the open fields.
9When Joab saw the battle lines facing him both in front and behind, he chose some of Israel's best fighters and arranged them against the Arameans.
10The rest of his people he put into the hand of Abishai his brother, and he set them out in position to fight against the army of Ammon.
11Joab said, “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you, Abishai, must rescue me. But if the army of Ammon is too strong for you, then I will come and rescue you.
12Be strong, and let us show ourselves to be strong for our people and for the cities of our God, for Yahweh will do what is good for his purpose.”
13So Joab and the soldiers of his army advanced to the battle against the Arameans, who were forced to flee before the army of Israel.
14When the army of Ammon saw that the Arameans had fled, they also fled from Abishai and went back into the city. Then Joab returned from the people of Ammon and went back to Jerusalem.
15When the Arameans saw that they were being defeated by Israel, they gathered themselves together again.
16Then Hadarezer sent for Aramean troops from beyond the Euphrates River. They came to Helam, and Shobak, the commander of Hadarezer's army, went before them.
17When David was told this, he gathered all Israel together, crossed the Jordan, and arrived at Helam. The Arameans arranged themselves in battle lines against David and fought him.
18The Arameans fled from Israel, and David killed seven hundred of their men in chariots and forty thousand horsemen. Shobak the commander of their army was wounded and died there.
19When all the kings who were servants of Hadarezer saw that they were defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel and became their subjects. So the Arameans were afraid to help the people of Ammon anymore.