1Now it happened after this that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place.
2Then David said, “I will show covenant loyalty to Hanun the son of Nahash just as his father showed covenant loyalty to me.” So David sent by the hand of his servants to comfort him concerning his father. So David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.
3But the officials of the children of Ammon said to Hanun their lord, “Do you think that David is honoring your father in that he has sent comforters to you? Hasn’t David sent his servants to you to search the city, and to spy it out and to overthrow it?”
4So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved off half of their beards and cut off their clothes in the middle, up to their buttocks, and sent them away.
5When they told it to David, he sent messengers to meet them, for the men were greatly humiliated. The king said, “Stay at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return.”
6When the children of Ammon saw that they had become a stench to David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob and the Syrians of Zobah, 20,000 footmen, and the king of Maacah with 1,000 men, and the men of Tob 12,000 men.
7And when David heard about it, he sent Joab and all the army of the mighty men.
8The children of Ammon came out and set up in battle formation at the entrance of the gate, and the Syrians of Zobah and of Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah were by themselves in the open country.
9Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him both in front and in the rear, he chose some of all the best men of Israel and set them in battle formation against the Syrians.
10The rest of the people he put into the hand of Abishai his brother, and he set them in battle formation against the children of Ammon.
11And he said, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you will save me, but if the children of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will come and save you.
12Be strong, and let’s be strong for our people and for the cities of our God, and Yahweh will do what is good in his eyes.”
13So Joab and the people who were with him drew near to the battle against the Syrians, and they fled before him.
14And when the sons of Ammon saw that the Syrians had fled, they fled before Abishai and entered into the city. Then Joab returned from the children of Ammon and came to Jerusalem.
15When the Syrians saw that they were defeated by Israel, they gathered themselves together.
16And Hadadezer sent and brought out the Syrians who were beyond the river, and they came to Helam, with Shobach the commander of the army of Hadadezer leading them.
17And when it was told to David, he gathered all Israel together and crossed over the Jordan and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in battle formation against David and fought with him.
18And the Syrians fled before Israel, and David killed of the Syrians 700 charioteers and 40,000 horsemen and struck down Shobach the commander of their army so that he died there.
19When all the kings who were servants to Hadadezer saw that they were defeated before Israel, they made peace with Israel and served them. So the Syrians were afraid to try to save the children of Ammon any more.