2 Samuel 8:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
David also defeated the Moabites. He made them lie down on the ground and measured them off with a length of cord. Every two lengths of them were put to death, and the third length was allowed to live. So the Moabites became subject to David and brought him tribute.

New Living Translation
David also conquered the land of Moab. He made the people lie down on the ground in a row, and he measured them off in groups with a length of rope. He measured off two groups to be executed for every one group to be spared. The Moabites who were spared became David's subjects and paid him tribute money.

English Standard Version
And he defeated Moab and he measured them with a line, making them lie down on the ground. Two lines he measured to be put to death, and one full line to be spared. And the Moabites became servants to David and brought tribute.

New American Standard Bible
He defeated Moab, and measured them with the line, making them lie down on the ground; and he measured two lines to put to death and one full line to keep alive. And the Moabites became servants to David, bringing tribute.

King James Bible
And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He also defeated the Moabites, and after making them lie down on the ground, he measured them off with a cord. He measured every two cord lengths of those to be put to death and one length of those to be kept alive. So the Moabites became David's subjects and brought tribute.

International Standard Version
David also conquered Moab, then measured them with a cord, making them lie down on the ground. He executed everyone measured out in each two lengths' measurement of the cord, but spared the ones measured out by every third length. Then the Moabites were placed under servitude to David, and made to pay tribute.

NET Bible
He defeated the Moabites. He made them lie on the ground and then used a rope to measure them off. He put two-thirds of them to death and spared the other third. The Moabites became David's subjects and brought tribute.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He also defeated Moab, made the Moabites lie down on the ground, and measured them with a rope. He measured two lengths which were to be killed, and one length which was to be spared. So the Moabites became David's subjects and paid taxes [to him].

Jubilee Bible 2000
He also smote those of Moab and measured them with a line, causing them to lie down on the ground, and he measured them with two lines, with one to put to death and the other full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David's slaves, bringing presents.

King James 2000 Bible
And he struck Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he the ones to put to death, and with one full line the ones to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts.

American King James Version
And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts.

American Standard Version
And he smote Moab, and measured them with the line, making them to lie down on the ground; and he measured two lines to put to death, and one full line to keep alive. And the Moabites became servants to David, and brought tribute.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he defeated Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the earth: and he measured with two lines, one to put to death, and one to save alive: and Moab was made to serve David under tribute.

Darby Bible Translation
And he smote the Moabites, and measured them with a line, making them lie down on the ground; and he measured two lines to put to death, and one full line to keep alive. And the Moabites became David's servants, [and] brought gifts.

English Revised Version
And he smote Moab, and measured them with the line, making them to lie down on the ground; and he measured two lines to put to death, and one full fine to keep alive. And the Moabites became servants to David, and brought presents.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines he measured to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts.

World English Bible
He struck Moab, and measured them with the line, making them to lie down on the ground; and he measured two lines to put to death, and one full line to keep alive. The Moabites became servants to David, and brought tribute.

Young's Literal Translation
And he smiteth Moab, and measureth them with a line, causing them to lie down on the earth, and he measureth two lines to put to death, and the fulness of the line to keep alive, and the Moabites are to David for servants, bearers of a present.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

8:1-8. David subdued the Philistines. They had long been troublesome to Israel. And after the long and frequent struggles the saints have with the powers of darkness, like Israel with the Philistines, the Son of David shall tread them all under foot, and make the saints more than conquerors. He smote the Moabites, and made them tributaries to Israel. Two parts he destroyed, the third part he spared. The line that was to keep alive, though it was but one, is ordered to be a full line. Let the line of mercy be stretched to the utmost. He smote the Syrians. In all these wars David was protected, for this in his psalms he often gives glory to God.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2. - He smote Moab. In the previous history we find David and Moab on such friendly terms that he entrusted his father and mother into their king's keeping (1 Samuel 22:3, 4). Now he not only subjugates them, but puts two-thirds or, according to the ancient versions, half of the captured combatants to death. Compared with the custom of the Romans, and with the attempt to destroy all the males in Edom, this was mild treatment; for we find Caesar in his Gallic wars putting all his prisoners to death, and using for their execution the mere phrase, "he counted them in the number of enemies," as if the killing of enemies was a matter of course. The customs of the Israelites in war were not so cruel, and this treatment of the Moabites seems to be mentioned as showing that they received exceptionally severe treatment. The justification of this is found by Jewish commentators, on the authority of the Midrash, in the supposed fact that the King of Moab had put David's father and mother to death. But as Philippson adds, even so it was an instance of the extreme barbarity of ancient warfare. Casting them down to the ground; Hebrew, making them to lie down on the ground; and so the Revised Version. It is plain that those who were made to lie on the ground were combatants who had been made prisoners, and the Hebrew seems to mean that, while they were thus prostrate, they were measured off into three divisions, whereof two were put to the sword, and one permitted to live. All the versions, however, understand that only half were put to death, making the sense to be that he measured them with two cords, one to kill, and one full cord - one, that is, of larger size, to save alive. We get no help from 1 Chronicles 18:2, where this treatment of the Moabites is omitted. It is probable that it was in this war that Benaiah slew "two lion-like men of Moab" (1 Chronicles 11:22), who were its champions and perhaps members of the royal house. They brought gifts means that they paid an annual tribute; but the phrase shows that, though now they were David's servants, that is, subjects, yet that they were left in possession of their independence, and that their internal affairs were managed by native authorities.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And he smote Moab,.... He next went against that, and invaded it, the people of it being always troublesome and distressing to the children of Israel; and though the king of it had shown some favour to David, yet it was when he considered him as an enemy to Saul, and Saul to him; but things having taken a different turn, his and his people's enmity against David and his people appeared; wherefore he went and fought them, and made them his subjects, whereby was fulfilled the prophecy of Balaam, Numbers 24:17; as it referred to David:

and measured them with a line: either their country and fields, to distribute among his people, or rather the soldiers he took prisoners; which, as Procopius Gazaeus says, were so numerous that they could not be told, and therefore they were ordered to lie prostrate on the ground, and they were measured with a line, as it follows:

casting them down to the ground; or ordering them to lie down; though some understand this of casting down their cities, towers, and strong holds, and levelling them with the ground:

even with two lines measured he; with one, so it may be supplied, as the Vulgate Latin:

to put to death, and with one full line, to keep alive; that is, in measuring them with his lines, he divided them into two parts, one he put to death, and the other, the full line, which contained the most, he saved alive; though it seems according to our version, and so most understand it, that David slew two thirds, and saved one, and so Josephus (e). This must be understood of the army of the Moabites that fell into his hands, so Josephus, who persisted and refused to submit, not of all the inhabitants of the land. The Jews say (f), that the reason of this severe treatment of them was because they slew the father, and mother and brethren of David, whom he left to the care and custody of the king of Moab, when he fled from Saul, see 1 Samuel 22:3; since after that they are heard no more of; though it should rather be imputed to their enmity against the people of Israel. The phrase of "meting out the valley of Succoth" seems to be an allusion to this fact, Psalm 60:6, the psalm being written on occasion of the victories here related:

and so the Moabites became David's servants; the inhabitants of the land who were left in it, perhaps that part of the soldiers preserved alive were brought home captives:

and brought gifts; paid a yearly tribute to King David, as they afterwards did to Solomon and to Rehoboam, until the revolt of the ten tribes, and then they paid it unto the kings of Israel, to the times of Ahab, see 2 Kings 3:4, though these gifts may be distinct from, and besides the tribute paid, which is supposed in their being servants, see 2 Chronicles 17:11. Thus the Arabians (g) carried gifts to the king of Persia besides tribute.

(e) Antiqu. l. 7. c. 5. sect. 1.((f) Bemidbar Rabba, l. 14. fol. 212. 1.((g) Herodot. Thalia, sive, l. 3. c. 97.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. he smote Moab, and measured them with a line—This refers to a well-known practice of Eastern kings, to command their prisoners of war, particularly those who, notorious for the atrocity of their crimes or distinguished by the indomitable spirit of their resistance, had greatly incensed the victors, to lie down on the ground. Then a certain portion of them, which was determined by lot, but most commonly by a measuring-line, were put to death. Our version makes him put two-thirds to death, and spare one-third. The Septuagint and Vulgate make one-half. This war usage was not, perhaps, usually practised by the people of God; but Jewish writers assert that the cause of this particular severity against this people was their having massacred David's parents and family, whom he had, during his exile, committed to the king of Moab.

2 Samuel 8:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
David's Triumphs
1Now after this it came about that David defeated the Philistines and subdued them; and David took control of the chief city from the hand of the Philistines. 2He defeated Moab, and measured them with the line, making them lie down on the ground; and he measured two lines to put to death and one full line to keep alive. And the Moabites became servants to David, bringing tribute. 3Then David defeated Hadadezer, the son of Rehob king of Zobah, as he went to restore his rule at the River.…
Cross References
Numbers 24:17
"I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the people of Sheth.

1 Samuel 22:3
From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, "Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you until I learn what God will do for me?"

1 Samuel 22:4
So he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David was in the stronghold.

2 Samuel 8:6
He put garrisons in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, and the Arameans became subject to him and brought tribute. The LORD gave David victory wherever he went.

2 Samuel 8:12
Edom and Moab, the Ammonites and the Philistines, and Amalek. He also dedicated the plunder taken from Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah.

1 Kings 4:21
And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These countries brought tribute and were Solomon's subjects all his life.

2 Kings 1:1
After Ahab's death, Moab rebelled against Israel.

2 Kings 3:4
Now Mesha king of Moab raised sheep, and he had to pay the king of Israel a tribute of a hundred thousand lambs and the wool of a hundred thousand rams.

2 Kings 17:3
Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up to attack Hoshea, who had been Shalmaneser's vassal and had paid him tribute.

Psalm 60:8
Moab is my washbasin, on Edom I toss my sandal; over Philistia I shout in triumph."
Treasury of Scripture

And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts.

he smote

Numbers 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not near: there …

Judges 3:29,30 And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, …

1 Samuel 14:47 So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his …

Psalm 60:8 Moab is my wash pot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, …

Psalm 83:6 The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;

measured

2 Samuel 12:31 And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under …

And so

2 Samuel 8:6,12-14 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became …

2 Kings 1:1 Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab.

2 Kings 3:4-27 And Mesha king of Moab was a sheep master, and rendered to the king …

1 Chronicles 18:2 And he smote Moab; and the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts.

brought gifts

1 Samuel 10:27 But the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And …

2 Chronicles 26:8 And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad …

Psalm 72:10,11 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the …

Isaiah 36:16 Listen not to Hezekiah: for thus said the king of Assyria, Make an …

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Alphabetical: a alive allowed also and became bringing brought cord David death defeated down Every full ground He keep length lengths lie line lines live made making measured Moab Moabites of off on one put servants So subject the them third to tribute two was were with

OT History: 2 Samuel 8:2 He struck Moab and measured them (2Sa iiSam 2 Sam ii sam) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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