GOD'S WORD® Translation
1Later the king of Ammon died, and his son Hanun became king in his place. 2David thought, "I will show kindness to Hanun as his father Nahash showed me kindness." So David sent his servants to comfort Hanun after his father's [death]. But when David's servants entered Ammonite territory, 3the Ammonite princes asked their master Hanun, "Do you think David is honoring your father because he sent men to comfort you? Hasn't David sent his men to explore the city, spy on it, and destroy it?" 4So Hanun took David's men, shaved off half of each man's beard, cut off their clothes from the waist down, and sent them away. 5After David was told [what had happened], he sent [someone] to meet them because they were deeply humiliated. The king said to them, "Stay in Jericho until your beards have grown back, and then return [to Jerusalem]."
6The Ammonites realized that they had made themselves offensive to David. So they hired the Arameans from Beth Rehob and Zobah the king of Maacah 7After David heard about this, he sent Joab and all the elite troops. 8The Ammonites formed a battle line at the entrance of the [city] gate, while the Arameans from Zobah and Rehob and the men from Tob and Maacah remained by themselves in the open country.
9When Joab saw he was under attack in front and behind, he took the select troops of Israel and organized them for combat against the Arameans. 10He put his brother Abishai in charge of the rest of the troops. Abishai organized them for combat against the Ammonites. 11Joab said, "If the Arameans are too strong for my [troops], be ready to help me. And if the Ammonites are too strong for your [troops], I'll come to help you. 12Be strong! Let's prove ourselves strong for our people and for the cities of our God, and the LORD will do what he considers right." 13Then Joab and his troops advanced to fight the Arameans, and the Arameans fled. 14When the Ammonites saw that the Arameans had fled, the Ammonites fled from Abishai and went into the city. So Joab stopped his campaign against the Ammonites and returned to Jerusalem.
15Realizing that Israel had defeated them, the Arameans reassembled [their troops]. 16Hadadezer sent [messengers] to get Arameans from beyond the Euphrates River. The Arameans came to Helam with Shobach, the commander of Hadadezer's army, leading them. 17When David was told [about this], he assembled Israel's army, crossed the Jordan River, and came to Helam. The Arameans formed a battle line against David's [troops] and fought him. 18The Arameans fled from Israel, and David killed 700 chariot drivers and 40,000 horsemen. David struck Shobach dead. 19When all the kings who were subject to Hadadezer saw that Israel had defeated them, they made peace with Israel and became their subjects. And the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites anymore.