Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 10
The men whom David sent, expected a friendly welcome from Hanun, the new king of Ammon. They hoped to establish a good relationship between Israel and Ammon, so that the two nations would support each other in war. However, the important men in Ammon’s government did not want that. They were cruel and nasty people who hated Israel.
So, Ammon’s leaders advised Hanun, their king, not to accept the men from Israel as guests. They told him to deal with the men as enemies, who had come to Ammon to prepare for war against it. They urged Hanun to deal shamefully with them, so that Israel’s people would be afraid.
Hanun accepted that advice. He chose to act in a way that would disgust Israel’s people. Israel’s men had long beards. It would have upset them to shave off their beards. However, it felt even worse to have to walk back home with only half of a beard. Israel’s people wore long clothes that covered their legs. They were modest; they considered it shameful for people to see their bodies. It was a great shock for them to have the bottom half of their bodies naked, in public.
In that state, these honourable and important men began their long walk back from Ammon to Israel. We are sure that Ammon’s people laughed at them as they left. When they reached Jericho, the first city in Israel, they felt too ashamed to continue their journey. David sent them a message that they could remain there. In time, their beards would grow, and then they could return to Jerusalem.
Next part: Ammon pays foreign armies to fight against Israel (2 Samuel 10:6-7)
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