Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 8

David defeats Aram

2 Samuel 8:5-6

There was clearly a close relationship between the countries called Zobah and Aram. In fact, 2 Samuel 10:8 refers to Zobah as part of Aram. (In older Bible translations Aram is called Syria.) So, the rest of Aram supported Zobah when David fought against Zobah. Aram's king brought together soldiers from the entire region to try to defeat Israel.

Therefore, when David defeated Zobah, he gained control over the whole of Aram. He then had power over a vast region, for which he had never even intended to fight. That included the capital of the region: the great and ancient city called Damascus (Genesis 15:2).

David had seen how Philistia's army had controlled parts of Israel in the past. At one time when Saul was king, Philistia had control over Bethlehem (23:14). Philistia's army did not try to establish their own government over Israel. Instead, they simply built strong camps or castles for their soldiers in various important places. That allowed them to collect taxes from the people in the surrounding region.

David used a similar system in Aram. Israel's army established strong camps or castles in places across Aram. By that means, David was able to collect taxes from that entire region.

It was not David's skill or the strength of his army that brought him these successes (Psalm 44:1-8). God gave this success to David, as he had promised (Deuteronomy 11:22-25).

Next part: The great wealth that David received from his wars (2 Samuel 8:7-12)


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