Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 10

David’s success against Aram

2 Samuel 10:18-19

Joab, Israel’s army commander, depended strongly on military strength and skilful plans to win battles. However, David usually showed a different attitude. David depended on God, and not on his military strength (Psalm 20:7-8; Psalm 44:4-8). David could sleep even when a vast army had gathered against him (Psalm 3:5-6). Like his friend Jonathan, he believed that, with God’s support, the smallest army can defeat a vast army (1 Samuel 14:6). Like Moses, he considered it as important to pray as to fight (Exodus 17:8-16).

The army of Aram (also called Syria), which David was fighting, was a very strong army. We do not even know how many soldiers they had - but a great number died in the battle. They also had horses and chariots, simple vehicles that carried the soldiers quickly. That was the best and most modern military equipment at that time. However, the defeat that Aram suffered on that day was very severe. The death of Shobach, their chief military commander, shows this.

Hadadezer was the king of Zobah in the south of Aram (8:5-10). He controlled a number of cities in that region. Each of these cities had its own king, who had to pay taxes to Hadadezer. After the battle, these cities were no longer willing to be loyal to Hadadezer. Instead, they made peace agreements with Israel, and they paid their taxes to David.

So, Israel had defeated Aram, but it remained at war with Ammon. 2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12 are about the events that happened during that war.

Next part: The war against Ammon continues (2 Samuel 11:1)


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