Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 10

The success of Joab’s plan

2 Samuel 10:13-14

Joab’s plan for the battle was only partly successful. It dealt with the immediate situation, so that he and Israel’s soldiers were able to return safely to their homes. However, it did not in reality defeat Israel’s enemies; Israel’s army would have to fight even more serious battles before there was peace.

However, this first battle was as Joab had hoped. He led a small group of very brave and strong men. They attacked the 33,000 foreign soldiers who had come to support Ammon’s army in the battle. They had camped outside the city called Rabbah, in Ammon.

Those foreign soldiers were not expecting such a bold attack. Perhaps they thought that all Israel’s soldiers were as strong as these first ones. In reality, Joab had selected the best soldiers in Israel’s army for this first attack. The foreign soldiers were afraid of them. They (the foreign soldiers) ran away into the open country.

At the same time, Joab’s brother Abishai led the rest of Israel’s army in the fight against Ammon’s army. Ammon’s soldiers were at the entrance of Rabbah, their capital city. They were expecting the foreign soldiers to attack Israel’s army from behind. However, of course, that did not happen. Instead Ammon’s army received the news that the foreign soldiers had run away. When they heard that, Ammon’s soldiers escaped back into their own city. Strong walls surrounded the city, so that Israel’s men could not continue to attack them there.

That left Israel’s soldiers outside the city, with nobody to fight. So, they too went home.

Next part: David's battle against Aram (2 Samuel 10:15-17)


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