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The Routing of the Ammonites and the Syrians

II Samuel 10:1-19

Victor M. Eskew


1.      Outline:


i.                    DAVID’S KINDNESS DISPLAYED TO HANUN (II Sam. 10:1-2)

ii.                  DAVID’S SERVANTS DISGRACED BY HANUN (II Sam. 10:3-5)

iii.                DAVID’S KINGDOM DEFIED BY THE AMMONITES (II Sam. 10:6-8)

iv.                DAVID’S FORCES DEFEAT HANAN (II Sam. 10:9-14)

v.                  DAVID’S ARMIES DEVASTATE THE SYRIANS (II Sam. 10:15-19)


2.      Who reigned after the king of the children of Ammon died? (II Sam. 10:1)


And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead.


A.    Hanun, the son of the king who died.


B.      Most believe that his father was Nahash (See II Sam.10:2).


C.     The Ammonites are the descendants of Ben-ammi, one of the sons of Lot through his younger daughter (Gen. 19:38).


And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Banammi:  the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.


3.      What did David want to show Hanun? (II Sam. 10:2)


Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me…


A.    Kindness

1.      Strong (2617):  kindness                    :-  favour, good deed, merciful kindness, mercy

2.      BDB:  goodness, kindness

3.      NOTE:  This is the same word David used referring to the kindness he wanted to give to Mephibosheth.


B.      David was going to return a kindness shown to him by Hanun’s father.  We are not told the nature of this kindness.


C.     LESSON:  Times of death are good times to show kindness to others.  In times of grief, individuals have a tendency to remember the good deeds that others bestow upon them.


4.      Who did David send to comfort Hanun? (II Sam. 10:2)


…And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father.  And David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.


A.    David sent his servants.


B.      These were not just household servants.  These would have been men of renown and prestige in David’s kingdom. 


5.      What did the princes of the children of Hanun believe about the servants that David had sent to Hanun? (II Sam. 10:3)


And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honor thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee?  hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it?


A.    They accused David’s servants of having come with ulterior motives.  They believed that David wanted them to search the city and spy it out, so he could overthrow it.


B.      Distrust is common when it comes to relationships between nations. 

1.      None in the ruling class wants to lose his authority.

2.      Thus, they are leery of anyone who might attempt to show them kindness.

3.      If a ruler were being deceived, his advisors should warm him of the impending dangers.

4.      Not long before this, David had smote Moab, and they became David’s servants (II Sam. 8:2).  The Moabites were close descendants of Lot as well (Gen. 19:37).


6.      What did Hanun do to David’s servants? (II Sam. 10:4)


Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.


A.    He shaved off one half of their beards

1.      Clarke:  “The beard is held in high respect in the East: the possessor considers it his greatest ornament; often swears by it; and, in matters of great importance, pledges it. Nothing can be more secure than a pledge of this kind; its owner will redeem it at the hazard of his life” (e-sword).

2.      This was an indignity that equal to flogging or branding.  Men would rather die than have their beard cut off.


B.      He cut their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks

1.      These men would have been wearing robes from shoulder to foot.

2.      To cut them in half would be to cut them at the waste.

3.      This would expose their undergarments that hid their secret parts to the world.  In essence, they exposed their nakedness to the eyes of others.


C.     One wonders why leaders would respond with these measures.  Aren’t they aware that this will create problems between the two nations?


7.      T – F    David went out to meet his servants (II Sam. 10:5)


When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed…


A.    True.

1.      We do not know if David went personally to meet them.

2.      It could have been that he sent messengers to the men for himself.


B.      LESSON:  A good leader sympathizes with his followers.  He wants them to know that he understands an injustice and evil has been committed against them.


8.      Where did David tell them to tarry till their beards were grown? (II Sam. 10:5)


…and the king said, Tarry at Jericho unto your beards be grown, and then return.


A.    Jericho


B.      At this time, Jericho had not been rebuilt since it was destroyed by Joshua.

1.      There were no people living there.

2.      There were probably some structures that were still standing that could be uses by the men until their beards grew out again.


9.      The children of Ammon “saw that they stank before David…” (II Sam. 10:6)


A.    Stank

1.      Strong (887):  to have a bad smell, to be offensive morally

2.      BDB:  to have a bad smell, to be odious, to stink due to wickedness


10.  For whom did the Ammonites send and hire to assist them? (II Sam. 10:6)


…the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of the king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ish-tob twelve thousand men.


A.    Syrians:  20,000 footmen


B.      King Maacah:  1,000 men


C.     Ish-tob:  12,000 men


D.    This cost the Ammonites a thousand talents of silver (I Chron. 19:6).


11.  Who did David send when he heard what the Ammonites had done? (II Sam. 10:7)


And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men.


A.    He sent Joab, his commander, and all the host of the mighty men.


B.      One of the purposes of a king is to protect his people from the encroachment of enemy invaders.  David wasted no time and marshalled his troops against the Ammonites. 


C.     It is amazing that an act of kindness turned into a full-fledged war.


12.  Where did the children of Ammon put the battle in array? (II Sam. 10:8)


And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entering in of the gate…


A.    At the entering in of the gate

1.      This is the gate of the city of Medeba (I Chron. 19:7).


Moab – Linda's Bible Study


13.  Where were the Syrian forces located? (II Sam. 10:8)


…and the Syrians of Zoba, and of Rehob, and Ishtob, and Maacah, were by themselves in the field.


A.    They were by themselves in the field.


B.      Outside of the city of Medeba, there is a tree line some distance from the city gate.  Most believe that the army would have been among the tree line.


14.  T – F    Joab saw that he was in the middle of the two groups. (II Sam. 10:9)


When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind…


A.    True


15.  Who did Joab choose for himself to fight the Syrians? (II Sam. 10:9)


…he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians.


A.    He chose the choice men of Israel.


16.  Who did he put in array against the children of Ammon? (II Sam. 10:10)


And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the children of Ammon.


A.    The rest of the people were put into Abishai’s control against the Ammonites.





17.  T – F    This division of the forces enabled Joab and Abishai to assist one another. (II Sam.



And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me:  but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee.


A.    True


B.      Being in the middle of the opposition is not usually a good position.  However, it does enable two battle lines to be fought at the same time.  If one is successful, he can pull some of his men to assist on the other front.


C.     Our military leaders have often studied the battles fought in the Old Testament in order to learn military tactics that will assist them when in battle.


18.  “Be of good courage and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God…” (II Sam. 10:12).


A.    Courage is defined as “having heart.”  LESSON:  When the battle presses against us, we must continue to have a good heart.


B.      Joab wanted himself and Abiathar to “play the men” for the people. 

1.      God has given men and women various roles in society.  It is not intended as a “sexist” or “discriminatory” measure.  Men and women are made differently both physically and mentally.  Both of them are important to the family and to society.

2.      One of the roles of men is leader and protector. 

3.      LESSON:  We find out who the men are when the war is upon us. 

4.      I Corinthians 16:13


Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.


C.     Note that Joab also reminds him that they are fighting for “the cities of our God.”  He understood that Israel belonged to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  It was God’s land chosen for His holy people.  They were protecting God’s cities.


19.  T – F    Joab committed their keeping into the will of God. (II Sam. 10:12)


…and the Lord do that which seemeth him good.


A.    True


B.      Joab seems to be a very ruthless man at time.  Here, however, we a slight indication that he was still one who trusted in the God of Israel.


20.   T – F   Joab could not prevail against the Syrians. (II Sam. 10:13)


And Joab drew nigh, and the people that were with him, unto the battle against the Syrians:  and they fled before him.


A.    False


B.      Joab met the Syrians in the field and put the enemy to flight.


21.  When the Ammonites saw the Syrians flee, what did they do? (II Sam. 10:14)


And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians fled, then fled they also before Abishai, and entered into the city.


A.    The children of Ammon also fled and returned into the refuge of the city of Medeba.


22.  After his victory over the Ammonites, where did Joab go? (II Sam. 10:14)


...So Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem.


A.    He returned to the city of Jerusalem


23.  T – F    The Syrians gathered together for battle again (II Sam. 10:15)


And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gather themselves together.


A.    True


B.      Many nations do not like to be defeated in battle.  They will withdraw for a time, regroup, and come again for another battle.


24.  Where did Hadarezer gather his troops? (II Sam. 10:16)


And Hadarezer sent, and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the river:  and they came to Helam…


A.    The came to Helam.


FreeBibleimages :: David battles with the Ammonites :: When ...


25.  Who was the captain of Hadarezer’s army? (II Sam. 10:16)


…and Shobach the captain of the host of Hadarezer went before them.


A.    Shobach


B.      Shobach is mentioned only here and in verse 18 of the text.  Prominent names like this are often found in the Bible text.  Oftentimes, archaeologists will uncover artifacts with the names and positions of these individuals.  They provide authenticity that the Bible is true.

26.  What did David do what he heard the Syrians were at Helam? (II Sam. 10:17)


And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and passed over Jordan, and came to Helam.  And the Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him.


A.    David went to Helam to fight against the Syrians.


B.      In order to completely defeat the enemy, it is usually good to stay on the offensive.  They had been defeated once.  The momentum was with Israel.  It was time to defeat them completely.


27.  How many chariots and how many horsemen were defeated by David? (II Sam. 10:18)


And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen…


A.    He slew them men of seven hundred chariots and forty thousand horsemen


28.  Who died on the field of battle? (II Sam. 10:18)


…and smote Shobach the captain of their host who died there.


A.    Shobach the captain of the Syrian host was slain in battle.


29.  When the kings that were servants to Hadrezer saw they were smitten by Israel, what did they do? (II Sam. 10:19)


And when all the kings that were servants to Hadarezer saw that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them.


A.    They made peace with Israel and served them.


30.  “So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more.” (II Sam. 10:19)


A.    Clarke:  “And thus, in the space of nineteen or twenty years, David had the good fortune to finish gloriously eight wars, all righteously undertaken, and all honourably terminated; viz.

1.      The civil war with Ish-bosheth

2.      The war against the Jebusites

3.      The war against the Philistines and their allies

4.      The war against the Philistines alone

5.      The war against the Moabites

6.      The war against Hadadezer

7.      The war against the Idumeans

8.      The war against the Ammonites and Syrians” (e-sword)


B.      This was a glorious time in the nation of Israel.  Enemies were being defeated.  The kingdom was expanding.  God’s promises to Israel were coming true. 










II Samuel 11:1-13


Victor M. Eskew


1.      Outline:


vi.                II SAMUEL 11:1

vii.              II SAMUEL 11:2-4

viii.            II SAMUEL 11:5

ix.                II SAMUEL 11:6-13


2.      Who did David send into battle after the year was expired? (II Sam. 11:1)


3.      “…and they destroyed the children of _______________, and besieged ________________” (II Sam. 11:1).


4.      T – F    David went with them to the field of battle. (II Sam. 11:1)


5.      Where was David walking after arising from bed in an evening tide? (II Sam. 11:2)


6.      Who did he see from the roof? (II Sam. 11:2)


7.      How is the woman described? (II Sam. 11:2)


8.      After David saw the woman, what did he do? (II Sam. 11:3)


9.      Who was the woman? (II Sam. 11:3)


10.  Who is Uriah the Hittite? (II Sam. 11:3)


11.  T – F    David had a sexual encounter with Bathsheba. (II Sam. 11:4)


12.  What does the phrase, “”for she was purified from her uncleanness,” mean? (II Sam. 11:4)


13.  What was the result of this sexual encounter? (II Sam. 11:5)


14.  T – F    Bathsheba hid her conception from David? (II Sam. 11:5)


15.  Who did David contact in order for him to send Uriah? (II Sam. 11:6)


16.  What three things did David demand of Uriah when he came into his presence? (II Sam. 11:7)








17.  After speaking with Uriah, where did he tell him to go? (II Sam. 11:8)


18.  What was also sent by the king? (II Sam. 11:8)

19.  T – F    Uriah did not go to his house but slept at the door of the king’s house. (II Sam. 11:9)


20.  What question did David ask Uriah when he learned he had not gone to his house? (II Sam. 11:10)


21.  What reply did Uriah give to the king’s question? (II Sam. 11:11)


22.  “As my _________________ liveth, I will __________ to this thing” (II Sam. 11:11)


23.  T – F    David asked Uriah to tarry another day in Jerusalem.  (II Sam. 11:12).


24.  T – F    Uriah stayed the additional day.  (II Sam. 11:12)


25.  What did David do to Uriah that evening? (II Sam. 11:13)


26.  T – F    David’s plan worked and Uriah went to his house to be with Bathsheba. (II Sam.