2 Samuel 8 Ė 10 part 6

 

Now chapter 8 is one those chapters that says very little yet a lot of things happen within it. It talks about all these different people that David has fought an defeated and most of us when we come to a chapter like this will just scan through it and yep David defeated a lot of people. Well tonight I want to begin by taking a closer look at who was fighting and showing you on a map when possible the area he was fighting in. Now this might be a little bit teateaus but I think it worth exploring. Now before we begin I just mention that the parallel account of this chapter is also found 1 Chron. 18.

 

2 Samuel 8:1 After this it came to pass that David attacked the Philistines and subdued them. And David took Metheg Ammah (meth-eg-am-uh) from the hand of the Philistines.

 

Here have in this one little sentence that briefly talks about this great battle that took place between David and the Philistines. But what in the world does it mean when it says that David took Metheg Ammah from the hand of the Philistines? What is Metheg Ammah?

 

Well one thing we can do to solve this mystery is by looking at a different version of the Bible to see if they give a different word here. However when you look you find that just about every version uses this same word except for the ASV and NAS. Please note what the ASV offers us,

 

ASV ÖDavid took the bridle of the mother city out of the hand of the Philistines.

NASV Öand David took control of the chief city from the hand of the Philistines.

 

So now we have more to go on. First of all we can now determine that Metheg Ammah is the mother city or the chief city. Also I like how the ASV gives a visual illustration of how David took control of this chief city. Taking the bridle symbolizes wresting control from the former rider and gaining submission of the horse by the new rider. Now we also have to understand that it was common for someone to call a major city a mother and then to call the smaller cities which relied upon it its daughters. But now the question becomes what was this mother city? Well our answer can be found in,

 

1 Chronicles 18:1 After this it came to pass that David attacked the Philistines, subdued them, and took Gath and its towns from the hand of the Philistines.

 

So now we know that Gath is was the mother city and if you will look on this map on the screen you can see Gath and the other 4 cities that relied upon on it in Philistia. These other 4 cites are Ashdod, Gaza, Askelon, and Ekron. You see whenever you dig a little bit deeper you can learn so much more about what is going on in passages like these. Now lets move on to verse 2.

 

2 Samuel 8:2 Then he defeated Moab. Forcing them down to the ground, he measured them off with a line. With two lines he measured off those to be put to death, and with one full line those to be kept alive. So the Moabites became David's servants, and brought tribute.

 

Well the first thing I want to point out is where Moab is located on the map. The Moabites were related to the Hebrews, for Moab was the son of Lot by his eldest daughter (Gen. 19:30-38) who conceived a child by incest with here farther. Also I want to remind that previously David had a good relationship with the Moabites because back when he was running from Saul he left his parents in the protection of the King of Moab 1 Sam. 22:3-4. But now David was in battle with them and then he forced these fighting men down on the ground and he measured them off. 2/3 of them were killed the other 1/3 was left alive to be come Davidís servantís and they also brought a tribute to him.

 

2 Samuel 8:3 David also defeated Hadadezer (had-uh-dee-zur) the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his territory at the River Euphrates.4 David took from him one thousand chariots, seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand foot soldiers. Also David hamstrung all the chariot horses, except that he spared enough of them for one hundred chariots.5 When the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer (had-uh-dee-zur) king of Zobah, David killed twenty-two thousand of the Syrians.6 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus; and the Syrians became David's servants, and brought tribute. The LORD preserved David wherever he went.

 

The first thing I want to show you is where this is on the map. First of this is roughly where Zobah was located which was about 200 miles as the crow flies from Jerusalem. Then the Euphrates river was another 150 miles beyond that. As you can see David was covering a lot of territory especially when you consider that the fastest land travel was done by horse back. Now as we read David defeats this king and he kill many of his men and even hamstrings many of horses so that they will not be able to be used in battle again. Then the Syrians come up from Damascus and David defeats them as well and he makes them his servants. David also setup a post in Damascus most likely to keep an eye on any other Syrians that might want to attack David and his men. Now as we read through the end of the chapter I will be showing you on the screen where the events take place.

 

2 Samuel 8:7 And David took the shields of gold that had belonged to the servants of Hadadezer, (had-uh-dee-zur) and brought them to Jerusalem.8 Also from Betah (bee-tah) and from Berothai, (be-row-thah) cities of Hadadezer, (had-uh-dee-zur) King David took a large amount of bronze.9 When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had defeated all the army of Hadadezer,10 then Toi sent Joram his son to King David, to greet him and bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him (for Hadadezer had been at war with Toi); and Joram brought with him articles of silver, articles of gold, and articles of bronze.11 King David also dedicated these to the LORD, along with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations which he had subdued --12 from Syria, from Moab, from the people of Ammon, from the Philistines, from Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer(had-uh-dee-zur) the son of Rehob, king of Zobah.13 And David made himself a name when he returned from killing eighteen thousand Syrians in the Valley of Salt.14 He also put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David's servants. And the LORD preserved David wherever he went.

 

So as you can see David we very successful when it came to battles and the reason why was found in that last verse where it said that the Lord preserved David wherever he went. Now the last few verses of this chapter are a summary of Davidís administration.

 

15 So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered judgment and justice to all his people.16 Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder;17 Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were the priests; Seraiah was the scribe;18 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over both the Cherethites (ker-ih-thites) and the Pelethites; (pee-leth-ights) and David's sons were chief ministers.

 

Only thing I want to point out here is that the Cherethites (ker-ih-thites) and Pelethites made up part of Davidís body guards. Now let move on to chapter 9. This chapter is pretty straight forward and will require little comment from me.

 

2 Samuel 9:1 Now David said, "Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?"2 And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba (zie Ėbah). So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, "Are you Ziba?" And he said, "At your service!"3 Then the king said, "Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?" And Ziba said to the king, "There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet."4 So the king said to him, "Where is he?" And Ziba said to the king, "Indeed he is in the house of Machir (may-kir) the son of Ammiel, (am-ih-ell) in Lo Debar."

 

As you can see on our map Lo Debar was located somewhere in general vicinity.Now we need to remember that back 1 Sam. 20 David had made an oath with Jonathan that he would show kindness to his household forever and we see that David wants to make good on his covenant. He finds out from Ziba that Jonathans son is still alive.

 

2 Samuel 9:5 Then King David sent and brought him out of the house of Machir (may-kir) the son of Ammiel, (am-ih-ell) from Lo Debar.6 Now when Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, had come to David, he fell on his face and prostrated himself. Then David said, "Mephibosheth?" And he answered, "Here is your servant!"7 So David said to him, "Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father's sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually."8 Then he bowed himself, and said, "What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?"

 

Now we need to remember that Mephibossheth was lame in feet because his nurse was running because she had heard of Saul death and she dropped him when he was 5 years old. You can also imagine how scared the man was when he had to face King David who had the power to put him to death. We also see that Mephibosheth had a very humble attitude and he didnít feel that he deserved the kindness that David was showing him.

 

2 Samuel 9:9 And the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said to him, "I have given to your master's son all that belonged to Saul and to all his house.10 "You therefore, and your sons and your servants, shall work the land for him, and you shall bring in the harvest, that your master's son may have food to eat. But Mephibosheth your master's son shall eat bread at my table always." Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.11 Then Ziba said to the king, "According to all that my lord the king has commanded his servant, so will your servant do." "As for Mephibosheth," said the king, "he shall eat at my table like one of the king's sons."12 Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Micha. (my-kuh) And all who dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants of Mephibosheth.13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the king's table. And he was lame in both his feet.

 

So David keeps his word and shows kindness to Jonathansí household and he even allows the fruit that would normally go him to be given to Mephibosheth as well. Now I cant help but point out that this is another great characteristic for every Christian to have. We should all be people who keeps their word. If we tell somebody that we are going to do something then we should do it. It used to be that a persons word meant something but today that not the case that is why everybody wants something in writing and they want it to be witnessed so that they can be sure that the agreement that was made will be valid. I think that if we as Christians keep our word with those around us it will make an impression and influence those around you. So let do our best to always keep our word.

 

Now before we move into chapter 10 I want to point out that its parallel account is found in 1 Chron. 19.

 

2 Samuel 10:1 It happened after this that the king of the people of Ammon died, and Hanun (hay-nuhn) his son reigned in his place.2 Then David said, "I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me." So David sent by the hand of his servants to comfort him concerning his father. And David's servants came into the land of the people of Ammon.

 

In instances like these you really see Davidís sincere concern for others. Now we are not told what kindness this king had shown to David but he wanted to return the kindness. One other thing I would like to mention is that Ammonites came from Lots youngest daughter by incest as well according to Gen. 19:38. So they to were related to the children of Israel.

 

2 Samuel 10:3 And the princes of the people of Ammon said to Hanun (hay-nuhn) their lord, "Do you think that David really honors your father because he has sent comforters to you? Has David not rather sent his servants to you to search the city, to spy it out, and to overthrow it?"4 Therefore Hanun took David's servants, shaved off half of their beards, cut off their garments in the middle, at their buttocks, and sent them away.5 When they told David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, "Wait at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return."

 

You and I know that David was just trying to show his kindness but these Ammonites didnít think so and they influenced their new king into thinking that David was just spying on them so he does this horrible degrading thing to his men. First he cut of half of their beards. To them back them this was very humiliating because the only time they shaved their beards was when they were mourning. Then he cuts their garment so that there rear end was exposed for all to see. Again that was very humiliating. These men back then actually had a sense of decency about them. However if this was done to some today where they exposed their rear end it wouldnít bother some people because it seems that a growing number of people have no problems with exposing their bodies to others. In many cases today there simply in no shame.

 

2 Samuel 10:6 When the people of Ammon saw that they had made themselves repulsive to David, the people of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth Rehob and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand foot soldiers; and from the king of Maacah (may-ah-kah) one thousand men, and from Ish-Tob (ish-tahb) twelve thousand men.7 Now when David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army of the mighty men.8 Then the people of Ammon came out and put themselves in battle array at the entrance of the gate. And the Syrians of Zoba, Beth Rehob, Ish-Tob, and Maacah (may-ah-kah) were by themselves in the field.9 When Joab saw that the battle line was against him before and behind, he chose some of Israel's best and put them in battle array against the Syrians.10 And the rest of the people he put under the command of Abishai (a-bish-a-eye) his brother, that he might set them in battle array against the people of Ammon.11 Then he said, "If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the people of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will come and help you.12 "Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the LORD do what is good in His sight."

 

Here we learn that people of Ammon prepare for war and they recruit these Syrians. Now if you will look on the map I want to show again where the places are. First of here is Ammon location and here are where the Syrians were hired from. Now the only I donít have listed here is Ish-Tob and that because I couldnít find a map that had is location however I did find once vague reference that said it was east of the Jordan river. Now we find the people of Ammon are in one place and these hired Syrians are in another so Joab splits his men to battle both groups and he puts his trust in God hands.

 

2 Samuel 10:13 So Joab and the people who were with him drew near for the battle against the Syrians, and they fled before him.14 When the people of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fleeing, they also fled before Abishai, (a-bish-a-eye) and entered the city. So Joab returned from the people of Ammon and went to Jerusalem.

 

Apparently this was an easy win for the children of Israel as their enemy fled before them but the Syrians were donít yet as continue on in.

 

2 Samuel 10:15 When the Syrians saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they gathered together.16 Then Hadadezer (had-uh-dee-zur) sent and brought out the Syrians who were beyond the River, and they came to Helam. (hee-luhm) And Shobach the commander of Hadadezer's (had-uh-dee-zur) army went before them.17 When it was told David, he gathered all Israel, crossed over the Jordan, and came to Helam. (hee-luhm) And the Syrians set themselves in battle array against David and fought with him.18 Then the Syrians fled before Israel; and David killed seven hundred charioteers and forty thousand horsemen of the Syrians, and struck Shobach the commander of their army, who died there.19 And when all the kings who were servants to Hadadezer (had-uh-dee-zur) saw that they were defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel and served them. So the Syrians were afraid to help the people of Ammon anymore.

 

Now David had already defeated Hadadezer once but I guess he didnít learn his lesson the first time so now he call for more troops. Now it when it says he called for those beyond the river this is reference to the Euphrates River as you see here on the map. Now as we read this battle took place on the east side of Jordan at Helam which located somewhere in this general area on the map. Once again we see that David and his men were victorious and these kings that were serving Hadadezer were now servants of David.