Daily Tanach Sunday – Shmuel 2 Chapter 8: The wars of Dovid

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 8: The wars of Dovid

1.      Dovid smites the Philistines:

  • After the above events, Dovid smote the Philistines and annihilated them. Dovid captured the city of Meseg Ha’amah [otherwise known as the stronghold of Gath, the most prestigious city of the Philistines which was the seat of their monarchy[1]].

2.      Dovid smites Moav:

  • Dovid smote Moav [in revenge for them having killed his mother, father, and brothers[2]].
  • The method and order of the killing: He measured them with a rope lying them down on the ground. He measured two ropes to kill them and one rope to let them live. [This means as follows: There were 3000 inhabitants in the city of Moav. Dovid decided to kill 2000 of them and allow 1000 to live. He took 3000 pieces of paper and wrote on a thousand of them the word “life.” The other 2000 papers remained blank. He then showed a piece of paper for each one of the 3000 residents of Moav and whoever ended up receiving a blank paper was laid on the ground and put to death.[3]
  • Who received the land? The city of Moav became designated to Dovid and to the servants that would bring him presents.

3.      Dovid smites Tzovah:

  • Dovid smote Hadadezer, the son of Rechov, the king of Tzovah when he [i.e. Hadadezer[4]] went to expand his kingdom past the Euphrates River.
  • The captives and spoils of war: Dovid captured from them 1,700 chariots and 20,000 foot soldiers.
  • The chariots are diminished: Dovid uprooted the chariots [from the horses] leaving himself only 100 chariots [due to the Biblical prohibition for a King to own too many horses[5]]. [Each chariot contained four horses and hence Dovid left for himself four hundred horses out of the 6,800 total.[6]]

[1] Rashi 8:1

[2] Rashi 8:2

[3] Mahariy Karo 8:2

[4] Rashi 8:3

[5] Rashi 8:4

[6] See Rashi 8:4

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