Daily Tanach Wednesday Shmuel 2 Chapter 10: Chapter 10: War with Aram and Amon

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 10: War with Aram and Amon

1.      Dovid sends emissaries to console the new king of Amon and his messengers are shamed:

  • And it was after the above events, the king of the people of Amon passed away and his son Chanun became king after him.
  • Dovid sends messengers to console Chanun for the death of his father: Dovid said that he would like to do kindness with Chanun, the son of Nachash, just as his father did kindness with him. [The kindness that was done to Dovid by his father is as follows: When Dovid was running away from Shaul, his parents and brothers joined him due to fear of persecution from Shaul. They had settled by the land of the king of Moab, who eventually had Dovid’s entire family killed except for one brother who managed to escape to the land of Amon and received refuge by their king Nachash, the father of Chanun.[1]] So, Dovid sent messengers to [Chanun] to convey his condolences over the death of his father.
  • The messengers are suspected of being spies to conquer the city: The messengers of Dovid arrived in the land of Amon [and told him that they are there to convey condolences from King Dovid]. The aristocrats of the nation of Amon said to their master, Chanun, “Is the respect of your father so great in Dovid’s eyes that he actually sent you messengers for the purpose of conveying his condolences [as after all, their Torah prohibits them from inquiring as to the peace of Amon[2]]? Certainly, he has really sent you these messengers for a military mission in order to spy against the city and connive ways to conquer it.”
  • The messengers are shamed, have their beards partially cut off and clothing torn: Chanun [who believed the words of the aristocrats] took the servants of Dovid and shaved half of their beard and tore their clothing in half until their lower extremities, and then sent them back to Dovid.
  • Dovid receives the shamed men: Dovid was informed of what had happened and he summoned the men as they were very shamed, and told them that they should settle in the city of Jericho until their beards grow back and then return.

2.      The nation of Amon prepares for war:

  • The people of Amon saw that Dovid was very offended [and were fearful of retribution] and therefore they hired the armies of Aram Beis Rechov, and Aram Tzova, 20,000 foot soldiers, and also the king of Macha with 1000 foot soldiers and also Ish Tov together with 12,000 soldiers.
  • Dovid prepares for war: Dovid heard all this and he sent Yoav [his general] and all his army of warriors to confront them.
  • The positions of battle: The nation of Amon went to the battlefront by the opening of the gate of their city, while Aram Tzova and Rechov and Ish Tov and Macha were alone in the field.

[1] Rashi 10:2

[2] Rashi 10:3

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