1. After this, when Nahash king of the Ammonites died and his son Hanun succeeded him,

2. David thought, 'I shall show Hanun son of Nahash the same faithful love as his father showed me.' And David sent representatives to offer him condolences over his father. But when David's representatives reached Hanun in the Ammonites' country to present these condolences,

3. the Ammonite leaders said to Hanun, 'Do you really think David means to honour your father when he sends you messengers with sympathy? On the contrary, the reason why his representatives have come to you is to explore, overthrow and reconnoitre the country.

4. Whereupon Hanun seized David's representatives, shaved them, cut their clothes off half-way up, right by their buttocks, and sent them away.

5. As soon as David was told how the men had been treated, he sent someone to meet them, since the men were overcome with shame. 'Stay in Jericho,' the king said, 'until your beards have grown, and come back then.'

6. When the Ammonites realised that they had antagonised David, Hanun and the Ammonites sent a thousand talents of silver to hire chariots and cavalry from the Aramaeans of Upper Mesopotamia, of Maacah and of Zobah.

7. They hired thirty-two thousand chariots and the king of Maacah with his people, who came and encamped before Medeba, while the Ammonites, having left their towns and mustered, were advancing to the war.

8. When David heard this, he sent Joab with the whole army, the champions.

9. The Ammonites marched out and drew up their line of battle at the city gate, while the kings who had come kept their distance in the open country.

10. Joab, seeing that he had to fight on two fronts, to his front and to his rear, chose the best of Israel's picked men and drew them up in line facing the Aramaeans.

11. He entrusted the rest of the army to his brother Abishai, and drew them up in line facing the Ammonites.

12. 'If the Aramaeans prove too strong for me,' he said, 'you must come to my help; if the Ammonites prove too strong for you, I shall come to yours.

13. Be brave and let us fight valiantly, for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God! And let Yahweh dispose as he thinks fit!'

14. Joab and the force with him joined battle with the Aramaeans, who fled at his onslaught.

15. When the Ammonites saw that the Aramaeans had fled, they too fled from his brother Abishai and withdrew into the city. Joab then returned to Jerusalem.

16. The Aramaeans, realising that Israel had got the better of them, sent messengers and mobilised the Aramaeans living on the other side of the River, with Shophach, commander of Hadadezer's army, at their head.

17. David, being informed of this, mustered all Israel, crossed the Jordan, made contact with them and took up position near them. David drew up his line of battle facing the Aramaeans, who then engaged him.

18. But the Aramaeans fled from Israel, and David killed seven thousand of their chariot teams and forty thousand men; and also Shophach, the commander of the army.

19. When Hadadezer's vassals saw that Israel had got the better of them, they made peace with David and became his subjects. The Aramaeans were unwilling to give any more help to the Ammonites.

Livros sugeridos

“Nas tentações, combata com coragem! Nas quedas, humilhe-se mas não desanime!” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina


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