1 And it came to pass after this that the king of the sons of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. 2 Then David said, I will show mercy unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed mercy unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his slaves for his father. And David's slaves came into the land of the sons of Ammon. 3 And the princes of the sons of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Does it appear unto thee that David has sent comforters unto thee to honour thy father? Has not David rather sent his slaves unto thee to search the city and to spy it out and to overthrow it? 4 Therefore, Hanun took David's slaves 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.
5 When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them because the men were greatly ashamed, and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards are grown and then return.
6 And when the sons of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the sons of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Bethrehob and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ishtob twelve thousand men.
7 And when David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the host of the mighty men. 8 And the sons of Ammon came out and ordered their troops at the entering in of the gate, and the Syrians of Zoba and of Rehob and Ishtob and Maacah were in order by themselves in the field. 9 When Joab saw that there were troops before and behind him, he chose from among the chosen men of Israel and put them in order against the Syrians. 10 Then he delivered the rest of the people into the hand of Abishai his brother that he might put them in order against the sons of Ammon.
11 And he said, If the Syrians are too strong for me, then thou shalt help me; but if the sons of Ammon are too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee. 12 Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God; and let the LORD do that which seems good unto him.
13 And Joab drew near and the people that were with him, to do battle against the Syrians, and they fled before him. 14 And when the sons of Ammon saw that the Syrians had fled, they also fled before Abishai and entered into the city. So Joab returned from the sons of Ammon and came to Jerusalem.
15 And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together. 16 And Hadarezer sent and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the river, and they came to Helam, and Shobach, the captain of the host of Hadarezer, went before them.
17 And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together and passed over the Jordan and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in order against David and fought with him. 18 And the Syrians fled before Israel, and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians and forty thousand horsemen and smote Shobach, the captain of their host, who died there. 19 And when all the kings that were slaves to Hadarezer saw that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel and served them. So the Syrians feared to help the sons of Ammon any more.