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2 Samuel 10 (Parallel passage: 1 Chronicles 19)

David’s messengers ill-treated by Hanun. (1-5)

He has returned kindness to Jonathan’s family, and now he wants to do it to an enemy king also. Nahash had been an enemy to Israel, yet had showed kindness to David. We don’t know what kind of kindness and when he did it. It may be during David received kindness from him as he has received from Philistine king during his wandering period. If a Pharisee gives alms in pride, though God will not reward it, yet he that receives the alms ought to return thanks for it. However Nahash’s son Hanun treated David’s ambassadors in the most contemptuous manner. Now, David was compelled take action against Hanun, the king of Ammon because David had to show his concern for his servants.

The Ammonites defeated. (6-14)

V. 6: Enemies of Israel were at war with David and his kingdom. They provoked David and even initiated the war against Israel. The world will do the same thing to Christ, to His people, and to His Kingdom which necessitate the war against the spiritual forces.

Vs. 9-11: 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 help you (V.11). In our spiritual warfare, as Christ’s soldiers, we should strengthen one another’s hands.

The Syrians defeated.(15-19)

Vs. 15&16: There was a new attempt of the Syrians to recover their lost honour and to check the progress of David’s victorious arms. The forces that were lately dispersed rallied again together to war against Israel.

V. 17: when it was told David, he gathered….crossed over the Jordan… This time David himself went for the war. When the enemy comes back, we can’t relax and celebrate our victory. Usually a comeback will be with added strength, and renewed strategy.

2 Samuel 11 Parallel passage: 1 Chro. 20:1 with omission of incident found in 2 Sam. 11: 2 to 12:25

David’s adultery. (1-5)

Ammonite war did not end in chapter 10 and it actually ended in 2 Samuel 12:26-31 only. Joab’s return in 10:14 was not the end of the war. As Syrians regrouped and came again for war, it seems there was some sort of continuation of this war against Ammon. We have the story of David and Bathsheba in between in 11:2 to 12:25 which was omitted in 1 Chronicles.

Mathew Henry observes the occasions of David’s sin; what led to it.

1. Neglect of his business. He tarried at Jerusalem. When we are out of the way of our duty, we are in temptation.
2. Love of leisure: idleness gives great advantage to the tempter.
3. A wandering eye. He had not, like Job, made a covenant with his eyes, or, at this time, he had forgotten it. “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin? Job 31:1 ESV

This Chapter is about the beginning of the declension of David’s kingdom.

Following table is taken from ESV Study Bible.

David’s Rise (1 Samuel 16 – 2 Samuel 10) David’s failure (2 Samuel 11-20)
Eager holy warrior Remains in palace
Marries honorably Adultery with Bathsheba
Protects Saul’s life Plots Uriah’s death
Decisive Indecisive
Prayers effective Prayers ineffective
Fearless when outnumbered Fearfully takes census
Attracts thousands of followers Loss thousands of followers

V. 1: …at the time when the kings go out to battle… But David remained at Jerusalem… It is clearly mentioned the place where David supposed to be. He should have been with the army in the battle ground. At the same time the reason for staying in Jerusalem was not stated. There is a season for everything. Elisha asked Gehazi 2 kings 5:26b… Is this the time to take money, or to accept clothes, olive groves, vineyards, flocks, herds, or menservants and maidservants?