Bible Commentaries

2 Samuel 10

Verses 1-19

Here we have the record of victories over Ammon and Syria. So far as David is concerned it is interesting in revealing the same spirit of good will in David in his attempt to show kindness to Hanum, and the same elements of strength as a warrior as he led the hosts of Israel against the forces of Syria, and defeated them.

Joab appears once more in all the rugged and terrible strength of his nature. It is interesting to observe that in his arrangements he made no allowance for the possibility of ultimate defeat in his conflict with Arnmon. He divided his forces, and did so in order that if the Syrians on the one side should be too strong for him, the army of Abishai, his brother, should help him. Or if, on the other hand, the children of Ammon should be too strong for Abishai, he would help Abishai.

It does not seem to have occurred to him that the combination might have been too much for both of them. In all this the true quality of the soldier is revealed. It recognizes the possibility of defeat at a point, but never that of the poet's final triumph. We are not surprised that Joab was victorious.

This story constitutes the culmination of the account of David's rise to power, and prepares for the terrible story of his fall by showing the general circumstances under which the fall occurred.