Summary 2 Samuel 10:
When the king of the Ammonites died, David wanted to show kindness to his son in return for harboring him from Saul. David sent a delegation to express sympathy to Hanun, the king of the Ammonites’ son. However, Hanun took them for spies and shaved off half their beards and cut off their garments and sent them away. This was a great humiliation, so the men stayed at Jericho until their beards could grow back.
Because of this, the Ammonites thought they would attack David. They hired soldiers from Beth Rehob, Zobah, and Maacah. David sent Joab to meet them with the entire Israelite army. Despite having battle lines in front and behind them, the Israelites attacked and the enemy fled. However, the enemy (The Arameans) regrouped, attacked again, and were routed again — this time by David himself who chased them and killed a vast number. They made peace with Israel.
Summary Psalm 60:
David realizes with God comes victory. God rejects the people but also restores them. With God, anything is possible.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 19, Day 5: 2 Samuel 10; Psalm 60:
13) Part personal Question. My answer: The Ammonites mistook David’s sympathy delegation for spies, so they shaved off the men’s beards and cut their clothes and sent them back home. Very similar to David and Abigail (1 Samuel 25) in the sense of a misunderstanding/misinterpretation that can go wrong. We all can read into things and then make decisions based on faulty information, which can lead to hurting others and broken relationships amongst other things more serious when nations are involved. I can misinterpret things said to me and then I respond and then I look like the fool and end up having to apologize. Luckily, in God’s grace, I’m forgiven for jumping to conclusions.
14) Part personal Question. My answer: God. Having trust and faith that God supports you and is guiding you is key when making life decisions. Having patience in God’s timing and knowing He will do it all and having faith in God to do it all is the lesson learned here. “The Lord will do what is good in his sight” is the lesson, and knowing what is good is the result — whether it’s your good or not — is key as well.
15) Personal Question. My answer: With God we gain victory. It’s having the faith to know that in your heart, praying for His guidance, to give His victory and not your victory that is key to happiness and contentment in life.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 19 Day 5: 2 Samuel 10; Psalm 60:
Although misunderstanding in relationships thankfully don’t often result in full-blown battles with bloodshed, we can learn that when we offer an olive branch and it’s rejected to seek clarification first before responding irrationally and doing things or saying things to break relationships that may never recover.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 19, Day 5: 2 Samuel 10; Psalm 60:
Commentary 2 Samuel 10:
Scholars do not know why the Ammonite nobles suspected him. However, it is common for liars to always suspect others of lying.
The importance of beards in Ancient Times
In that culture, many men would rather die than have their beard shaved off. A clean-shaven face was the mark of a slave and free men wore beards.
“With the value universally set upon the beard by the Hebrews and other Oriental nations, as being man’s greatest ornament, the cutting off of one-half of it was the greatest insult that could have been offered to the ambassadors, and through them to David their king.” (Keil and Delitzsch)
“The beard is held in high respect in the East: the possessor considers it his greatest ornament; often swears by it; and, in matters of great importance, pledges it. Nothing can be more secure than a pledge of this kind; its owner will redeem it at the hazard of his life.” (Clarke)
To insult the ambassador is to insult the king
- The act of cutting beards and humiliation was upon David himself. And the same for Jesus. Jesus reminded His disciples: If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. (John 15:18)
David didn’t use these men as political tools to whip up anger against the Ammonites. He cared more for their own dignity and honor and allowed them to wait before returning to Jerusalem.
David was nothing without his mighty men who didn’t necessarily start as mighty men; many were the distressed, indebted, and discontent people who followed David at Adullam Cave (1 Samuel 22:1-2).
Who were David’s mighty men?
- Adino the Eznite – famous for killing 800 men at one time (2 Samuel 23:8).
- Jashobeam who killed 300 men at one time (1 Chronicles 11:11).
- Benaiah who killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day and killed an Egyptian warrior with his own spear (1 Chronicles 11:22-23)
The Israelites found themselves surrounded. In front of them were the Ammonites and behind them were the Syrians. It looked bad for the army of Israel.
What did Joab do right?
- Attack. Joab had only one strategy in battle – attack. Many generals would have surrendered when surrounded on both sides by the enemy, but not Joab. He called the army to courage and faith and told them to press on. Courage and strength are not matters of feeling and circumstance. They are matters of choice, especially when God makes His strength available to us. We can be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10).
- Remember what and who they are fighting for. Joab called them to remember all they had to lose. If they lost this battle, they would lose both their people and their cities.
- Remember God is in charge. Joab wisely prepared for the battle to the best of his ability and worked hard for the victory. At the same time, he knew that the outcome was ultimately in God’s hands. God promised this kind of blessing upon an obedient Israel (Deuteronomy 28:7).
God’s warning to David about Bathsheba
The offending Ammonites were still in their city and Joab returned to Jerusalem. In the spring King David sent Joab and the army out again to deal with Rabbah as he waited in Jerusalem. While he waited comfortably in Jerusalem, he fell into sin with Bathsheba.
2 Samuel 10 shows that God gave David a warning by showing it necessary for him to come out against the Syrians. David tried to leave the battle with Joab in 2 Samuel 10, but his army needed him, and God tried to show him that by blessing him in battle.
Commentary Psalm 60:
This is a Michtam, a golden Psalm of David, intended for teaching, to instruct his present and future generations, especially about relying upon God and nothing else in conflict.
Either God is for you or against you — That is all the difference
- David knew that when the Lord fought for Israel, victory was assured; if there was defeat, it was because of God’s displeasure.
- Worse than defeat was the sense of separation from God.
“But for this psalm and its title, we should have had no inkling of the resilience of David’s hostile neighbours at the peak of his power.” (Kidner)
What God does in judgment or discipline He can restore in love and mercy.
What does the banner signify?
- The banner signified Israel’s reliance upon God and His victory for them.
- The truth about God – who He is and what He has done – demanded that this banner be displayed.
God proclaimed how the land of Israel was His special possession. The specific mentions of Shechem, the Valley of Succoth, of Gilead, of Manasseh, of Ephraim, and of Judah shows that God did not speak symbolically, but geographically.
“When David speaks of ‘the fortified city’ he can only mean Petra, the most inaccessible and impregnable mountain stronghold of Edom. Only God could give victory over such a fortress, and David knew it.
This Psalm begins in defeat, but ends in victory.
“Divine working is not an argument for human inaction, but rather it is for courageous effort.” (Spurgeon)
“For our part, there will be valiant deeds; for God’s part, there will be His hand on ours and His foot on the enemy.” (Kidner)