And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the children of Ammon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
6-14. when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David—To chastise those insolent and inhospitable Ammonites, who had violated the common law of nations, David sent a large army under the command of Joab, while they, informed of the impending attack, made energetic preparations to repel it by engaging the services of an immense number of Syrian mercenaries.
Beth-rehob—the capital of the low-lying region between Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon.
Zoba—(see on 2Sa 8:3).
of king Maacah—His territories lay on the other side of Jordan, near Gilead (De 3:14).
Ish-tob—that is, "the men of Tob"—the place of Jephthah's marauding adventures (see also 1Ch 19:6; Ps 60:1, title). As the Israelite soldiers poured into the Ammonite territory, that people met them at the frontier town of Medeba (1Ch 19:7-9), the native troops covering the city, while the Syrian mercenaries lay at some distance encamped in the fields. In making the attack, Joab divided his forces into two separate detachments—the one of which, under the command of his brother, Abishai, was to concentrate its attack upon the city, while he himself marched against the overwhelming host of mercenary auxiliaries. It was a just and necessary war that had been forced on Israel, and they could hope for the blessing of God upon their arms. With great judgment the battle opened against the mercenaries, who could not stand against the furious onset of Joab, and not feeling the cause their own, consulted their safety by flight. The Ammonites, who had placed their chief dependence upon a foreign aid, then retreated to entrench themselves within the walls of the town.And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the children of Ammon.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. that he might put them in array] Rather, and he put them in array.
(Note: "Cutting off a persons' beard is regarded by the Arabs as an indignity quite equal to flogging and branding among ourselves. Many would rather die than have their beard shaved off" (Arvieux, Sitten der Beduinen-araber). Niebuhr relates a similar occurrence as having taken place in modern times. In the years 1764, a pretender to the Persian throne, named Kerim Khan, sent ambassadors to Mir Mahenna, the prince of Bendervigk, on the Persian Gulf, to demand tribute from him; but he in return cut off the ambassadors' beards. Kerim Khan was so enraged at this, that he went the next year with a large army to make war upon this prince, and took the city, and almost the whole of his territory, to avenge the insult.)
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. The insult was still further increased by cutting off the long dress which covered the body; so that as the ancient Israelites wore no trousers, the lower half of the body was quite exposed. מדויהם .deso, from מדוּ or מדוה, the long robe reaching down to the feet, from the root מדה equals מדד, to stretch, spread out, or measure.
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