2 Samuel 10:15
And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together.
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2 Samuel 10:15-16. They gathered themselves together — Fearing David would fall upon them for assisting his enemies, they resolved to be beforehand with him, and therefore levied a new army to invade his territories. And Hadarezer — Who was king of Aram Zoba, in Mesopotamia; sent and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the river — That is, beyond Euphrates, which was the bound of his territories eastward, 2 Samuel 8:3.10:15-19 Here is a new attempt of the Syrians. Even the baffled cause will make head as long as there is any life in it; the enemies of the Son of David do so. But now the promise made to Abraham, Ge 15:18, and repeated to Joshua, Jos 1:4, that the borders of Israel should extend to the river Euphrates, was performed. Learn hence, that it is dangerous to help those who have God against them; for when they fall, their helpers will fall with them.Joab returned - The great strength of Rabbah made it hopeless to take it by assault, and the Syrians were not sufficiently broken 2 Samuel 10:15 to make it safe to undertake a regular siege. 2Sa 10:15-19. The Syrians Defeated. Partly, to wipe out the stain of cowardice which they had now contracted; partly, to prevent that vengeance which they supposed David would execute upon them for their last attempt; and partly, to shake off the yoke that David had lately put upon them. And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel,.... Considered it in their minds, and conversed with one another about it, and fearing what would be the consequence of it:

they gathered themselves together; not only the forces got together again, that fled before Joab, but all the kings of Syria united their forces together, as appears from 2 Samuel 10:19; supposing that David would avenge himself on them for assisting the Ammonites against him; and therefore judged it advisable to raise a large army, that they might be in a condition to receive him.

And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together.
When Joab saw that "the front of the war was (directed) against him both before and behind," he selected a picked body out of the Israelitish army, and posted them (the picked men) against the children of Aram (i.e., the Syrians). The rest of the men he gave to his brother Abishai, and stationed them against the Ammonites. "The front of the battle:" i.e., the face or front of the hostile army, when placed in battle array. Joab had this in front and behind, as the Ammonites had taken their stand before Rabbah at the back of the Israelitish army, and the Syrians by Medeba in their front, so that Joab was attacked both before and behind. This compelled him to divide his army. He chose out, i.e., made a selection. Instead of בישׂראל בּחוּרי (the picked men in Israel) the Chronicles have בישׂראל בּחוּר (the men in Israel), the singular בּחוּר being more commonly employed than the plural to denote the men of war. The בּ before ישׂראל is not to be regarded as suspicious, although the early translators have not expressed it, and the Masoretes wanted to expunge it. "The choice of Israel" signifies those who were selected in Israel for the war, i.e., the Israelitish soldiers. Joab himself took up his station opposite to the Syrians with a picked body of men, because they were the stronger force of the two. He then made this arrangement with Abishai (2 Samuel 10:11): "If Aram becomes stronger than I((i.e., overpowers me), come to my help; and if the Ammonites should overpower thee, I will go to help thee." Consequently the attack was not to be made upon both the armies of the enemy simultaneously; but Joab proposed to attack the Aramaeans (Syrians) first (cf. 2 Samuel 10:13), and Abishai was merely to keep the Ammonites in check, though there was still a possibility that the two bodies of the enemy might make their attack simultaneously.
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