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Tuesday, April 30 2014

2 Samuel 10: The Ambassadors Incident

"Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away"

The English word "arrogance" originated from a Latin word, arrogantia, which meant to desire, as in to behave or speak with exorbitant claims of superiority. The original word, as does the Hebrew word that it's used to translate, simply meant to covet what is not right.

Despite being anointed by the LORD (see 1 Samuel 16: The Anointing Of David), winning the civil war against Saul (see 2 Samuel 3: The War Between The Houses of David and Saul), being made king of the united Kingdom of Israel (see 2 Samuel 5: How Long Was Jerusalem The Capital Of Israel?) and becoming Emperor of a number of the nations around Israel (see 2 Samuel 8: King David's Empire), David never became arrogant.

When a neighboring king died, David humbly sent ambassadors to the kingdom of Ammon (see the Fact Finder question below) to express his condolences to the new king. Unfortunately, the new king and his foolish advisors were arrogant. They "took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away."

Men Of David

"10:1 And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. 10:2 Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me.

And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.

10:3 And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it?

10:4 Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away." (2 Samuel 10:1-4 KJV)

When the news of the incident reached David, his first response was to take care of his diplomats who had been grossly mistreated.

"10:5 When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return." (2 Samuel 10:5 KJV)

David did not then immediately declare war on the offending nation. They did - by launching a massive invasion of Israel, including Syrian mercenaries.

"10:6 And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Bethrehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ishtob twelve thousand men.

10:7 And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men. 10:8 And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entering in of the gate: and the Syrians of Zoba, and of Rehob, and Ishtob, and Maacah, were by themselves in the field." (2 Samuel 10:6-8 KJV)

David's army commander, Joab, led the defense of Israel with the proclamation "Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good." Joab wasn't an arrogant fool either. "Joab drew nigh, and the people that were with him, unto the battle against the Syrians: and they fled before him."

King David then led a second army group into battle: "And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there." It was a total victory of Godly humility over Satanic arrogance.

"10:9 When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians: 10:10 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. 10:11 And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee. 10:12 Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.

10:13 And Joab drew nigh, and the people that were with him, unto the battle against the Syrians: and they fled before him. 10:14 And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, then fled they also before Abishai, and entered into the city. So Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem.

10:15 And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together. 10:16 And Hadarezer sent, and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the river: and they came to Helam; and Shobach the captain of the host of Hadarezer went before them.

10:17 And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and passed over Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him. 10:18 And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there. 10:19 And when all the kings that were servants to Hadarezer saw that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them.

So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more." (2 Samuel 10:9-19 KJV)

Fact Finder: The Ammonites and Moabites originated from Abraham's nephew, Lot. How and when?
See Why Did Lot's Wife Look Back? and Genesis 19: Fire And Brimstone Upon Sodom And Gomorrah


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This Day In History, April 29

711: During the Islamic conquest of Hispania (the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula i.e. today Spain and Portugal), Moorish troops under Tariq ibn-Ziyad invaded Gibraltar (the "Crusades" were a centuries-long struggle between the followers of the Church of Rome and the followers of Muhammad; see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

1289: Qala'un, the Sultan of Egypt, captured Tripoli (see also Libya In History And Prophecy).

1429: The fabled "Joan of Arc" entered Orleans, seven months into the siege of the city in the Hundred Years War.

1483: Gran Canaria, the main island of the Canary Islands, was conquered by the Kingdom of Castile.

1587: English warships under English explorer and naval commander Francis Drake sank at least 23 ships of the Spanish fleet in the Bay of Cádiz. The action became known as "Singeing the King of Spain's Beard."

Sir Francis Drake 1607: The first Church of England congregation in the New England colonies was established at Cape Henry, Virginia.

1628: Sweden and Denmark concluded a treaty for the defense of Stralsund, which brought Sweden into the Thirty Years War.

1661: The Chinese Ming dynasty occupied Taiwan.

1672: During the Franco-Dutch War, Louis XIV of France invaded the Netherlands.

1770: English explorer and naval commander James Cook arrived at and named Botany Bay, Australia.

1781: During the New England Revolutionary War, British and French ships clashed in the Battle of Fort Royal off the coast of Martinique. France supported the rebellion for the sole purpose of severing Britain's military connection to New England, which strengthened the military position of France's own colonies in North America (in Louisiana and eastern Canada). While France supported the New England rebellion, it hypocritically tolerated no "freedom" or independence in any of their own colonies.

1813: Rubber was patented.

1852: The first edition of Peter Roget's Thesaurus was published.

1858: Austrian troops invaded Piedmont.

1881: State-incited pogroms against Jews in Russia began, resulting in major flight of Jews from Russia westwards. Some consider this date in Jewish history to be the most important since the Jewish expulsion from Spain in 1492. Of those emigrants, over 2,000,000 went to the U.S. alone, creating a powerful presence of Jews in the U.S. (New York City is today the largest Jewish-population city on earth).

1913: The "zipper" was patented by Swedish engineer Gideon Sundback as a "separable fastener."

1916: After a siege of 143 days, the British surrendered Kut-el-Amara to the Turks.

1945: Closing events of the Second World War in Europe: the German army surrendered; Venice and Mestre were captured by the Allies; in Berlin, Adolf Hitler married his mistress Eva Braun just hours before they committed suicide (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1946: 28 former Japanese leaders were indicted by U.S. occupation forces in Tokyo for war crimes (that included the "water boarding" torture of prisoners) during the Second World War. Some were later executed.

1965: The Australian government announced that it would send troops to Vietnam.

1965: Malta became the 18th member of the Council of Europe.

1967: After refusing induction into the United States Army the day before (citing Muslim religious reasons), Muhammad Ali was stripped of his championship boxing title.

1972: In Burundi, the deposed King Ntare V was killed in an abortive coup.

1973: In a futile attempt to stop the Watergate criminal investigation from reaching him, President Richard Nixon requested resignations of two of his top political associates, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman.

1975: At the end of the Vietnam War (a civil war between North and South that began when the border was imposed by France in the 1940s), the U.S. began evacuating U.S. citizens from Saigon prior to the North Vietnamese takeover and victory that brought about the re-unification of Vietnam as it had existed for centuries before French and U.S. interference.

1981: In England, Peter Sutcliffe admitted that he was the "Yorkshire Ripper."

1986: A fire at Los Angeles Public Library damaged or destroyed 400,000 books.

1992: Riots began in Los Angeles, California, after the acquittal of police officers charged with the beating of Rodney King. Over the next week, 53 people are killed and hundreds of buildings were burned.

2005: Syrian troops left Lebanon after 29 years of occupation.

2011: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Kate Middleton were married.



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