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1 After this the king of the Ammonites died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place. 2 And David said, “I will deal loyally with Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father dealt loyally with me.” So David sent by his servants to console him concerning his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the Ammonites. 3 But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun their lord, “Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Has not David sent his servants to you to search the city and to spy it out and to overthrow it?” 4 So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved off half the beard of each and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away. 5 When it was told David, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, “Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return.”


6 When the Ammonites saw that they had become a stench to David, the Ammonites sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob, and the Syrians of Zobah, 20,000 foot soldiers, and the king of Maacah with 1,000 men, and the men of Tob, 12,000 men. 7 And when David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the host of the mighty men.



  1. David’s friendly action (vv1-2) was misunderstood by Hanun, king of the Ammonites (v3) and responded with brutal insult (v4). Then, Hanun had to seek allied forces (v6) for a war with David is imminent. What is the reason for this war? Suspicion and distrust. Otherwise, David’s friendship gesture should be accepted. With suspicion and distrust, any action is possible to be misunderstood.
  2. Here are two opposite leaders: David, a noble king, acts according to God’s law and was faithful to the covenantal promise. Hanun was foolish that he listened to wrong and impractical suggestions and made fatal mistakes which led his country into war and shame.
  3. Not inquiring or refusing other’s opinion is very foolish. In the meantime, to be persuaded easily is also unwise. We need to pray and ask for God’s guidance, and the spirit of discernment in order to walk the righteousness and good path.



Lord, I want to be a wise person and not a foolish one because: “A fool spurns a parent’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence. Folly brings joy to one who has no sense, but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course. Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe. (Prov. 15:5, 21, 28:26)”