CONTEXT: This chapter does not contain a story. Rather, it’s a list of victories, with extraneous items including treatment of defeated enemies, booty, and court functionaries.
            GLOSSARY: “Battalion” renders the Hebrew elef, “thousand.” In the American army, a battalion is theoretically a thousand fighters, but actually may be anywhere between 300 and 1,000.

            1Afterwards, it happened that David struck the P’lishtim and defeated them, taking from their hand Meteg Ha’amah (“the cubit bridle”) {Gat and its suburbs  1Ch 18:1}. 
            2He struck Moav and measured them off with a rope as they lay on the ground: two rope lengths for killing and one full length for keeping alive. Moav became slaves to David and bearers of tribute.
            3He struck Hadadezer ben R’chov, king of Tsovah (in Syria) when he went to reestablish his hand over the River Euphrates. 4David captured from him a thousand, seven hundred horsemen and twenty battalions of foot soldiers. He hamstrung all the chariot horses, leaving a hundred. 5Aram of Dameshek (Damascus) came to aid Hadadezer but  David struck of Aram twenty-two battalions. 6David set commanders in Aram Dameshek. Aram became slaves to David and bearers of tribute.
            Yahh helped David wherever he went.
            7David took the gold shields that had belonged to Hadadezer’s servants and brought them to Y’rushalayim. 8From Tevach and Berotai, cities of Hadadezer, David took a great amount of bronze.
            9To’i, king of Chamat, heard that David had struck Hadadezer’s entire army. He sent his son Yoram to King David to ask how he was doing and to commend him for having fought and struck Hadadezer. Hadadezer had been To’i’s opponent at war.  Yoram bore vessels of silver, gold, and bronze. 11These too King David dedicated to Yahh, along with the silver and gold from all the nations he had conquered: 12Edom, Moav, the Ammonites, P’lishtim, Amalek, plus the booty from Hadadezer benR’chov king of Tsovah.
            13David made a name when he returned from striking eighteen battalions of Edom at Salt Valley. 14He set commanders in Edom, throughout. All Edom became slaves to David.
            Yahh helped David wherever he went.
            15David reigned over all Yisrael, bringing order and doing justice for all his people. 16Yoav ben Ts’ruYahh headed the army and Y’hoshafat  ben Achilud was recorder. 17Tsadok ben Achituv and Achimelech ben Evyatar were kohanim and S’raYahh was scribe. B’nayahu  ben Y’hoyada headed the K’reti and the P’leti.  David’s sons were kohanim. {first at the hand of the king  1Ch 18:17}
©Rabbi David L. Kline

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