2 Samuel 8

David’s Triumphs

8 Now it came about after this that David defeated the Philistines and subdued (humbled) them, and he took control of Metheg-ammah [the main city] from the hand of the Philistines.

2 He defeated [a]Moab, and [b]measured them with a length of rope, making them lie down on the ground; he measured two lengths to [choose those to] put to death, and one full length to [choose those to] be kept alive. And the [surviving] Moabites became servants to David, bringing tribute.

3 Then David defeated Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of [c]Zobah, as he went to restore his power at the River [Euphrates]. 4 David captured from him 1,700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers. David also hamstrung all the chariot horses (making them lame), but reserved enough of them for a hundred chariots. 5 When the Arameans (Syrians) of Damascus came to help Hadadezer, king of Zobah, David struck down 22,000 Arameans. 6 Then David put garrisons among the Arameans in Damascus, and the Arameans became his servants and brought tribute. The Lord helped David wherever he went. 7 David took the shields of gold that were carried by the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. 8 And from Betah and Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David took an immense quantity of bronze.

9 When Toi king of Hamath heard about David’s defeat of all the forces of Hadadezer, 10 Toi sent [d]Joram his son to King David to [e]greet and congratulate him for his battle and defeat of Hadadezer; for Hadadezer had been at war with Toi. Joram brought with him articles of silver, gold, and bronze [as gifts]. 11 King David also dedicated these [gifts] to the Lord, along with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations which he subdued: 12 from Aram (Syria), Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, and Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah.

13 So David made a name for himself when he returned from killing 18,000 [f]Arameans (Syrians) in the Valley of Salt. 14 He put garrisons in Edom; in all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became servants to David. And the Lord helped him wherever he went.

15 So David reigned over all Israel, and continued to administer justice and righteousness for all his people. 16 Joab the son of Zeruiah was [commander] over the army; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder (secretary); 17 Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were the [chief] priests, and Seraiah was the scribe; 18 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was [head] over both the Cherethites and Pelethites [the king’s bodyguards]; and David’s sons were [g]chief [confidential] advisers (officials) [to the king].(A)


  1. 2 Samuel 8:2 I.e. descendants of Lot (Gen 19:37).
  2. 2 Samuel 8:2 In ancient times a conqueror sometimes used an arbitrary system to determine which prisoners to execute.
  3. 2 Samuel 8:3 I.e. an Aramean (Syrian) kingdom.
  4. 2 Samuel 8:10 In 1 Chr 18:10, Hadoram.
  5. 2 Samuel 8:10 Lit ask him about his shalom and bless.
  6. 2 Samuel 8:13 A few manuscripts read Edomites (the form of the Hebrew letters makes the two names nearly identical).
  7. 2 Samuel 8:18 Lit priests. Even though the Hebrew word for priests is used in this verse, David’s sons would not serve as priests because they were from the tribe of Judah, not Levi. The ancient rabbis interpreted the statement to mean that the sons enjoyed some priestly privileges.

Cross references

  1. 2 Samuel 8:18 : 1 Chr 18:17

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