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the Ammonite officials said to Hanun, “Do you really think David is trying to honor your father by sending these messengers to express his sympathy? 1 No, his servants have come to you so they can get information and spy out the land!” 2
They hired 32,000 chariots, along with the king of Maacah and his army, who came and camped in front of Medeba. The Ammonites also assembled from their cities and marched out to do battle.
When Hadadezer’s subjects saw they were defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and became his subjects. The Arameans were no longer willing to help the Ammonites.
In the spring, at the time when kings normally conduct wars, 1 Joab led the army into battle and devastated the land of the Ammonites. He went and besieged Rabbah, while David stayed in Jerusalem. Joab defeated Rabbah and tore it down.
He removed the city’s residents and made them do hard labor with saws, iron picks, and axes. 1 This was his policy 2 with all the Ammonite cities. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem.
Now the Ammonites, Moabites, and men from Mount Seir are coming! 1 When Israel came from the land of Egypt, you did not allow them to invade these lands. 2 They bypassed them and did not destroy them.
That is, I will punish the Egyptians, the Judeans, the Edomites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, and all the desert people who cut their hair short at the temples. 1 I will do so because none of the people of those nations are really circumcised in the Lord’s sight. 2 Moreover, none of the people of Israel 3 are circumcised when it comes to their hearts.” 4
Use it to send messages to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, 1 and Sidon. 2 Send them through 3 the envoys who have come to Jerusalem 4 to King Zedekiah of Judah.
Moreover, all the Judeans who were in Moab, Ammon, Edom, and all the other countries heard what had happened. They heard that the king of Babylon had allowed some people to stay in Judah and that he had appointed Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, to govern them.
They said to him, “Are you at all aware 1 that King Baalis of Ammon has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to kill you?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam would not believe them.
The Lord spoke about the Ammonites. 1 “Do you think there are not any people of the nation of Israel remaining? Do you think there are not any of them remaining to reinherit their land? Is that why you people who worship the god Milcom 2 have taken possession of the territory of Gad and live in his cities? 3
Because you did that, I, the Lord, affirm that 1 a time is coming when I will make Rabbah, the capital city of Ammon, hear the sound of the battle cry. It will become a mound covered with ruins. 2 Its villages will be burned to the ground. 3 Then Israel will take back its land from those who took their land from them. I, the Lord, affirm it! 4
“As for you, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says concerning the Ammonites and their coming humiliation; 1 say: “‘A sword, a sword drawn for slaughter, polished to consume, 2 to flash like lightning –
Say to the Ammonites, ‘Hear the word of the sovereign Lord: This is what the sovereign Lord says: You said “Aha!” about my sanctuary when it was desecrated, about the land of Israel when it was made desolate, and about the house of Judah when they went into exile.
This is what the Lord says: “Because the Ammonites have committed three crimes 1 – make that four! 2 – I will not revoke my decree of judgment. 3 They ripped open Gilead’s pregnant women 4 so they could expand their territory.
Therefore, as surely as I live,” says the Lord who commands armies, the God of Israel, “be certain that Moab will become like Sodom and the Ammonites like Gomorrah. They will be overrun by weeds, 1 filled with salt pits, 2 and permanently desolate. Those of my people who are left 3 will plunder their belongings; 4 those who are left in Judah 5 will take possession of their land.”
The Israelites again did evil in the Lord’s sight. 1 They worshiped 2 the Baals and the Ashtars, 3 as well as the gods of Syria, Sidon, 4 Moab, the Ammonites, and the Philistines. 5 They abandoned the Lord and did not worship 6 him.
Then Ishmael took captive all the people who were still left alive in Mizpah. This included the royal princesses 1 and all the rest of the people in Mizpah that Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, had put under the authority of Gedaliah son of Ahikam. Ishmael son of Nethaniah took all these people captive and set out to cross over to the Ammonites.