2 Samuel 8
And after this it came to pass that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took Methegammah out of the hand of the Philistines.
2 And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts.
3 David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates.
4 And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots.
5 And when the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Hadadezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men.
6 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts. And the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went.
7 And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem.
8 And from Betah, and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, king David took exceeding much brass.
9 When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had smitten all the host of Hadadezer,
10 Then Toi sent Joram his son unto king David, to salute him, and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer, and smitten him: for Hadadezer had wars with Toi. And Joram brought with him vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass:
11 Which also king David did dedicate unto the Lord, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated of all nations which he subdued;
12 Of Syria, and of Moab, and of the children of Ammon, and of the Philistines, and of Amalek, and of the spoil of Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah.
13 And David gat him a name when he returned from smiting of the Syrians in the valley of salt, being eighteen thousand men.
14 And he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David's servants. And the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went.
15 And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice unto all his people.
16 And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder;
17 And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Seraiah was the scribe;
18 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over both the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David's sons were chief rulers.
This chapter is a narrative of wars fought against God’s enemies. God empowered David to overcome the Philistines, Moabites, Syrians, and many other enemies of Israel. David reclaimed lands up to the border of the Euphrates. This fulfilled God’s promise to Abraham that they would own the lands of their enemies and “even the great river Euphrates.” Gen 15:18-21. Many subdued countries were required to pay tribute, enriching Israel. David obtained many vessels of silver, gold, and brass that he dedicated to the Lord. His son Solomon would later place these items in the house of the Lord. (1 King 7:51)
“The Lord preserved David whithersoever he went.” (vs 6) What a statement! David relied on God and God upheld him. God had found a man that would listen to His voice and follow His commands, though the violence against humans and animals can be hard to understand with our one dimensional view of events. Nevertheless, we know that God is merciful and we can be certain that His ways are best.
David put garrisons in Edom and the Edomites became David’s servants. This event fulfilled the prophesy of Balaam in Numbers 24:18. David became a just ruler and executed judgment over Israel.