2 Samuel 8

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Read 2 Samuel 8

David’s Victories

1 In the course of time, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Metheg Ammah from the control of the Philistines.

David also defeated the Moabites. He made them lie down on the ground and measured them off with a length of cord. Every two lengths of them were put to death, and the third length was allowed to live. So the Moabites became subject to David and brought him tribute.

Moreover, David defeated Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when he went to restore his monument at the Euphrates River. David captured a thousand of his chariots, seven thousand charioteers and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He hamstrung all but a hundred of the chariot horses.

When the Arameans of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down twenty-two thousand of them. He put garrisons in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, and the Arameans became subject to him and brought tribute. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.

David took the gold shields that belonged to the officers of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. From Tebah and Berothai, towns that belonged to Hadadezer, King David took a great quantity of bronze.

When Tou king of Hamath heard that David had defeated the entire army of Hadadezer, 10 he sent his son Joram to King David to greet him and congratulate him on his victory in battle over Hadadezer, who had been at war with Tou. Joram brought with him articles of silver, of gold and of bronze.

11 King David dedicated these articles to the Lord, as he had done with the silver and gold from all the nations he had subdued: 12 Edom and Moab, the Ammonites and the Philistines, and Amalek. He also dedicated the plunder taken from Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah.

13 And David became famous after he returned from striking down eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.

14 He put garrisons throughout Edom, and all the Edomites became subject to David. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.

David’s Officials

15 David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people. 16 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; 17 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelek son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was secretary; 18 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; and David’s sons were priests.

Go Deeper

In this chapter of 2 Samuel, we see the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promise of rest in His covenant with David (2 Samuel 7:11). The Israelites had been in conflict with their enemies, like the Philistines, for over 125 years. This long period of conflict had been the result of their unfaithfulness to God (Judges 2). This is the first major theme we should pull from this chapter – our submission and faithfulness to God is important. 

When we see something repeated in our reading of Scripture, we should pay attention. Verses 6 and 14 both say, “The LORD gave David victory wherever he went.” Like we’ve pointed out previously, the LORD is the hero of these victories, not David. David, however, submitted and served God, and therefore God was able to fulfill what He ultimately wanted for Israel – rest. Our battles and victories may look different, and favorable outcomes are not always guaranteed. However, Philippians 4 tells us that if we turn every situation over to God in prayer, the peace of God will guard over us. Faithful submission to Him allows Him to work in and through us.

The second observation we see in this chapter, begins in verse 15 with the description of how David ruled over his people. He did what was “just and right,” but he did not do it alone. We don’t see a description like this under Saul’s reign in previous chapters. David’s faithful service to his people required a team around him. When we humbly submit to God, we realize we need others. 1 Corinthians 12 talks about how we’ve all been given different gifts, meant to work together to build up the body. We need each other for battle and we need each other to carry out His commission. Let’s be a generation that humbly submits to God and works together, in order that the Lord might accomplish His purpose in us – to change the world through His people, for His glory. 


  1. What character qualities do we see David display in this chapter? How do those qualities provide an environment for God to work?
  2. What character qualities would someone use to describe your life right now?
  3. What is a barrier to faithfulness in your life today? Do you have a team of God’s people around you?

Did you know?

Judges 2:16-3:4 gives background to the period of time leading up to this moment, and why God allowed so much conflict in Israel’s history.

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1 thought on “2 Samuel 8”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    David defeated and subdued his enemies fulfilling God’s promise made to Abraham in Genesis 15:18, “ I give this land to your offspring, from the brook of Egypt to the Euphrates River.” David now occupies the entire area God promised Abraham. I’m reminded that God’s timetable is perfect and every promise He declares will be fulfilled. Because of David’s trust in God “the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.”( V14) Micah 6:8 is my prayer today: To act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with my God.

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