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Joab sets David up to capture Rabbah, David’s family starts to fall apart with Amnon’s treatment of Tamar and Absalom’s revenge, Absalom’s exile and Joab’s role in a reconciliation: 2 Samuel 12:26–31; 1 Chronicles 20:2–3; 2 Samuel 13–14

After starting an unnecessary war with Israel, only to see their mercenaries defeated, the Ammonites finally faced a defeat of their own.

Joab had all but captured a key city, leaving David to bring his army in to finish off and take the reward:

2 Samuel 12:30-31 David removed the crown from the king’s head, and it was placed on his own head. The crown was made of gold and set with gems, and it weighed seventy-five pounds. David took a vast amount of plunder from the city. He also made slaves of the people of Rabbah and forced them to labor with saws, iron picks, and iron axes, and to work in the brick kilns. That is how he dealt with the people of all the Ammonite towns.

Seventy-five pounds (about 35 kilograms) would be a heavy crown to have to carry on your head. Either the Ammonite king (and David) were built like modern-day rugby players, or they didn’t wear it for very long.

The Ammonite people met with a sad fate. Thanks to the foolishness of a new, young king, the nation had gone from ally to vassal state in, probably, a few short years.

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