King David returns to Jerusalem (1 Chr 20:1-20:3)

“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, Joab led out the army. He ravaged the country of the Ammonites. He came and besieged Rabbah. But King David remained at Jerusalem. Joab attacked Rabbah and overthrew it. King David took the crown of Milcom from the head of the king. He found that it weighed a talent of gold. In it was a precious stone. It was placed on King David’s head. He brought out the booty of the city, a very great amount. He brought out the people who were in it. He set them to work with saws, iron picks, and axes. This is what King David did to all the cities of the Ammonites. Then King David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.”

Here this biblical chronicler put together 2 chapters from 2 Samuel, chapters 11 and 12.   King David stayed in Jerusalem in the spring time when most kings went out to do battle. Instead Joab went to conquer the Ammonites, which he achieved. Remember that in the last chapter they had all fled before the battle. This time Joab took Rabbah, the major city. However, he was always careful to be subservient to his uncle King David. That whole exchange of messages between Joab and King David in 2 Samuel, chapter 12, is not here. Here King David just shows up at Rabbah. Milcom was the Ammonite god so that this king of the Ammonites had worn the Milcom crown. King David took the crown with its precious stone and put it on his head. Generally speaking, taking the stuff of other gods was forbidden. Nevertheless, David made all the Ammonites work in the various cities, but it is not clear what they were building. Here there was no mention of brickworks as in 2 Samuel. Then they all returned to Jerusalem as the saga of the Ammonites came to an end.