We are still continuing to study a storyline that runs parallel with the one in II Samuel. This chapter matches with II Samuel 10:1 - 19. The account concerns a conflict that arose between David and the Ammonites; one that escalated into a battle that included the Syrians too. Actually, the Ammonites hired the Syrians to help them in their efforts against David. On David's side, Joab led the troops against the Syrians while his brother Abishai fought against the Ammonites. And, in the end David joined the fray and put his enemies in their place.
The most significant part about all of this is the fact that the whole mess was completely unnecessary. David had sincerely sent messengers to console Hanun, the king of Ammon, after the death of Nahash his father. Hanun received some very poor advice concerning David's intentions and treated David's messengers like imposters. Specifically, he shamed them by shaving half their beards off and by cutting off their robes half way up. No doubt he laughed loudly when David's men went out with their behinds showing, but it wasn't so funny when David came back to bring retribution. Hanun's defeat on the battlefield was complete and painful.