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Book of 1 Chronicles - Chapter 20 - Verse 3

And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.


This verse from 2 Samuel 12:31 describes a brutal military action taken by King David against the people of Ammon. After besieging the city and conquering it, David brought out the people and subjected them to various forms of torture and execution, including saws, iron harrows, and axes. This extreme measure was used as a form of punishment and a show of power to deter future resistance from the Ammonites. David's ruthless tactics were meant to instill fear in the hearts of his enemies and demonstrate his strength as a ruler.

Despite the harsh treatment of the Ammonites, this verse also highlights David's determination to defend his kingdom and protect his people. After dealing with all the cities of the children of Ammon in this manner, David and his army returned to Jerusalem victorious. This event serves as a reminder of the harsh realities of warfare in ancient times and the lengths to which leaders would go to maintain control and assert dominance over their enemies. It also showcases the complexity of King David's character, as a man of faith and compassion, yet also capable of ruthless actions in times of war.

Theological Overview

In this verse, we see King David demonstrating his military prowess and strategic thinking as he defeats the Ammonite cities. The use of saws, harrows of iron, and axes may seem harsh and brutal, but it was a common method of warfare during ancient times. This verse highlights the harsh realities of war and the fierce determination of David to ensure the safety and security of his people. From a theological perspective, this verse can be interpreted as a reminder of the importance of defending one's land and people against aggressors. It also serves as a testament to David's strength and leadership in times of conflict. Despite the violence described in this verse, David's actions were ultimately for the greater good of his kingdom and his people. This passage serves as a reminder of the complexities of war and the difficult decisions that leaders must make to protect their nations.

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