Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 8
Moab was a nation on the east side of Israel. Its people came from the family of Lot, the son of Abraham's brother (Genesis 19:36-37). They were therefore relatives of Israel's people - however, they were not friendly towards Israel (Numbers 22:1-6). Moab's people had a cruel and evil religion (Numbers 25:1-3; 2 Kings 3:26-27).
Ruth, the mother of David's grandfather, had left that religion to serve Israel's God (Ruth 1:15-16). David's parents went back to Moab, as a place of safety, when Saul was trying to kill David (1 Samuel 22:3-4). They considered Moab a safe place at that time because Moab's king was an enemy of Israel. Therefore, he would not hand them over to Saul, the king of Israel.
When David became Israel's king, the war between Moab and Israel continued as before. Moab's soldiers continued to attack Israel until Israel's army defeated them completely. The punishment of Moab's soldiers was very severe - but it was not severe enough to destroy Moab as a nation. David permitted just one third of the men to live, and to return to their homes. They were able to work on the land in Moab and to pay taxes to Israel's king - but they were not strong enough to repeat their attacks against Israel.
Long before, the strange prophet (holy man) Balaam had seen this. He saw a future king in Israel, who would act with great power against Moab (Numbers 24:17).
Next part: David defeats Zobah (2 Samuel 8:3-4)
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