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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Hanun (bestower), son and successor of Nahash, king of the Ammonites. David, who had in his troubles been befriended by Nahash, sent, with the kindest intentions, an embassy to condole with him on the death of his father, and to congratulate him on his own accession. The rash young king, however, was led to misapprehend the motives of this embassy, and to treat with gross and inexpiable indignity the honorable personages whom David had charged with this mission. Their beards were half shaven, and their robes cut short by the middle, and they were dismissed in this shameful trim, which can be appreciated only by those who consider how reverently the beard has always been regarded by the Orientals [BEARD] (B.C. 1038). When the news of this affront was brought to David, he sent word to the ambassadors to remain at Jericho till the growth of their beards enabled them to appear with decency in the metropolis. He vowed vengeance upon Hanun for the insult; and the vehemence with which the matter was taken up forms an instance, interesting from its antiquity, of the respect expected to be paid to the person and character of ambassadors. Hanun himself looked for nothing less than war as the consequence of his conduct; and he subsidized Hadarezer and other Syrian princes to assist him with their armies. The power of the Syrians was broken in two campaigns, and the Ammonites were left to their fate, which was severe even beyond the usual severities of war in that remote age [AMMONITES; DAVID] (2 Samuel 10; 1 Chronicles 19).





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Hanun'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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