Some 3000 years ago, about the time David was the king of Israel, he sent his envoys to Hanun the new king of Ammon to commiserate with him on the death of his father Nahash who was kind to David when he was a fugitive before Saul.
Unfortunately, this king lacked knowledge of international relations and foreign diplomacy. His officials told king Hanun not to trust David’s men as they could have come to spy the land.
Truth is, technically, they were right. A king would have gone on such a visit rather than send his envoys.
They shaved off half of each men’s beard and cut half of their garments. In fact, they were half naked on their return trip home.
David asked them to stay in one city to ensure their beards grew back. It was such a shame to see high officials with half beard or none. I think it was Jericho they were asked to stay at.
Eventually, that led to war, Syrians were invited in and all were defeated by David and his men. Nobody ever rose up to help Ammon again for bungling a foreign diplomacy.
The last time a serious issue came out on foreign relations was when Babylon sent their envoys to Hezekiah after his recovery from illness. Hezekiah showed them everything in his kingdom!
Isaiah was furious after confronting the King about the mission of those that visited him. King confessed he showed them everything. Isaiah told him all he showed them would be taken away. King said it was ok by him.
Anyway, the king died at 54, his son took over at 15, it was downhill thereafter as Kingdom of Judah never recovered again.
Understanding foreign relations and diplomacy is not a joke.
There is a time to show sword and a time to shake hands.

By Amos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *