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Shobi was an Ammonite who assisted King David when his son Absalom rebelled against him.


Shobi was the son of Nahash, who had been king of the Ammonites during the reign of Saul and the early reign of David. Nahash attacked Israel but was defeated early in the reign of Saul.[1] However, Nahash was also said to have dealt loyally with David.[2] When Nahash died, Shobi's brother Hanun became king of Ammon, and David sent ambassadors to console Hanun and establish relations with him. However, Hanun insulted and humiliated the ambassadors, and then decided to go to war with Israel. Ultimately, Israel defeated Ammon and David took the crown of Hanun and put it on its own head.[3] So, the Ammonites were ruled by Israel in the time of David and Solomon.

Absalom's rebellion[]

One of the most serious crises of David's reign was when his son Absalom rebelled against him, seeking to become king himself. During this crisis, David was forced to flee Jerusalem.[4] Eventually, David came to Mahanaim, which is on the other side of the Jordan River. (Ammon is also on that side of the Jordan, and Shobi lived in Rabbah, the capital of Ammon.) While David was there, Shobi met him, along with Machir the son of Ammiel and Barzillai the Gileadite, and brought David supplies.[5] David and the people with him were hungry and weary and thirsty, so Shobi, Machir, and Barzillai gave them beds, vessels, wheat, barley, flour, grain, beans, lentils, honey, curds, sheep, and cheese.

The Ammonites were usually enemies of Israel, and Shobi, though mentioned only once in the Bible, is notable for being one of the few Ammonites in the Bible portrayed in a positive light.


  1. 1 Sam. 11:1 (Link)
  2. 2 Sam. 10:2 (Link)
  3. 2 Sam. 12:30 (Link)
  4. 2 Sam. 15:14 (Link)
  5. 2 Sam. 17:27 (Link)