Verse 1 – The land of Ammon bordered Israel to the east. The nation’s founding ancestor, Ben-Ammi, was conceived through incest between Lot and his daughters (Genesis 19:30-38).
Verses 2, 3 – The Bible does not disclose the details of the occasion when Nahash had treated David kindly, but when Nahash died, David sent a delegation to the new King Hanun to express his condolences. Hanun misread David’s intention. Because he was overly suspicious, he brought disaster upon himself.
Verses 3-5 – Hanun’s advisers persuaded him that David’s ambassadors were spies looking for a way to conquer the Ammonites. Israelite men always wore beards. To be forcibly shaven was embarrassing. To add to their disgrace, the back of their garments were cut to expose their backsides. This was not only humiliation to these men but it was an insult to Israel.
Verses 6, 7 – The men did not return to David. Instead they hid in shame in Jericho were David told them to stay until their beards grew back. Rather than admit his mistake and seek forgiveness and reconciliation, Hanun spent an enormous amount of money to cover up his error. It often costs more to cover up an error (or a lie) than to admit you were wrong. Just depends on how mature you are.