1 Kings 11:21
And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country.
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(21, 22) When Hadad heard.—If (as the text seems to suggest) this took place on the news of the death of David and of Joab, the scourge of Edom, it belongs, of course, to the early part of the reign of Solomon, before his power was established. The courteous evasion by the Pharaoh of that time of Hadad’s request for permission to return, may probably indicate the beginning of the change of attitude towards the powerful monarchy of Israel, which took effect in the subsequent close alliance of the kingdoms. As the text stands, the record here stops abruptly, and then recurs to Hadad by a curious allusion in 1Kings 11:25. It can hardly be doubted that there is some omission or dislocation of the text. The LXX. (in the Vatican MS.) introduces after the words “Hadad the Edomite” in 1Kings 11:14, the words “and Rezon the son of Eliadah . . . all the days of Solomon” from 1Kings 11:23-25; and then, resuming the story of Hadad, adds, after the record of his request to Pharaoh, “and Hadad returned to his land. This is the mischief which Hadad did, and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Edom.” Josephus, on the other hand, says that at the time of the original request, Pharaoh refused permission; but that in the declining years of Solomon it was granted, and that Hadad, finding it impossible to excite rebellion in Edom, which was strongly garrisoned, joined Rezon in Syria, and with him established an independent power, and did mischief to Israel. (Ant. viii. 6, 6.) This account is itself probable enough; it accounts, moreover, for the close connection in the history (especially in the LXX. reading) between Hadad and Rezon, and for the insertion of the whole matter in this place; and accords also with the fact that, while Syria seems at once to become independent after the death of Solomon, we hear of no revolt of Edom till the time of Jelioshaphat (2 Chronicles 20).

1 Kings 11:21-22. Hadad said — Let me depart, that I may go to my own country — To Edom, which he hoped to recover, now that the great enemies of it, David and Joab, (whom he feared as much as David,) were dead, and Solomon was young. Thither he accordingly came; and was there even from the beginning of Solomon’s reign. And, it is probable, by the near relation which was between his wife and Solomon’s, and by Pharaoh’s intercession, he obtained his kingdom with condition of subjection and tribute to be paid by him to Solomon; which condition he kept till Solomon fell from God, and then began to be troublesome and dangerous to his house and kingdom.

11:14-25 While Solomon kept close to God and to his duty, there was no enemy to give him uneasiness; but here we have an account of two. If against us, he can make us fear even the least, and the very grasshopper shall be a burden. Though they were moved by principles of ambition or revenge, God used them to correct Solomon.That Hadad should wait for the death of Joab before requesting leave to return to Idumaea shows how terrible an impression had been made by the severe measures which that commander had carried out twenty-five or thirty years previously 1 Kings 11:16. The inability of refugees to depart from an Oriental court without the king's leave, and his unwillingness ordinarily to grant leave, are illustrated by many passages in the history of Persia. 1Ki 11:14-40. Solomon's Adversaries.

14-25. the Lord stirred up an adversary—that is, permitted him, through the impulse of his own ambition, or revenge, to attack Israel. During the war of extermination, which Joab carried on in Edom (2Sa 8:13), this Hadad, of the royal family, a mere boy when rescued from the sword of the ruthless conqueror, was carried into Egypt, hospitably entertained, and became allied with the house of the Egyptian king. In after years, the thought of his native land and his lost kingdom taking possession of his mind, he, on learning the death of David and Joab, renounced the ease, possessions, and glory of his Egyptian residence, to return to Edom and attempt the recovery of his ancestral throne. The movements of this prince seem to have given much annoyance to the Hebrew government; but as he was defeated by the numerous and strong garrisons planted throughout the Edomite territory, Hadad seems to have offered his services to Rezon, another of Solomon's adversaries (1Ki 11:23-25). This man, who had been general of Hadadezer and, on the defeat of that great king, had successfully withdrawn a large force, went into the wilderness, led a predatory life, like Jephthah, David, and others, on the borders of the Syrian and Arabian deserts. Then, having acquired great power, he at length became king in Damascus, threw off the yoke, and was "the adversary of Israel all the days of Solomon." He was succeeded by Hadad, whose successors took the official title of Ben-hadad from him, the illustrious founder of the powerful kingdom of Damascene-Syria. These hostile neighbors, who had been long kept in check by the traditional fame of David's victories, took courage; and breaking out towards the latter end of Solomon's reign, they must have not only disturbed his kingdom by their inroads, but greatly crippled his revenue by stopping his lucrative traffic with Tadmor and the Euphrates.

Joab the captain of the host, whom he feared as much as David himself.

That I may go to mine own country; whither accordingly he came, and was there even from the beginning of Solomon’s reign; where he either lived as a private person, yet secretly working for the recovery of his crown when an opportunity was offered; or rather, by the near relation which was between his wife and Solomon’s; and by Pharaoh’s intercession he obtained his kingdom, with condition of subjection and tribute to be paid by him to Solomon; which condition he kept till Solomon fell from God, and then it seems he began to be troublesome to him, and dangerous to his house and kingdom.

And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers,.... Was dead and buried, as the death of princes is soon known in other countries, and especially a king of such fame as David:

and that Joab the captain of the host was dead: whose name might be terrible to Hadad, because of the slaughter of men he had made in his country:

Hadad said unto Pharaoh, let me depart, that I may go to mine own country; with a view and an hope to recover it, now David and Joab were dead.

And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country.
21. when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers] Hadad’s first attempt to depart from Egypt was therefore soon after Solomon’s accession. It is clear however from the history that it was only after some pressure that the Egyptian king allowed him to go. The mischief that he did (see 1 Kings 11:25) would be by stirring up his countrymen to cast off the yoke of the Israelites. We must allow a considerable time for any revolt to be organized, and we are not told that any outbreak really took place, but only that mischief was done through Hadad’s agitation.

and that Joab the captain of the host was dead] Joab’s name would be one to spread terror, because of the severity he had displayed toward Edom. (See above, 1 Kings 11:15-16.) Hadad therefore waited to hear of his death also, before he ventured to take any step for his own restoration.

Verse 21. - And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead [It comes out very significantly here what a name of terror Joab's had been in Edom and how deep was the impression which his bloody vengeance of a quarter of a century before had made] Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart [Heb. send me away], that I may go to mine own country. [Rawlinson cites Herod. 3:132-137; 5:25, 35, 106, 107, to show that refugees at Oriental courts must obtain permission to leave them.] 1 Kings 11:21When Hadad heard in Egypt of the death of David and Joab, he asked permission of Pharaoh to return to his own country. Pharaoh replied, "What is there lacking to thee with me?" This answer was a pure expression of love and attachment to Hadad, and involved the request that he would remain. But Hadad answered, "No, but let me go." We are not told that Pharaoh then let him go, but this must be supplied; just as in Numbers 10:32 we are not told what Hobab eventually did in consequence of Moses' request, but it has to be supplied from the context. The return of Hadad to his native land is clearly to be inferred from the fact that, according to 1 Kings 11:14, 1 Kings 11:25, he rose up as an adversary of Solomon.

(Note: The lxx have supplied what is missing e conjectura: καὶ ἀνέστρεψεν Ἄδερ (i.e., Hadad) εἰς τὴν γῆν αὐτοῦ· αὑτὴ ἡ κακία ἥν ἐποίησεν Ἄδερ· καὶ ἐβαρυθύμησεν Ἰσραήλ, καὶ ἐβασίλευσεν ἐν γῇ Ἐδώμ. Thenius proposes to alter the Hebrew text accordingly, and draws this conclusion, that "shortly after the accession of Solomon, Hadad, having returned from Egypt, wrested from the power of the Israelites the greatest part of Edom, probably the true mountain-land of Edom, so that certain places situated in the plain, particularly Ezion-geber, remained in the hands of the Israelites, and intercourse could be maintained with that port through the Arabah, even though not quite without disturbance." This conclusion, which is described as "historical," is indeed at variance with 1 Kings 22:48, according to which Edom had no king even in the time of Jehoshaphat, but only a vicegerent, and also with 2 Kings 8:20, according to which it was not till the reign of Jehoshaphat's son Joram that Edom fell away from Judah. But this discrepancy Thenius sets aside by the remark at 1 Kings 22:48, that in Jehoshaphat's time the family of Hadad had probably died out, and Jehoshaphat prudently availed himself of the disputes which arose concerning the succession to enforce Judah's right of supremacy over Edom, and to appoint first a vicegerent and then a new king, though perhaps one not absolutely dependent upon him. But this conjecture as to the relation in which Jehoshaphat stood to Edom is proved to be an imaginary fiction by the fact that, although this history does indeed mention a revolt of the Edomites from Judah (2 Chronicles 20; see at 1 Kings 22:48), it not only says nothing whatever about the dying out of the royal family of Hadad or about disputes concerning the succession, but it does not even hint at them. - But with regard to the additions made to this passage by the lxx, to which even Ewald (Gesch. iii. p. 276) attributes historical worth, though without building upon them such confident historical combinations as Thenius, we may easily convince ourselves of their critical worthlessness, if we only pass our eye over the whole section (1 Kings 11:14-25), instead of merely singling out those readings of the lxx which support our preconceived opinions, and overlooking all the rest, after the thoroughly unscientific mode of criticism adopted by a Thenius or Bttcher. For example, the lxx have connected together the two accounts respecting the adversaries Hadad and Rezon who rose up against Solomon (1 Kings 11:14 and 1 Kings 11:23), which are separated in the Hebrew text, and have interpolated what is sated concerning Rezon in 1 Kings 11:23 and 1 Kings 11:24 after האדמי in 1 Kings 11:14, and consequently have been obliged to alter וגו שׂטן ויהי in 1 Kings 11:25 into καὶ ἦσαν Σατάν, because they had previously cited Hadad and Rezon as adversaries, whereas in the Hebrew text these words apply to Rezon alone. But the rest of 1 Kings 11:25, namely the words from ואת־רעה onwards, they have not given till the close of 1 Kings 11:22 (lxx); and in order to connect this with what precedes, they have interpolated the words καὶ ἀνέστρεψεν Ἄδερ εἰς τὴν γῆν αὐτοῦ. The Alexandrians were induced to resort to this intertwining of the accounts concerning Hadad and Rezon, which are kept separate in the Hebrew text, partly by the fact that Hadad and Rezon are introduced as adversaries of Solomon with the very same words (1 Kings 11:14 and 1 Kings 11:23), but more especially by the fact that in 1 Kings 11:25 of the Hebrew text the injury done to Solomon by Hadad is merely referred to in a supplementary manner in connection with Rezon's enterprise, and indeed is inserted parenthetically within the account of the latter. The Alexandrian translators did not know what to make of this, because they did not understand ואת־הרעה and took ואת for זאת, αὕτη ἡ κακία. With this reading ויּקץ which follows was necessarily understood as referring to Hadad; and as Hadad was an Edomite, על־ארם ויּמלך had to be altered into ἐβασίλευσεν ἐν γῇ Ἐδώμ. Consequently all the alterations of the lxx in this section are simply the result of an arbitrary treatment of the Hebrew text, which they did not really understand, and consist of a collocation of all that is homogeneous, as every reader of this translation who is acquainted with the original text must see so clearly even at the very beginning of the chapter, where the number of Solomon's wives is taken from 1 Kings 11:3 of the Hebrew text and interpolated into 1 Kings 11:1, that, as Thenius observes, "the true state of the case can only be overlooked from superficiality of observation or from preconceived opinion.")

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