1 Kings 11:23
And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah:
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(23) Rezon the son of Eliadah.—The name Rezon, which is not unlike the “Rezin” of 2 Kings 16, appears to signify “prince,” and might naturally mark the founder of a new power. In 1Kings 20:18 we read of a Hezion, king of Damascus, who would belong to this generation, and may be identical with Rezon. The tradition quoted by Josephus (Ant. vii. 5, 2) from Nicolaus of Damascus, that for ten generations from the days of David, all the kings of Syria bore the name of Hadad, probably means only that the title Hadad was the official title of the monarchy.

1 Kings 11:23-24. Which fled from his lord Hadadezer — When David had defeated him. King of Zobah — A part of Syria, between Damascus and Euphrates. And he gathered men unto him — Some of those that fled when David defeated Hadadezer, 2 Samuel 10:18. And became captain over a band — Who listed themselves under him as their commander, with others, who readily joined them, and lived by robbery, as many Arabians did. And they went to Damascus — And took it while Solomon was wallowing in luxury: David had put a garrison into Damascus, and brought the people under tribute, 2 Samuel 8:5-6; and so they probably continued during his life, and were subject to Solomon after his death, till that prince, doting upon strange women, minded not the defence of his conquests. This Rezon took advantage of, and invaded and got possession of Damascus, and reigned there, as Hadad did in Edom.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.Rezon - Possibly the same as the Hezion of 1 Kings 15:18; but probably one who interrupted the royal line of the Damascene Hadads, which was restored after his death. We may arrange the Damascus-kings of this period as follows:


Hadadezer (or Hadad I), about 1040 B.C. (conquered by David).

Rezon (usurper) was contemporary with Solomon.

Hezion (Hadad II) was contemporary with Rehoboam.

Tabrimon (Hadad III) was contemporary with Abijam.

Ben-hadad (Hadad IV) was contemporary with Asa.

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.

When David had defeated him: see 2 Samuel 10:10, &c.

Zobah; a part of Syria between Damascus and Euphrates; of which see 1 Samuel 14:47 2 Chronicles 8:3 Psalm 60:1. And God stirred him up another adversary,.... One from the north, as the other was from the south:

Rezon, the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: when David fought with him; and this man seeing the battle go against his master, and that he was like to be worsted, deserted him and fled, see 2 Samuel 8:3.

And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which {m} fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah:

(m) When David had defeated Hadadezer and his army.

23–25. Another adversary raised up against Solomon (Not in Chronicles)

23. And God stirred him up another adversary] R.V. raised up, as in 1 Kings 11:14. There it is said ‘the Lord (i.e. Jehovah)’ raised up the adversary; here it is ‘God (Elohim)’ who does it. There are some who see in this variation an indication of two different sources for the text, the earlier using ‘Elohim,’ the later ‘Jehovah.’ Such an interchange might well be found in a text written even in the days of Solomon, much more so, at the date when this narrative was set down, and is much too slender a thread of evidence to hang so serious a judgement upon.

Rezon the son of Eliadah] The latter name should be written Eliada (as R.V.). There is nothing more known with certainty about this Rezon. The events to which allusion is made in this verse are related 2 Samuel 8:3-8. There Hadadezer is called ‘the son of Rehob.’ He was thoroughly defeated by David, who thereupon put garrisons in Syria of Damascus. It cannot therefore have been immediately after the overthrow of Hadadezer that Rezon and his party established themselves in Damascus. For a time, at all events (2 Samuel 8:6), ‘the Syrians became servants to David and brought gifts.’ Rezon most likely escaped when his master was defeated, and waited till a convenient opportunity offered, and then tried, as here narrated, to establish himself as king over Syria. Henceforth for centuries Syria was the determined foe of Israel. In a later chapter (1 Kings 15:18) Benhadad, a subsequent king of Syria, in Asa’s time, is described as a grandson of Hezion. The name Hezion חזיון is not very unlike Rezon רזון in the characters of the original. Hence some have conjectured that they are the same person. But there seems no sufficient foundation for the opinion.

fled from his lord] This flight may have taken place before David’s attack on Hadadezer, though what has been said in the previous note seems more probable.

king of Zobah] This kingdom is mentioned in the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon, but then is heard of no more. It comprised the country east of Cœle-Syria, and extended northward and eastward towards the Euphrates. See 1 Samuel 14:47; 2 Samuel 8:3; 2 Samuel 23:36; 1 Chronicles 18:3; 1 Chronicles 19:6; 2 Chronicles 8:3.Verse 23. - And God stirred him up another adversary [almost identical with ver. 14], Rezon the son of Eliadah [Often identified with the Hezion of 1 Kings 15:18, but on insufficient grounds. Whether he was a usurper, who had dethroned Hadad (see Jos., Ant., 6:05. 2), or an officer of Hadadezer's, who escaped either before or after the battle of 2 Samuel 8:3-5, is uncertain. The following words agree equally well with either supposition], which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah. When David had to do with the Edomites, ... Hadad fled. את היה is analogous to עם היה, to have to do with any one, though in a hostile sense, as in the phrase to go to war with (את) a person, whereas עם היה generally means to be upon the side of any one. The correctness of the reading בּהיוה is confirmed by all the ancient versions, which have simply paraphrased the meaning in different ways. For Bttcher has already shown that the lxx did not read בּהכּות, as Thenius supposes. The words from בּעלות to the end of 1 Kings 11:16 form explanatory circumstantial clauses. On the circumstance itself, compare 2 Samuel 8:13-14, with the explanation given there. "The slain," whom Joab went to bury, were probably not the Israelites who had fallen in the battle in the Salt valley (2 Samuel 8:13), but those who had been slain on the invasion of the land by the Edomites, and still remained unburied. After their burial Joab defeated the Edomites in the valley of Salt, and remained six months in Edom till he had cut off every male. "All Israel" is the whole of the Israelitish army. "Every male" is of course only the men capable of bearing arms, who fell into the hands of the Israelites; for "Hadad and others fled, and the whole of the Idumaean race was not extinct" (Clericus). Then Hadad fled, while yet a little boy, with some of his father's Edomitish servants, to go to Egypt, going first of all to Midian and thence to Paran. The country of Midian cannot be more precisely defined, inasmuch as we meet with Midianites sometimes in the peninsula of Sinai on the eastern side of the Elanitic Gulf, where Edrisi and Abulfeda mention a city of Madian (see at Exodus 2:15), and sometimes on the east of the Moabitish territory (see at Numbers 22:4 and Judges 6:1). Here, at any rate, we must think of the neighbourhood of the Elanitic Gulf, though not necessarily of the city of Madian, five days' journey to the south of Aela; and probably of the country to which Moses fled from Egypt. Paran is the desert of that name between the mountains of Sinai and the south of Canaan (see at Numbers 10:12), through which the Haj route from Egypt by Elath to Mecca still runs. Hadad would be obliged to take the road by Elath in order to go to Egypt, even if he had taken refuge with the Midianites on the east of Moab and Edom.
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