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. 1 Kings 11:23A second adversary of Solomon was Rezon, the son of Eliadah (for the name see at 1 Kings 15:18), who had fled from his lord Hadadezer, king of Zobah, and who became the captain of a warlike troop (גּדוּד), when David smote them (אתם), i.e., the troops of his lord (2 Samuel 8:3-4). Rezon probably fled from his lord for some reason which is not assigned, when the latter was engaged in war with David, before his complete overthrow, and collected together a company from the fugitives, with which he afterwards marched to Damascus, and having taken possession of that city, made himself king over it. This probably did not take place till towards the close of David's reign, or even after his death, though it was at the very beginning of Solomon's reign; for "he became an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon (i.e., during the whole of his reign), and that with (beside) the mischief which Hadad did, and he abhorred Israel (i.e., became disgusted with the Israelitish rule), and became king over Aram." הדד אשׁר is an abbreviated expression, to which עשׂה may easily be supplied, as it has been by the lxx (vid., Ewald, 292, b., Anm.). It is impossible to gather from these few words in what the mischief done by Hadad to Solomon consisted.

(Note: What Josephus (Ant. viii. 7, 6) relates concerning an alliance between Hadad and Rezon for the purpose of making hostile attacks upon Israel, is merely an inference drawn from the text of the lxx, and utterly worthless.)

Rezon, on the other hand, really obtained possession of the rule over Damascus. Whether at the beginning or not till the end of Solomon's reign cannot be determined, since all that is clearly stated is that he was Solomon's adversary during the whole of his reign, and attempted to revolt from him from the very beginning. If, however, he made himself king of Damascus in the earliest years of his reign, he cannot have maintained his sway very long, since Solomon afterwards built or fortified Tadmor in the desert, which he could not have done if he had not been lord over Damascus, as the caravan road from Gilead to Tadmor (Palmyra) went past Damascus.

(Note: Compare Ewald, Gesch. iii. p. 276. It is true that more could be inferred from 2 Chronicles 8:3, if the conquest of the city of Hamath by Solomon were really recorded in that passage, as Bertheau supposes. But although על הזק is used to signify the conquest of tribes or countries, we cannot infer the conquest of the city of Hamath from the words, "Solomon went to Hamath Zobah עליה ויּחזק and built Tadmor," etc., since all that עליה יחזק distinctly expresses is the establishment of his power over the land of Hamath Zobah. And this Solomon could have done by placing fortifications in that province, because he was afraid of rebellion, even if Hamath Zobah had not actually fallen away from his power.)

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