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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary

Ben-Hadad

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(behn-hay' dad) Personal name or royal title meaning, “son of (the god) Hadad.” Biblical references to Israel's interaction with Damascus and other city-states in Syria show the power of the kings of Damascus. The kings either bore a title, “ben-hadad,” son of the God, much like Israel's kings seem to have been called “son of God” at their coronation (Psalm 2:7 ) and as emperors of Rome were called caesars, or Ben-hadad was the personal name of several kings. Biblical and Near Eastern records reveal the following Ben-hadads.

1. Answered call for help from King Asa of Judah (917-876 B.C.) to deliver Judah from Baasha, king of Israel (908-886 B.C.) Ben-hadad then conquered territory from Israel (1 Kings 15:16-20 ). 2 . Set up memorial to Melkart, god of Tyre, near Aleppo after 900 B.C. 3. Proudly ravaged Israel, besieged Samaria, and demanded impossible tribute. King Ahab of Israel (874-853 B.C.) gathered army and acted on word of prophet to defeat drunken Ben-hadad (1 Kings 20:1-20 ). Another prophetic word led Ahab to victory when Ben-hadad attacked Israel at Aphek (1 Kings 20:22-30 ). Then Ben-hadad got covenant agreement with Ahab, bringing prophetic judgment on Ahab (1 Kings 20:31-43 ). 4 . Hadad-ezer who joined Ahab and other Syrian kings fighting Shalmaneser III of Assyria at Qarqar in 853 B.C. 5. Sought to capture Elisha for telling his plans to king of Israel, but through God's miracle had his troops blinded and led captive to Samaria (2 Kings 6:8-23 ). When this Ben-hadad besieged Samaria again, God through Elisha caused him to think Hittites and Egyptians were attacking him. He lifted the siege and retreated home (2 Kings 6:24-7:16 ). As Elisha predicted, Hazael, a Syrian officer, killed Ben-hadad (2 Kings 8:7-15 ). 6 . Led a league of kings against Zakir, king of Hamath, after 800 B.C. and was defeated. 7. Son of Hazael who fought Jehoash, king of Israel (2 Kings 13:3 , 2 Kings 13:24-25 ).

Quite possibly, some of these actions were done by the same Ben-hadad. Sufficient records are not available to be sure. See Damascus; Syria .

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Ben-Hadad'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/b/ben-hadad.html. 1991.

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