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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Benha´dad (son of Hadad), the name of three kings of Damascene-Syria. As to the latter part of this name, Hadad, there is little doubt that it is the name of the Syrian god Adad.

1. Benhadad, the king of Syria who was subsidized by Asa king of Judah to invade Israel, and thereby compel Baasha (who had invaded Judah) to return to defend his own kingdom (1 Kings 15:18) [ASA]. This Benhadad has, with some reason, been supposed to be Hadad the Edomite who rebelled against Solomon (1 Kings 11:25).

2. Benhadad, king of Syria, son of the preceding. His earlier history is much involved in that of Ahab, with whom he was constantly at war [AHAB]. He owed the signal defeat in which that war terminated to the vain notion that assimilated Jehovah to the local deities which the nations of Syria worshipped, deeming Him 'a God of the hills,' but impotent to defend his votaries in 'the plains' (1 Kings 20:1-30). Instead of pursuing his victory, Ahab concluded a peace with the defeated Benhadad, which was observed for about twelve years, when the Syrian king declared war against Jehoram the son of Ahab, and invaded Israel: but all his plans and operations were frustrated by being made known to Jehoram by the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 6:8, ad fin.). After some years he however renewed the war, and besieged Jehoram in his capital, Samaria, until the inhabitants were reduced to the last extremities and most revolting resources by famine. The siege was then unexpectedly raised, according to a prediction of Elisha, through a panic infused into the besiegers, who concluding that a noise which they seemed to hear portended the advance upon them of a foreign host procured by Jehoram, thought only of saving themselves by flight. The next year Benhadad, learning that Elisha, through whom so many of his designs had been brought to nought, had arrived at Damascus, sent an officer of distinction named Hazael with presents, to consult him as to his recovery from an illness under which he then suffered. The prophet answered, that his disease was not mortal, but that he would nevertheless die. This was accomplished a few days after by this very Hazael, who smothered the sick monarch in his bed, and mounted the throne in his stead, B.C. 884 (2 Kings 8:7-15). [ELISHA; HAZAEL; JEHORAM].

3. Benhadad, king of Syria, son of the Hazael just mentioned. He was thrice defeated by Jehoash, king of Israel, who recovered from him all the territories beyond Jordan which Hazael had rent from the dominion of Israel (2 Kings 13:3; 2 Kings 13:24-25).





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Benhadad'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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