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Ben Hadad of Syria, King

Genealogy and Bible references

King Ben-Hadad simply means ‘the son of Hadad’. He lived during the rule of King Ahab of Israel on the Bible timeline poster. He is the heir of Tabrimmon, who came to be known as “king of Syria that dwelt at Damascus and the son of Hezion.” Hezion, who is also determined to be Rezion, was the founder of Damascus, who also instilled Syria with a culture of aggression.

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King Hadad as King

During the rule of Ben-Hadad, Syria was the most dominant region in the Western part of Asia. He seized every opportunity to conquer lands and increase his control over other properties and people. He had an alliance with 32 other kings.

Wars against Israel

King Ben-Hadad coveted King Ahab’s wives, children, silver, gold and possessions which prompted King Ahab to give in to his demands. However, Ben Hadad sent his messengers, still, to announce to King Ahab that he would send his servants to survey his kingdom and seek for the things of value that pleased them. Israel‘s king listened to the elders advice that King Ben-Hadad should not be allowed to do the things he wanted to do with their city. This resulted in a war between these two kingdoms after they had an oral argument. King Ben-Hadad asked his messengers to tell King Ahab that there would not be enough room in the dust where his soldiers would stand when they go into the city. King Ahab was understandably enraged and sent a reply through his messengers to tell the other king that a soldier should not brag of his victories until after the war. Two succeeding wars between the two kingdoms gave King Ahab victory, which forced King Ben-Hadad to free Israel and to restore its cities. Not only that, King Ben-Hadad allowed markets to be set up in Damascus, similar to those in Samaria. He made a treaty with the ruler of Israel with a plan of waging a future war with Israel in three years.

Victories of Israel

God told the king through his messengers that King Ahab should start the war against the forces of King Ben-Hadad. His army composed of 7000 Israelites headed towards King Ben Hadad’s forces. Later on, the Israelites were able to overpower their enemies, forcing them to flee, including their king. A prophet came to Ahab shortly after their victory to foretell that the Syrians would attack next spring. As it was prophesized, the ruler of Syria led his army, fought the Israelites on the plains and lost. The Aramean foot soldiers were wounded by hundreds of thousands by the Israelites in a day. Some on them escaped to Aphek where 27,000 of them collapsed by a wall. King Ben-Hadad went to hide in his inner room after fleeing from the city. God gave the victory to the Israelites to show that their God is not only the god of hills and mountains but also the god of all the lands, contrary to what King Ben Hadad was told.

Bible References to King Ben-Hadad:

1Kings Chapter 20: 1 to 34: Ben- Hadad Attacks Samaria

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