Hazael, whose name means “Whom God Sees”, was a high court official who later became a king. God instructed the prophet Elijah to anoint Hazael as ruler of Syria. It was under his dominion that Aram-Damascus became a mighty empire that took control over large parts of Syria and Palestine. He appears on the Biblical timeline poster during the time of Elisha the prophet between 800 and 700 BC
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When Hazael was still an official, he was asked by his master, King Hadadezer also by the name of Benhadad, to see Elisha (Elijah’s successor). Hazael was to look for a remedy of Leprosy in which the king had. In their conversation, Elisha cried while explaining to Hazael that he was to be the perpetrator of the brutality to the Israelites. Hazael objected to the very thought of it but was rest assured that it was all part of God’s plan.
The official went back to King Hadadezer and expressed Elisha’s message that the king would recover from his sickness but would die in a different way.
The next day, Hazael returned to the king. He got a coverlet, dipped it in water and laid it out on the king’s face. As prophesized, Hazael earned ultimately the throne due to the king’s death.
Hazael as an Appointee of the Lord
The nations of Israel and Judah had become unfaithful to the Lord. This caused the wrath of God.
With this, Syrian King Hazael became the Lord’s instrument to discipline these treacherous nations.
He revolted against Assyrians’ attacks. The king held in custody the territory of the Israelites east of Jordan also known as the Eastern Tribal Lands. He also conquered Philistine, which was located in Gath City.
The King of Syria wanting to take over Jerusalem threatened the people of Judah. This, however, was prevented as Judah’s King, Joash, bribed King Hazael with gold and treasures from the temple and royal palace. In effect, the forces of King Hazael were withdrawn from Jerusalem.
Through recent excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath, evidence of the siege and successive conquest of the said place by the Syrian king were revealed.
It could also be that due to the king’s leadership that the settlement at Tell Zeitah in the ninth century was led into destruction.
The king erected at Tel Dan a monumental Aramaic inscription.
Hazael’s decorated bronze plaques from chariot horse-harness were found at two Greek sites as re-gifted votive objects. These were identified as belongings of Hazael by their inscriptions.
The Syrian Kingdom was at its peak of power. King Hazael’s reign (842 B.C.-805 B.C.)proved to be long and victorious. This was a noteworthy achievement considering that in the early days, elections were done in the form assassinations.
King Hazael died in about the year B.C. 840 and was succeeded by Benhadad, his son. Ironically, Hazael named his son after the king in which he killed.
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