Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 11

Rezon, Solomon’s second enemy

1 Kings 11:23-25

Solomon’s two main foreign enemies were Rezon, king of Damascus, and Hadad, king of Edom. Perhaps there was a family connection between them: three later kings of Damascus were called Ben-Hadad (for example, 1 Kings 20:1), which means the son of Hadad. However, Damascus was in Aram, on the north-east side of Israel; and Edom was on the south-east side of Israel.

Some Bibles call Aram: ‘Syria’. North of this region was Zobah, which Hadadezer ruled at the time of David. David fought a war against Zobah, in which Damascus and Aram supported Zobah. David’s success in that war gave him control over the great city called Damascus and its region (2 Samuel 8:3-6).

However, Israel was not able to keep its control over the city called Damascus. Instead, Rezon formed a group of men with whom he successfully fought for the city. He had formerly been an enemy of the king of Zobah, and now he became an enemy of Israel. He used his power over Damascus to cause constant trouble for Solomon.

So, Solomon had troubles on both his northern and southern borders. That created problems for his traders. It was Solomon’s control over Edom which allowed him to trade with Ophir (9:26-28). Similarly, the route through Damascus was important for trade with nations further north and east.

Next part: Jeroboam, who became king of northern Israel (1 Kings 11:26-28)


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