From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

("son" I.E. "Worshipper" of Hadad"), the Syrian sun-god. A name common to three kings of Damascus. Hadad-ezer ("Hadad helps") is a similar Syrian name. David, having conquered him, put garrisons in Syria of Damascus; Rezon retook Damascus, and reigned there "an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon" ( 1 Kings 11:23). Ben-Hadad I grandson of Rezon (probably), as king in Damascus, which had absorbed by that time the petty kingdoms around, helped Baasha against (See Asa king of Judah. But the latter, by a present of "all the silver and gold left in the treasures of the Lord's house and of the king's house," tempted Ben-Hadad to "break his league with Baasha" ( 1 Kings 15:18-19). He therefore "smote Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-Maachah, Cinneroth, with all Naphtali" in the northern kingdom, namely, that of the ten tribes under Baasha, thus enabling Asa to take away the stones of Ramah, which Baasha had built to prevent any repairing from the northern to the southern kingdom, Judah.

Ben-Hadad II, son of Ben-Hadad I; 32 vassal kings accompanied him in his first siege of Samaria ( 1 Kings 20:1) (See Ahab .) After Ahab's death, Moab having revolted from Ahaziah and Jehoram, successive kings of Israel ( 2 Kings 1:1;  2 Kings 1:6-7), Ben-Hadad took advantage of Israel's consequent weakness, and after having been baffled several times by Elisha besieged Samaria a second time so straitly that mothers gave their own sons to be eaten, a horror similar to what occurred in later times in Titus' siege of Jerusalem. A sudden panic, owing to a divinely sent noise, caused the Syrians to flee from their camp, and leave its rich contents to be spoiled, under the impression that Israel had hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings. The consequent plenty had been foretold by Elisha.

Shortly after Ben-Hadad fell sick, and sent Hazael with large presents to consult Elisha who was in Damascus ( 2 Kings 8:7-15). The prophet replied, "Thou mayest certainly recover," i.e. the disease is not mortal; "howbeit the Lord hath showed me that he shall surely die." Hazael's latent cruelty and ambition were awakened by what ought to have awakened remorse, Elisha's tears at the horrors which the prophet foresaw he would perpetrate. His murder of Ben-Hadad with a wet cloth (the wetting solidifying the cloth, and making it impervious to air) was consonant to his subsequent bloodthirstiness. Hazael is evidently the subject of  2 Kings 8:15; the introduction of his name at the end does not disprove this: it is introduced to emphasize Hazael's succession to the throne, in contrast to Ben-Hadad's decease. Many fancy the wet cloth was put on to cool the fevered face, and by Ben-Hadad himself, and that death naturally resulted from the sudden chill. (?) So ended with Ben-Hadad, after reigning about 30 years, the dynasty founded by Rezon.

Ben-Hadad III, Hazael's son and successor. Jehovah, moved by Jehoahaz' repentance of his previous wickedness, and by his beseeching prayers, and by the oppression suffered by his people from Hazael, "who had made them like the dust by threshing," gave Israel a savior from Ben-Hadad in Joash his son's days. Joash, visiting Elisha on his deathbed, by his direction shot arrows eastward, the pledge of the Lord's deliverance from Syria. But instead of smiting the ground repeatedly he only smote thrice from want of faith; so, instead of destroying the Syrians as he might have done, he only was to smite them thrice, which he did in Aphek ( 2 Kings 13:14-19) in the Esdraelon plain, where Ahab had defeated Ben-Hadad I ( 1 Kings 20:26); compare  Amos 1:3-4, which foretells Ben-Hadad's overthrow. Jeroboam II completed Israel's deliverance, according to Jonah's prophecy ( 2 Kings 14:25).

Holman Bible Dictionary [2]

 Psalm 2:7

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 .

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [3]

1. A king of Dama scene Syria, hired by Asa king of Judah to make war upon Baasha king of Israel,  1 Kings 15:18-22 . He ravaged a large part of Naphtali.

2. Son and successor of the preceding. In two successive years he raised large armies, and made war upon Ahab king of Israel. He was utterly routed by the aid of Jehovah, God of the hills and the plains also,  1 Kings 20:1-43 . Ahab spared him, contrary to the command of God and gave him conditions of peace. These do not seem to have been fulfilled, for three years after, Ahab renewed the war and was slain,  1 Kings 22:1-53 After about nine years, Ben-hadad again invaded Israel, and the prophet Elisha was instrumental in frustrating his plans,  2 Kings 6:8-23 . But once more renewing the war, he laid siege to Samaria, and reduced it to extremities by famine. God sent a sudden panic upon his army by night, and they fled precipitately,  2 Kings 6:17   7:6   Proverbs 28:1 . Shortly before his death, Ben-hadad, being sick, sent Hazael to ask the prophet Elisha, then at Damascus, what the issue would be. The prophet answered that the disease was not mortal, and yet he would surely die; a paradox which Hazael soon after solved by stifling his master in bed,  2 Kings 8:7-15

3. Son of the Hazael just named. His father had greatly afflicted and oppressed Israel; but he lost all that his father had gained, being thrice defeated by king Jehoash,  2 Kings 13:1-25 .

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [4]

BEN-HADAD . The name of three kings of Damascus in the 9th cent. b.c.

1. Benhadad I ., the son of Tab-rimmon of Damascus. At the instance of Asa of Judah he intervened against Baasha of Israel, and took from him valuable territory on his northern border. For this service Benhadad received from Asa costly treasures from the Temple and royal palace (  1 Kings 15:17-20 ).

2. Benhadad II ., son of the preceding, was an able general and statesman. He was at the head of a league of western princes who successfully opposed the attempts of Shalmaneser II. of Assyria to conquer southern Syria. At the battle of Karkar in b.c. 854 he had Ahab of Israel as one of his chief allies. In his time war with Israel was the rule, he being usually successful. But Ahab was more fortunate in the campaigns of 856 and 855, which were followed by a treaty of peace with concessions to Israel (  1 Kings 20:1-43 ). On the resumption of hostilities in the third year thereafter, Benhadad was victorious (  1 Kings 22:1-53 ). He was assassinated by the usurper Hazael about b.c. 843 (  2 Kings 8:15 ).

3. Benhadad III ., son of Hazael, probably the same as the Man’ of the Assyrian inscriptions. Under him Damascus lost his father’s conquests in Palestine (  2 Kings 13:24 f.), and he also suffered heavily from the Assyrians.

J. F. McCurdy.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [5]

Ben-ha'dad. (Son Of Hadad). The name of three kings of Damascus.

Benhadad I , King of Damascus, which, in his time, was supreme in Syria. He made an alliance with Asa, and conquered a great part of the north of Israel.  1 Kings 15:18. His date is B.C. 950.

Benhadad II , son of the preceding, and also king of Damascus. Long wars with Israel characterized his reign. Some time after the death of Ahab, Benhadad renewed the war with Israel, attacked Samaria a second time, and pressed the siege so closely that there was a terrible famine in the city. But the Syrians broke up in the night in consequence of a sudden panic. Soon after, Benhadad fell sick, and sent Hazael to consult Elisha as to the issue of his malady. On the day after Hazael's return, Benhadad was murdered, probably by some of his own servants.  2 Kings 8:7-15. Benhadad's death was about B.C. 890, and he must have reigned some 30 years.

Benhadad III , son of Hazael, and his successor on the throne of Syria. When he succeeded to the throne, Jehoash recovered the cities which Jehoahaz had lost to the Syrians, and beat him in Aphek.  2 Kings 13:17;  2 Kings 13:25. The date of Benhadad III is B.C. 840.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [6]

Three Syrian kings in the Bible story had the name Ben-hadad. The first cooperated with Judah’s king Asa in attacking Israel’s king Baasha ( 1 Kings 15:16-22). The second fought with the Israelite kings Ahab and Joram (or Jehoram). ( 1 Kings 20:1-34;  2 Kings 6:24-33; 2 Kings 7), but was later assassinated by Hazael, one of his generals ( 2 Kings 8:8-15). The third, who was Hazael’s son and successor, began with some victories over Israel, but later lost to Israel repeatedly ( 2 Kings 13:3;  2 Kings 13:24-25;  Amos 1:4). For further details see Syria .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [7]

  • King of Damascus, and successor of his father Hazael on the throne of Syria ( 2 Kings 13:3,4 ). His misfortunes in war are noticed by ( Amos 1:4 ).

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Ben-Hadad'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [8]

    (Heb. Ben-Hadad', בֶּןאּהֲדִד , Son Of Hadad; Sept. Υἱὸς ῎Αδερ ), 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 HADAD (See Hadad) (q.v.), probably the Sun (Macrob. Saturnalia, 1, 23), still worshipped at Damascus in the time of Josephus ( Ant. 9, 4, 6), and from it several Syrian names are derived, as Hadadezer, i.e. Hadad Has Helped. The expression son of Hadad, which denotes dependence and obedience, not only accords with the analogies of other heathen names, but is also supported by the existence of such terms as "sons of God" among the Hebrews (comp.  Psalms 82:6). On account of the nationality of this name, the term " Palaces Of Ben-Hadad " came to be equivalent to Damascus itself ( Jeremiah 49:27;  Amos 1:4). (See Damascus).

    1. 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). B.C. 928. (See Asa). This Ben-hadad has, with some reason, been supposed to be Hadad the Edomite who rebelled against Solomon ( 1 Kings 11:25). Damascus, after having been taken by David ( 2 Samuel 8:5-6), was delivered from subjection to his successor by Rezon ( 1 Kings 11:24), who "was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon." This Ben-hadad was either son or grand- son to Rezon, and in his time Damascus was supreme in Syria, the various smaller kingdoms which surrounded it being gradually absorbed into its territory. Ben-hadad must have been an energetic and powerful sovereign, as his alliance was courted by Baasha of Israel and Asa of Judah. He finally closed with the latter on receiving a large amount of treasure, and conquered a great part of the north of Israel, thereby enabling Asa to pursue his victorious operations in the south. From  1 Kings 20:34, it would appear that he continued to make war upon Israel in Omri's time, and forced him to make "streets" in Samaria for Syrian residents. (See Ahab).

    2. Another king of Syria, son of the preceding. Some authors call him Grandson, on the ground that it was unusual in antiquity for the son to inherit the father's name. But Ben-hadad seems to have been a religious title of the Syrian kings, as we see by its reappearance as the name of Hazael's son, Ben-hadad III. Long wars with Israel characterized the reign of Ben-hadad II, of which the earlier campaigns are described under AHAB. His power and the extent of his dominion are proved by the thirty-two vassal kings who accompanied him to his first siege of Samaria. B.C. cir. 906. He owed the signal defeat in which that war terminated to the vain notion which assimilated Jehovah to the local deities worshipped by the nations of Syria, 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 Ben-hadad. Some time after the death of Ahab, probably owing to the difficulties in which Jehoram of Israel was involved by the rebellion of Moab, Ben-hadad renewed the war with Israel; but all his plans and operations were frustrated, being made known to Jehoram by the prophet Elisha ( 2 Kings 6:8). B.C. cir. 894. After some years, however, he 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 from Egypt or some Canaanitish cities, as Tyre or Ramoth, thought only of saving themselves by flight. Jehoram seems to have followed up this unhoped-for deliverance by successful offensive operations, since we find from  2 Kings 9:1 that Bamoth in Gilead was once more an Israelitish town. (See Ahab).

    The next year Ben-hadad, learning that Elisha, through whom so many of his designs had been brought to naught, 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 certainly die, and he announced to Hazael that he would be his successor, with tears at the thought of the misery which he would bring on Israel. On the day after Hazael's return Ben-hadad was murdered, as is commonly thought, by this very Hazael, who smothered the sick monarch in his bed, and mounted the throne in his stead ( 2 Kings 8:7-15). (See Elisha); (See Jehoram).

    The attributing of this murder to Hazael himself has been imagined by some to be inconsistent with his character and with Elisha's suggestion of the act. Ewald, from the Hebrew text and a general consideration of the chapter (Gesch. des V. I. 3, 523, note), thinks that one or more of Ben- hadad's own servants were the murderers: Taylor (Fragm. in Calmet) believes that the wet cloth which caused his death was intended to effect his cure, a view which he supports by a reference to Bruce's Travels, 3, 33. There appears, however, to be no good reason for departing from the usual and more natural interpretation (so Josephus, " Αδαδος , Ant. 9, 4, 6) which assigns the deed to Hazael himself. (See Hazael).

    Hazael succeeded him perhaps because he had no natural heirs, and with him expired the dynasty founded by Rezon. Ben-hadad's death was about B.C. 890, and he must have reigned some thirty years. (See Syria). The Scriptural notices of this king are strikingly confirmed by the cuneiform inscriptions (q.v.) on the black obelisk found among the Assyrian monuments at Nimrud (see Rawlinson's Hist. Evidences, p. 113), and translated by Dr. Hincks

    (Dublin Univ. Magazine, Oct. 1853). According to these annals, the Assyrian king Shalmanubar (reigned apparently B.C. cir. 900-860 or 850) had several campaigns against the nations of Palestine and its vicinity (in his 6th, 11th, 14th, and 18th years), among which the Hittites (Khatti) and Benidri (i.e. Ben-hader; comp. the Sept. Υἱὸς ῎Αδερ , for Ben-hadad), king of Damascus, are particularly named, the latter being represented as defeated, although allied with at least twelve neighboring princes, and at the head of an immense army, consisting largely of cavalry and Chariots (Rawlinson's Herodotus, 1, 371).

    3. A third king of Damascus, son of the above-mentioned Hazael, and his successor on the throne of Syria. His reign was disastrous for Damascus, and the vast power wielded by his father sank into insignificance. In the striking language of Scripture, "Jehoahaz (the son of Jehu) besought the Lord, and the Lord hearkened unto him, for He saw the oppression of Israel, because the King of Syria oppressed them; and the Lord gave Israel a savior" ( 2 Kings 13:4-5). This savior was Jeroboam II (comp.  2 Kings 14:27); but the prosperity of Israel began to revive in the reign of his father Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz. When Ben-hadad succeeded to the throne of Hazael, Jehoash, in accordance with a prophecy of the dying Elisha, recovered the cities which Jehoahaz had lost to the Syrians, and beat him in Aphek ( 2 Kings 8:17), in the plain of Esdraelon, where Ahab had already defeated Ben-hadad II. B.C. 835. Jehoash gained two more victories, but did not restore the dominion of Israel on the east of Jordan. This glory was reserved for his successor Jeroboam. The misfortunes of Ben-hadad III in war are noticed by Amos (1, 4).