“God raised up another adversary against Solomon, Rezon son of Eliada, who had fled from his master Hadadezer king of Zobah. He gathered followers around him. He became the leader of a marauding band, after the slaughter by David. They went to Damascus, settled there, and became king in Damascus. He was an adversary of Israel all the days of Solomon, making trouble as Hadad did. He despised Israel, and reigned over Aram.”
Rezon was the son of Eliada, who was involved with Hadadezer. You might remember them from in 2 Samuel, chapter 8, where there is a mention of the conquests of David. He settled in Damascus and became the king there. Both he and Hadad caused problems on the northwest and southwest areas during the time of Solomon. Although Solomon was a great commercial success there is very little about Solomon’s conquests or wars. Aram is another word to describe what we call Syria today. However, the shifting borders seem that the ancient title of Aram seems okay.
“Then Yahweh raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite. He was of the royal house in Edom. When David was in Edom, and Joab the commander of the army went up to bury the dead, he killed every male in Edom. Joab and all Israel remained there six months, until he had eliminated every male in Edom. But Hadad fled to Egypt with some Edomites who were servants of his father. He was a young boy at the time. They set out from Midian and came to Paran. They took people with them from Paran and came to Egypt, to Pharaoh King of Egypt, who gave him a house, and assigned him an allowance of food, and gave him land. Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him his sister-in-law for a wife, the sister of Queen Tahpenes. The sister of Tahpenes gave birth by him to his son Genubath, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house. Genubath was in Pharaoh’s house among the children of Pharaoh. When Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his ancestors and that Joab the commander of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh. ‘Let me depart, that I may go to my own country.’ But Pharaoh said to him. ‘What do you lack with me that you now seek to go to your own country?’ He said. ‘No, do let me go.’”
Yahweh seems to send adversaries to Solomon. Hadad was a common name of people from Edom. There are at least 3 different leaders with that name. When last we heard from them in 2 Samuel, chapter 8, David was killing thousands of them, even if it was not exactly every male. Hadad as a young boy had fled to Egypt with his father’s servants. Pharaoh treated him well with a house, land, and allowance. In fact, he married Pharaoh’s sister-in-law. Pharaoh’s wife Queen Tahpenes weaned their son Genubath, who was raised like a child of Pharaoh. This is the only mention of Tahpenes and Genubath in biblical literature. Interesting enough, there was no mention of Pharaoh’s daughter who had married Solomon. I wonder how Pharaoh liked it that his daughter was among the other 699 wives of Solomon. When Hadad heard that both David and Joab were dead, he wanted to go back to his own country. Pharaoh reluctantly let him go. Pharaohs do not like to see people leave their country, just ask the Israelites.