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HADADEZER, HADAREZER (hăd'ăd-ē'zêr, hăd'ăr-ē'zêr, Hadad is a help). A king of Zobah, twice defeated in battle by David (2Sam.8.3ff.; 2Sam.10.15-2Sam.10.19; 1Chr.18.3ff.). Zobah was a kingdom lying NE of Damascus and between the valleys of the Orontes and the Euphrates.

HADADEZER hăd’ ə de’ zər (הֲדַדְעֶ֥זֶר, הֲדַדְעֶ֨זֶר, Hadad is help). KJV HADAREZER, hā’ derē’ zer. A king of Zobah in Syria, whose kingdom in David’s time extended as far eastward as the Euphrates and as far southward as Ammon. There are three accounts in the OT of conflicts between him and David.

In each, Hadadezer was defeated, and finally he was made tributary. The first is found in 2 Samuel 8:3-8 in which it is said that as Hadadezer went to restore his power at the Euphrates, David dealt him a severe defeat, and when the Syrians of Damascus came to help him, David killed 22,000 Syrians. The second account is found in 2 Samuel 10:5-14, which says that the Ammonites formed a league of Aramean rulers to protect them from the wrath of David, whom the Ammonites had insulted by shaving off the beards of his ambassadors (vv. 1-6). David sent Joab against them, and they were badly beaten. The last passage, 2 Samuel 10:15-18, relates a defeat of the army of Hadadezer at Helam under their commander Shobach, after which Hadadezer made peace with Israel and became subject to them. After these wars, David put a garrison in Damascus and received a tribute from Hadadezer.


T. H. Robinson, A History of Israel, I (1951), 201, 237, 238; G. E. Wright, Biblical Archeology (1957), 123; M. F. Unger, Israel and the Arameans of Damascus (1957), 42-48.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Mentioned in connection with David’s wars of conquest (2Sa 8:3 ff; 2Sa 10:1-19; 1Ch 18:3 ); was king of Zobah in Syria. The exact position and size of this Syrian principality are uncertain, but it seems to have extended in David’s time southward toward Ammon and eastward to the Euphrates. When the Ammonites had put themselves in the wrong with David by the insult done to his ambassadors (2Sa 10:1-5) they summoned to their aid against the incensed king of Israel the Syrians of various adjoining principalities, among them the Syrians of Zobah under Hadadezer, the son of Rehob. The strategy of Joab, who set the force under command of Abishai his brother in array against the Ammonites, and himself attacked the Syrian allies, won for Israel a decisive victory. Not content with this result, Hadadezer gathered together another Syrian force, summoning this time also "the Syrians that were beyond the River" (2Sa 10:16), with Shobach the captain of his host at their head. On this occasion David himself took command of the Israelite forces and again defeated them near Helam, Shobach being left dead on the field. Hadadezer and his Syrian vassals, finding resistance hopeless, "made peace with Israel and served them" (2Sa 10:19). For the name Hadador Hadarezer, see Benhadad.


Winckler, Geschichte Israels, I, 137 ff; McCurdy, HPM, 204; Maspero, The Struggle of the Nations, 731.

T. Nicol.