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REZON (rē'zŏn, Heb. rezôn, nobleman). A citizen of Zobah, a small country NW of Damascus. Evidently a rebel, he took advantage of an invasion of Zobah by David and led a band of guerrillas to Damascus where he made himself king. Hadadezer, the rightful king, was overthrown by David, and Rezon met little opposition (1Kgs.11.23-1Kgs.11.25). He must have been a wise ruler, for Syria soon became a strong nation. He made an alliance with Hadad of Edom and began to harass Israel whom he hated (1Kgs.11.25). He is almost certainly the same as Hezion mentioned in 1Kgs.15.18, though Hezion could have been his son. In either case, he founded a dynasty of strong Syrian rulers, among them the noted Ben-Hadad I and his son Ben-Hadad II.

REZON re’ zən (רְזֹ֖ון; LXX Εσρωμ, LXX Alexandrinus Ραζων; meaning potentate, ruler).

The son of Eliadah who began his career in the service of Hadadezer, king of Zobah. Probably when David defeated Hadadezer (2 Sam 8:3) Rezon forsook his master, gathered men about him, and became a captain of freebooters. It was possibly years later during the reign of Solomon, that he occupied Damascus and founded there the dynasty which created the most powerful of the Aramaean kingdoms (1 Kings 11:23-25). This ordering of events is necessary to allow time for David’s establishment of garrisons among the Aramaeans from Damascus and his putting them under tribute after his victory over Hadadezer (c. 984 b.c.) (2 Sam 8:5, 6). After Rezon’s seizure of Damascus he became an adversary (Heb. sṭan) against Solomon (1 Kings 11:23). Many scholars identify him with Hezion, grandfather of Ben-hadad I (1 Kings 15:18).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Son of Eliadah, and a subject of Hadadezer, king of Zobah (1Ki 11:23). The name appears to be given as chezyon; Hazein (1Ki 15:18; see Hezion), where he is the father of Tabrimmon, whose son Ben-hadad I is known through his leaaue with Asa, king of Judah. When David conquered Zobah, Rezon renounced his allegiance to Hadadezer and became powerful as an independent chief, capturing Damascus and setting up as king. Along with Hadad, the noted Edomite patriot, he became a thorn in the side of Solomon, the one making himself obnoxious in the South, the other in the North, of the kingdom of Israel, both being animated with a bitter hatred of the common foe. It is said of Rezon that he "reigned over Syria" (1Ki 11:25), and if the surmise adopted by many scholars is correct that he is the same as Hezion (1Ki 15:18), then he was really the founder of the dynasty of Syrian kings so well known in the history of this period of Israel; and the line would run: Rezon, Tabrimmon, Ben-hadad I, and Ben-hadad II.


Burney on 1Ki 11:23 and 15:18 in Notes on Hebrew Text of Books of Kings; Winckler, Alttest. Untersuchunaen, 60 ff.

T. Nicol.