Re'zon (Heb. Rezon', רזוֹן, prince; Sept. ῾Ραζών v. r. Ε᾿σρώμ), the son of Eliadah, a Syrian, who, when David defeated Hadadezer, king of Zobah, put himself at the head of a band of freebooters and set up a petty kingdom at Damascus (1Ki 11:23). B.C. post 1043. Whether he was an officer of Hadadezer, who, foreseeing the destruction which David would inflict, prudently escaped with some followers, or whether he gathered his band of the remnant of those who survived the slaughter, does not appear. The latter is more probable. The settlement of Rezon at Damascus could not have been till some time after the disastrous battle in which the power of Hadadezer was broken, for we are told that David at the same time defeated the army of Damascene Syrians who came to the relief of Hadadezer, and put garrisons in Damascus. From his position at Damascus he harassed the kingdom of Solomon during his whole reign. With regard to the statement of Nicolaus in the 4th book ef his history, quoted by Josephus (Ant. 7:5, 2), there is less difficulty, as there seems to be no reason for attributing to it any historical authority. He says that the name of the king of Damascus whom David defeated was Hadad, and that his descendants and successors took the same name for ten generations. If this be true, Rezon was a usurper, but the origin of the story is probably the confused account of the Sept. In the Vatican MS. of the Sept. the account of Rezon is inserted in ver. 14 in close connection with Hadad, and on this Josephus appears to have founded his story that Hadad, on leaving Egypt, endeavored without success to excite Idumea to revolt, and then went to Syria, where he joined himself with Rezon, called by Josephus Raazarus ( ῾Ραάζαρος), who, at the head of a band of robbers, was plundering the country (Ant. 8:7, 6). It was Hadad, and not Rezon, according to the account in Josephus, who established himself king of that part of Syria and made inroads upon the Israelites. In 1Ki 15:18, Benhadad, king of Damascus in the reign of Asa, is described as the grandson of Hezion; and from the resemblance between the names Rezon and Hezion, when written in Hebrew characters, it has been suggested that the latter is a corrupt reading for the former. For this suggestion, however, there does not appear to be sufficient ground, though it was adopted by Sir John Marsham (Chron. Can. p. 346) and Sir Isaac Newton (Chronol. p. 221), as well as by some later translators and commentators (Junius, Kohler, Dathe, Ewald). Against it are,
(a) that the number of generations of the Syrian kings would then be one less than those of the contemporary kings of Judah. But then the reign of Abijam was only three years, and, in fact, Jeroboam outlived both Rehoboam and his son.
(b) The statement of Nicolaus of Damascus (Josephus, Ant. 7:5, 2) that from the time of David for ten generations the kings of Syria were one dynasty, each king taking the name of Hadad, "as did the Ptolemies in Egypt." But this would exclude not only Hezion and Tabrimoln, but Kezon, unless we may interpret the last sentence to mean that the official title of Hadad was held in addition to the ordinary name of the king. Bunsen (Bibelwerk, 1, 271) makes Hezion contemporary with Rehoboam, and probably a grandson of Rezon. The name is Aramaic, and Ewald compares it with Rezin.
END OF VOL. VIII.