(God has seen)

Ivory inlay possibly depicting Hazael of Damascus
King of Aram Damascus (King of Syria)
Reign 842 BC–796 BC
Predecessor Hadadezer
Successor Ben-Hadad III
Occupation Court official

Hazael (/ˈhziəl/; Hebrew: חֲזָהאֵל or חזאל[1]ḤaZa'eL; Aramaic, from the triliteral Semitic root h-z-y, "to see"; his full name meaning, "God has seen") was a court official and later an Aramean king who is mentioned in the Bible.[2][3] Under his reign, Aram-Damascus became an empire that ruled over large parts of Syria and Palestine.[4]

In the Bible

Hazael is first referred to by name in 1 Kings 19:15. God tells the prophet Elijah to anoint Hazael king over Aram Damascus. Years after this, the Syrian king Hadadezer was ill and sent his court official Hazael with gifts to Elijah's successor Elisha. Elisha asked Hazael to tell Hadadezer that he would recover, and he revealed to Hazael that the king would recover but would die of other means. The day after he returned to Hadadezer in Damascus, Hazael suffocated him and seized power himself.

During his reign (c. 842–800 BC),[4] King Hazael led the Arameans in battle against the forces of King Jehoram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah. After defeating them at Ramoth-Gilead, Hazael repelled two attacks by the Assyrians, seized Israelite territory east of the Jordan, the Philistine city of Gath, and sought to take Jerusalem as well (2 Kings 12:17). Hazael's death is mentioned in 2 Kings 13:24.

Tel Dan Stele

A monumental Aramaic inscription discovered at Tel Dan is seen by most scholars as having been erected by Hazael, after he defeated the Kings of Israel and Judah.[5][6] Recent excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath have revealed dramatic evidence of the siege and subsequent conquest of Gath by Hazael. The destruction of the settlement at Tell Zeitah during the ninth century may also be the result of Hazael's campaign. King Joash of Judah forestalled Hazael's invasion by bribing him with treasure from the royal palace and temple.

Items belonging to Hazael

Decorated bronze plaques from chariot horse-harness taken from Hazael, identified by their inscriptions, have been found as re-gifted votive objects at two Greek sites, the Heraion of Samos and in the temple of Apollo at Eretria on Euboea. The inscriptions read "that which Hadad gave to our lord Hazael from 'Umq in the year that our lord crossed the River".[7] The river must be the Orontes. The triangular front pieces show a "Master of the animals"[8] gripping inverted sphinxes or lions in either hand, and with deep-bosomed goddesses who cup their breasts and stand on the heads of lions. When Tiglath-Pileser III took Damascus in 733/2, these heirlooms were part of the loot that fell eventually into Greek, probably Euboean hands.[9]

See also


  1. I Kings 19:15
  2. Hastings, James; Driver, Samuel Rolles (1899). A dictionary of the Bible: dealing with its language, literature, and contents, including the Biblical theology, Volume 3. T. & T. Clark. p. 832.
  3. Arnold, Bill T.; Williamson, Hugh Godfrey Maturin (2006). Dictionary of the Old Testament: historical books (Illustrated ed.). InterVarsity Press. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-8308-1782-5.
  4. 1 2 David Noel Freedman; Allen C. Myers (31 December 2000). Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Amsterdam University Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-90-5356-503-2.
  5. http://theosophical.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/biblical-archaeology-4-the-moabite-stone-a-k-a-mesha-stele/
  6. http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-artifacts/artifacts-and-the-bible/the-tel-dan-inscription-the-first-historical-evidence-of-the-king-david-bible-story/
  7. I. Eph'al and J. Naveh, "Hazael's booty inscriptions", Israel Exploration Journal 39 (1989:192-200).
  8. Compare the Aegean "Mistress of the Animals"
  9. Robin Lane Fox, Travelling Heroes in the Epic Age of Homer, 2008:109-11.


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Preceded by
King of Aram-Damascus
842 BC–796 BC
Succeeded by
Ben-Hadad III
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