Damien F. Mackey
“And God raised up against Solomon another adversary, Rezon son of Eliada,
who had fled from his master, Hadadezer king of Zobah”.
1 Kings 11:23
As with Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky’s radical downwards revision of the el-Amarna age from the c. C14th BC to the Divided Kingdom period of Israel, in the c. C9th BC, the validity of Dean Hickman’s re-location of King Hammurabi from a conventionally precarious C18th BC all the way down to the C10th BC era of King Solomon is confirmed by some impressive bibico-historical synchronisms.
See e.g. my:
This revised presentation seems to fit better archaeologically as well, in my opinion, given e.g. S. Lloyd’s compelling comparisons between the art of the famous Mari palace and that of neo-Assyrian Khorsabad (The Archaeology of Mesopotamia, London, 1978). It makes more sense, therefore, to have Mari removed only a couple of centuries from neo-Assyria rather than a whole millennium.
We read similarly of a Mari-Khorsabad likeness at: http://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/mural-painting
The investiture of the king of Mari
The Investiture of Zimri-Lim is the only Near Eastern pictorial composition of the second millennium BC in the format of a framed panel rather than a frieze. …. The principal theme of the Investiture painting – a divinity, in this case Ishtar, offering the king the scepter and staff, the insignia of rule – is also represented on other monuments, such as the Code of Hammurabi (Sb 8). On the two symmetrical side panels are subsidiary elements: the goddess Lama interceding, a palm, a composite tree, fabulous guardian animals. The symbolism (jets of water, plants, the gathering of dates) highlights the assurance of fertility the king in his palace is meant to provide. The warlike aspect of Ishtar with her lion – positioned exactly in the middle of the painting – is counterbalanced by the dove, an attribute of her pacific and loving aspect. The human-headed bull, the griffin, and the sphinx prefigure the colossal door-guardians of Neo-Assyrian palaces such as that at Khorsabad.
A potential pairing that Hickman did not pick up in his new context was the combination from the First Book of Kings of “Rezon” and his father “Eliada”, with the historical Zimri-Lim of Mari and his father, Iahdulim (Iahdunlim).
Taken on its own, a proposed identification of the not well known Iahdulim with the even lesser known Eliada, would not be worth much at all. But, in a context of multi-identifications, it has its value.
When we transfer all of these events onto a revised time plane,
there emerges a more precise picture.
The biblical Eliada appears to be unknown apart from the above quote, “Rezon son of Eliada”.
About Iahdulim we know somewhat more. Previously I have written about him:
Era of Solomon
Peace, which had been unknown in the time of Saul and David, came to Israel during the glorious reign of Solomon, David’s son and successor. David had smashed the mighty forces of Hadadezer king of Zobah, and had put garrisons in Aram and Damascus; and the Syrians became servants to David and brought tribute (II Samuel 8:5-6). For more than 20 years Solomon reigned in peace and prosperity, with Israel’s enemies subdued on every side. It appears that Solomon absorbed both the kingdoms of Hadadezer and of the Aleppo region, because he took Hamath-zobah (II Chronicles 8:3). He built Tadmor in the wilderness – which was connected by a desert road to Mari  – and he also built store cities in Hamath (8:4).
Even after his 20th year of rule (II Chronicles 8:1), things were still going well for Solomon; for Scripture recalls the celebrated visit of Queen Sheba. Solomon had an incredible 1400 chariots, and 12,000 horsemen with which to defend Jerusalem (I Kings 10:26). But the happy situation was not to last. In the latter half of his long reign Solomon apostatised from Yahweh worship by courting the foreign gods of his wives (I Kings 11:4). Scripture names three adversaries who “lifted up their hand” against Solomon in those days (I Kings 11): Hadad, the Edomite; Rezin, son of Eliada, who had fled from his master Hadadezer king of Zobah and Jeroboam, an Ephraïmite. It is this Rezin upon whom our attention will be focussed for the remaining pages.
From Rezin to Hammurabi
In identifying Rezin with Zimri-Lim, and his father, Eliada with Iahdulim, we are able to refine Hickman’s chronological scheme somewhat. Hickman had surmised that Zimri-Lim belonged to the time of David, which meant that Iahdulim was roughly contemporaneous with Saul: “Since … Iahdulim … mentions only the Benjamites [in the date-formula quoted earlier] he must belong to Saul’s time” . Hickman thought that there was reason to suspect “That the incursion of this [Iahdulim] into Benjamite territory resulted in Saul’s wars against Zobah and that Mari was associated with the Zobah kingdom” . It seems that Hickman was correct in his last statement in that Iagit-Lim of Mari, who was Zimri-Lim’s grandfather, had once been an ally of Shamsi-Adad. But Iagit-Lim and Shamsi-Adad quarrelled eventually, with dire consequences. Iagit-Lim’s son and successor, Iahdulim – who claimed to have strengthened the foundations of Mari – was assassinated by his own servants. Shamsi-Adad then occupied the city of Mari, and set up his son, Iasmakh-Adad, as ruler. Zimri-Lim, the heir to the throne, was forced to flee for his life, spending many years in exile at Aleppo . Zimri-Lim returned to Mari about the 16th year of Hammurabi of Babylon, and ruled there for at least most of Hammurabi’s remaining years . Since Shamsi-Adad’s death coincided with the 12th year of Hammurabi , Zimri-Lim apparently was returning to a less hostile environment, where he ruled for at least 17 years . For most of that time he and Hammurabi were on quite friendly terms with one another; but Hammurabi eventually turned against Zimri-Lim and, in his 33rd year, he came to Mari and dismantled its walls . But this may not have been the end of Zimri-Lim because the number of years-names attested for his reign would indicate that he continued to rule Mari for some years after this event.  When we transfer all of these events onto a revised time plane, there emerges a more precise picture. Hadadezer (Shamsi-Adad), a one-time ally of Rezin’s (Zimri-Lim’s) grandfather, king of Mari, quarrelled with the king of Mari. Later, Eliada (Iahdulim), Rezin’s father, was assassinated by his servants – presumably at the instigation of Hadadezer – and Hadadezer’s son Shobach (Iasmakh-Adad) was established as ruler of Mari. The assassination of his father, and the occupation of the city throne to which he was heir, explains why Rezin “fled from his master Hadadezer king of Zobah” (I Kings 11:23). We also now know the city to which Rezin fled, Aleppo, or Halab, in Hamath (Yamkhad). Scripture goes on to record that “after the slaughter of David” (i.e. after David had slaughtered Hadadezer’s forces), Rezin “gathered men about him and became leader of a marauding band” (I Kings 11:24). Some of his band may have been remnants of Hadadezer’s decimated forces.
[End of quote]
Biblical archaeology ought to be able to benefit exponentially from this corrected placement of the famous Mari civilisation, with its renowned palace, in the age of King Solomon.
Is it too much to expect that the fabulous Solomon, who entertained and formed alliances with all the kings of the world, would not have influenced enormously, too, this Mari civilisation and its palace – from which we may now expect to gain insights, in turn, into the currently obscure archaeology of King Solomon?