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Egypt reasserts its authority in the region by conquering territory in the Levant and Syria as far north as Amurru.The Egyptians establish three provinces, one of which, Upe, in the northern Levant, may correspond to Damas.From inscriptions by Shalmaneser III of Assyria it appears that Hazael also withstands an attack by the Assyrian army and keeps Damascus, Syria, and Philistia independent (although he does seize the Philistine city of Gath).However, his actions against his neighbours unleashes a long series of conflicts with Jerusalem.Gath is subsequently besieged and then destroyed, towards the end of the century, and it never recovers. He loses Hazael's empire, and in this year the Assyrians return, attacking Damascus and forcing tribute from it.This attack is almost certainly led by Shamshi-ilu from his western base at Kar-Shulmanu-Ashared.In brief and condensed form, it records the historical setting for the entire book.

Damascus follows the Syrian sequence of events, briefly becoming part of the Nabataean kingdom in the first century AD.The state's kings were the Biblical 'kings of Syria', and were to prove troublesome enemies for over a century and a half.However, archaeological evidence for the city is almost non-existent, thanks to continued occupation causing it to be overbuilt, and Aramaean royal inscriptions are rare.Ben-Hadad is a member of an alliance of states which also include Ammon, Arvad, Byblos, Edom, Egypt, Hamath, Kedar, and Samaria.Together they fight Shalmaneser III of Assyria at the Battle of Qarqar which consists of the largest known number of combatants in a single battle to date, and is the first historical mention of the Arabs from the southern deserts.

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