1 Kings 4:8
And these are their names: The son of Hur, in mount Ephraim:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) And these are their names.—The first division, mount Ephraim,” included all the higher part of the territory of Ephraim, one of the most fertile and beautiful regions in Palestine, surrounding the city of Shechem, which lies in a rich plain between Mount Ebel and Gerizim, and including the strong site of the future Samaria. See the description of the country in the blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 33:13-17).

1 Kings 4:8-10. The son of Hur — This person and others of them are denominated from their fathers, because they were known and famous in their generation. In mount Ephraim — And the territory belonging to it, which must be understood also of the rest of the places mentioned in the following verses. Elon-beth-hanan — Or, Elon, the house, or dwelling- place of Hanan. For Hanan may be a man’s name, and this place may be thus distinguished from other Elons. Or, as the word Elon signifies a plain, the meaning may be, the plain of Beth-hanan. Sochoh — There were two places of this name, but near each other, Joshua 15:35-38. Hepher — ln Judah, 1 Chronicles 4:6.4:1-19 In the choice of the great officers of Solomon's court, no doubt, his wisdom appeared. Several are the same that were in his father's time. A plan was settled by which no part of the country was exhausted to supply his court, though each sent its portion.In this arrangement of the territory into twelve portions, the divisions of the tribes seem to have been adopted as far as could be managed without unfairness. The prefecture of Ben-Hur corresponded nearly to the territory of Ephraim; that of Ben-Dekar to Dan; that of Ben-Hesed to Judah; those of Ben-Abinadab and Baana to Cis-Jordanic Manasseh; that of Ben-Geber to Manasseh beyond Jordan; of Abinadab to Gad; of Ahimaaz to Naphtali; of Baanah to Asher; of Jehoshaphat to Issachar; of Shimei to Benjamin; and of Geber to Reuben. The order in which the prefectures are mentioned is clearly not the geographical. Perhaps it is the order in which they had to supply the king's table. 8. The son of Hur—or, as the Margin has it, Benhur, Bendekar. In the rural parts of Syria, and among the Arabs, it is still common to designate persons not by their own names, but as the sons of their fathers. This and others of them are denominated from their fathers, because they were known and famous in their generation. And these are their names,.... Or rather the names of their fathers; for of many of them not their own names but their fathers' names are given, as being well known:

the son of Hur, in Mount Ephraim; a fruitful country in the tribe of Ephraim, from whence this officer was to furnish the king with provisions for one month in the year.

And these are their names: The son of Hur, in mount Ephraim:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. The son of Hur] Better Ben-Hur. So the Vulgate and similarly in 1 Kings 4:9-11; 1 Kings 4:13. The name is a patronymic, and five out of these twelve officers are thus designated by their fathers’ names rather than by their own. Perhaps at the time the father in each case was more distinguished than the son. The place of commissariatofficer is one which might well be given to a younger man of some well-known family. Two of the men were Solomon’s sons-in-law.

in mount Ephraim] ‘Mount’ conveys a mistaken idea of the rich country of Ephraim. It was a hilly but very fertile region which stretched northwards from the tribe of Benjamin until the land sinks into the plain of Jezreel. It is separated from the Jordan valley by a plain on the east, and by another plain on the west from the Mediterranean sea. It would be more suitably called hill country than mountain.Verse 8. And these are their names [the order is not geographical, nor do the districts correspond, except roughly, with the territories of the tribes. The order is probably that of the months for which they were severally responsible, and the districts were marked out according to the capabilities of the country.]: The son of Hur [Heb. as marg., Ben Hur. Of the twelve prefects, five are only known by their patronymics, for it is hardly likely that these are proper names, like Ben-hanan and Ben-zoheth (1 Chronicles 4:20). No satisfactory explanation of this curious circumstance has hitherto been given. The most probable is that in the document from which this list was compiled, the part of the page containing the missing names had been accidentally destroyed], in mount Ephraim. [See on 1 Kings 12:25. This district, which practically coincided with the territory of Ephraim, was one of the most fertile in Palestine. Hence, possibly, it stands first.] The first of the שׂרים, princes, i.e., chief ministers of state or dignitaries, mentioned here is not the commander-in-chief, as under the warlike reign of David (2 Samuel 8:16; 2 Samuel 20:23), but, in accordance with the peaceful rule of Solomon, the administrator of the kingdom (or prime minister): "Azariah the son of Zadok was הכּהן," i.e., not the priest, but the administrator of the kingdom, the representative of the king before the people; like כּהן in v. 5, where this word is interpreted by המּלך רעה, with this difference, however, arising from the article before כּהן, that Azariah was the Kohen par excellence, that is to say, held the first place among the confidential counsellors of the king, so that his dignity was such as befitted the office of an administrator of the kingdom. Compare the explanation of כּהן at 2 Samuel 8:18. The view of the Vulgate, Luther, and others, which has been revived by Thenius, namely, that כּהן is to be connected as a genitive with בּן־צדוק in opposition to the accents, "Azariah the son of Zadok the priest," is incorrect, and does not even yield any sense, since the connection of these words with the following Elichoreph, etc., is precluded by the absence of the copula Vav, which would be indispensable if Azariah had held the same office as the two brothers Elichoreph and Achijah.

(Note: The objection by which Thenius tries to set aside this argument, which has been already advanced by Houbigant, viz., that "if the first (Azariah) was not also a state scribe, the copula would be inserted, as it is everywhere else from v. 4 onwards when a new office is mentioned," proves nothing at all, because the copula is also omitted in v. 3, where the new office of מזכּיר is introduced.)

Moreover, Azariah the son of Zadok cannot be a grandson of Zadok the high priest, i.e., a son of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, as many infer from 1 Chronicles 5:34-35 (1 Chronicles 6:8-9); for, apart from the fact that Zadok's grandson can hardly have been old enough at the time for Solomon to invest him with the chief dignity in the kingdom, which would surely be conferred upon none but men of mature years, we can see no reason why the Azariah mentioned here should not be called the son of Ahimaaz. If the Zadok referred to here was the high priest of that name, Azariah can only have been a brother of Ahimaaz. And there is no real difficulty in the way, since the name Azariah occurs three times in the line of high priests (1 Chronicles 5:36, 39), and therefore was by no means rare.

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