lem'-u-el (lemu'el, or lemo'-el):
A king whose words, an "oracle (taught him by his mother)," are given in Proverbs 31:1-9; and possibly the succeeding acrostic poem (31:10-31) is from the same source. Instead of translating the word after this name as "oracle" some propose to leave it as a proper name, translating "king of Massa," and referring for his kingdom to Massa (Genesis 25:14), one of the sons of Ishmael, supposedly head of a tribe or sheikh of a country. It is to be noted, however, that the words of Agur in the previous chapter are similarly called massa', "oracle" with not so clear a reason for referring it to a country. See for a suggested reason for retaining the meaning "oracle" in both places, PROVERBS, THE BOOK OF, II, 6.
John Franklin Genung
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