Lemuel

LEMUEL (lĕm'ū-ĕl, Heb. lemû’ēl, devoted to God). A king, otherwise unknown, to whom his mother taught maxims in Prov.31.2-Prov.31.9. Though many identities have been proposed, the name undoubtedly describes Solomon (Prov.31.1).


LEMUEL lĕm’ yŏŏ əl (לְמוּאֵ֣ל, devoted to God). The reputed author of Proverbs 31:1-9 who repeats his mother’s teachings about good government and the dangers of sex and wine. Rabbinic tradition equates Lemuel with Solomon, but modern critics reject this. It is not known whether Lemuel was a historical person. According to KJV and RSV (following LXX, Syr. and Targ.) he was king of Massa.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

A king whose words, an "oracle (taught him by his mother)," are given in Pr 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 (Ge 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.