1 Kings 4:5 MEANING

1 Kings 4:5
(5) Son of Nathan.--Probably Nathan, son of David, and own brother of Solomon (1 Chronicles 3:5), is here intended; for the title Cohen, here given to Zabud, is expressly ascribed in 2 Samuel 8:18 to the "sons of David;" and Nathan the prophet always has his title, "the prophet," appended to his name wherever first mentioned in this book. (See 1 Kings 1:8; 1 Kings 1:10; 1 Kings 1:22; 1 Kings 1:32, &c.)

Azariah is the "chief of the officers"--that is, chief over the twelve officers mentioned below (1 Kings 4:7-19)--living, however, at Court.

Zabud, besides the title of Cohen, has that of "the king's friend," previously given to Hushai (2 Samuel 15:37; 2 Samuel 16:16), and apparently indicating special intimacy and wisdom as a "privy counsellor."

Verse 5. - And Azariah the son of Nathan [Azariah was clearly not an uncommon name (ver. 2, and cf. 1 Chronicles 2:39; 5:36-40 Hebrews; A.V. 1 Chronicles 6:9-14), especially in the high priest's family. Keil and Bahr pronounce somewhat positively that this Nathan is not the prophet of that name, but Nathan the son of David (2 Samuel 5:14; Luke 3:31). It is quite impossible to decide with certainty which is meant, if either, though Zechariah 12:12 undoubtedly favours the supposition that the latter is here intended] was over the officers [the twelve prefects mentioned in vers. 7 sqq.]: and Zabud the son of Nathan was principal officer [Heb. priest, Vulg. sacerdos. Singularly, as before, the LXX. (Vat.) omits the word. The expression can hardly mean "the son of Nathan the priest," but it may either signify that "Zabud ben Nathan, a priest, was king's friend," or that (as in the A. V.) he was a priest and king's friend. But the former is every way preferable. I find it easier to believe that the true import of 2 Samuel 8:18 the passage which is cited (sometimes along with 2 Samuel 20:26, where the LXX., however, has ἱερεύς) to prove that there were secular "priests" - is not yet understood, than to hold (with Gesenius, Ewald, etc.), that there were sacrificing priests who were not of the sons of Aaron (cf. 2 Chronicles 26:18), or that the word כּהֵן, the meaning of which was thoroughly fixed and understood, can have been familiarly applied, except in the strictly conventional way already indicated, to lay persons], and [omit] the king's friend. ["This appears to have been now a recognized office (2 Samuel 15:37; 2 Samuel 16:16; 1 Chronicles 27:33)," Rawlinson.]

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.And Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers,.... The twelve officers who provided food for Solomon's household after mentioned:

and Zabud the son of Nathan; another of the sons of Nathan the prophet: for he being a principal instrument of settling Solomon on the throne, had interest enough to promote his sons to the chief places of honour and trust: and this here

was principal officer, and the king's friend; a chief minister about him, very intimate with him, that kept him company, privately conversed with him, was in his secrets, and admitted to great privacy and nearness to him.

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