The words of King Lemuel, 1 an oracle 2 that his mother taught him:
The sayings of King Lemuel—an oracle his mother taught him:
The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him:
These are the sayings of King Lemuel, an oracle that his mother taught him.
The words of King Lemuel, the strong advice his mother gave him:
The words of Lemuel, king of Massa: the teaching which he had from his mother.
The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:
The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him:
that his mother
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, an oracle
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1 sn Nothing else is known about King Lemuel aside from this mention in the book of Proverbs. Jewish legend identifies him as Solomon, making this advice from his mother Bathsheba; but there is no evidence for that. The passage is the only direct address to a king in the book of Proverbs – something that was the norm in wisdom literature of the ancient world (Leah L. Brunner, “King and Commoner in Proverbs and Near Eastern Sources,” Dor le Dor 10 : 210-19; Brunner argues that the advice is religious and not secular).
2 tn Some English versions take the Hebrew noun translated “oracle” here as a place name specifying the kingdom of King Lemuel; cf. NAB “king of Massa”; CEV “King Lemuel of Massa.”