Agur Son of Jakeh

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AGUR SON OF JAKEH (Heb. אָגוּר בִּן־יָקֶה), an otherwise unknown figure mentioned in the enigmatic title to Proverbs 30:1–33. Possibly the title refers only to the first 14 verses since the Septuagint separates these two sections, placing the first between Proverbs 24:22 and 23 and the second following Proverbs 24:33. It was already pointed out by Rabbenu *Tam (Jacob b. Meir) that the aluqah (ל)עֲלוּקָה)); "leech") in Proverbs 30:15 may refer to a different sage with the name Alukah (in the category of names such as Nahash ("serpent"), Parosh ("flea"), etc.); hence the second section is to be attributed to another sage, Alukah. This assumption is borne out by the marked difference in content between the two sections, the first being in the nature of an ethical admonitory disquisition (in the spirit of Job 42:2), while the second consists mainly of numerical aphorisms. It has been suggested that ha-Massa (המשא) in Proverbs 30:1 should be amended to ha-Massa'i (המשאי; "the Massaite"), since Proverbs 31: 1 ff. is attributed to the mother of a king of Massa (cf. Gen. 25:14; i Chron. 1:30), one of the *Kenite peoples whose wisdom the Israelites admired.


Albright, in: Studi Orieetalistici in onore di Giorgio Levi della Vida, 1 (1956), 1–14 (Eng.); Torrey, in: jbl, 73 (1954), 93–96; G. Sauer, Die Sprueche Agurs (1963); Grintz, in: Tarbiz, 28 (1959), 135–7.

[Michael V. Fox]