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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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dūk : The rendering in the King James Version in Genesis 36:15 ; Exodus 15:15 , and 1 Chronicles 1:51 of אלּוּף , 'allūph (the American Standard Revised Version and the English Revised Version, margin "chief"), and in Joshua 13:21 of ם , neṣı̄khı̄m ("dukes," the Revised Version (British and American) "princes"). It occurs also, as the rendering of stratēgós , in 1 Macc 10:65 (the Revised Version (British and American) "captain"). Elsewhere neṣı̄khı̄m is translated "princes" or "principal men." The fact that with two exceptions the term is applied in English Versions of the Bible only to the chiefs of Edom has led to the impression that in the family of Esau the chiefs bore a special and hereditary title. But 'allūph was a general term for tribal chief or prince (compare Zechariah 9:7 ; Zechariah 12:5 , Zechariah 12:6 ; the Revised Version (British and American) "chieftains," the King James Version "governors").

Moreover, at the time the King James Version was made the word "duke" was not used as a title in England: the term had the same general force as dux , the word employed in the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible , 390-405 ad) So Sir T. Elyot (died 1546) speaks of "Hannibal, duke of Carthage" ( The Governour , II, 233); Shakespeare, Henry V , III, 2, 20, "Be merciful, great duke, to men of mould" (compare Midsummer Night's Dream , I, 1, 21); Sylvester (1591) Du Bartas , "The great Duke, that (in dreadful aw) (Upon Mt. Horeb learn'd th' eternal law." In a still earlier age Wycliff uses the word of the Messiah (Matthew 2:6 ); and in Select Works , III, 137, "Jesus Christ, duke of oure batel."

Yet in all probability the Hebrew word was more specific than "chief" or "duke" in the broad sense. For if 'allūph is derived from 'eleph , "thousand," "tribe," the term would mean the leader of a clan, a "chiliarch" (compare Septuagint, Zechariah 9:7 ; Zechariah 12:5 , Zechariah 12:6 ). the American Standard Revised Version has eliminated the word "duke." See CHIEF .

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Duke'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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