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Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #1122 - בֵּן
Ben = “son”
1) a Levite, one of the porters appointed by David for the ark
בֵּן (for בֵּנֶה from the root בָּנָה No. 3), const. בֶּן־ (with prefixes כְּ, בְּ, לְ without Makkeph), rarely בִּן Proverbs 30:1; Deuteronomy 25:2; Jonah 4:10 and whenever followed by the pr.n. נוּן; once בְּנִי (like אֲבִי), Genesis 49:11, and בְּנוֹ Numbers 24:3, 15 Numbers 24:15. Pl. בָּנִים (as if from sing. בָּן), const. בְּנֵי.
A son (Arab. إِبْنُ; pl. بنُونَ const. بنى, بنى; on the Phœn. monuments very often בן; but in Aram. בַּר, ܒܪܐܳ from בְּרָא to procreate, but with pl. בְּנִין, בְּנֵי, ܒܢܝ̈ܐ). Κατʼ ἐξοχὴν used of the king’s son [The son of God really], Isaiah 9:5 compare בֶּן־מֶלֶךְ Psalms 72:1 pl. בָּנִים sometimes used of children of both sexes, Genesis 3:16, 21:7 30:1 31:17 32:12 Deuteronomy 4:10 although more often there is fully expressed בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת Genesis 5:4,, 10, 13 11:11, seq. In sing. a trace of the common gender is found in בֶּן־זָכָר (more correctly בֵּן זָכָר) “a male son,” Jeremiah 20:15 compare υἱὸς ἄῤῥην, Revelation 12:5. It belongs to poetic diction when “sons of the Grecians” is used for the Grecians; Joel 4:6, like υἷες Ἀχαιῶν, and “sons of the Ethiopians,” Amos 9:7, for the Ethiopians; compare יַלְדֵי נָכִרִים Isaiah 2:6, used of foreigners; בְּנֵי אֶבְיוֹן of the poor, Psalms 72:4 and Greek δυστήνων παῖδες, Il. φ΄. 151. The similar condition of the father and the son is shewn everywhere by this phrase.
The name of son, like those of father and brother (see אָב, אָח ), is of wide extent in Hebrew, and is variously applied. It is used
(1) Of a grandson (like אָב of a grandfather), Genesis 29:5; Ezra 5:1 compare Zechariah 1:1 plur. בָּנִים grandsons, Genesis 32:1 (31:55 ); 31:28 (although where there is greater accuracy of speech grandsons are called בְּנֵי בָנִים Exodus 34:7; Proverbs 13:22, 17:6 ); also descendants, as בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל Israelites; בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה, בְּנֵי לֵוִי Jews, Levites; בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן Ammonites; בְּנֵי חֵת Hittites; בְּנֵי יִשְׁמָעֵאל Ishmaelites. In the same sense is used בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל, בֵּית יְהוּדָה (see בַּיִת No. 8 ); also אִישׁ יש׳ (see אִישׁ 1, g).
(2) It is a name of age, for boy, youth, like the Greek παῖς; compare בַּת No. 2, Song of Solomon 2:3; Proverbs 7:7. The name of son
(3) is applied to a subject, rendering obedience to a king or lord, as to a father, 2 Kings 16:7. Hence metaph. a son of death is one doomed to die, and as if delivered into the dominion of death; 1 Samuel 20:31. 2 Samuel 12:5 “a son of stripes,” i.q. doomed to stripes; Deuteronomy 25:2 compare νἱὸς γεέννης, Matthew 23:15 τῆς ἀπωλείας, John 17:12. Son is applied to
(4) a foster son, who is brought up like a son, Exodus 2:10 compare Acts 7:21 and a disciple, inasmuch as teachers were treated with reverence and obedience, like parents, and received the title of father (see אָב No. 5 ). Hence בְּנֵי הַנְּבִיאִים “sons of the prophets,” for disciples of the prophets, and the schools of the prophets themselves, 1 Kings 20:35; 2 Kings 2:3, 2 Kings 2:5, 2 Kings 2:7, 4:38, etc.; compare Amos 7:14. (So among the Persians, “sons of the magi,” used for the disciples of the magi; among the Greeks ἰατρῶν υἱοί, ῥητόρων υἱοί, παῖδες μουσικῶν, φιλοσόφων for ἰατροί, μουσικοί, etc.; Syr. ܒܢܰܚ ܒܰܪܕܰܝܨܳܢ sons, i.e. disciples of Bardesanes.) To this usage belongs the manner in which, in the book of Proverbs, the poet [inspired writer] addresses the reader, “my son,” Proverbs 2:1, 3:1, 21 4:10, 20 5:1 6:1 7:1 compare בַּת Psalms 45:11.
(5) Followed by a gen. of place, it denotes a man there born, or brought up, as “sons of Zion,” Zionites, Psal. 149:2 “sons of Babylon,” Ezekiel 23:15, 17 Ezekiel 23:17“sons of the East,” i.e. Arabs (see קֶדֶם); “sons of the province,” Ezra 2:1 “sons of a foreign country,” Genesis 17:12 “son of a house,” i.e. verna (see בַּיִת ); “son of a womb,” born of the same womb (see בֶּטֶן ). This arises from things, which are done in any time or place, being attributed to the time or place itself (see Isaiah 3:26, 8:23 Job 3:3); and countries or cities are regarded as the mothers of their particular inhabitants (see אֵם ), and also nations as fathers; whence there is also said בְּנֵי עַמִּי “sons of my people,” i.e. “those who are of my people” (see עַם ) and בְּנֵי הָעָם of the common people, Jeremiah 17:19, 26:23. Used of animals, Deuteronomy 32:14, “rams, sons of Bashan.” It is also applied to things which are contained in any place, as “sons of a quiver,” used of arrows, Lamentations 3:13.
(6) Followed by a gen. of time, it denotes a person or thing, either born or appearing in that time, or as having existed during that time. Thus, “son of his old age,” i.e. born in his old age, Genesis 37:3 “son of youth,” born to a young father, Psalms 127:4 “sons of bereavement,” born of a bereaved mother, i.e. in exile, Isaiah 49:20 “son of five hundred years,” five hundred years old, Genesis 5:32 “a lamb בֶּן־שָׁנָה of the first year,” Exodus 12:5. Jonah 4:10, of the ricinus שֶׁבִּן־לַיְלָה הָיָה וּבִן־לַיְלָה אָבָד “which sprung up in one night, and perished in one night;” “son of the morning,” poetically of the morning star, lucifer, as if born in the morning, Isaiah 14:12.
(7) Followed by a genitive denoting virtue, vice, or condition of life; it denotes a man who has that virtue or vice, or who has been brought up in that condition, as בֶּן־חַיִל “a son of strength,” a hero, warrior (see חַיִל ); בֶּן־בְּלִיַּעַל “son of wickedness,” a wicked man; בֶּן־עַוְלָה id.; בְּנֵי שַׁחַץ “sons of pride,” poetically used of wild beasts; בֶּן־עֳנִי i.q. עָנָי poor, wretched, Proverbs 31:5 “son of possession,” i.e. possessor, heir, Genesis 15:2 “sons of pledging,” i.e. hostages, 2 Kings 14:14 compare υἱὸς τῆς ἀπειθείας, Ephes. 2:2, τέκνα ὑπακοῆς, 1 Peter 1:14. In other figurative and poetic phrases of this kind, which are also common in other cognate languages (see Gol. v. ابن; Castell and Buxtorf v. בַּר; Jones, on Asiatic Poetry, p. 128, seq.), that is called the son of anything which is like it, as “sons of lightning,” used of birds rivalling the lightning in swiftness, Job 5:7 or which is dependent on it, as “sons of a bow,” used of arrows, Job 41:20 or which by any connection is closely joined with it, as “sons of oil,” those anointed with oil, Zechariah 4:14 “son of oil, or fatness,” fat, fertile, etc.; compare אָב, אִישׁ, בַּעַל.
(8) The appellation of “sons of God,” is given in the Old Test.
(a) to angels, Genesis 6:2, seq.; Job 1:6, 2:1 38:7 Psalms 29:1, 89:7 either as the hosts and attendants of God (see צָבָא ), or on account of a greater likeness to the divine nature, although a body is attributed to them, Gen. loc. cit.
(b) to kings (not those of the Hebrews only, but foreign ones also, Psalms 89:28), as being the substitutes of God on earth, taught and aided by the Divine Spirit, 1 Samuel 10:6, 1 Samuel 10:9, 11:6 16:13, 14 1 Samuel 16:14; Isaiah 11:1, Isaiah 11:2[Here applied to Christ]; thus also in the Greek poets, Διογενεῖς βασιλῆες. Psalms 2:7, “the Lord said to me, thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee,” i.e. constituted king (compare Jeremiah 2:27), [Christ in resurrection is here spoken of]. Psalms 82:6, “I have said ye are gods (O kings), and every one of you children of the Most High;”7, “but ye shall die like (common) men,” etc. Psalms 89:28; 2 Samuel 7:14.
(c) to mem who piously worship God, Psalms 73:15; Proverbs 14:26; Deuteronomy 14:1 specially the Israelites, although sometimes ungrateful children, Isaiah 1:2, 30:1, Isaiah 30:9, 43:6 Hosea 2:1; Jeremiah 3:14, 19. In sing. Israel is called “son of God,” Hosea 11:1 [applied to Christ]; and the first-born and beloved, Exodus 4:22, 23 compare Jeremiah 31:20.-The name of son is used
(9) of the young of animals, as בְּנֵי־צאֹן “sons of sheep,” lambs, Psalms 114:4 בְּנִי אֲתֹנוֹ “son of his ass,” i.q. עִירוֹ Genesis 49:11 “sons of a dove,” i.e. young doves, Leviticus 12:6 “sons of a raven,” Psalms 147:9.
(10) son of a tree appears to be poetically used for sucker, offshoot (compare יוֹנֵק, יוֹנֶקֶת). Genesis 49:22, בֵּן פֹּרָת יוֹסֵף “Joseph (is) the son of a fruitbearing tree)”; for בֵּן (perhaps it would be more correctly בֶּן־) seems to be put in the construct state, and פֹּרָת to be i.q. פֹּרִיָּה Isaiah 17:6, “fruitbearing,” sc. tree. But others take it otherwise; see פֹּרָת.
(11) [Ben], pr.n. m., 1 Chronicles 15:18. Other compound proper names are
(a) בֶּן־אוֹנִי (“son of my sorrow”), [Ben-oni], pr.n. given to Benjamin by his mother, Genesis 35:18.
(b) בֶּן־הֲדַד (“son,” i.e. “worshipper of Hadad,” or Adodus, the greatest deity of the Syrians; compare Macrob. Saturnal. i. 23, and pr.n. הֲדַדְעֶזֶר), [Ben-hadad], pr.n. of three kings of Damascene Syria; the first of whom made war with Baasha, king of the ten Tribes, 1 Kings 15:20, seq., and 2 Chronicles 16:2, seq. The second was cotemporary with Ahab; he twice besieged Samaria, and by various military achievements, he became more famous than his father, 1 Kings 20:1, seq.; 2 Kings 6:24, seq.; 8:7. The third, the son of Hazael, who lost most of the provinces acquired by his predecessors, 2Ki 13:1-25. “The palaces of Ben-hadad,” i.e. of Damascus, Jeremiah 49:27; Amos 1:4.
[בֶּן־זוֹחֵת Ben-zoheth, pr.n. m. 1 Chronicles 4:20.]
(c) בֶּן־חַיִל (“brave,” “warrior”), [Ben-hael], pr.n. m. 2 Chronicles 17:7.
(d) בֶּן־חָנָן (“son of one who is gracious”), [Ben-hanan], pr.n. m. 1 Chronicles 4:20.
(e) בִּן־יָמִין (“son of the right hand”, i.e. of prosperity, see below בִּנְיָמִין ), [Benjamin], pr.n. m.
(1) 1 Chronicles 7:10.
(2) Ezra 10:32; Nehemiah 3:23. Where Benjamin the patriarch is intended, this word is always (exc. 1 Samuel 9:1 כתיב) written together, see בִּנְיָמִין.
(f) בְּנֵי־בְרַק (“village of the sons of Berak,” or “of thunder”), [Bene-barak], pr.n. of a town of the tribe of Dan, Joshua 19:45.
(g) בְּנֵי יַעֲקָן see בֶּאֱרוֹת ב׳ י׳.
בֵּן Ch. id.; only in pl. בְּנִין, בְּנֵי (the place of the sing. is filled by בַּר); as, בְּנֵי גָלוּתָא those who go into exile, those who leave their country. Daniel 2:25. בְּנֵי תוֹרִין young doves, Ezra 6:9. (Syriac ܒܰܪ plur. ܒܢܺܚܢ id.)
the Fourth Week after Epiphany