Who is…
Ben-Hur

Hebrew: בֶּן־חוּר —transliteration: Ben-chur —meaning: son of Hur

This name appears once in Scripture in 1 Kings 4:8. He was one of King Solmon’s deputies in charge of providing food for the royal household.

Solomon had twelve deputies over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household; each deputy had to provide food for a month in the year. And these were their names:

  1. Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim;
  2. Ben-deker in Makaz and Shaalbim, and Beth-shemesh, and Elonbeth-hanan;
  3. Ben-hesed in Arubboth (Socoh was his and all the land of Hepher);
  4. Ben-abinadab in all the hills of Dor (Taphath the daughter of Solomon was his wife);
  5. Baana the son of Ahilud in Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth-shean which is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah as far as the other side of Jokmeam;
  6. Ben-geber in Ramoth-gilead (the villages of Jair, the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead were his: the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars were his);
  7. Ahinadab the son of Iddo in Mahanaim;
  8. Ahimaaz in Naphtali (he also married Basemath the daughter of Solomon);
  9. Baana the son of Hushai in Asher and Bealoth;
  10. Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah in Issachar;
  11. Shimei the son of Ela in Benjamin;
  12. Geber the son of Uri in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only deputy who was in the land.

—1 Kings 4:7-19 NASB

Ben-Hur’s father is Hur.

Ben-Hur, the novel

The American general and author Lew Wallace chose the name Judah Ben-Hur for the title character of his novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880), considered by some to be “the most influential Christian book of the nineteenth century.” 1 The book describes the trials and adventures of this fictional Jewish prince who is enslaved during the lifetime of Jesus Christ, and who eventually witnesses the Crucifixion, repents of seeking revenge on his enemies and becomes a follower of Christ, full of love and compassion, inspired by the new spiritual Kingdom of God.

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  1. Amu Lifton, “Ben-Hur: The Book That Shook the World,” Humanities (Washington, D.C.: National Endowment for the Humanities, 2009), 30 (6).

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Article Version: July 27, 2021