Who is Hur? What did he do? Where did he come from?
Most people who know anything about the Bible know about people like Noah, Moses, and King David, but a guy like Hur is oft neglected or overlooked or ignored. Before we look at the first time Hur shows up, let’s take a look at his genealogy in I Chron 2. In verse 3 we find our context is the “sons of Judah“, and coming down the line to verse 9 we run into “Hezron“:
“The sons also of Hezron, that were born unto him; Jerahmeel, and Ram, and Chelubai.“
So we have three sons listed here, and in verse 10-17 we follow the line of “Ram” down to “David” (v15) and a mention of David’s sisters and their families (v16-17). But look at the next verse:
“And Caleb the son of Hezron begat children of Azubah his wife, and of Jerioth: her sons are these; Jesher, and Shobab, and Ardon.“
That Caleb is the “Celubai” of verse 9, and in verse 19 Caleb takes on another wife, which bears him “Hur“. So Hur is from the tribe of Judah (v3) – the Kingly tribe.
Now let’s turn to Exodus 17 where Hur first shows up.
Our context up to this point is that the children of Israel have been miraculously delivered from their enemies, Pharoah (a picture of Satan) and Egypt (a type of the world). They have had the Red Sea parted for them, they have seen water come out of a rock, and they have had bread fall from heaven for them – and yet all along the way they have complained about one thing after another and accused God of hating them and trying to kill them! What a way to respond to your miraculous Deliverer! By this point, they have tempted the LORD at least 6 times:
- At Red Sea (Ex 14:11-12).
- At Marah for water (Ex 15:23-24).
- Wilderness of Sin for flesh (Ex 16:1-18).
- & 5. Twice about manna (Ex 16:20, 27).
And finally, in our passage, at Rephidim for water (Ex 17:1-7). You know God is a very long suffering God for putting up with this much this far, and yet He is still willing to bless Israel, God’s people. Now look at verse 8:
8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.
The people of Israel are now faced with war, and Moses steps up to lead and gives his orders to Joshua. Moses says, “go out, fight with Amalek“, and Joshua could have said, “no way! You go fight with them yourself Moses!” – but he didn’t! One of the reasons that Joshua wound up as Moses’ replacement is that he learned to take orders, and to follow instructions to the letter. He could do what he was told and he later became the leader of the whole nation. You won’t get anywhere in life until you learn to see yourself as a servant (Rom 1:1).
10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
12 But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
There’s the first mention of our character, “Hur“. He is ready and willing to step in and help to fill a need where he sees it. Hur is to be commended at this point in his life for standing against the opposition of the crowd. He could have been a griper like every one else; he could have given into the pressure of the majority who complained about the way Moses and God ran things, but he didn’t. He wasn’t even told to help, he just stepped in and filled the need.
I bet there are some pastors out there who could use a Hur for a deacon, or even a few Hurs to help around the church. Did you notice that Moses is a type (a picture) of a pastor? He physically and spiritually led about 1,000,000 people (600,000 of them were just men – Ex 12:37); some of you pastors out there, could you imagine that?! Having to take care of a million gripers? Having a Hur pop up here and there to help out would be a blessing.
Hur was one of the faithful few that stuck with Moses to help (Ex 17:10-12) – he did what he could – and because of that the children of Israel gained the victory in the battle against Amalek. In this way, Hur is to be emulated. If you are a “Hur” working in the background at the church, perhaps you are overlooked or unrecognized, but do not be discouraged about not being in the spotlight – because GOD HIMSELF recognizes your effort (I Cor 15:58), and it is His praise you’re concerned about anyways (Matt 25:21, 23). There is nothing wrong with being a background helper in the work!
Another interesting note in typology, is that in verse 12 we have Moses (prophet), and Aaron (priest), and Hur, being from the tribe of Judah, as a type of THE KING.
Now turn a few chapters over to chapter 24:
12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.
13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.
14 And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them.
15 And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount.
Moses is now called up to receive private instructions from the LORD God Almighty in regards to the nation that He (Jehovah God – not “YahWeh” or whatever) has called out of Egypt. Notice in verse 13 that Joshua is in close right now with Moses as his personal minister being groomed to take over the work. The lesson of course would be that every pastor should have his own Joshua, or Timothy (cf I Tim 1:18, II Tim 2:1-2), but that’s not the lesson for today.
It is interesting the way Hur is treated by Moses – he tells the elders to go to Aaron and Hur as judges! Moses recognizes Hur’s ability to discern judgment, so he is promoted. Moses is not too concerned about Hur’s faithfulness to leave the “keys to the church” and “the ministry” in Hur’s hands while he goes to a special meeting that God has called him to. Hur’s demonstration of faithfulness has earned him a new position in the assembly of the congregation. What a privilege! Moses can honestly say to the elders, “guys I have nothing to worry about, Hur has got it taken care of” – Is that you?
When Moses goes up into the mount, God chooses who He’s going to use to construct the parts of the tabernacle, the ark, the mercy seat, the furniture, the candlestick, the altar of incense, and all of the key parts of worship the Israelite people will use for years to come, and guess who he picks?
Exod 31:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,Exod 31:2; See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:
The grandson of Hur!! Do you see the lesson? Have you ever thought about the effect that you have as a parent on your children, and as a grandparent to your grandchildren? Hur’s solid stance earlier against the opposition had some effect on the rest of his family, and as a result, God called Hur’s grandson into the work of the ministry. Wouldn’t that be a blessing to see your grandchildren grow up to do something great for the LORD, and to know that God used your faithfulness as a testimony to them? What a glorious thing! Think about that! Because of his obedience to the Lord, it had an effect on successive generations – such that God would call them into the work (Ex 31:1-4, 35:30).
Now we move forward. Up to this point, Hur has shown some good characteristics that are to be emulated by the believer in Jesus Christ, but there are some strange things that happen in our study of Hur that will quickly change our viewpoint of what he turns out to be, because “all flesh is as grass” (I Peter 1:24). Turn to Exodus 32.
Moses has been up in the mount for a good long time and he’s left Aaron and Hur in charge of proper judgment in the congregation, but in Exodus 32, something terrible happens where we have to make a decision as to what went on with Hur:
1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
My first thought is that they assembled to Aaron and they didn’t assemble unto Hur, because they knew Aaron would cave, but the fact that Hur doesn’t show up again in Scripture tells me that whatever he’s doing now is less than admirable. Where is Hur? He disappears; he abandons his post; he caves under the pressure. Aaron is left alone with all the people after him and so gives into the will of the people to make a golden calf for their pleasure.
What’s even more disturbing is what we find in Numbers chapter 14:
28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:
29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,
30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
31 But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.
32 But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness.
33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.
All of those from 20 years old and upward except Caleb and Joshua died in the wildreness for their murmuring. Do you know who was among those who perished? HUR. A sobering moment. He had living grandchildren so we know he was way over 20. Here was a man who had had some personal victories, had overcome the opposition of the majority, was a help and a blessing to others, and wound up perishing because he wasn’t faithful. Doing the right thing once and then coasting all of your life is not what God expects. The Lord is looking for faithfulness, not hanging on and living off of past blessings:
Prov 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
It’s so much easier to brag on things that you’ve done in the past, to proclaim all of the things you’ve done for the LORD on previous occasions, but if right this minute you’re not doing anything for the LORD, you’re unfaithful! You’ve quit on God and you expect the LORD to accept the few things you’ve done for Him as being sufficient, while you still have breath in your lungs. Oh what terrible judgments come from departing from the living God!
Let’s take one New Testament example. There was a man named Demas who is mentioned in two passages as being a man faithful in the ministry, and a blessing to the apostle Paul:
Col 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
Phlm 1:24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
At the end of two of Paul’s epistles, he mentions a fellowlabourer named Demas; a fellow helper in the work, and a man faithful in staying with Paul during his trials and difficulties in ministry. Both of those epistles were written roughly 64 A.D. But in II Timothy chapter 4 we read this:
9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
Paul instructs Timothy to come soon because his companions have left him all alone. Luke who was mentioned in the previous two passages has been found faithful, and yet Demas defected into the world. It doesn’t really matter if he loved the music, the culture, the dress, or the people, but the only thing that the Lord was looking at was that Demas was no longer in the ministry, but Paul and Luke and Timothy were.
That is the same lesson we learn from Hur – that just because you’re doing something for God NOW is valueless if you quit. Who are you going to be? Early Hur or latter Hur? One who stands out in the Lord’s book as one who was faithful? Or one who defected as a deserter in the Lord’s army?