An historical personage at the court of King Solomon, whose name appears in several of the advanced Degrees. In that of Select Master in the American Rite, it has been corrupted into Izabud. He is mentioned in First Kings (iv, 5) where he is described in the authorized version as being "principal officer and the King's friend." The original is Zabud ben Nathan cohen regneh hahmelek, which is literally Zabud, son of Nathan, a Priest, the friend of the King Adam Clarke says he was "the king's chief favorite, his confidant." Smith (Dictionary of the Bible) says: "This position, if it were an official one, was evidently distinct from that of Counselor, occupied by Ahithophel under David, and had more of the character of private friendship about it."
Kitto (Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature) says of Zabud and of his brother Azariah, that their advancement in the household of King Solomon ' may doubtless be ascribed not only to the young King's respect for the venerable Prophet (their father), who had been his instructor, but to the friendship he had contracted with his sons during the course of education. The office, or rather honor, of 'friend of the King,' we find in all the despotic governments of the East. It gives high power, without the public responsibility which the holding of a regular office in the state necessarily imposes. It implies the possession of the utmost confidence of, and a familiar intercourse with, the monarch, to whose person 'the friend' at all times has access, and whose influence is therefore often far greater, even in matters of state, than that of the recognized ministers of government. "to Clay probably by Preston, and so it still remains This conception has been fully carried out in the(see Fervency and Freedom), Legend of the Select Master's Degree.
- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry