Book of Eldad and Medad

ELDAD, AND MEDAD, BOOK OF ĕl’ dăd, mē'-dăd. Two of the seventy elders appointed by Moses (Num 11:26ff.) who prophesied after the Spirit of God rested on them and were approved by Moses for doing so. Although almost nothing is known about these two men a rich tradition grew up around them in the later period of the Hel. and a pseudepigraphic work appeared which was purported to be the written transcript of their prophecies in the manner commonly known from the various apocalypses of the Post-Pers. era. No actual passages of this work now exist nor any citation which may be undeniably attributed to the book. The Palestinian Targumic traditions have more extensive details on the story of Numbers 11:26 and add several phrases concerning what was said by Eldad and Medad. One has the phrase, “The Lord is close by them who are in the time of trial,” and the context would indicate that they prophesied about the coming of Gog and Magog at the end time of Israel, a favorite subject of speculation in the DSS and elsewhere. Only the apocryphal postapostolic epistle The Pastor of Hermas mentions the book and gives a quotation from it, “The Lord is near to them who return unto Him, as it is written in Eldad and Medat (d), who prophesied to the people in the wilderness” (ANF Vol. 11, 12).