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ELDAD (Heb. ‘elādh, God has loved). A man who, along with another man, Medad, remained in camp when the seventy elders selected by Moses were gathered around the tabernacle to receive the gift of prophecy. The spirit of prophecy came to Eldad and Medad in camp, and they prophesied there. The news of this fact excited Joshua and he begged Moses to forbid them. But Moses said he wished that all God’s people were prophets (Num.11.24-Num.11.29).

ELDAD ĕl’ dăd (אֶלְדָּ֡ד, God has loved, God is a friend). One of the seventy elders chosen to assist Moses in leading the Israelites (Num 11:16f., 24-29). When Moses found that the discontent of the people, on the journey from Sinai toward Canaan, was hard to bear, he was commanded to choose seventy elders who would share the burden of administration. When the elders gathered at the Tabernacle, the Spirit of the Lord came upon them and they prophesied. Two of those chosen, Eldad and Medad, remained in the camp, yet they received the same spirit of prophecy. Joshua was indignant because these two prophesied in the camp rather than at the Tabernacle, but Moses refused to forbid them, remarking that he wished all the Lord’s people were prophets. Since their names have the same meaning, Eldad may be identical with Elidad (Num 34:21), who was the Benjamite representative among those who administered the division of Canaan. The imparting of some of the spirit that was upon Moses indicates that the endowment of the leadership abilities was due to the direct operation of the Spirit of God. The prophesying, which occurred only once, appears to have been an outward sign of this spiritual gift. There is little clue to the precise nature of the activity, but it is commonly held that it was a form of ecstatic experience (cf. 1 Sam 19:23f.).


KD, Numbers; J. Lindblom. Prophecy in Ancient Israel (1962), 100-102; W. Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament, II (1967), 50-54.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(’eldadh, "God has loved"):

One of the 70 elders chosen by Moses at the command of Yahweh to share "the burden of the people" (Nu 11:16-25). Eldad and his companion Medad were not present with the rest at the tent of meeting, yet the Spirit rested also upon them and they prophesied in the camp (Nu 11:26-29).