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ELEAZAR (ĕ-lē-ā'zar, Heb. ’el‘āzār, God has helped)

ELEAZAR ĕl’ ĭ ā’ zər (אֶלְעָזָ֖ר, ̓Ελεαζάρ, God has helped). Any one of six men mentioned in the OT and one in the NT. 1. The third son of Aaron. Aaron, the brother of Moses, had four sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar (Exod 6:23). Nadab and Abihu were killed when they offered strange fire before the Lord—possibly being drunk (Lev 10:1-11). Eleazar, the oldest remaining son married a daughter of Putiel, otherwise unknown. Eleazar’s mother was Elisheba, sister of Nahshon, the chief of the tribe of Judah (Exod 6:23; Num 1:7; 1 Chron 2:3-10).

Eleazar evidently had the primogeniture rather than Ithamar. He succeeded in the high priestly office after his father’s death (Num 20:25-28; Deut 10:6). Eleazar supervised the Kohathites who carried the Ark and the holy furniture upon their shoulders on the march (Num 3:30-32) and he was charged with the oversight of the Tabernacle and its furniture, also the oil, the incense, etc. (4:16). His brother Ithamar was over the Gershonites and Merarites who transported the tabernacle curtains, boards, etc. (4:28, 33).

It is not clear how it happened, but for a time the descendants of Ithamar superseded those of Eleazar in the Tabernacle of Shiloh. Eli was of the house of Ithamar (see Eli), but because of the wickedness of his house, his line was rejected. In David’s day the chief men of Eleazar’s line were numbered sixteen to Ithamar’s eight (1 Chron 24:4).

2. The son of Abinadab who kept the Ark after it was brought back from Philistia (1 Sam 7:1).

3. One of David’s first three “mighty men,” son of Dodo the Ahohite (2 Sam 23:9; 1 Chron 11:12).

4. A descendant of Merari, the son of Levi (1 Chron 23:21, 22; 24:28). He had no sons.

5. A priest of the time of Ezra (Ezra 8:33) prob. identical with the Eleazar of Nehemiah 12:42.

6. One of the sons of Parosh who had married a foreigner (Ezra 10:25).

7. An ancestor in the third generation above Joseph the husband of Mary (Matt 1:15).

The name Eleazar is similar to Eliezer, which see.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

el-e-a’-zar, e-le-a’-zar (’el-`azar; Eleazar, "God is helper"):

(1) The 3rd son of Aaron by Elisheba (Ex 6:23; Nu 3:2).

(2) The son of Abinadab, sanctified to keep the ark of Yahweh, when it was brought from Beth-shemesh to Kiriath-jearim after being sent back by the Philistines (1Sa 7:1).

(3) The son of Dodai, one of David’s three mighty men. A famous feat of arms with David at Ephes-dammim is recorded (2Sa 23:9 f; 1Ch 11:12 f where he is named the son of Dodo).

(4) A Levite, a son of Mahli, a Merarite. It is recorded that he had no sons, but daughters only, who were married to their cousins (1Ch 23:21,22; 24:28).

(5) A priest who accompanied Ezra from Babylon (Ezr 8:33); the son of Phinehas. (5) and (6) may be identical.

(6) A priest who took part in the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem (Ne 12:42).

(7) A son of Mattathias and brother of Judas Maccabeus ( 1Macc 2:5; 6:43 f; 2Macc 8:23).

See Asmoneans; Maccabees.

(8, 9) Two others are mentioned in 1Macc 8:17; 2Macc 6:18 ff.

(10) An ancestor of Jesus, 3 generations before Joseph (Mt 1:15).