Eliezer

ELIEZER (ĕl'ĭ-ē'zêr, Heb. ’ĕlî‘ezer, God is help)



ELIEZER, ELIEZAR ĕl ĕ ē’ zər (אֱלִיעֶֽזֶר, God is help). The name of eleven different individuals in the OT. 1. The head servant of Abraham (Gen 15:2). According to the custom of that day, he was due to receive the inheritance of Abraham because Abraham then had no son as heir. He is designated as “from Damascus,” possibly to distinguish him from other servants of the same name. He was most likely the unnamed servant of Genesis 24 who was sent by Abraham to get a wife for Isaac from among Abraham’s people. If so, he was a devout man of faith.

2. The second son of Moses by Zipporah (Exod 18:4). The name was given to him by Moses because God delivered Moses from Pharaoh. He had one son, Rehabiah, who had many sons (1 Chron 23:15, 17). One of his descendants, Shelomoth, was in charge of all the treasuries of the gifts which David and the heads of the families of Israel had dedicated to God (26:25, 26).

3. One of the sons of Becher, a descendant of Benjamin (7:8).

4. A priest of Levi (15:24). He was appointed to blow the trumpet when David brought the Ark to Jerusalem from the house of Obed-edom.

5. A ruler over the Reubenites in David’s day (27:16). He was the son of Zichri and the chief officer of the tribe.

6. A prophet, the son of Dodavahu, in Jehoshaphat’s time (2 Chron 20:37). He was from Mareshah and prophesied against Jehoshaphat because he had made alliance with Ahaziah. God promised to destroy the king’s works and consequently Jehoshaphat’s ships were broken and destroyed.

7. One sent by Ezra to Iddo to get ministers for the house of God (Ezra 8:16). The name is spelled ̓Ελεαζαρ in 1 Esdras 8:43.

8. One of the priests who married foreign wives and who promised to put them away and to offer guilt offerings (Ezra 10:18). It is also spelled Eliezar in 1 Esdras 9:19.

9. Another Levite who had married a foreign wife (Ezra 10:23), possibly the same as the Jonah of 1 Esdras 9:23.

10. The son of Harim, one who had married a foreign wife (Ezra 10:31). Possibly he is the same as Elionas of 1 Esdras 9:32.

11. An ancestor of Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 3:29). He lived between the time of David and Zerubbabel.

Bibliography

A. Edersheim, Bible History, I (1890), 89, 107-109; A. Edersheim, Bible History II (1890), 43, 57, 58; J. Finegan, Light From the Ancient Past (1946), 54; Wright and Fuller, The Book of the Acts of God (1957), 62; Margolis and Marx, History of the Jewish People (1958), 370; E. Young, An Introduction to the Old Testament (1958), 139; J. Bright, A History of Israel (1960), 71; C. Pfeiffer, Patriarchal Age (1961), 77; C. Pfeiffer, Egypt and the Exodus (1964), 44; National Geographic Society, Everyday Life in Bible Times (1967), 82.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

el-i-e’-zer, e-li-e’-zer (’eli`ezer; Eliezer, "God is help"):

(1) The chief servant of Abram (Ge 15:2); the American Standard Revised Version "Eliezer of Damascus," the English Revised Version "Dammesek Eliezer." The Hebrew is peculiar: literally, "And the son of the possession (mesheq) of my house is Dammeseq (of) Eliezer." A possible but unlikely meaning is that his property would become the possession of Damascus, the city of Eliezer. Targum Syriac (Revised Version margin) read "Eliezer the Damascene": this supposes a reading, "Eliezer ha- dammasqi" or "mid-dammeseq." The text may be corrupt: the assonance between mesheq and Dammeseq is suspicious. Abram calls Eliezer "one born in my house" i.e. a dependant, a member of his household, and so regards him as his heir, Lot having gone from him (Ge 13). Eliezer is probably the servant, "the eider of his house, that ruled over all that he had," of Ge 24.

(2) The 2nd son of Moses and Zipporah, called thus for "the God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh" (Ex 18:4; 1Ch 23:15 ff).

(3) A son of Becher, one of the sons of Benjamin (1Ch 7:8).

(4) A priest who assisted in bringing up the ark from the house of Obed-edom to Jerusalem (1Ch 15:24).

(5) The son of Zichri, ruler over the Reubenites in the time of David (1Ch 27:16).

(6) The son of Dodavahu of Mareshah who prophesied the destruction of the ships which Jehochaphat, king of Judah, built, because he had done so in cooperation with Ahaziah, king of Israel (2Ch 20:35 ff).

(7) One of the messengers whom Ezra sent to Iddo, the chief at Casiphia, with the request for ministers for the Temple (Ezr 8:16 ff).

(8, 9, 10) A priest, a Levite, and one of the sons of Harim who had married non-Israelitish women (Ezr 10:18,23,11).

(11) An ancestor of Jesus in the genealogy given by Luke (Lu 3:29).