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ETHAN (ē'thăn, Heb. ’êthan)

An Ezrahite of Solomon’s time, renowned for his wisdom (1Kgs.4.31; Ps.89.1-Ps.89.52 title).A son of Zerah, son of Judah (1Chr.2.6, 1Chr.2.8).A descendant of Gershon, son of Levi (1Chr.6.39-1Chr.6.43).A singer, descendant of Merari, son of Levi (1Chr.6.44; 1Chr.15.17, 1Chr.15.19).

ETHAN ē’ thən (אֵיתָ֣ן, LXX Γαιθάν, enduring, long-lived). 1. A wise man to whom Solomon was compared in 1 Kings 4:31, “For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite and Heman, Calcol, and Darde....” The title of Psalm 89 is “A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite,” which prob. indicates that he wrote it.

2. A son of Zerah, a descendant of Judah (1 Chron 2:6). He was the father of Azariah (2:8). Because Ethan is mentioned in connection with Heman and Calcol, both here and in 1 Kings 4:31, some understand it to be the same Ethan. They do not have the same father, however, and unless these were understood to be ancestors they must be different men.

3. A son of Zimmah, a descendant of Levi (1 Chron 6:42; cf. Joah of 6:20f.). He is a forebear of Asaph (6:39ff.).

4. A son of Kishi (or Kushaiah in 1 Chron 15:17) who was also of the tribe of Levi (6:44). This or yet another Ethan was to sound the bronze cymbals with Heman and Asaph (15:19). Notice once again a Heman connected with an Ethan as in the first two paragraphs above. Jeduthun usually appears with the names Heman and Asaph (cf. 16:41; 25:1f.; 2 Chron 5:12; 35:15).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(’ethan, "firm," "enduring"; Gaithan):

(1) A wise man with whom Solomon is compared (1Ki 4:31). Called there "Ethan the Ezrahite," to whom the title of Ps 89 ascribes the authorship of that poem.

(2) A "son of Kishi," or "Kishaiah," of the Merari branch of the Levites, and, along with Heman and Asaph, placed by David over the service of song (1Ch 6:44; 15:17,19).

See Jeduthun.

(3) An ancestor of Asaph of the Gershomite branch of the Levites (1Ch 6:42).