Eliezer

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This article is about three biblical figures. For other uses, see Eliezer (disambiguation).

Eliezer (Hebrew: אֱלִיעֶזֶר, Modern Eli'ezer Tiberian ʼĔlîʻézer, "Help/Court of my God") was the name of at least three different individuals in the Bible.

Eliezer of Damascus[edit]

Eliezer of Damascus (Hebrew: דַּמֶּשֶׂק אֱלִיעֶזֶר, Modern Damméseq Eliʿézer Tiberian Damméśeq ʾĔlîʿézer) was, according to the Targums, the son of Nimrod.[1] Eliezer was head of the patriarch Abraham's household, as mentioned in the Book of Genesis (15:2).

Other translations of Genesis describe Eliezer as Abraham's heir.

There is an interpretation in Bereshit Rabbah (43:2), cited by Rashi, that Eliezer went alone with Abraham to rescue Lot, with the reference to "his initiates" stated to be 318 in number (Lech-Lecha 14:14) being the numerical value of Eliezer's name in Hebrew, interpreted in tractate Nedarim (32a) as Abraham not wishing to rely on a miracle by taking only one individual.[3] According to most interpretations, the unnamed "...slave, the elder of the household, who controlled all that was his" in Genesis (Chayei Sarah) 24:2 who acted as a marriage broker (shadchan; Hebrew: שַׁדְּכָןshadkhán) for Isaac was this Eliezer.

The son of Moses[edit]

Eliezer was Moses and Zipporah's second son. His name means "Help of my God" in Hebrew.

The verse in the Book of Exodus (18:4) states:

Both Gershom and Eliezer were born during the time Moses had taken refuge in Midian and had married Jethro's daughter Zipporah.

Isaac's servant trying the bracelet on Rebecca's arm by Benjamin West. The servant in question was possibly Eliezer of Damascus.

Eliezer the prophet[edit]

A prophet called Eliezer, son of Dodavah, rebuked King Jehosophat for aligning himself with Ahaziah, the King of Israel. He and Ahaziah built ships in Ezion Geber which were to sail to Tarshish for trade. According to 2 Chronicles (20:37), the ships sank due to his not relying on the Lord:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Targum Jonathan Bereishit, 14:14
  2. ^ Scherman, Nosson, TANACH, the Stone Edition, Mesorah Publications, New York, 1996, p.31
  3. ^ Herczeg, Y.I.Z, The Torah: with Rashi's commentary, Vol.1, Mesorah Publications, New York, 2000, p.138