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Byzantine silver plate depicting David's confrontation with his brother Eliab. One of the David Plates

For the Christian martyr, see Abda and Abdjesus

Eliab is the name of three individuals mentioned in the Hebrew Bible:

Eliab, son of Helon[edit]

Eliab, the son of Helon, was one of the leaders of the tribes of Israel and a prince of the house of Zebulun according to Numbers 1:9.

Eliab, son of Pallu[edit]

Eliab was the son of Pallu and the father of Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram, of the house of Reuben, according to Numbers 16:1 and Numbers 26:8-9.

Eliab, son of Jesse[edit]

Eliab was the eldest son of Jesse (1 Chronicles 2:13) and thus the eldest brother of King David. He was apparently tall and had fair features, and was the first potential king of Israel considered for anointing by the prophet Samuel.[1] However, God told Samuel that Eliab did not have the proper heart to be king of Israel:

Do not consider his appearance or his height ... the Lord looks at the heart.[2]

Samuel went on to consider each of Eliab's brothers in turn. Some commentators have suggested that Eliab was rejected because of his temper, as he argued with David before David went to fight Goliath, accusing David of pride and insolence.[3]


  1. ^ 1 Samuel 16:6
  2. ^ 1 Samuel 16:7
  3. ^ 1 Samuel 17:28