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). He married one of the daughters of Putiel, who bore him Phinehas (Ex 6:25). With his father and 3 brothers he was consecrated to the priest's office (Ex 28:1). After the destruction of Nadab and Abihu, he occupied a more important position, and he and Ithamar "ministered in the priest's office in the presence of Aaron their father" (Lev 10:6 f; Nu 3:4; 1 Ch 24:2 ff). He was given the oversight of the Levites and had charge of the tabernacle and all within it (Nu 3:32; 4:16). To Eleazar fell the duty of beating out for an altar covering the censers of Korah and his fellow-conspirators who had attempted to seize the priesthood (Nu 16:37,39). On the death of Aaron, Eleazar succeeded him (Nu 20:25 ff). He assisted Moses with the census after the plague in the plains of Moab (Nu 26:1 ff), and with Moses and the elders heard the petition of the daughters of Zelophehad who wished to be served as heirs to their father (Nu 27:1 ff). After the entrance into Canaan, Eleazar and Joshua gave effect to the decision arrived at by giving the daughters of Zelophehad a share in the land of Manasseh (Josh 17:4). He was priest and adviser to Joshua, the successor of Moses (Nu 27:19; 31:12 ff), whom he also assisted in partitioning Canaan among the tribes (Nu 34:17; Josh 14:1; 19:51; 21:1). He was buried in the hill (the Revised Version, margin "Gibeah") of Phinehas his son in the hill country of Ephraim (Josh 24:33). For some reason unknown the descendants of Ithamar seem to have held the chief position among the priests from Eli till the accession of Solomon, when Abiathar was sent into retirement, and Zadok, the descendant of Eleazar, was appointed in his place (1 Ki 2:26 ff). Ezra was a descendant of Zadok (Ezr 7:1 ff); and the high priest's office was in the family of Zadok till the time of the Maccabees.
(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 (1 Sam 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 (2 Sam 23:9 f; 1 Ch 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 (1 Ch 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 (Neh 12:42).
(7) A son of Mattathias and brother of Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 2:5; 6:43 f; 2 Macc 8:23).
See ASMONEANS; MACCABEES.
(8, 9) Two others are mentioned in 1 Macc 8:17; 2 Macc 6:18 ff.
(10) An ancestor of Jesus, 3 generations before Joseph (Mt 1:15).
S. F. Hunter
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