Eleazar

Eleazar

[el-ee-ey-zer]
Eleazar, in the Bible. 1 Son of Aaron. 2 Keeper of the Ark of the Covenant. 3 Mighty man of David. 4 Man in the genealogy in the first chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew. 5 One of the chief martyrs in the Maccabean period. An old man, he refused to eat swine's flesh.
Wheelock, Eleazar, 1711-79, American clergyman, founder of Dartmouth College, b. Windham, Conn., grad. Yale, 1733. He became (1735) the pastor of a Congregational church in the part of Lebanon, Conn., that is now Columbia. Here he became interested in Native American education, and he founded and conducted (1754-67) a school for Algonquin and Iroquois youth. One of his first students, Samson Occom, went to England and helped to raise funds for the project, and when an endowment of some $50,000 had been collected, Wheelock moved to what is now Hanover, N.H., and established (1770) Dartmouth. He became its first president and guided the college through the early days of the American Revolution.

See biography by J. D. McCallum (1939, repr. 1969).

Eleazar (or Elazar), was a son of Aaron, a Levite priest and High Priest. His wife, a daughter of Putiel, bore him Phinehas. After the death of Nadab and Abihu, he was appointed to the charge of the sanctuary.

He fulfilled a number of functions over the course of the Wilderness wanderings, from creating the plating to the altar out of the firepans of Korah's assembly to performing the ritual of the red heifer.

On Mount Hor he was clothed with the sacred vestments, which Moses took from off his father Aaron and put upon him as successor to his father in the high priest's office, which he held for more than twenty years. He took part with Moses in numbering the people, and assisted at the inauguration of Joshua.

He assisted in the distribution of the land after the conquest. When he died, he "was buried at Gibeah, which had been allotted to his son Phinehas in the hill country of Ephraim" (Joshua 24:33). The Hill of Phinehas related in the bible is associated with the location of the village of Awarta in the Samarian section of the current day West Bank. Due to the uncertain security situation, the Israel Defence Forces limits visits by Jews to one annual night close to the 5th of Shevat (around January-February) on the Hebrew calendar.

The high-priesthood remained in the family of Eleazar until the time of Eli, into whose family it passed (Eli was a descendant of Ithamar, Eleazar's brother).

The high priesthood was restored to the family of Eleazar in the person of Zadok after Abiathar was cast out by Solomon (prophesied in I Sm 2:30–6; fulfilled in I Kg 2:26–7).

He is commemorated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church on September 2, and as one of the Holy Forefathers in the Calendar of Saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 30.

(Note: according to the Documentary Hypothesis, in the Elohist (E) document, "Eleazar" is the name of the son of Moses (see Exodus 18:4), who is however more commonly referred to with the name "Eliezer").

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