Definitions

Eliezer

Eliezer

[wi-zel]
Eliezer, in the Bible. 1 Servant of Abraham. 2 Son of Moses. 3 Prophet who rebuked King Jehoshaphat. 4 Priest under David. 5 Chief Reubenite. 6 Messenger of Ezra. 7 Man in the genealogy in the third chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke.
Berkovits, Eliezer, 1908-92, rabbi, theologian, and educator, b. Romania. He served in the rabbinate in Berlin (1934-39), in Leeds, England (1940-46), in Sydney, Australia (1946-50), and in Boston (1950-58). In 1958 he became chairman of the department of Jewish philosophy of the Hebrew Theological College in Chicago. His writings deal with the contrasting claims of religious tradition and secular nationalism.

See his God, Man, and History (1959); A Jewish Critique of the Philosophy of Martin Buber (1962); Faith After the Holocaust (1973).

Ben Yehudah, Eliezer, 1858-1922, Jewish scholar and leader, b. Lithuania. He settled in Palestine as early as 1881, where he dedicated himself to the revival of Hebrew as the national language. His outstanding scholarly achievement is the Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Hebrew (16 vol.), which includes all the Hebrew words used throughout the various periods of Hebrew literature, omitting the words of Aramaic and foreign origin and adding new words that he coined to meet modern needs. He also founded the Hebrew Language Council, an institution devoted to promoting and regulating the development of the Hebrew language. In 1953 it was transformed into the Academy of Hebrew Language.

See R. St. John, Tongue of the Prophets: the Life Story of Eliezer Ben Yehuda (1952).

For the mathematician and Tamil activist see C.J. Eliezer; also look at Eleazar

Eliezer (Hebrew: אֱלִיעֶזֶר, Standard Eliʿézer, Tiberian ʾĔlîʿézer; "Help/Court of my God") was the name of at least three different characters in the Bible.

The son of Moses

Eliezer was Moses and Zipporah's second son. His name means "God is help" in Hebrew.

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

"The name of the (other son) son was Eliezer, because 'My father's God (Eli) was my helper (ezer), rescuing me from Pharaoh's sword."

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

Eliezer of Damascus

There is also an Eliezer known as Eliezer of Damascus (Hebrew: דַּמֶּשֶׂק אֱלִיעֶזֶר, Standard Damméseq Eliʿézer, Tiberian Damméśeq ʾĔlîʿézer), head of the patriarch Abraham's household mentioned in the book of Genesis (15:2):

"Abram said, 'O Lord, God, what will you give me if I remain childless? The heir to my household will be Eliezer (of) Damascus."

According to most opinions the nameless servant in Genesis 24, who searched for a bride for Isaac, was this Eliezer. There is also an interpretation, cited for example by Rashi, that Eliezer went alone with Abraham to rescue Lot, with the reference to 318 men (Genesis 14:14) being the numerical value of Eliezer's name in Hebrew.

Eliezer, prophet

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:

"Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, "Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the LORD will destroy what you have made." The ships were wrecked and were not able to set sail to trade.

Trivia

Eliezer is the name of the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which supports the activities of The Chai Society at Yale University.

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