The name Eleazar in the Bible
The name Eleazar is highly similar to the name Eliezer ( אליעזר) and is assigned to eight different men in the Bible. The two best known Eleazars are:
- The son of Aaron, the father of Phinehas (Exodus 6:23).
- The son of Abinadab, in whose care the men of Kiriath-jearim placed the ark (1 Samuel 7:1).
Note the striking symmetry between these two Eleazars. The first is a son of the arch-father of all priests, and he and his brother Ithamar form the two main sub-castes of priests in Israel (1 Chronicles 24:4). Their two brothers Nadab and Abihu are executed by the Lord for offering strange fire in front of the tabernacle, which held the Ark of the covenant (Leviticus 10:1-4). The other Eleazar is a son of the man in whose house the Ark resided after its stay with the Philistines, and his brother Uzzah famously died when he touched the Ark as it threatened to slip off the cart (2 Samuel 6:7).
The lesser known Eleazars are:
- A grandson of Merari (1 Chronicles 23:22).
- One of the most prominent of David's mighty-men (2 Samuel 23:9).
- A priest (Ezra 8:33).
- One among those who divorced their foreign wives during the purge of Ezra (Ezra 10:25).
- A priest present at the dedication of the Jerusalem wall (Nehemiah 12:42).
- The Matthean great-grandfather of Joseph, the husband of Mary the mother of Jesus (spelled Ελεαζαρ; Matthew 1:15).
Also note that the Greek name Lazarus is a Hellenized version of the name Eleazar.
Etymology of the name Eleazar
The second part of the name Eleazar comes from the verb עזר (azar) meaning help, support:
The meaning of the name Eleazar is God Has Helped (NOBSE Study Bible Name List) or Whom God Helps (Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names).