The name Eliezer in the Bible
The name Eliezer is one of the most popular names in the Bible, especially when we also count all the instances of the almost identical name אלעזר (Eleazar).
In the Bible feature no fewer than eleven Eliezers; two of which are quite famous:
- First there is Abraham's trusted, foreign born servant (Genesis 15:2). He was of Damascus and prior to the birth of Ishmael and Isaac, Abraham's heir, which probably means that he was younger than Abraham and was presumed to outlive him. That makes it likely that Eliezer was the unnamed servant who eventually retrieved Rebekah as a wife for Isaac from Aram-naharaim.
- The other better-known Eliezer is one of two sons of Moses with Zipporah (his brother is named Gershom — Exodus 18:4).
Other Eliezers are:
- A chief Reubenite (1 Chronicles 27:16).
- A grandson of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 7:8).
- A trumpet player in the time of David, associated with the service of the Ark of the Covenant (1 Chronicles 15:24).
- A prophet who prophesied against king Jehoshaphat's merchant fleet (2 Chronicles 20:37).
- A member of a delegation that Ezra sent out to acquire a temple directorate (Ezra 8:16).
- Three Eliezers who divorced their foreign wives (Ezra 10:18, 23 & 31).
- An ancestor of Jesus (spelled Ελιεζερ; Luke 3:29).
Etymology of the name Eliezer
The second part comes from the verb עזר (azar) meaning to help or support:
The meaning of the name Eliezer is God Of Help (Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names and NOBSE Study Bible Name List) or God Is Help (BDB Theological Dictionary).
Note the (assumed) phonetic similarity between the word עזר (azar) meaning help, support, and עשר ('eser), meaning ten; to a Hebrew audience, the name Eliezer may have sounded like God's Ten.