🔼The name Elizaphan in the Bible
There are two men named Elizaphan in the Bible, although one of them was also known as Elzaphan (אלצפן, which is similar but spelled without the central י, yod). The men named Elizaphan are:
- A son of Uzziel, who was a son of Kohath and brother of Amram, the father of Moses, Aaron and Miriam (Exodus 6:22, spelled אלצפן). When Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu offered "strange fire" to YHWH and were subsequently killed, Moses instructed Elzaphan and his brother Mishael to drag the bodies away (Leviticus 10:4). By the time the Lord ordered the census of the Levites in the wilderness, Elizaphan (henceforth spelled אליצפן) had become the family head of the Kohathites (Numbers 3:30). The family of Elizaphan had become an autonomous order by the time of king David (1 Chronicles 15:8) and remained as such until at least the time of king Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29:13).
- A son of Parnach and the leader of the tribe of Zebulun at the time the wandering years came to an end (Numbers 34:25).
🔼Etymology of the name Elizaphan
The name Elizaphan consists of two elements, the first one being אל (El), the prominent Canaanite deity whose name became applied to the God of Israel, or the common abbreviation of Elohim, the genus God:
The second part of our names comes from the verb צפן (sapan), meaning to hide or store up:
For a meaning of the name Elizaphan, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads God Has Concealed. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names has God Hides. And BDB Theological Dictionary suggests God Has Protected.