🔼The name Eliel: Summary
- (My) God Is God
- From twice the word אל ('el), God.
🔼The name Eliel in the Bible
There are quite a few men named Eliel in the Bible, but they are only mentioned by the Chronicler. The men named Eliel are:
- One of the family heads of Manasseh, who collectively served other gods and were subsequently deported by king Pul of Assyria (1 Chronicles 5:24).
- A son of Toah and father of Jeroham, who were ancestors of Heman the singer during the reign of David, and who descended from Kohath the son of Levi (1 Chronicles 6:34). This Eliel (= El is El) may be the same as the Elihu (= El Is Yahu) mentioned in 1 Samuel 1:1, who was the great-grandfather of Samuel, who in turn might be the same as the Eliab (= El Is Father) mentioned in 1 Chronicles 6:27.
- One of the many sons of Shimei of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 8:20).
- One of the many sons of Shashak of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 8:22).
- A Mahavite and mighty-man in service of David (1 Chronicles 11:46).
- Another mighty-man (1 Chronicles 11:47).
- A Gadite and also a mighty-man, who may obviously also be either of the previous two (1 Chronicles 12:11).
- A Levite family head who was among the Levites who were assigned special functions during the transport of the Ark of the Covenant from the house of Obed-edom to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15:9 and 15:11).
- One of the men who oversaw the collection and storage of contributions towards the restoration of the temple service during the reforms of king Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 31:13).
🔼Etymology of the name Eliel
In names אל ('el) usually refers to אלהים ('elohim), that is Elohim, or God, also known as אלה ('eloah). In English, the words 'God' and 'god' exclusively refer to the deity but in Hebrew the words אל ('l) and אלה ('lh) are far more common and may express approach and negation, acts of wailing and pointing, and may even mean oak or terebinth.
In between these two instances of אל ('el) sits the letter י (yod), which in this case probably turns the first El into a possessive form: my El, or El of. It may also serve as a conjunction between the two, which in effect would function as equalizer and may be translated with "is".
The name Eliel obviously makes playful use of the double function of the name or word אל, which serves both as the proper name El, and as general indicator of divinity or even strength, comparable to our words god or mighty-one.
For a meaning of the name Eliel, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads God Is God. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes To Whom God Is God or, alternatively Strength Of Strength. BDB Theological Dictionary suggests El Is God or alternatively My God Is God.