🔼The name Eliezer: Summary
- God Of Help, God Is Help
- From (1) the word אל ('el), God, and (2) the verb עזר (azar), to help.
🔼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, 10:23 and 10:31).
- An ancestor of Jesus (spelled Ελιεζερ; Luke 3:29).
🔼Etymology of the name Eliezer
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.
The second part comes from the verb עזר (azar) meaning to help or support:
The verb עזר ('azar), means to help or support, and is often used in military contexts, or to describe God's proverbial help. The nouns עזר ('azar) and עזרה ('ezra) both mean help. A much rarer but identically spelled noun עזרה ('azara) means enclosure and comes probably from an other root.
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.