E'leph (Hebrews with the art. ha-Eleph, הָאֶלֶŠ, Vulg. Eleph), one of the second group of towns allotted to Benjamin, and named between Zelah and Jerusalem (Jos 18:28). It is possibly the ruined site marked as Katamon on Van de Velde's "Map of the environs of Jerusalem," about one mile S.W. of Jerusalem. The Sept. unites the preceding name with this, under the compound form Σηλαλέφ (Vat. MS. Σελεκάν), and accordingly assigns only thirteen (δεκατρεῖς) cities to this group. Eusebius and Jerome (in their Onomasticon, s.v.) mention Sela (Σελά, φυλῆς Βενιαμίν) as distinct from Eleph. The Peshito strangely renders the name as Gebira. From the occasional use of אלŠ in the bucolic sense of "ox," it has been conjectured that "Eleph and its villages" was a pastoral district. The extremely frequent numerical sense, however, of אלŠ, a thousand, points rather to the populousness of these towns, which lay in the neighborhood of Jebus or Jerusalem. Schultens (Proverbs Solom. 2:17) refers to the Arabic alaph, "union," in illustration of both the numerical and the domestic sense of the Hebrews root. (See further Meier, Hebrews W. w. b. page 379.) Simonis (in his Oonomasticon, page 141) refers to the name of the Cilician town Μυρίανδρος in illustration, and to De 1:11; Ps 91:7, etc., for an indefinite use of אלŠ, to designate a great multitude. Furst, in his Hebraisches Worterb. (1:91, 98), finds in Zec 9:7 another mention of our town Eleph, under the form אִלּוּŠ or אִלֻּŠ, Alluph; which, like Jebusi, he makes a frontier city belonging to Benjamin and Judah. He quotes from Jephet (or Jefet ben-Ali), a Jewish commentator who lived at Jerusalem in the 10th century, a statement that the words of Jos 18:28, הָא6לֶŠ הִיבוּסַי צֵלִע, are, in fact, the designation of but a single city — or still less, apparently, than even that, for he further quotes Jefet as saying that in his time a ward of Jerusalem bore that aggregate name, in which was the sepulcher of Zechariah. We reject this view as not only doing violence to the distinct enumeration of the group of cities given in Jos 18:28, but as disturbing the sense of the passage in Zec 9:7 (see Hengstenberg, Christology, 3:392-394). The phrase אִלֻּŠ בַּיהוּדָה (tribe-prince in Judah), used by the prophet in this passage, is by him repeated twice (see Zec 12:5-6). In the Pentateuch and 1 Chronicles the same noun, אִלֻּŠ, in the plural, designates the chieftains or "dukes" of Edom. For some valuable remarks on the phrase, as indicating the genuineness of the passages in Zechariah, see also Hengstenberg, 4:67, note.

Bible concordance for ELEPH.

Definition of elephant

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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