Elie'zer (Hebrew id. אֵַליעֶזֶר, God is his help, a modification of the name Eleazar [see LAZARUS]; Sept, Ε᾿λιέζερ and Ε᾿λιέζερ, N.T. Ε᾿λιέζερ), the name of eleven men.
1. "ELIEZER OF DAMASCUS," mentioned in Ge 15:2-3, apparently as a house-born domestic, SEE SLAVE and steward of Abraham, and hence likely, in the absence of direct issue, to become the patriarch's heir. B.C. 2088. The Sept. interprets the terms thus: "But the son of Masek, my house-born maid, is this Heliezer of Damascus." It appeared even thus early that the passage of Scripture in which the name of Eliezer occurs is one of some difficulty. Abraham, being promised a son, says, "I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus (דִּמֶּשֶׂק אֵַליעֶזֶר הוּא, he of Damascus, Eliezer) ... Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in mine house is mine heir" (Ge 15:2-3). The common notion is that Eliezer was Abraham's house-born slave, adopted as his heir, and meanwhile his chief and confidential servant, and the same who was afterwards sent into Mesopotamia to seek a wife for Isaac (q.v.). This last point we may dismiss with the remark that there is not the least evidence that 'the elder servant of his house" (Ge 24:2), whom Abraham charged with this mission, was the same as Eliezer. The obvious meaning is that Eliezer was born in Damascus, and how is this compatible with the notion of his being Abraham's house-born slave, seeing that Abraham's household never was at Damascus? It is true that there is a tradition, quoted by Josephus from Nicolaus of Damascus (Ant. 1:7, 4), that Abraham "reigned in Damascus;" but the tradition was probably founded on this very passage, and has no claim on our belief. The Mohammedans call him Dameshak, or Damascennis, and believe him to have been a black slave given to Abraham by Nimrod, at the time when he saw him, by virtue of the name of God, walking out of the midst of the flames (Ur), into which he had been cast by his orders. SEE ABRAHAM. The expression, "the steward of mine house," in verse 2, בֶּן מֶשֶׁק בֵּיתַּי (note the alliteration between the obscure term meshek and Dammesek), literally translated, is "the son of possession of my house," i.e., one who shall possess my house, my property, after my death, and is therefore exactly the same as the phrase in the next verse, "the son of my house (בֶּן9בֵּיתַי, paraphrased by "one born in mine house") is mine heir." This removes every objection to Eliezer's being of Damascus, and enables us to dispense with the tradition; for it is no longer necessary to suppose that Eliezer was a house-born slave, or a servant at all, and leaves it more probable that he was some near relative whom Abraham regarded as his heir-at-law. It is by no means certain that "this Eliezer" was present in Abraham's camp at all; and we, of course, cannot know in what degree he stood related to Abraham, or under what circumstances he was born at, or belonged to Damascus. It is possible that he lived there at the very time when Abraham thus spoke of him, and that he is hence called "Eliezer of Damascus." This view removes another difficulty, which arises from the fact that, while Abraham speaks of Eliezer as his heir, his nephew Lot was in his neighborhood, and had until lately been the companion of his wanderings. If Eliezer was Abraham's servant, it might well occasion surprise that he should speak of him and not of Lot as his heir; but this surprise ceases when we regard Eliezer as also a relative, and if so, a nearer relative than Lot, although not, like Lot, the companion of his journeys. Some have supposed that Lot and Eliezer were, in fact, the same person; and this would be an excellent explanation if the Scriptures afforded sufficient grounds for it. (See Gesenius, Thes. Hebrew s.v. מֶשֶׁק; Rosenmuller, on Genesis 15; Knobel, Comment. in loc.)
2. A son of Becher, and grandson of Benjamin (1Ch 7:8). B.C. post 1856.
3. (Josephus Ε᾿λεάζαρος, Ant. 2:13, 1.) The second of the two sons of Moses and Zipporah, born during the exile in Midian, to whom his father gave this name, "because, said he, the God of my fathers was my help, that delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh" (Ex 18:4; 1Ch 23:15,17). B.C. cir. 1690. He remained with his mother and brother Gershom, in the care of Jethro his grandfather, when Moses returned to Egypt (Ex 4:18), she having been sent back to her father by Moses (Ex 18:2), though she set off to accompany him, and went part of the way with him. Jethro brought back Zipporah and her two sons to Moses in the wilderness, after he heard of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt (18). Eliezer had one son, Rehabiah, from whom sprang a numerous posterity (1Ch 23:17; 1Ch 26:25-26). Shelomith, in the reigns of Saul and David (verse 28), who had the care of all the treasures of things dedicated to God, was descended from Eliezer in the 6th generation, if the genealogy in 1Ch 26:25, is complete.
4. One of the priests who blew with trumpets before the ark when it was brought to Jerusalem (1Ch 15:24). B.C. 1043.
5. Son of Zichri, and chief of the Reubenites under David (1Ch 27:16). B.C. ante 1013.
6. A prophet (son of Dodavah of Mareshah), who foretold to Jehoshaphat (q.v.) that the merchant fleet which he fitted out in partnership with Ahaziah should be wrecked, and thus prevented from sailing to Tarshish (2Ch 20:37). B.C. 895.
7. Son of Jorim, and father of Joseh, of the private lineage of David prior to Salathiel (Lu 3:29). B.C. ante 588.
8. One of the chiefs of the Jews during the exile, sent by Ezra, with others from Ahava, to Casiphia, to induce some Levites and Nethinim to join the party returning to Jerusalem (Ezr 8:16). B.C. 459.
9. One of the priests (of the kindred of Jeshua) who divorced his Gentile wife after the exile (Ezr 10:18). B.C. 458.
10. A Levite who did the same (Ezr 10:23). B.C. 458.
11. An Israelite of the lineage of Harim, who did the same (Ezr 10:31). B.C. 458.