Eleazar was a priest
A Kohen is the Hebrew word for priest. Jewish Kohens are traditionally believed and halachically required to be of direct patrilineal descent from the Biblical Aaron....

 in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

, the second Kohen Gadol
Kohen Gadol
The High Priest was the chief religious official of Israelite religion and of classical Judaism from the rise of the Israelite nation until the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem...

(High Priest) - succeeding his father Aaron
In the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, Aaron : Ααρών ), who is often called "'Aaron the Priest"' and once Aaron the Levite , was the older brother of Moses, and a prophet of God. He represented the priestly functions of his tribe, becoming the first High Priest of the Israelites...

. He was a nephew of Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...



Eleazar fulfilled a number of functions over the course of the Wilderness wanderings, from creating the plating to the altar out of the firepans of Korah
Korah or Kórach Some older English translations, as well as the Douay Bible), spell the name Core, and many Eastern European translations have Korak...

's assembly to performing the ritual of the Red Heifer
Red heifer
The red heifer or red cow was a sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible the ashes of which are used for the ritual purification of an ancient Israelite who had come into contact with a corpse.- Hebrew Bible :...

. After the death of his older brothers Nadab and Abihu, he was appointed to the charge of the sanctuary. His wife, a daughter of Putiel, bore him Phinehas
-Biblical figures:*Phinehas, son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the High Priest*Phinehas, son of the High Priest Eli. He was a priest at Shiloh, and died when the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant-Other :*Pinchas, the 41st weekly Torah portion....

, who would eventually succeed him as Kohen Gadol.

On Mount Hor
Mount Hor
Mount Hor is the name given in the Old Testament to two distinct mountains. One is in the Land of Edom on the East shore of the Dead Sea , the other by the Mediterranean Sea at the Northern border of the Land of Israel.-Mount Hor in Edom:This Mount Hor is situated "in the edge of the land of Edom"...

 he was clothed with the sacred vestments, which Moses took from off his father Aaron and put upon him as successor to his father in the high priest's office, which he held for more than twenty years. He took part with Moses in numbering the people, and assisted at the inauguration of Joshua
Joshua , is a minor figure in the Torah, being one of the spies for Israel and in few passages as Moses's assistant. He turns to be the central character in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Joshua...


He assisted in the distribution of the land after the conquest. When he died, he "was buried at Gibeah
Gibeah is a biblical site identified by archaeologists as a hill in Jerusalem, on the outskirts of the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood, known as Tell el-Ful.-Etymology:...

, which had been allotted to his son Phinehas in the hill country of Ephraim
Ephraim ; was, according to the Book of Genesis, the second son of Joseph and Asenath. Asenath was an Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph as wife, and the daughter of Potipherah, a priest of On. Ephraim was born in Egypt before the arrival of the children of Israel from Canaan...

" . The Hill of Phinehas related in the Bible is associated with the location of the village of Awarta
Awarta is a Palestinian town located southeast of Nablus, in the northern West Bank. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of 5,623 inhabitants in 2007...

 in the Samaria
Samaria, or the Shomron is a term used for a mountainous region roughly corresponding to the northern part of the West Bank.- Etymology :...

n section of the current day West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

. Due to the uncertain security situation, the Israel Defence Forces limit visits to the site by Jews to one annual night close to the 5th of Shevat
Shevat is the fifth month of the civil year and the eleventh month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a winter month of 30 days...

 (around January-February) on the Hebrew calendar
Hebrew calendar
The Hebrew calendar , or Jewish calendar, is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions, yahrzeits , and daily Psalm reading, among many ceremonial uses...


The high-priesthood remained in the family of Eleazar until the time of Eli
Eli (Biblical Priest)
Eli was, according to the Books of Samuel, a Jewish High Priest of Shiloh, and one of the last Israelite Judges before the rule of kings in ancient Israel.-Biblical narrative:...

, into whose family it passed (Eli was a descendant of Ithamar
In the Torah, Ithamar is mentioned as the youngest son of Aaron the High Priest. After the death of his two eldest brothers Nadab and Abihu when they had been punished by the Lord for performing an unauthorized sacrificial offering, Ithamar served as a priest along with his elder brother, Eleazar...

, Eleazar's brother). The high priesthood was restored to the family of Eleazar in the person of Zadok
Zadok (High Priest)
Zadok , was a priest descended from Eleazar the son of Aaron, who aided King David during the revolt of his son Absalom, and was consequently instrumental in bringing King Solomon to throne...

 after Abiathar
Abiathar , in the Hebrew Bible, son of Achimelech or Ahijah, High Priest at Nob, the fourth in descent from Eli and the last of Eli's House...

 was cast out by Solomon
Solomon , according to the Book of Kings and the Book of Chronicles, a King of Israel and according to the Talmud one of the 48 prophets, is identified as the son of David, also called Jedidiah in 2 Samuel 12:25, and is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, and the final king before...


According to Samaritan
The Samaritans are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant. Religiously, they are the adherents to Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism...

 sources, a civil war broke out between the Sons of Ithamar and the Sons of Phinehas - which resulted in the division of those who followed Eli and those who followed High Priest Uzzi ben Bukki at Mount Gerizim Bethel (a third group followed neither). Likewise according to Samaritan sources, the high-priestly line of the sons of Phinehas died out in 1624 C.E. with the death of the 112th High Priest Shlomyah ben Pinhas, when the priesthood was transferred to the sons of Itamar; see article Samaritan
The Samaritans are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant. Religiously, they are the adherents to Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism...

 for list of High Priests from 1613 to 2004-the 131st High priest of the Samaritans is Elazar ben Tsedaka ben Yitzhaq
Elazar ben Tsedaka ben Yitzhaq
Elazar ben Tsedaka ben Yitzhaq was the Samaritan High Priest from 2004 until his death. He was born in Nablus....



Eleazar is commemorated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 on September 2
September 2 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
Sep. 1 - Eastern Orthodox Church calendar - Sep. 3All fixed commemorations below celebrated on Sep. 15 by Old Calendarists-Saints:*Martyr Mamas of Caesarea in Cappadocia with his parents, martyrs Theodotus and Rufina...

, and as one of the Holy Forefathers in the Calendar of Saints
Calendar of Saints (Armenian Apostolic Church)
-January:* 1 Third Day of the Fast of the Nativity* 2 Fourth Day of the Fast of the Nativity* 3 Fifth Day of the Fast of the Nativity* 4 Sixth Day of the Fast of the Nativity* 5 Eve of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ...

 of the Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

 on July 30.

Other biblical figures named Eleazar

Three other men named Eleazar are briefly mentioned in the Hebrew Bible:
  • Eleazar (son of Aminadab)
    Eleazar (son of Aminadab)
    Eleazar, son of Aminadab, was an inhabitant of Kirjath-jearim who was "sanctified" to take charge of the ark, while it remained in the house of his father Abinadab....

    , who was entrusted as a keeper of the Ark of the Covenant
    Ark of the Covenant
    The Ark of the Covenant , also known as the Ark of the Testimony, is a chest described in Book of Exodus as solely containing the Tablets of Stone on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed...

  • Eleazar (son of Dodo)
    Eleazar (son of Dodo)
    Eleazar was one of the Three Mighty Warriors and an officer under David, according to 2 Samuel and 2 Chronicles. His father was Dodai or Dodo, and he was a Benjamite through his ancestor Ahoah....

    , one of King David's warriors
  • Eleazar (son of Pinhas)
    Eleazar (son of Pinhas)
    Eleazar was son of Pinhas associated with the priests in taking charge of the sacred vessels brought back to Jerusalem after the Babylonian Exile....

    , one of those in charge of the sacred vessels brought back to Jerusalem after the Babylonian Exile.
  • Eleazar, called Avaran who slays a battle elephant in I Maccabees.

In the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, another Eleazar, the son of Eliud, is listed in the genealogy
Genealogy of Jesus
The genealogy of Jesus is described in two passages of the Gospels: Luke 3:23–38 and Matthew 1:1–17.* Matthew's genealogy commences with Abraham and then from King David's son Solomon follows the legal line of the kings through Jeconiah, the king whose descendants were cursed, to Joseph, legal...

 of Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 as the great-grandfather of Joseph
Saint Joseph
Saint Joseph is a figure in the Gospels, the husband of the Virgin Mary and the earthly father of Jesus Christ ....

, husband of Mary
Mary (mother of Jesus)
Mary , commonly referred to as "Saint Mary", "Mother Mary", the "Virgin Mary", the "Blessed Virgin Mary", or "Mary, Mother of God", was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee...


Simon Perry has argued that the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) refers to Eleazar of Damascus. In Gen 15:4, God says to Abraham, "this man will not be your heir." By locating Lazarus (an abbreviated transcript of Eleazar) outside the gates of Abraham's perceived descendent, but then having him in Abraham's bosom, Jesus is portrayed as radically redefining the covenant.

According to proponents of the Documentary Hypothesis
Documentary hypothesis
The documentary hypothesis , holds that the Pentateuch was derived from originally independent, parallel and complete narratives, which were subsequently combined into the current form by a series of redactors...

, the Elohist
The Elohist is one of four sources of the Torah described by the Documentary Hypothesis. Its name comes from the term it uses for God: Elohim; it is characterised by, among other things, an abstract view of God, using "Horeb" instead of "Sinai" for the mountain where Moses received the laws of...

 (E) document uses "Eleazar" as the name of the son of Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

 (ref. ). This figure is more commonly referred to with the name Eliezer
For the mathematician and Tamil activist see C.J. Eliezer; for the AI researcher and writer on rationality see Eliezer Yudkowsky; for the Levite priest of the Hebrew Bible, see Eleazar...

. Eliezer is also the name of two other minor biblical figures.

External links

  • Lives of the saints - Righteous Eleazar, Macedonian Orthodox Church
    Macedonian Orthodox Church
    The Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric or just Macedonian Orthodox Church is the body of Christians who are united under the Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia, exercising jurisdiction over Macedonian Orthodox Christians in the Republic of Macedonia and in exarchates in the Macedonian...

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