Ehud Union. (1.) A descendant of Benjamin (Ch1 7:10), his great-grandson. (2.) The son of Gera, of the tribe of Benjamin (Jdg 3:15). After the death of Othniel the people again fell into idolatry, and Eglon, the king of Moab, uniting his bands with those of the Ammonites and the Amalekites, crossed the Jordan and took the city of Jericho, and for eighteen years held that whole district in subjection, exacting from it an annual tribute. At length Ehud, by a stratagem, put Eglon to death with a two-edged dagger a cubit long, and routed the Moabites at the fords of the Jordan, putting 10,000 of them to death. Thenceforward the land, at least Benjamin, enjoyed rest "for fourscore years" (Judg. 3:12-30). (See QUARRIES .) But in the south-west the Philistines reduced the Israelites to great straits (Jdg 5:6). From this oppression Shamgar was raised up to be their deliverer.
Ekron Firm-rooted, the most northerly of the five towns belonging to the lords of the Philistines, about 11 miles north of Gath. It was assigned to Judah (Jos 13:3), and afterwards to Dan (Jos 19:43), but came again into the full possession of the Philistines (Sa1 5:10). It was the last place to which the Philistines carried the ark before they sent it back to Israel (Sa1 5:10; Sa1 6:1). There was here a noted sanctuary of Baal-zebub (Kg2 1:2, Kg2 1:3, Kg2 1:6, Kg2 1:16). Now the small village Akir. It is mentioned on monuments in 702 B.C., when Sennacherib set free its king, imprisoned by Hezekiah in Jerusalem, according to the Assyrian record.
Elah Terebinth or oak. (1.) Valley of, where the Israelites were encamped when David killed Goliath (Sa1 17:2, Sa1 17:19). It was near Shochoh of Judah and Azekah (Sa1 17:1). It is the modern Wady es-Sunt, i.e., "valley of the acacia." "The terebinths from which the valley of Elah takes its name still cling to their ancient soil. On the west side of the valley, near Shochoh, there is a very large and ancient tree of this kind known as the 'terebinth of Wady Sur,' 55 feet in height, its trunk 17 feet in circumference, and the breadth of its shade no less than 75 feet. It marks the upper end of the Elah valley, and forms a noted object, being one of the largest terebinths in Palestine." Geikie's The Holy Land, etc. (2.) One of the Edomite chiefs or "dukes" of Mount Seir (Gen 36:41). (3.) The second of the three sons of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh (Ch1 4:15). (4.) The son and successor of Baasha, king of Israel (Kg1 16:8). He was killed while drunk by Zimri, one of the captains of his chariots, and was the last king of the line of Baasha. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy of Jehu (Kg1 16:6, Kg1 16:7, Kg1 16:11). (5.) The father of Hoshea, the last king of Israel (Kg2 15:30; Kg2 17:1).
Elam Highland, the son of Shem (Gen 10:22), and the name of the country inhabited by his descendants (Gen 14:1, Gen 14:9; Isa 11:11; Isa 21:2, etc.) lying to the east of Babylonia, and extending to the shore of the Mediterranean, a distance in a direct line of about 1,000 miles. The name Elam is an Assyrian word meaning "high." "The inhabitants of Elam, or 'the Highlands,' to the east of Babylon, were called Elamites. They were divided into several branches, speaking different dialects of the same agglutinative language. The race to which they belonged was brachycephalic, or short-headed, like the pre-Semitic Sumerians of Babylonia. "The earliest Elamite kingdom seems to have been that of Anzan, the exact site of which is uncertain; but in the time of Abraham, Shushan or Susa appears to have already become the capital of the country. Babylonia was frequently invaded by the Elamite kings, who at times asserted their supremacy over it (as in the case of Chedorlaomer, the Kudur-Lagamar, or 'servant of the goddess Lagamar,' of the cuneiform texts). "The later Assyrian monarchs made several campaigns against Elam, and finally Assur-bani-pal (about 650 B.C.) succeeded in conquering the country, which was ravaged with fire and sword. On the fall of the Assyrian Empire, Elam passed into the hands of the Persians" (A.H. Sayce). This country was called by the Greeks Cissia or Susiana.
Elasah God made. (1.) One of the descendants of Judah, of the family of Hezron (Ch1 2:39, "Eleasah"). (2.) A descendant of king Saul (Ch1 8:37; Ch1 9:43). (3.) The son of Shaphan, one of the two who were sent by Zedekiah to Nebuchadnezzar, and also took charge of Jeremiah's letter to the captives in Babylon (Jer 29:3).
Elath Grove; trees, (Deu 2:8), also in plural form Eloth (Kg1 9:26, etc.); called by the Greeks and Romans Elana; a city of Idumea, on the east, i.e., the Elanitic, gulf, or the Gulf of Akabah, of the Red Sea. It is first mentioned in Deu 2:8. It is also mentioned along with Ezion-geber in Kg1 9:26. It was within the limits of Solomon's dominion, but afterwards revolted. It was, however, recovered and held for a time under king Uzziah (Kg2 14:22). Now the ruin Aila.
El-Bethel God of Bethel, the name of the place where Jacob had the vision of the ladder, and where he erected an altar (Gen 31:13; Gen 35:7).
Eldad Whom God has loved, one of the seventy elders whom Moses appointed (Num 11:26, Num 11:27) to administer justice among the people. He, with Medad, prophesied in the camp instead of going with the rest to the tabernacle, as Moses had commanded. This incident was announced to Moses by Joshua, who thought their conduct in this respect irregular. Moses replied, "Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord's people were prophets" (Num 11:24; compare Mar 9:38; Luk 9:49).
Elder A name frequently used in the Old Testament as denoting a person clothed with authority, and entitled to respect and reverence (Gen 50:7). It also denoted a political office (Num 22:7). The "elders of Israel" held a rank among the people indicative of authority. Moses opened his commission to them (Exo 3:16). They attended Moses on all important occasions. Seventy of them attended on him at the giving of the law (Exo 24:1). Seventy also were selected from the whole number to bear with Moses the burden of the people (Num 11:16, Num 11:17). The "elder" is the keystone of the social and political fabric wherever the patriarchal system exists. At the present day this is the case among the Arabs, where the sheik (i.e., "the old man") is the highest authority in the tribe. The body of the "elders" of Israel were the representatives of the people from the very first, and were recognized as such by Moses. All down through the history of the Jews we find mention made of the elders as exercising authority among the people. They appear as governors (Deu 31:28), as local magistrates (Deu 16:18), administering justice (Deu 19:12). They were men of extensive influence (Sa1 30:26). In New Testament times they also appear taking an active part in public affairs (Mat 16:21; Mat 21:23; Mat 26:59). The Jewish eldership was transferred from the old dispensation to the new. "The creation of the office of elder is nowhere recorded in the New Testament, as in the case of deacons and apostles, because the latter offices were created to meet new and special emergencies, while the former was transmitted from the earliest times. In other words, the office of elder was the only permanent essential office of the church under either dispensation." The "elders" of the New Testament church were the "pastors" (Eph 4:11), "bishops or overseers" (Act 20:28), "leaders" and "rulers" (Heb 13:7; Th1 5:12) of the flock. Everywhere in the New Testament bishop and presbyter are titles given to one and the same officer of the Christian church. He who is called presbyter or elder on account of his age or gravity is also called bishop or overseer with reference to the duty that lay upon him (Tit 1:5; Act 20:17; Phi 1:1).
Elealeh God has ascended, a place in the pastoral country east of Jordan, in the tribe of Reuben (Num 32:3, Num 32:37). It is not again mentioned till the time of Isaiah (Isa 15:4; Isa 16:9) and Jeremiah (Jer 48:34). It is now an extensive ruin called el -A'al , about one mile north-east of Heshbon.