An understudy must know the lead role completely and be willing to step into it at a moment’s notice. Eleazar was an excellent understudy, well trained for his eventual leading role. However, his moment in the spotlight were painful. On one occasion, he watched his two older brothers burn to death for failing to take God’s holiness seriously. Later, as his father was dying, he was made high priest, surely one of the most responsible – and therefore potentially most stressful – positions in Israel.
An understudy benefits from having both the script and a human model of the role. Ever since childhood, Eleazar had been able to observe Moses and Aaron. Now he could learn from watching Joshua. In addition, he had God’s laws to guide him as he worked as priest and adviser to Joshua.
Strengths and accomplishments:
- Succeeded his father, Aaron, as high priest
- Completed his father’s work by helping lead the people into the promised land
- Teamed up with Joshua
- Acted as God’s spokesman to the people
Lessons from his life:
- Concentrating on our present challenges and responsibilities is the best way to prepare for what God has planned for our future
- God’s desire is consistent obedience throughout our lives
- Where: Desert of Sinai, promised land
- Occupations: Priest and high priest
- Relatives: Father: Aaron. Brothers: Nadab and Abihu. Aunt and uncle: Miriam and Moses
- Contemporaries: Joshua, Caleb
Key verses: “At Mount Hor, near the border of Edom, the LORD said to Moses and Aaron… ‘Call Aaron and his son Eleazar and take them up Mount Hor. Remove Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar’ “ (Numbers 20:23-26).
Eleazar is mentioned in Exodus 6:23; Leviticus 10:16-20; Numbers 3:1-4; 4:16; 16:36-40; 20:25-29; 26:1-3; 27:2, 15-23; 32:2; 34:17; Deuteronomy 10:6.