e-li'-a-kim ('elyaqim; Eliakeim, "God sets up"):
(1) The son of Hilkiah who succeeded Shebna as gorvernor of the palace and "grand vizier" under Hezekiah (Isaiah 22:20). The functions of his office are seen from the oracle of Isaiah in which Shebna is deposed and Eliakim set in his place (Isaiah 22:15). He is the "treasurer" (the Revised Version, margin "steward"), and is "over the house" (Isaiah 22:15).
At his installation he is clothed with a robe and girdle, the insignia of his office, and, having the government committed into his hand, is the "father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah" (Isaiah 22:21). The key of the house of David is laid on his shoulder, and he alone has power to open and shut, this being symbolic of his absolute authority as the king's representative (Isaiah 22:22).
One of Solomon's officials is the first mentioned as occupying this position (1 Kings 4:6), and this office was continued in both the Northern and Southern Kingdom (1 Kings 16:9; 18:3; 2 Kings 10:5; 15:5). Its importance is seen from the fact that after Azariah was smitten with leprosy, Jotham his heir "was over the household, judging the people of the land" (2 Kings 15:5).
When Sennacherib sent an army against Jerusalem in 701, Eliskim was one of these Jewish princes who held on behalf of Hezekiah a parley with the Assyrian officers (2 Kings 18:18,26,37; Isaiah 36:3,11,22). As a result of the invader's threats, he was sent by Hezekiah in sackcloth to Isaiah, entreating his prayers to Yahweh on behalf of Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:2; Isaiah 37:2).
(3) A priest who assisted at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, rebuilt after his return from Babylon (Nehemiah 12:41).
(4) A grandson of Zerubbabel and ancestor of Jesus (Matthew 1:13).
(5) An ancestor of Jesus (Luke 3:30).
S. F. Hunter
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