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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eli or ELI may refer to:

  • Eli (אלי) (إل), a variant on the name of God as spoken in Arabic, Hebrew, and Aramaic. (The "i" suffix indicates first person singular possession, i.e., "my El" or "my God")[1][2]

In people:

  • Eli (name), a common first name in Hebrew (includes a list of people and fictional characters with the given name Eli)
  • Eli (Bible) (עלי), Biblical priest of Shiloh and Israelite judge, who trained the young prophet Samuel
  • Eli, a nickname for a Yale University student, after Yale benefactor Elihu Yale

In places:

In organizations:

In culture:

  • ELI (film) a 2007 short science-fiction thriller
  • A liturgical song recorded by Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt. Much of the song comes from Psalm 11.

See also


  1. ^ In Semitic languages, the "al" and "el" sounds are often merged, (as in "ael") thus the Aramaic "Eli" is used both in Modern Arabic and Old Arabic as (إل) and in Hebrew as "El". It is related also to similar Semitic words in Assyrian (ilu), Phoenician, Aramaic, Arabic and Ethiopic.
  2. ^ In Hebrew and many Yiddish Languages, Eli means "the highest" or "to the Highest".

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ELI (Hebrew for "high" ? I Sam. chaps. i.-iv.), a member of the ancient priesthood founded in Egypt (I Sam. ii. 27), priest of the temple of Shiloh, the sanctuary of the ark, and also "judge" over Israel. This was an unusual combination of offices, when it is considered that in the history preserved to us he appears in the weakness of extreme old age, unable to control the petulance and rapacity of his sons, Hophni and Phinehas, who disgraced the sanctuary and disgusted the people. While the central authority was thus weakened, the Philistines advanced against Israel, and gained a complete victory in the great battle of Ebenezer, where the ark was taken, and Hophni and Phinehas slain. On hearing the news Eli fell from his seat and died. In a passage not unlike the account of the birth of Benjamin (Gen. xxxv. 16 sqq.), it is added that the wife of Phinehas, overwhelmed at the loss of the ark and of her husband, died in child-birth, naming the babe Ichabod (I Sam.

iv. 19 sqq.). This name, which popular etymology explained by the words "the glory is removed (or, stronger, ` banished ') from Israel" (cf. Hos. x. 5), should perhaps be altered from I-kabod (as though "not glory") to Jochebed (Yokebed, a slight change in the original), the name which tradition also gave to the mother of Moses. After these events the sanctuary of Shiloh appears to have been destroyed (cf. Jer. vii. 12, xxvi. 6, 9), and the descendants of Eli with the whole of their clan or "father's house" subsequently appear as settled at Nob (I Sam. xxi. 1, xxii. 11 sqq., cp. xiv. 3), perhaps in the immediate neighbourhood of Jerusalem (Is. x. 32). In the massacre of the clan by Saul, and the subsequent substitution of the survivor Abiathar by Zadok (1 Kings ii. 27, 35), later writers saw the fulfilment of the prophecies of judgment which was said to have been uttered in the days of Eli against his corrupt house (I Sam. Í. 27 sqq., iii. 11 sgq.).1 See further, SAMUEL, BOOKS OF; and on Eli as a descendant of a Levite clan (I Sam. ii 27 sq.), see LEVITES (§ 3). W. R. S.; S. A. C.)

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also eli




Hebrew עֵלִי "ascent"; cognate to Arabic Ali.

Proper noun




  1. A male given name of biblical origin.
  2. (Biblical) The priest who brought up Samuel.




  • IPA: [ˈeːlɪ]

Proper noun

Eli m.

  1. A male given name

Usage notes


  • son of Eli: Elisson
  • daughter Eli: Elisdóttir


Nominative Eli
Accusative Eli
Dative Eli
Genitive Elis


Proper noun


  1. A female given name, a popular short form of Elin ( =Helen).

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Judges of Israel
Deborah and Barak

Meaning: ascent (For Heb. eli, spoken by Jesus on the cross, see Eloi.)

The high priest when the ark was at Shiloh (1Sam 1:3ff). He was the first of the line of Ithamar, Aaron's fourth son (1Chr 24:3; comp. 2 Sam 8:17), who held that office. The office remained in his family till the time of Abiathar (1 Kg 2:26f), whom Solomon deposed, and appointed Zadok, of the family of Eleazar, in his stead (35). He acted also as a civil judge in Israel after the death of Samson (1Sam 4:18), and judged Israel for forty years.

His sons Hophni and Phinehas grossly misconducted themselves, to the great disgust of the people (1Sam 2:27ff). They were licentious reprobates. He failed to reprove them so sternly as he ought to have done, and so brought upon his house the judgment of God (1Sam 2:22ff; 1Sam 3:18).

The Israelites proclaimed war against the Philistines, whose army was encamped at Aphek. The battle, fought a short way beyond Mizpeh, ended in the total defeat of Israel. Four thousand of them fell in "battle array".

They now sought safety in having the "ark of the covenant of the Lord" among them. They fetched it from Shiloh, and Hophni and Phinehas accompanied it. This was the first time since the settlement of Israel in Canaan that the ark had been removed from the sanctuary.

The Philistines put themselves again in array against Israel, and in the battle which ensued "Israel was smitten, and there was a very great slaughter." The tidings of this great disaster were speedily conveyed to Shiloh, about 20 miles distant, by a messenger, a Benjamite from the army. There Eli sat outside the gate of the sanctuary by the wayside, anxiously waiting for tidings from the battle-field. The full extent of the national calamity was speedily made known to him: "Israel is fled before the Philistines, there has also been a great slaughter among the people, thy two sons Hophni and Phinehas are dead, and the ark of God is taken" (1Sam 4:12ff).

When the old man, whose eyes were "stiffened" (i.e., fixed, as of a blind eye unaffected by the light) with age, heard this sad story of woe, he fell backward from off his seat and died, being ninety and eight years old. (See Ithamar.)

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)

High priest at Shiloh and judge over Israel (I Sam. i. 3, iv. 18, xiv. 3; I Kings ii. 27). He was a descendant of Aaron's fourth son Ithamar (Lev. x. 12), for it is stated that Abiathar (I Sam. xxii. 20; I Kings ii. 27) was of the line of Ithamar (I Chron. xxiv. 3), and Abiathar was the son of Ahimelek, the son of Ahitub (I Sam. xiv. 3), Eli's grandson.

Eli held a twofold office: he was high priest at the central sanctuary of Shiloh, where the Ark of the Covenant was kept (ib. i. 3, 12; iii. 2), and he was a judge in Israel, as is expressly stated in ib. iv. 18. Eli had two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, whose wickedness brought grief and disgrace upon him and his family (ib. ii. 12-17, 27-36).

Eli lived in a sad period of Israel's history. Shortly before, the armies of the Philistines, probably strengthened by reenforcements (Guthe, "Geschichte des Volkes Israel," 1899, p. 65), had begun to overrun the central districts from the south western border of Palestine (Josephus, "Ant." v. 8, § 1). Samson had arisen, "to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines" (Judges xiii. 5); but after his death the attacks were renewed, and Israel was obliged to take up arms (I Sam. iv. 1). In order to assure themselves of God's help the Israelites brought the Ark from Shiloh to the seat of the war, where it was carried by Eli's two sons. But God had not decreed victory to His people. They were first to be punished by disaster. Therefore the Israelitish army was defeated; Eli's two sons were killed, and the Ark was lost. When the messenger who brought the news of the battle told of the capture of the Ark Eli, who was ninety-eight years old, fell from his seat and died (ib. iv. 10-18).

The only specific Old Testament reference to the term of Eli's life is in the words, "And he had judged Israel forty years" (ib. iv. 18). Some scholars, like Kessler ("De Chronologia Judicum et Primorum Regum," pp. 29 et seq.) and Nowack ("Richter-Ruth," p. 19), have inferred that the forty years of the Philistine oppression mentioned in Judges xiii. 1 are synchronous with the twenty years ascribed to Samson (Judges xv. 20, xvi. 31) and with Eli's forty years. But this assumption does not tally with the words of the Old Testament; the years of Samson's judgeship are set forth in the same way as those of Eli's. The Book of Judges, moreover, always mentions the years of oppression in contrast to the period of a judge's dispensation; and, finally, Eli's forty years do not, as a whole, appear to have been a period of oppression.

Biblical criticism has advanced few new theories in regard to Eli's life. The only point that has been made with some probability is mentioned by H. P. Smith ("Samuel," in "International Critical Commentary," p. 20): "An earlier source on Eli's life contained originally some further account of Eli and of Shiloh, which the author [of the Books of Samuel] could not use. One indication of this is the fact that Eli steps upon the scene in i. 3 without introduction." H. P. Smith also admits that great difficulties are encountered "in assigning a definite date to either of our documents."

Bibliography: H. P. Smith, Samuel, in International Critical Commentary, 1899; H. Guthe, Gesch. des Volkes Israel, 1899, pp. 53, 67; Hans Kessler, De Chronologia Judicum et Primorum Regum, pp. 12, 29 et seq., Leipsic, 1882.

This entry includes text from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.
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Parent of Hophni  +, and Phinehas  +

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