1. He Is Mentioned Only Once in the Torah by Name

Eliezer, the faithful servant of Abraham, is mentioned by name only once in Scripture, as part of a conversation between Abraham and G‑d. As Abraham pleads for a child, he bolsters his argument by saying: “O L‑rd G‑d, what will You give me, since I am going childless, and the steward of my household is Damesek Eliezer? You have given me no seed, and behold, one of my household will inherit me.”1

2. He Had an Unusual Appellation

What is the meaning of the word “Damesek” which precedes his name? The sages of the Talmud tell us that it can be broken up into two words, doleh umashkeh, “ladles out and gives to drink,” since he drank deeply from Abraham’s teachings of monotheism and morality, which he then shared freely with others.2

The Targum, however, tells us that it means he was from Damascus, known as Damesek in Hebrew. Taking things a step further, the Midrash explains that he was so named because he chased the Four Kings until Damascus (more about that in the next fact).3

3. He Accompanied Abraham in Battle

Before Scripture introduces Eliezer, we read about Abraham’s nephew, Lot, being captured (along with the people of Sodom) in the battle between the four and five kings, and how Abraham led his “proteges, those born in his home, 318 [men]” in battle for the captives’ freedom.4

Who were these 318 warriors? According to tradition, they were one man, Eliezer, whose strength equaled that of 318 individuals. One way we know this is because the numerical value of Eliezer is 318 (א=1,ל=30, י=10, ע=70, ז=,7, ר=200, and 1+30+10+70+7+200=318).5

Read: Abraham’s Miraculous Battle to Save Lot

4. He Was Dispatched to Find a Wife for Isaac

Eliezer is best known for being the unnamed servant, described as “the elder of his home, who ruled over all that was his,”6 whom Abraham dispatched to find a wife for his son Isaac. Eliezer observed Rebecca’s kindness at the village well, and determined that she would make a fine wife for his master’s son.

Before being dispatched, Eliezer harbored a hope that his daughter would marry Isaac,7 which explains why Abraham made him solemnly swear to bring a wife only from his kin, and not from the local populace.

5. He Is Anonymous the Entire Time

Even as his wife-finding venture runs through an entire 67-verse chapter of Scripture, we are not told Eliezer’s name. He introduces himself only as “the servant of Abraham.”8

This, the chassidic masters tell us, provides a shining example of setting oneself aside and focusing on the task at hand. Entrusted with a mission, he had no personal needs, wishes or desires of his own. His sole purpose was to do his master’s bidding, ensuring there would be yet another generation of Abraham’s descendants.

Read: Why Is Eliezer Anonymous?

6. He Experienced Miracles

When Eliezer went on his mission, he experienced a miracle: the entire trip from Canaan to Aram took just one day.9 The Talmud tells us that he is one of only three people—the others were Jacob and Avishai—for whom this happened.10

Read: Why the Need for the Miracles?

7. He Resembled Abraham

We are told that he was the “elder” (zekan) of Abraham’s home. What does this word imply? According to some, it can be broken into two words, ziv ikunin. Ziv is Hebrew for “radiance,” and ikun is Greek for “image” (εικων), implying that his image was a radiant reflection of his illustrious master.

Accordingly, the next part of the verse, “who ruled all that was his,” means that Eliezer had mastery over his own desires and urges, just as his master did.11

8. He Was the Son of Nimrod

An ancient Targum12 tells us that Eliezer was the son of King Nimrod, described as a “mighty warrior.”13 This lends context to how he managed to fight so mightily on behalf of Abraham (and Lot).

Read: Nimrod, the Biblical Hunter

9. He Also Identified as Og

Some traditions tell us that Eliezer and Og, King of Bashan, are one and the same.14 It should be noted that this tradition seems very hard to square with other rabbinic traditions we have concerning both Og and Eliezer.15

Read: Memoirs of Og the Not-So-Gentle Giant

10. He Ascended to Heaven Alive

The sages16 list nine righteous people who entered into paradise without first dying. The list includes some known righteous people, such as Elijah the prophet, and some relatively obscure ones, like Hiram. And right there on the list is . . . Eliezer!

Read: Do Jews Believe in Heaven?

11. His Soul Returned as Caleb

The Kabbalists tell us that Eliezer’s soul returned to this world as Caleb, one of the only two spies to remain faithful on their mission to reconnoiter the Holy Land. And how did the soul of this faithful servant maintain his fealty? By visiting the grave of his erstwhile master and praying for divine assistance.17

Read: Who Was Caleb?

12. He Was the First of Many Famous Eliezers

While Eliezer was technically not Jewish, his name became quite popular among Jewish people. In fact, Moses himself named his second son Eliezer,18 and there were several Talmudic sages by that name (not to be confused with those with the similar name, Elazar). Why was this name so popular? Perhaps because of its beautiful meaning: eli is “my G‑d” and ezer means “help,” and who doesn’t need G‑d’s assistance in their lives?

Read: The Life of Eliezer ben Hyrcanus