|ELDAD AND MODAD, BOOK OF |
In the Septuagint they are called Eldad and Modad. In the King James Version the names are given as Eldad and Medad; meaning "God has loved" ("God loves") and "object of love" (?).
They were two of the seventy elders chosen by Moses (Numbers 11:26), and while the others obeyed the summons and went to the tabernacle, these two remained in the camp and prophesied (Numbers 11:26). The nature of their prophecy is not recorded, and this naturally became a good subject for the play of the imagination. It furnished the basis for a lost work which was quoted by Hermas (Vis 2 3):
"The Lord is near to them who return unto him, as it is written in Eldad and Modad, who prophesied to the people in the wilderness." The Palestine Targums also filled in the subject of the prophecy of Eldad and Modad, and, as they have it, it related to the coming of Gog and Magog against Israel at the end of the days. One of the Targums has the expression, "The Lord is near to them that are in the hour of tribulation." The authors of the Targums were either dependent upon that work or upon a similar tradition; and the former of these views is the more probable. Lightfoot and Holtzman think the lengthy quotation in 1 Clem 23 and 2 Clem 11 is from the Book of Eldad and Modad. The work is found in the Stichometry of Nicephorus and consists of 400 stichoi, which would make it about twice the length of the Cant.
A. W. Fortune