Gustave Doré

Gustave Doré, “Death of Eleazer”,1866, Engraving for the La Sainte Bible

According tothe Bible, during the Battle of Beit Zechariah, Eleazar identified a war elephant that he believed to carry the Seleucid King Antiochus V, due to the special armor the elephant wore. He decided to endanger his life by attacking the elephant and thrusting a spear into its belly. The dead elephant then collapsed upon Eleazar, killing him as well.

Eleazar’s death was a popular subject for art in the Middle Ages, where it was given significance as prefiguring Christ’s sacrifice of himself for mankind. This illustration by Gustave Doré is from the 1866 La Sainte Bible.

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