In 2 Samuel chapter three and continued in chapter five, we find a listing of the names of the sons of David. The count runs to seventeen, not counting children by concubines to whom he was not married. The last name on the list is Eliphalet. Perhaps David knew at the birth of this child that it would be his last, and thus the name which means “God delivers me” takes on meaning. I would have been relieved, too, to see the last of a string of offspring such as that. Other than his place in this list, which also appears in the Chronicles, there is no scriptural mention of Eliphalet.
Picture this. The child, say four years of age, is wandering around the palace attempting to entertain himself when he turns quickly and runs into the hall leading to the throne room. And wham! He runs smack into the knees of his regal parent who is headed to a conference with his ministers and generals. The King grasps the boy by the shoulders and says, “Whose little rugger are you?”
“I am the King’s son, Sire.”
“Oh, really. I lose track. What is your name?”
“Eliphalet, by your leave, Sire.”
“Oh. Oh-ho! Run along then. Daddy has things to do.”
So it is that the child runs to his mother’s oda and excitedly bursts into the room. “Mama,” he cries, “I just talked to Abba in the great hall!”
“And did he talk to you?” his mother enquired.
“Oh, yes, Mama. He asked me my name!”“Very well, then, Eliph. You should go at once to your chamber and record this on your calendar, for it is indeed a memorable day, and very likely the last time your father shall ever speak to you.”
Stature of King David by Nicholas Cordier