Not long after the Great Flood, we again find Elders even outside the covenant people — namely among the Uzzites, Egyptians, Midianites, Moabites and Gibeonites.7 Within the covenant people, Abraham himself is called a "Prophet" — and ministered the Word and the Sacrament to his huge household of some 318 mature men together with their families.8 Yet the first person explicitly called an "Elder" in Holy Scripture, was Abraham's assistant Eliezer.
For not Abraham himself but Eliezer of Damascus is specifically called an "Elder" or Zaaqeen. He "ruled" over all that Abraham had — as an Overseer. Indeed, Eliezer also pastored the flock — and helped secure a bride for Isaac. As a model Elder, he visited and witnessed to even a household of strangers; worshipped God there; and blessed the Lord for providentially leading him there.9 0, that all Elders today would visit people's homes like that! Similarly, Abraham's great-grandson Joseph became the "Overseer" of Potiphar's Egyptian household — and later, of all Egypt.10