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The Prophets: Elijah

Elijah, from the Hebrew name pronounced ayl-ee-yaw, meaning God is the LORD (see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD and 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'), was a prominent prophet of the LORD during the time of wicked King Ahab and his wife Jezebel of The Northern Kingdom of "Israel" (see Kings of Israel and Judah).

Elijah appears first in the Biblical record proclaiming to Ahab that the LORD was about to bring a great drought upon the land.

"17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

17:2 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 17:3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 17:4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

17:5 So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 17:6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook." (1 Kings 17:1-6 KJV)

"Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth"

When the prophesied drought came, the brook Cherith also dried up, so the LORD sent Elijah north to dwell with a widow whose own life was saved by Elijah's presence during the drought. Her son's life was also saved, miraculously raised to life, by the LORD, through Elijah (see The Spirit and Power of Elijah), during that time.

The Holy Scriptures

"17:7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. 17:8 And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 17:9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee." (1 Kings 17:7-9 KJV)

"17:15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 17:16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah." (1 Kings 17:15-16 KJV)

"17:22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. 17:23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. 17:24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth." (1 Kings 17:22-24 KJV)

Elijah then returned to his testimony against Ahab and Jezebel. When the confrontation was over, hundreds of their prophets of Baal (see also Baal-zebub and Beelzebub) were killed (see Showdown At Carmel) and the drought was over.

"18:37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

18:38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

18:39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.

18:40 And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

18:41 And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.

18:42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, 18:43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing.

And he said, Go again seven times. 18:44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.

18:45 And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel." (1 Kings 18:37-45 KJV)

When Jezebel saw that her "prophets" had been destroyed, she sought to murder the LORD's prophet. Elijah then left for the south, eventually reaching Mount Sinai (see Elijah's Journey To Mount Sinai) where the LORD appeared to him (in the same place that He appeared to Moses).

"19:8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.

19:9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?" (1 Kings 19:8-9 KJV)

The LORD then commanded Elijah to journey back north (see The Fall Of Ahab and Jezebel). Along the way, Elijah met, and called to the LORD's service, the young man who would become his successor - Elisha (see Elijah's Mantle).

"19:19 So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.

19:20 And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee.

And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?

19:21 And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him." (1 Kings 19:19-21 KJV)

Elijah's name was also used generically for a prophet of the LORD (see The Elijahs). Jesus Christ stated that John the Baptist was the "Elijah" ("Elias" in the New Testament of the King James Version) of the time of Christ's first coming.

"11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come." (Matthew 11:10-14 KJV)

Fact Finder: Elijah the prophet ascended into heaven on a "chariot of fire" during the reign of Jehoshaphat (i.e. Jehoshaphat was still king after Elisha had succeeded Elijah - 2 Kings 3:11). How then could King Jehoram, who succeeded Jehoshaphat as king, have received a letter from Elijah after Elijah was taken away into "heaven"? Where did Elijah really go?
See Where Did Elijah Go?


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