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Elijah

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Living in Israel, his ministry as a prophet was to oppose the worship of Baal in Israel, and the sin, injustices and idolatry of Ahab, Jezebel and Ahaziah. He came, probably, from Tishbe in Gilead, but his parentage is not certain. His name means “the Lord is God”.

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Elijah’s special standing as a prophet

His prophecies and prayers were fulfilled and attested by miracles

Drought prophesied and experienced:

; ; ;
provision of flour and oil prophesied

Rain prophesied:

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The widow’s son is restored to life.

Fire falls from heaven at Elijah’s prayer:

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The death of Ahab and Jezebel, and of Ahab’s line prophesied and fulfilled:

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The word of the Lord came to him

1 Kings 19:9–18 DARBY
And there he went into a cave, and lodged there. And behold, the word of Jehovah came to him, and he said to him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for Jehovah the God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I am left, I alone, and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before Jehovah. And behold, Jehovah passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before Jehovah: Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. And it came to pass, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for Jehovah the God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I am left, I alone, and they seek my life, to take it away. And Jehovah said to him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus; and when thou comest, anoint Hazael king over Syria; and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint prophet in thy stead. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay; and him that escapeth the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left myself seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth that hath not kissed him.
See also ; ; ; ; ;

Elijah’s ministry to Israel

He confronts Ahab, king of Israel

1 Kings 18:16–18 DARBY
Then Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him. And Ahab went to meet Elijah. And it came to pass when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, Is it thou, the troubler of Israel? And he said, I have not troubled Israel, but thou and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of Jehovah, and thou hast followed the Baals.
See also

He challenges the people of Israel

1 Kings 18:21 DARBY
Then Elijah drew near to all the people, and said, How long do ye halt between two opinions? if Jehovah be God, follow him; and if Baal, follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

He challenges Baal and his prophets

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The prophets of Baal are sentenced to death and executed

See also

Elijah calls down fire on Ahaziah’s messengers

2 Kings 1:1–14 DARBY
And Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab. And Ahaziah fell down through the lattice in his upper chamber which was in Samaria, and was sick; and he sent messengers and said to them, Go, inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this disease. And the angel of Jehovah said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, Is it because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus saith Jehovah: Thou shalt not come down from the bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt certainly die. And Elijah departed. And the messengers returned to him; and he said to them, Why have ye returned? And they said unto him, A man came up to meet us, and said to us, Go, return to the king that sent you and say to him, Thus saith Jehovah: Is it because there is not a God in Israel, that thou sendest to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from the bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt certainly die. And he said to them, What manner of man was he that came up to meet you, and told you these words? And they said to him, He was a man in a hairy garment, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite. And he sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him, and behold, he sat on the top of the mount. And he spoke to him: Man of God, the king says, Come down! And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, And if I be a man of God, let fire come down from the heavens and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from the heavens, and consumed him and his fifty. And again he sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he spoke and said to him, Man of God, thus says the king: Come down quickly! And Elijah answered and said to them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from the heavens and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from the heavens, and consumed him and his fifty. And again he sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him and said to him, Man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight. Behold, there came down fire from the heavens, and consumed the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties; but now, let my life be precious in thy sight.

He predicts Ahaziah’s death

2 Kings 1:16–17 DARBY
And he said to him, Thus saith Jehovah: Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron, is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word? therefore thou shalt not come down from the bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt certainly die. And he died according to the word of Jehovah that Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram began to reign in his stead, in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; for he had no son.

He appoints successors to continue the fight against Baal worshippers

1 Kings 19:15–17 DARBY
And Jehovah said to him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus; and when thou comest, anoint Hazael king over Syria; and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint prophet in thy stead. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay; and him that escapeth the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.
See also Elisha is called; ; Jehu is anointed by one of Elisha’s assistants.

He does not die, but is taken up to heaven

2 Kings 2:11–12 DARBY
And it came to pass as they went on, and talked, that behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire; and they parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into the heavens. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father! the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof! And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own garments and rent them in two pieces.

Elijah’s lifestyle and character

It was one of simplicity

See also ; ;

He was a man of action and physical endurance

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Parallels between Elijah and Moses

2 Kings 2:8 DARBY
And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither; and they two went over on dry ground.
See also ; ;

Elijah’s return is awaited by Israel

Some Jews believed John the Baptist was Elijah returned

Luke 1:17 DARBY
And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn hearts of fathers to children, and disobedient ones to the thoughts of just men, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.
See also

Jesus Christ recognises John as Elijah:

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John the Baptist denies being Elijah.

Similarities of lifestyle and dress between Elijah and John:

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Elijah appears at the transfiguration of Jesus Christ

Matthew 17:1–8 DARBY
And after six days Jesus takes with him Peter, and James, and John his brother, and brings them up into a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them. And his face shone as the sun, and his garments became white as the light; and lo, Moses and Elias appeared to them talking with him. And Peter answering said to Jesus, Lord, it is good we should be here. If thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles: for thee one, and for Moses one, and one for Elias. While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight: hear him. And the disciples hearing it fell upon their faces, and were greatly terrified. And Jesus coming to them touched them, and said, Rise up, and be not terrified. And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus alone.
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