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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:

; ;

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
See also ; ; ; ; ;

Elijah’s ministry to Israel

He confronts Ahab, king of Israel

1 Kings 18:16–18
See also

He challenges the people of Israel

1 Kings 18:21 ESV
And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him 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 ESV
After the death of Ahab, Moab rebelled against Israel. Now Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay sick; so he sent messengers, telling them, “Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this sickness.” But the angel of the Lord 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 no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus says the Lord, You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’ ” So Elijah went. The messengers returned to the king, and he said to them, “Why have you returned?” And they said to him, “There came a man to meet us, and said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him, Thus says the Lord, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’ ” He said to them, “What kind of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?” They answered him, “He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.” Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty men with his fifty. He went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “O man of God, the king says, ‘Come down.’ ” But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty. Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty men with his fifty. And he answered and said to him, “O man of God, this is the king’s order, ‘Come down quickly!’ ” But Elijah answered them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty. Again the king 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 entreated him, “O man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight. Behold, fire came down from heaven and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties, but now let my life be precious in your sight.”

He predicts Ahaziah’s death

2 Kings 1:16–17

He appoints successors to continue the fight against Baal worshippers

1 Kings 19:15–17
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

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 ESV
Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go 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 ESV
and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
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
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