Who is Elijah?
(my God is Jehovah), OR ELI'AS (which is the Greek form of the name). Matt 17:3. A native of Gilead, and called the "Tishbite," probably from the name of the town or district in which he lived. 1 Kgs 17:1. He was one of the greatest of prophets. He is first introduced to our notice as a messenger from God to Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, probably in the tenth year of his reign. He was sent to utter a prophecy of a three years' drought in the land of Israel. After delivering this startling and distressing prophecy, he was directed to flee to the brook Cherith, Place of Elijah's Sacrifice where he was miraculously fed by ravens. When the brook had dried up he was sent to a widow-woman of Zarephath, and again the hand of the Lord supplied his wants and those of his friends. He raised the widow's son to life. 1 Kgs 17. After the famine had lasted the predicted period, Elijah encountered Ahab, and then ensued the magnificent display of divine power and of human trust upon the ridge of Carmel. 1 Kgs 18. See Ahab. The reaction from such a mental strain left the prophet in a weak, nervous condition, and in a fit of despondency he fled from Jezebel into the "wilderness" and desired death. But by angel-food nourished and inspirited, he journeyed 40 days, until he reached Mount Sinai. There the downcast man of God was witness of Jehovah's strength and experienced Jehovah's tenderness in a very remarkable vision. 1 Kgs 19:9-18. Encouraged by the assurance that contrary to his supposition he did not stand alone as the only worshipper of the Lord in Israel, and, moreover, having a fresh commission granted him, forth from Mount Sinai he was sent with renewed zeal and confidence. He anointed Elisha to be prophet in his room. 1 Kgs 19. He then retired into privacy, but after the dastardly murder of Naboth he suddenly appeared before the guilty king and announced the judgment of Jehovah against the royal pair. 1 Kgs 21. Several years after occurred the prophecy of Ahaziah's death. 2 Kgs 1:3. See Ahaziah. The slaughter by five of the two companies of troops sent to take Elijah must have greatly increased the popular awe of the prophet. After executing the prophetic office for probably 15 years Elijah was translated to heaven in a miraculous manner. Elisha had persisted in accompanying him across the Jordan, and it was while they were talking together that in a "chariot of fire" Elijah was carried up. Fifty men of the sons of the prophet were witnesses of the extraordinary scene, although they only beheld it afar off". A fruitless search was made for the body of Elijah, under the impression that the Spirit had deposited it somewhere. 2 Kgs 2. b.c. 896. Malachi prophesied, 2 Kgs 4:5, that Elijah would reappear as the forerunner of the Messiah. Our Lord explained to his disciples that Elijah did really appear in the person of John the Baptist. Elijah, with Moses, appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration, conversing with Jesus. Luke 9:28-35. Elijah was the prophet of deeds. He left no writings save the letter to Jehoram, king of Judah, 2 Chr 21:12-15, which was delivered after his death. But he made a profound impression upon his contemporaries as a bold man, faithful, stern, self-denying, and zealous for the honor of God. 1. A priest who had married a foreign wife. Ezr 10:21.