Elijah (or Elias)

Elijah, a Tishbite from the region of Gilead, was a prophet in Israel during the reigns of Ahab, Ahaziah and Jehoram. All his life Elijah was active in the defense of God. His teachings brought him into constant conflict with the Kings of Israel, and on one occasion had to flee for his life. He fought against the cult of Baal, and clashed frequently with Ahab's wife Jezebel, who had introduced the pagan cult in Israel.

Elijah performed some extraordinary miracles as a prophet of God, he brought the dead son of a widow back to life (1 Kings 17:22-23), caused a jar of meal and a jar of oil to constantly refill during a drought, caused fire to come out of the sky and consume a burnt offering, ended a drought, and ran faster than King Ahab's chariot.

In Kings 19 the Lord revealed Himself to Elijah. Elijah parted the waters of the Jordan River, by striking it with his mantle, and crossed on dry ground with his understudy, Elisha. "As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlpool into heaven" (2 Kings 2:11).

Elisha then picked up Elijah's mantle and became a prophet of God. Elijah remains one of the most intriguing of the prophets. In the New Testament, the angel Gabriel tells Zechariah that his wife Elizabeth will bear a son "with the spirit and power of Elijah" (Luke 1:17).

Many have identified John the Baptist with Elijah the forerunner of the Messiah. Some thought Jesus to be Elijah but Jesus rejected this, attributing the roll to John the Baptist. Elijah, with Moses appears with Jesus at the Transfiguration. The story of Elijah is found in 1 and 2 Kings, and in 1 and 2 Chronicles. The name Elijah means "Yah is my God"

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