The Prophet Elijah

Among the great biblical prophets of the Old Testament, Elijah is a well-recognized figure. The story of the prophet Elijah is told to us in the books 1 Kings and 2 Kings. The Bible shows us extraordinary episodes from his life, for example in front of the prophets of Baal, Kerith Ravine or the widow of Sarepta where he even performs a resurrection. However, we can also see his humanity through his moments of discouragement and fear in the face of the threats of Jezebel, wife of King Ahab. Let us discover the biblical passages featuring th prophet Elijah!

Who is the prophet Elijah?

Elijah the Tishbite

The character of Elijah appears in the Bible beginning in Chapter 16 of the book of 1 Kings. We see him appearing before Ahab to announce to him the sentence of the Lord in response to his grave disobedience. Elijah is presented as an inhabitant of Tishbe in Galahad having received this order from the Lord: “Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” (1 Kings 17:1).

Elijah the solitary prophet

The peculiarity of the prophet Elijah is that he lived a lonely life. Indeed, after his prophecy, he is sent alone to the Kerith Ravine where he is fed by crows and then to a widow of Sarepta where he is housed and miraculously fed again. He himself expresses this solitude to God when he says: “(...) I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” (1 Kings 19:14) however, it was only a feeling. God tells him that 7000 men remained faithful to him and that he was not alone as he thought.

Elijah and Elisha

The prophet Elisha is the successor of Elijah. During Elijah’s last days on earth, Elisjah accompanied him and saw the miracles that his “father” Elijah was performing. He even asks Elijah for “double portion of the spirit” that he carries and with perseverance he receives it. Indeed, in the Bible 7 great miracles are attributed to Elijah and, 14 to Elisha, which is indeed the proof that Elisha received this double portion.

Elijah in the Bible

Elijah at the Kerith Ravine

“Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” (1 Kings 17:3-4)

Sarepta's widow

“She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.” (1 Kings 17:15-16)

Elijah and the rain

“Go and look toward the sea,’ he told his servant. And he went up and looked. ‘There is nothing there,’ he said. Seven times Elijah said, ‘Go back.’ The seventh time the servant reported, ‘A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.’ So Elijah said, ‘Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.” (1 Kings 18:43-44)

Elijah and the prophets of Baal

“Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.’ Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.” (1 Kings 18:37-38)

Elijah and Jezabel

“So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” (1 Kings 19:2)

Elijah discouraged

“... while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” (1 Kings 19:4)

Elijah fortified by an angel

“The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.’ So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.” (1 Kings 19:7-8)

Elijah taken to the sky

“As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.” (2 Kings 2:11)