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elijah

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elijah


  3  definitions  found 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  Elijah 
  n  :  a  Hebrew  prophet  in  the  Old  Testament  who  opposed  the 
  worship  of  idols;  he  was  persecuted  for  rebuking  Ahab  and 
  Jezebel  (king  and  queen  of  Israel);  he  was  taken  up  to 
  heaven  in  a  chariot  of  fire  [syn:  {Elijah}] 
 
  From  Easton's  1897  Bible  Dictionary  [easton]: 
 
  Elijah 
  whose  God  is  Jehovah.  (1.)  "The  Tishbite,"  the  Elias"  of  the 
  New  Testament,  is  suddenly  introduced  to  our  notice  in  1  Kings 
  17:1  as  delivering  a  message  from  the  Lord  to  Ahab.  There  is 
  mention  made  of  a  town  called  Thisbe,  south  of  Kadesh,  but  it  is 
  impossible  to  say  whether  this  was  the  place  referred  to  in  the 
  name  given  to  the  prophet. 
 
  Having  delivered  his  message  to  Ahab,  he  retired  at  the 
  command  of  God  to  a  hiding-place  by  the  brook  Cherith,  beyond 
  Jordan,  where  he  was  fed  by  ravens.  When  the  brook  dried  up  God 
  sent  him  to  the  widow  of  Zarephath,  a  city  of  Zidon,  from  whose 
  scanty  store  he  was  supported  for  the  space  of  two  years.  During 
  this  period  the  widow's  son  died,  and  was  restored  to  life  by 
  Elijah  (1  Kings  17:  2-24). 
 
  During  all  these  two  years  a  famine  prevailed  in  the  land.  At 
  the  close  of  this  period  of  retirement  and  of  preparation  for 
  his  work  (comp.  Gal.  1:17,  18)  Elijah  met  Obadiah,  one  of  Ahab's 
  officers,  whom  he  had  sent  out  to  seek  for  pasturage  for  the 
  cattle,  and  bade  him  go  and  tell  his  master  that  Elijah  was 
  there  The  king  came  and  met  Elijah,  and  reproached  him  as  the 
  troubler  of  Israel.  It  was  then  proposed  that  sacrifices  should 
  be  publicly  offered,  for  the  purpose  of  determining  whether  Baal 
  or  Jehovah  were  the  true  God.  This  was  done  on  Carmel,  with  the 
  result  that  the  people  fell  on  their  faces,  crying,  "The  Lord, 
  he  is  the  God."  Thus  was  accomplished  the  great  work  of  Elijah's 
  ministry.  The  prophets  of  Baal  were  then  put  to  death  by  the 
  order  of  Elijah.  Not  one  of  them  escaped.  Then  immediately 
  followed  rain,  according  to  the  word  of  Elijah,  and  in  answer  to 
  his  prayer  (James  5:18). 
 
  Jezebel,  enraged  at  the  fate  that  had  befallen  her  priests  of 
  Baal,  threatened  to  put  Elijah  to  death  (1  Kings  19:1-13).  He 
  therefore  fled  in  alarm  to  Beersheba,  and  thence  went  alone  a 
  day's  journey  into  the  wilderness,  and  sat  down  in  despondency 
  under  a  juniper  tree.  As  he  slept  an  angel  touched  him  and  said 
  unto  him  "Arise  and  eat;  because  the  journey  is  too  great  for 
  thee."  He  arose  and  found  a  cake  and  a  cruse  of  water.  Having 
  partaken  of  the  provision  thus  miraculously  supplied,  he  went 
  forward  on  his  solitary  way  for  forty  days  and  forty  nights  to 
  Horeb,  the  mount  of  God,  where  he  took  up  his  abode  in  a  cave. 
  Here  the  Lord  appeared  unto  him  and  said  "What  dost  thou  here 
  Elijah?"  In  answer  to  his  despondent  words  God  manifests  to  him 
  his  glory,  and  then  directs  him  to  return  to  Damascus  and  anoint 
  Hazael  king  over  Syria,  and  Jehu  king  over  Israel,  and  Elisha  to 
  be  prophet  in  his  room  (1  Kings  19:13-21;  comp.  2  Kings  8:7-15; 
  9:1-10). 
 
  Some  six  years  after  this  he  warned  Ahab  and  Jezebel  of  the 
  violent  deaths  they  would  die  (1  Kings  21:19-24;  22:38).  He 
  also  four  years  afterwards,  warned  Ahaziah  (q.v.),  who  had 
  succeeded  his  father  Ahab,  of  his  approaching  death  (2  Kings 
  1:1-16).  (See  {NABOTH}.)  During  these  intervals  he 
  probably  withdrew  to  some  quiet  retirement,  no  one  knew  where 
  His  interview  with  Ahaziah's  messengers  on  the  way  to  Ekron,  and 
  the  account  of  the  destruction  of  his  captains  with  their 
  fifties,  suggest  the  idea  that  he  may  have  been  in  retirement  at 
  this  time  on  Mount  Carmel. 
 
  The  time  now  drew  near  when  he  was  to  be  taken  up  into  heaven 
  (2  Kings  2:1-12).  He  had  a  presentiment  of  what  was  awaiting 
  him  He  went  down  to  Gilgal,  where  was  a  school  of  the  prophets, 
  and  where  his  successor  Elisha,  whom  he  had  anointed  some  years 
  before  resided.  Elisha  was  solemnized  by  the  thought  of  his 
  master's  leaving  him  and  refused  to  be  parted  from  him  "They 
  two  went  on,"  and  came  to  Bethel  and  Jericho,  and  crossed  the 
  Jordan,  the  waters  of  which  were  "divided  hither  and  thither" 
  when  smitten  with  Elijah's  mantle.  Arrived  at  the  borders  of 
  Gilead,  which  Elijah  had  left  many  years  before  it  "came  to 
  pass  as  they  still  went  on  and  talked"  they  were  suddenly 
  separated  by  a  chariot  and  horses  of  fire;  and  "Elijah  went  up 
  by  a  whirlwind  into  heaven,  "Elisha  receiving  his  mantle,  which 
  fell  from  him  as  he  ascended. 
 
  No  one  of  the  old  prophets  is  so  frequently  referred  to  in  the 
  New  Testament.  The  priests  and  Levites  said  to  the  Baptist  (John 
  1:25),  "Why  baptizest  thou,  if  thou  be  not  that  Christ,  nor 
  Elias?"  Paul  (Rom.  11:2)  refers  to  an  incident  in  his  history  to 
  illustrate  his  argument  that  God  had  not  cast  away  his  people. 
  James  (5:17)  finds  in  him  an  illustration  of  the  power  of 
  prayer.  (See  also  Luke  4:25;  9:54.)  He  was  a  type  of  John  the 
  Baptist  in  the  sternness  and  power  of  his  reproofs  (Luke  9:8). 
  He  was  the  Elijah  that  "must  first  come"  (Matt.  11:11,  14),  the 
  forerunner  of  our  Lord  announced  by  Malachi.  Even  outwardly  the 
  Baptist  corresponded  so  closely  to  the  earlier  prophet  that  he 
  might  be  styled  a  second  Elijah.  In  him  we  see  "the  same 
  connection  with  a  wild  and  wilderness  country;  the  same  long 
  retirement  in  the  desert;  the  same  sudden,  startling  entrance  on 
  his  work  (1  Kings  17:1;  Luke  3:2);  even  the  same  dress,  a  hairy 
  garment,  and  a  leathern  girdle  about  the  loins  (2  Kings  1:8; 
  Matt.  3:4)." 
 
  How  deep  the  impression  was  which  Elijah  made  "on  the  mind  of 
  the  nation  may  be  judged  from  the  fixed  belief,  which  rested  on 
  the  words  of  Malachi  (4:5,  6),  which  many  centuries  after 
  prevailed  that  he  would  again  appear  for  the  relief  and 
  restoration  of  the  country.  Each  remarkable  person  as  he  arrives 
  on  the  scene,  be  his  habits  and  characteristics  what  they  may 
  the  stern  John  equally  with  his  gentle  Successor,  is  proclaimed 
  to  be  Elijah  (Matt.  11:13,  14;  16:14;  17:10;  Mark  9:11;  15:35; 
  Luke  9:7,  8;  John  1:21).  His  appearance  in  glory  on  the  mount  of 
  transfiguration  does  not  seem  to  have  startled  the  disciples. 
  They  were  'sore  afraid,'  but  not  apparently  surprised." 
 
  (2.)  The  Elijah  spoken  of  in  2  Chr.  21:12-15  is  by  some 
  supposed  to  be  a  different  person  from  the  foregoing.  He  lived 
  in  the  time  of  Jehoram,  to  whom  he  sent  a  letter  of  warning 
  (comp.  1  Chr.  28:19;  Jer.  36),  and  acted  as  a  prophet  in  Judah; 
  while  the  Tishbite  was  a  prophet  of  the  northern  kingdom.  But 
  there  does  not  seem  any  necessity  for  concluding  that  the  writer 
  of  this  letter  was  some  other  Elijah  than  the  Tishbite.  It  may 
  be  supposed  either  that  Elijah  anticipated  the  character  of 
  Jehoram,  and  so  wrote  the  warning  message,  which  was  preserved 
  in  the  schools  of  the  prophets  till  Jehoram  ascended  the  throne 
  after  the  Tishbite's  translation,  or  that  the  translation  did 
  not  actually  take  place  till  after  the  accession  of  Jehoram  to 
  the  throne  (2  Chr.  21:12;  2  Kings  8:16).  The  events  of  2  Kings  2 
  may  not  be  recorded  in  chronological  order  and  thus  there  may 
  be  room  for  the  opinion  that  Elijah  was  still  alive  in  the 
  beginning  of  Jehoram's  reign. 
 
 
  From  Hitchcock's  Bible  Names  Dictionary  (late  1800's)  [hitchcock]: 
 
  Elijah,  God  the  Lord,  the  strong  Lord 
 




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