73 Facts About Elijah


Elijah was, according to the Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible, a prophet and a miracle worker who lived in the northern kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Ahab (9th century BCE).

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In 1 Kings 18, Elijah defended the worship of the Hebrew God over that of the Canaanite deity Baal.

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God performed many miracles through Elijah, including resurrection, bringing fire down from the sky, and entering heaven alive "by fire".

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Elijah is portrayed as leading a school of prophets known as "the sons of the prophets".

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References to Elijah appear in Sirach, the New Testament, the Mishnah and Talmud, the Quran, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and Baha'i writings.

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In Judaism, Elijah's name is invoked at the weekly Havdalah rite that marks the end of Shabbat, and Elijah is invoked in other Jewish customs, among them the Passover Seder and the brit milah.

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Elijah appears in numerous stories and references in the Haggadah and rabbinic literature, including the Babylonian Talmud.

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When Elijah finds her and asks to be fed, she says that she does not have sufficient food to keep her and her own son alive.

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Elijah tells her that God will not allow her supply of flour or oil to run out, saying, "Do not be afraid.

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Elijah proposes a direct test of the powers of Baal and Yahweh: he and Baal's prophets will each take one of two bulls, prepare it for sacrifice and lay it on wood, but put no fire to it.

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Elijah then invites them to pray for fire to light the sacrifice.

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Elijah falls asleep under the tree; the angel of the Lord touches him and tells him to wake up and eat.

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Elijah is the only person described in the Bible as returning to Horeb, after Moses and his generation had left Horeb several centuries before.

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Elijah is told to "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the L, for the L is about to pass by.

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Elijah offers a better vineyard or a fair price for the land.

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Elijah's sends letters, in Ahab's name, to the elders and nobles who lived near Naboth.

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Elijah responds by throwing the charge back at him, telling him that he has made himself the enemy of God by his own actions.

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Elijah tells Ahab that his entire kingdom will reject his authority; that Jezebel will be eaten by dogs within Jezreel; and that his family will be consumed by dogs as well or by birds (if they die in the country).

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Elijah's story continues now from Ahab to an encounter with Ahaziah.

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Elijah sends to the priests of Baalzebub in Ekron, outside the kingdom of Israel, to know if he will recover.

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Elijah agrees to accompany this third group to Ahaziah, where he gives his prophecy in person.

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Elijah agreed, with the condition that Elisha would see him be "taken".

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Elijah is mentioned once more in 2 Chronicles 21:12, which will be his final mention in the Hebrew Bible.

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Scholars generally agree that a prophet named Elijah existed in the Kingdom of Israel during the reigns of Kings Ahab and Ahaziah, that he was a religious figure of great personal dynamism and conservative zeal and the leader of resistance to the rise of Baal worship in Israel in the ninth century BCE.

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Elijah has appeared the world over in the guise of a beggar and scholar.

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Three different theories regarding Elijah's origin are presented in the Aggadah literature: he belonged to the tribe of Gad, (2) he was a Benjamite from Jerusalem, identical with the Elijah mentioned in 1 Chronicles 8:27, and(3) he was a priest.

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Many Christian Church fathers have stated that Elijah was a priest.

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Midrash Rabbah Exodus 4:2 states "Elijah should have revived his parents as he had revived the son of the Zarephathite" indicating he surely had parents.

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Vision in which God revealed Himself to Elijah gave him at the same time a picture of the destinies of man, who has to pass through "four worlds.

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Elijah is said to be a witness at all circumcisions when the sign of the covenant is placed upon the body of the child.

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God asks Elijah to explain his arrival, and Elijah replies: "I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away".

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Elijah is equated with the Archangel Sandalphon, whose four wing beats will carry him to any part of the earth.

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Elijah granted his wish only if he refrained from asking any questions about any of the prophet's actions.

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Elijah had no patience for his visitors and chased them away with the admonition that they should get jobs and not beg from honest people.

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At the house of the old couple, Elijah knew that the Angel of Death was coming for the old woman.

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Elijah prayed that the wall be restored thus keeping the treasure away from the miser.

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Elijah was always seen as deeply pious, it seems only natural that he would be pitted against an equally evil individual.

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Elijah pronounced his malediction, "I curse you in the Name of the Lord.

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Elijah predicted the day of judgment using imagery similar to that of Malachi.

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Elijah wore a coat of camel's hair secured with a leather girdle.

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Elijah frequently preached in wilderness areas near the Jordan River.

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Elijah makes an appearance in the New Testament during an incident known as the Transfiguration.

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Elijah is mentioned four more times in the New Testament: in Luke, Romans, Hebrews, and James.

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Jesus says, "No prophet is accepted in his own country, " and then mentions Elijah, saying that there were many widows in Israel, but Elijah was sent to one in Phoenicia.

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Elijah is greatly revered among the Orthodox as a model of the contemplative life.

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Elijah is commemorated on the Orthodox liturgical calendar on the Sunday of the Holy Fathers.

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Elijah is revered as the spiritual Father and traditional founder of the Catholic religious Order of Carmelites.

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Carmel where the first hermits of the order established themselves, the Calced Carmelite and Discalced Carmelite traditions pertaining to Elijah focus upon the prophet's withdrawal from public life.

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In many Slavic countries Elijah is known as Elijah the Thunderer, who drives the heavens in a chariot and administers rain and snow, thus actually taking the place of Perun in popular beliefs.

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In Estonian folklore Elijah is considered to be the successor of Ukko, the lightning spirit.

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The Church teaches that the Malachi prophecy of the return of Elijah was fulfilled on 3 April 1836, when Elijah visited the prophet and founder of the church, Joseph Smith, along with Oliver Cowdery, in the Kirtland Temple as a resurrected being.

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In Latter-day Saint theology, the name-title Elias is not always synonymous with Elijah and is often used for people other than the biblical prophet.

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Elias is a forerunner to prepare the way, and the spirit and power of Elijah is to come after, holding the keys of power, building the Temple to the capstone, placing the seals of the Melchizedek Priesthood upon the house of Israel, and making all things ready; then Messiah comes to His Temple, which is last of all.

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People to whom the title Elias is applied in Mormonism include Noah, the angel Gabriel, Elijah, John the Baptist, John the Apostle, and an unspecified man who was a contemporary of Abraham.

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The names Elias and Elijah refer to one who prepares the way for the coming of the Lord.

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Elijah is seen by Muslims to be the prophetic predecessor to Elisha.

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However, Elijah is expected to come back along with the mysterious figure known as Khidr during the Last Judgment.

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Elijah's figure has been identified with a number of other prophets and saints, including Idris, which is believed by some scholars to have been another name for Elijah, and Khidr.

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Elijah appears in later works of literature, including the Hamzanama.

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Elijah is mentioned in the Quran, where his preaching is recounted in a concise manner.

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The Quran narrates that Elijah told his people to come to the worship of God and to leave the worship of Baal, the primary idol of the area.

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Quran makes it clear that the majority of Elijah's people denied the prophet and continued to follow idolatry.

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Muslim literature and tradition recounts that Elijah preached to the Kingdom of Israel, ruled over by Ahab and later his son Ahaziah.

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Elijah is believed to have been a "prophet of the desert—like John the Baptist".

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Elijah is believed to have preached with zeal to Ahab and his wife Jezebel, who according to Muslim tradition was partly responsible for the worship of false idols in this area.

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Elijah has been the subject of legends and folktales in Muslim culture, usually involving his meeting with Khidr, and in one legend, with Muhammad himself.

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Elijah appears in the Hamzanama numerous times, where he is spoken of as being the brother of Khidr as well as one who drank from the Fountain of Youth.

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Elijah then translated the supplication in Arabic to a group of visiting scholars:.

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Druze, like some Christians, believe that Elijah came back as John the Baptist, since they belief in reincarnation and the transmigration of the soul, Druze believe that El Khidr and John the Baptist are one and the same; along with Saint George.

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The parallelism with the incident that follows, where Elijah is fed by the widow, suggests a human, if mildly improbable, agent.

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that Elijah returned on 3 April 1836 in an appearance to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, fulfilling the prophecy in Malachi.

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Baha'i Faith believes Elijah returned as the biblical prophet John the Baptist and as the Bab who founded the Babi Faith in 1844.

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American founded Nation of Islam believes Elijah returned as Elijah Muhammad, black separatist religious leader.

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