3. Flight from Jezebel

God in storm, earthquake, or fire, but in the still small voice. Those were only signs, his innermost nature is grace. In the second place it was important that God should comfort the discouraged prophet, who imagined himself the last, the only one remaining faithful, by the announcement that there were still 7,000 in the country whom God knew. Finally he received three commissions; Hazael was to become king over Syria, Jehu over Israel, and Elisha was to be Elijah's successor in the prophetical office. These three were to carry out God's judgment. But the Elijah-narrative tells only how Elijah called Elisha as his successor, while the anointing of Hazael and Jehu was brought about by Elisha. Some have seen often in this a contradiction between the Elijah- and the Elisha-source. But as the records are only fragmentary, a transference of those acts from Elijah to his disciple may have taken place, especially as it concerned political acts for which the proper time had to be awaited.

Elijah, whose residence was then in the wilderness of Damascus (I Kings xix. 15

4. Varied Activities

Ahaziah (II Kings i.). Finally II Kings ii. tells of his translation, on which occasion he left his prophet's mantle to his companion Eliaha. The Chronicler, who otherwise passes over the stories of Elijah and Elisha, mentions (II Chron. xxi. 12 sqq.) a threatening letter written by Elijah to King Jehoram of Judah, the son-in-law of Jezebel. But Elijah hardly lived to see the rule of this king. It is possible that a disciple of the prophet composed the letter with reference to analogous sayings of Elijah against the king.

Elijah appears as the moat heroic form among the prophets. Each of his brief words is an effective deed. The awful apostasy of his people forced him to appear as an avenger. His elements were fire and storm. But though he was obliged to oppose the seducers, kind traits are not wanting in his history (see I Kings xvii. 20 g. Charac- and II Kings ii. 12). By his faithful ter and zeal for God's law he saved the people Miracles. and reconciled the rising generation with the fathers (cf. Mal. iv. 6). From the theological point of view, very noticeable is the conscious monotheism contained in his mockery (I Kings xviii. 27) which, however, is not a new trait in him. That Elijah and Elisha took no offense at Israel's calf-worship, as some modern writers assert, can not be inferred from their silence about it. Neither Elijah nor Elisha had any con-


nection with the sanctuary at Bethel; they assembled the people at some other place for worship, and the manner in which Elijah on Carmel ignored the royal clergy at Bethel, and on Horeb represents himself as the only one remaining faithful is sufficiently eloquent. The story of Elijah is rich in the miraculous and has on this account often been called legend. It can not be denied that the miraculous is intentionally emphasized and colored by the narrator. It is also possible that, through oral transmission in prophetical circles, the account of the deeds of the great master laid undue stress upon externals. Yet by his extraordinary powers he wrought great changes in the' land. The principal miracles which he wrought before the people (the announcement of the drought and the ordeal on Carmel) admit no rationalistic explanation. The person and history of the prophet stand or fall with them. Elijah produced an indelible impression upon his contemporaries and upon posterity. On the basis of Mal. iv. 5 the Jews is the time of Jesus expected his return before the Messiah (Matt. xvii. 10, xi. 14, cf. J. Lightfoot, Horn Hebraica; on Matt. avii. 10; C. Schoettgen, Horse Hebraica; et Talmro dicta, Dresden, 1742, ii. 533 sqq.). On the legendary appearances of Elijah in the Talmud cf. J. A. Eisenmenger, Entdecktea Jtcdcnturrt, 12 parts, Dresden, 1892-93, i. 11, ii. 212, 402-404.. There also existed apocryphal writings under his name; the oldest, the "Apocalypse of Elijah," is first mentioned by Origen (on Matt. xxvii. 9), and from it according to him the quotation in I Cor. ii. 9 is said to have been taken. Among the Mohammedans Elijah became the hero of many legends; he was blended among them with the heathenish mythical form El-khidr.

Elijah appears as the name of other Israelites, I Chron. viii. 27; Ezra x. 21, 26.

(C. von Orellli.)

Bibliography: Besides the literature on the History of Israel cited under Ahab, consult: T. Ii. Cheyne, Haliominp of Criticism, London, 1888; E. Reran, History of the People of Israel, ii. 229-242, ib. 1888; R. Kittel, Geschichte der HsbrAsr, ii., Go" 1892, Eng. transl., London, 1895; C. H. Cornill, Prophets of Israel, Chicago. 1897; H. (iunkel, in Prauasieche Jahrbücher, 1898, pp. 18-51; idem, Elias, Jahvs and Baal, Tübingen, 1908 (critical reconstruction); W. Erbt, Untareuehungen tur Geschichts der Helirder, part i.. Elia. Elisc, Jones, Leipsic. 1907: Clermont-Gannenu, in Revue arch6otopiqua, xmi. 388 sqq.; Sch�rer, Geschichte, ii. 35, 287-271, 344, 351-352, 524-525. Erg. transl., II. ii. 158-157, iii. 129 sqq.; Smith, OTJC, pp. 238-237: idem. Prophets, pp. 78 sqq., 118 sqq.; DB, i. 887-892; EB, ii. 1270-74; JR, v. 121-128 (gives literature on Mohammedan and medieval legend). A homiletical classic is F. W. Krummsoher, Elise der TAiabiter, Elberfeld, 1828 and often, Erg. transl. Cheltenham. 1838 and often.


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