The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

Marina Chizhova
01.08.2016

Will the prophet Elijah come to earth again?

The Orthodox Church knows many saints, each of whom has retained their individual human traits. Some of them acted solely with affection and kindness, others, on the contrary, were strict accusers. A special place among them is occupied by the prophet Elijah. Some of his actions today for many of us may seem too cruel and even ruthless at first glance. But why did God so love him that he immediately did what he asked for? We propose to think about it together.

The fresco of the prophet Elijah

The birth and growth of the Holy Prophet

The saint was born even 900 years before the Savior entered the world. His hometown was Thebes in the country of Gilead, which borders Arabia. Therefore, he also received the nickname of the Tishbite. The very name of Elijah in Hebrew sounds like “Yahweh is my God” (where “Yahweh” is the mysterious name of the true God), he is also translated as “fortress, the power of the Lord.” According to one legend, which Epiphanius of Cyprus reports, his father Sawah, at the birth of his son, suddenly saw bright people (angels), who swaddled the baby with fire, and put flame in their mouths.

Frightened by the vision, Sawah turned to the high priests for an explanation. One of them, who was considered to be shrewd, reassured him, saying that his son was honored with the honor of being a great “vessel of God's grace”. And he added:

His word will be as fire, strong and effective, will be great and his jealousy in the Lord, and he will judge Israel with arms and fire

This prediction, as we shall see, has come true exactly. In the meantime, the future prophet of God grew up, having left the temptations into the wilderness, a pure and holy life, being in constant communion with God. He was the first Old Testament virgin and a great fasting. For his righteous life, zeal for piety, and the Lord loved him.

The Prophet Elijah and the Raven

The reproof of ungodliness and the conclusion of heaven

At the time when the saint lived, Samaria was the capital of Israel, and King Ahab reigned in it. His wife, Jezebel, being the daughter of the Sidon king, planted the cult of Sidon Baal in the country. Of course, the righteous Elijah could not bear it. Having a great zeal for God, he came angry with King Ahab and accused him of idolatry, persuading himself to return and return the people to worship the real God of Israel.

However, the king did not want to listen to him.And then, wanting to move from words to deeds, the prophet Elijah spoke the following words:

The Lord lives, from this time rain or dew will not fall to the earth, except in my word

And so it happened, the Lord fulfilled his words: as soon as Elijah pronounced them, the sky immediately closed and the rain came.Elijah the prophet rose like a fire, and his word burned like a lamp. He brought them hunger- wrote about it in his Book of Sirah (). A strong drought began in the country and, as a result, famine, not only people turned away from God, but also animals died. The righteous man hoped that Ahab would repent, but he became embittered even more. When a year passed, the Lord took pity on his lost people and wanted to give rain, but, remaining faithful to what was said by Elijah, was waiting for his word.

So, through the bird, the Lord wanted to teach Elijah compassion. He showed that a bird of prey by nature, which no longer cares about anyone, like itself, does not eat itself, but brings meat to the prophet. However, Elijah was adamant: he could not tolerate the godlessness of the Israeli people, even if he himself would die of starvation. And the prophet of God was not in a hurry to pronounce them, as he waited for repentance. Together with people, he himself suffered, languishing from hunger and thirst, but he wished to tolerate it better than idolatry, a betrayal of the true God.God took pity on his chosen one and ordered him to go to the Horaf Stream opposite the Jordan. From the stream he drank water, and the raven, sent by God, brought him food every day: in the morning — bread, and in the evening — meat.

Elijah resurrects the lad

The resurrection of the lad in Zarepta

When the water ended in the stream, the Lord ordered the prophet Elijah to go to Sarepta of Sidon, to a poor widow. The saint asked her for food. However, all she had left was a handful of flour and a little oil. Then the prophet took pity on her (it was for this purpose that the Lord sent him there) and made her so that the flour and butter she never diminished until the famine ceased.

However, soon the son of the widow died from the disease. She was very sad about this, believing that God punished her for her old sins. And then the holy righteous man, having prayed over the widow's son, three times blew not him and raised him up. This was the first in the history of the resurrection of the dead.

There is a version according to which the boy, resurrected by the prophet Elijah, was the future prophet Jonah. He is known for being swallowed up by a whale and, after spending three days in his stomach, remained alive and then thrown back (a prototype of the Resurrection of Christ). Also, Jonah inherited from his “resurrector” infinite zeal for God: like Elijah, he did not want to spare the Ninevites mired in wickedness.

The prophet Elijah near the altar

Freedom of the people from hunger

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When three years of non-rain had passed, the Lord announced to his chosen one that Ahab was already ready to repent. Elijah returned to Samaria, where he met with the king. He offered him to give two sacrificial calves to his “prophets” and two to him, and to see whose sacrifice the Lord would receive. Whose God will send fire to the calves, That God is true.

The king commanded to do so. Half a day the Baal priests asked the altar of their "god" to send fire on their calves, they galloped, shouted loudly, pierced themselves with knives and beat with whips, but nothing happened. After that, the true prophet of God even commanded to bring a ditch to his altar. At his first word, the Lord sent a fire that burned not only the calf, but even stones and all the water from the pit.

Ahab was forced to admit defeat, he allowed Elijah to lead the priests to the river. There the prophet himself cruelly dealt with them, slaughtered, and letting the corpses through the water so that the earth would not get infected by their stench. It is necessary to understand that this act was committed by the Old Testament man, who was ordered by law to do so to idolaters, especially to those who urge others to worship idols.

Then the prophet Elijah ordered Ahab to quickly harness his chariot, for it would soon rain. He prayed on the mountain, and after that a big rain really poured, which sank the earth. The king, repenting, mourned his delusions when he rode in a chariot, the prophet himself fled before her, rejoicing in the glory and truth of God.

Elijah kills the priests

"The voice of the cool thin"

Of course, Queen Jezebel could not forgive the righteous the murder of her priests: she threatened him with death. Then Elijah was forced to retire to Beersheba in the kingdom of Judah, where he was in the wilderness. Great sorrow embraced the saint, he thought that all his labors were in vain. He asked the Lord to take him to Himself, since he could no longer bear the reigning iniquity. Then an angel appeared to him twice, reinforcing food and food. He commanded him to go to the mountain of God Horeb. Elijah went there forty days.

In Horeb, the Lord himself showed himself to the prophet of God. In the beginning there was a big storm, then an earthquake, and then a fire. But God was not in them. He was in the quiet breeze (cool voice), and so revealed Himself not by chance. The Lord wanted to show His chosen one that it is possible to convince people not by natural phenomena, but that it is better to influence them with patience, meekness and love.

Then the Lord himself spoke to Elijah.He consoled him and supported him, saying that they had not yet betrayed him in Israel, there were still seven thousand adherents of the true God left. He also foretold the prophet of the imminent death of the whole house of Ahab, which was soon fulfilled.

The prophet Elijah in the wilderness

Ahab's repentance

Ahab could not calm down, but not because his “god” was exposed, but because one of the Israelites had a wonderful vineyard, which he liked a lot. The king offered him to buy back this vineyard, but the Israeli refused because he inherited it. Jezebel acted smarter. She wrote a false accusation against the owner of the vineyard, and he was brutally murdered with stones.

By law, the vineyard went to the king. However, on the way to him, Ahab met the prophet Elijah. He told him that the king would be punished for the unholy act: in the same place where his subordinate shed blood, dogs and pigs would lick the blood of the king himself. His wife will be torn apart by dogs, and their whole race will soon break off. And only then did Ahab, believing the prophet, really repent and put a fast on himself.

Seeing his sincere repentance, the Lord announced to Elijah that he would postpone the “denouement” with the family of Ahab until he himself died. Three years later, the king died in the war.When his body was brought to Samaria, the chariot with him drove right over the place where the Israelite was killed, and the royal blood that flowed from him really licked pigs and dogs. The prophecy concerning the wife and heirs of Ahab has come true.

After him, the son of Ahaziah, also a pagan, began to rule the country. Once he fell out of the window, fell seriously ill and sent ambassadors to the priests of Baal to find out about his fate. On the way the ambassadors met the prophet Elijah. He told them that the king would soon die, since he had neglected the true God and sent them with a question to a false one. What happened soon. His throne was taken by a younger brother, after which the Ahab dynasty ceased.

Elijah and Elisha

The Prophet Elisha and Ascension to Heaven

After the anointing of the prophetic ministry of Elisha, he did not step away from Elijah, learning everything from him. The righteous man knew that he would soon be taken to heaven, and asked the disciple that he wanted him to perform before he left him. Elisha answered:I ask that there be twice as much in me as the spirit that is in you.

When they passed the Jordan, it was worth Elijah to hit the water with his raincoat, as the river immediately parted, and they were able to pass. Soon, Elisha saw a chariot of fire descend from the sky in a whirlwind and took the prophet of God to the sky alive.Later, from there, Elijah's miraculous cloak (or mantle) fell to Elisha's feet as a sign that the promise would be fulfilled. Similarly, in front of him, they made the passage of the waters of the Jordan, when he struck them with mercy.

Elijah on the chariot of fire

Parish before the Second Coming

It might be considered that the saint’s life story ended there, but it’s not. A prophecy is known that Elijah must return to earth before the Second, already in glory, by the coming of the Lord. He will be accompanied by Enoch, another great righteous man who lived before the Great Flood and was also taken to heaven in the flesh.

Together they will expose the Antichrist and strengthen the faithful. Then they will be killed publicly, but after three days life will return to the bodies of the saints, they will ascend to heaven again alive. This is described in detail in the book “Revelation” of the Apostle John the Theologian ().

However, the prophecy of the return of the prophet Elijah to earth was already known in the Old Testament. Here, for example, is the prophet Malachi narrating:

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that when I come, I will not hit the earth with a curse ()

Therefore, when such a righteous person as John the Baptist appeared, it is not surprising that many compared or even considered him Elijah.They really had a lot of similarities: both were virgins and incredible posts, both lived in the desert, wore a hair shirt, and, moreover, were formidable accusers and jealous of the glory of God. Even the Lord answered the question about the prophet Elijah that he had already come, referring to John the Baptist and implying that John had the power and glory of Ilyin, alone with him.

Prophet Elijah in the painting

August 2 - Ilyin day

We celebrate the memory of the saint every year on August 2, this day received even the name of Ilyin of the day in common people. We honor him as the greatest of the prophets, with whom few who lived on earth can compare. It is not surprising that Elijah and Moses appeared at the Tabor at the Transfiguration of Christ, the Lord spoke to Them. God and in life always talked with Elijah, fulfilled his every word.

Among the Slavic peoples, the prophet of God has a special reverence. That is why on this day even the most insignificant labor was considered a great sin. They say: Ilyin day and the stone does not germinate. In addition, Elijah is especially revered by farmers, as he has power over the elements. The first bread of the new crop was always brought to consecration on this day.We ask the saint to strengthen us in faith and give the same zeal for God as he has.

More about the righteous Old Testament can be found in the program from the “God's Law” series:


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  • The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again

    The prophet Elijah will come to earth again