Elijah The Prophet
Elijah, the loftiest and most wonderful prophet of the
Old Testament one who saw God, Christian Arabs calls the prophet Elijah 'Mar
Elias'. 'Mar' is an Aramaic word which means lord, a miracle-worker and a
zealot for faith in God. The Bible calls him the 'Tishbite'
in reference to his birthplace, Tishba, a small
village in the
He had long hair and was marked as an adherent of the old customs by his simple dress, consisting of a mantle of skins girt about the loins with a leather belt
When St. Elijah was born, his father Savah saw an angel of God hovering around the child, wrapping the child in fire and giving him a flame to eat. That was a foreshadowing of Elijah's fiery character and his God-given fiery power. He spent his entire youth in godly thoughts and prayers withdrawing frequently into the wilderness to contemplate and to pray in solitude.
The greatest confrontation that the prophet Elijah had was with the Israelite King Ahab and his evil wife Jezebel. For they, Ahab and Jezebel, worshipped idols and were turning the people away from serving the One and Living God. Before this, however, Jezebel, a Syrian, persuaded her husband to erect a temple to the Syrian god Baal and ordered many priests to the service of this false god.
Through great miracles Elijah displayed the power and authority of God: he closed up the heavens, so that there was not any rain for three years and six months; he lowered a fire from heaven and burned the sacrifice to his God which the pagan priests of Baal were unable to do; he brought down rain from heaven by his prayer; miraculously multiplied flour and oil in the home of the poor widow in Zerepath, a city of Sidon, Zidon or Saida, when the widow's young son died, he raised him from the dead.
He prophesied to Ahab that the dogs will lick up his
blood and to Jezebel that the dogs will consume her flesh, all of which
happened as well as many other miracles did he perform and prophesy. On
He retired at the command of God to a hiding-place by
the brook Cherith, beyond
He took Elisha
and designated him as his successor in the prophetic calling; by his mantle he
divided the waters of the
Before the end of the world St. Elijah will appear again to put an end to the power of the anti-Christ. I will send you Elijah, the prophet, before the Day of the Lord comes, the great and terrible Day, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their sons, and the hearts of the children to their fathers...'(Revelation, Chapter 11).
The incarnate Angel, the Cornerstone of the Prophets, the second Forerunner of the Coming of Christ, the glorious Elias, who from above sent down to Elisha the grace to dispel sickness and cleanse lepers, abounds therefore in healing for those who honor him.