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 Gilead Heights, near the present Ajloon, the land east of the Jordan.

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 Mount Horeb, he spoke with God and heard the voice of God in the calm of a gentle breeze.

 

He retired at the command of God to a hiding-place by the brook Cherith, beyond Jordan, where he was fed by ravens.

 

He took Elisha and designated him as his successor in the prophetic calling; by his mantle he divided the waters of the Jordan River; in the year 895 B.C. he was taken up into the heavens in a fiery chariot by flaming horses. He appeared on Mount Tabor to our Lord Jesus Christ together with Moses.

 

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).

 

Hymns

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.

 

In Arabic