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Updated on February 6, 2010

Elijah (meaning 'My God is Yahweh') was the greatest and most picturesque of the northern prophets, lived under Ahab and Ahaziah (between 874 and 852 BC). His life was chiefly spent in opposing the worship of Baal, which the former king was encouraging (1 Kings xvii-xix and xxi; 2 Kings i and ii; 2 Chron. xxi. 12-15). Like enoch. he was transported to heaven instead of dying a natural death (2 Kings ii), and it was prophesied (Mai. iv. 5) that he would return before the advent of the Messiah. This prophecy Jesus declared fulfilled in John the Baptist: Elijah appeared with Moses at the Transfiguration of Christ, either as one of two who had been assumed without dying, or as representing the Law and the proph­ets. Elijah and either Enoch or Moses is identified with the two witnesses in Rev. xi. In Greece he is regarded as the patron saint of mountains, and the early carmelites regarded him as their founder.


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