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An Israelite prophet in the times of kings Ahab and Ahaziah, during the first half of the ninth century BCE. Elijah is the protagonist of four stories in the books of Kings. In (1Kgs 16:29-19:18), Elijah declares a drought to punish the nation for its idolatry. In (1Kgs 21), Ahab is confronted by Elijah following his murder of Naboth. In (2Kgs 1:2-2:17), Elijah offers prophecies of doom concerning Ahaziah. And, finally, a fourth story dealing with Elijah (1Kgs 19:19-21; 2Kgs 2:1-18) relates his ascension into heaven along with an account of how Elisha became his servant and successor. In the NT, Elijah is identified in the popular mind with Jesus (Mark 6:15; Mark 8:28), but Jesus identified John the Baptist as Elijah, who was to return and restore all things (Mark 9:12; Mal 3:1).

  • Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.