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The Story of

Elijah, Ahab and Jezebel

as written in

1 Kings 17:1-24; 18:1-46; 19:1-14

 

Elijah is one of only two men

who have gone to heaven without dying


Elijah represents the 144,000 living Christians who will welcome Christ at the second advent and who will be translated into heaven without seeing death.

Malachi 4:4-6 These are the last words of the Old Testament

Remember you the law of Moses My servant, [the Ten Commandments] which I commanded to him in Horeb [Mt. Sinai] for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Matthew 11:12-15 It will not be the literal Elijah who comes

[Jesus said] And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you will receive it, this is Elias [Elijah], which was for to come. He that has ears to hear, let him hear.

Ahab the king is the type (or picture) of the civil authorities used by religion to persecute the Christians, and which are called by the general title of "the beast" in The Revelation.

1 Kings 21:24-26 The curse on Ahab's family

[God said that] him that dies of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dies in the field shall the fowls of the air eat. But [or because] there was none like to Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

The wicked Jezebel, priestess of Baal, is typical of the churches who ride the beast and who worship Baal the god of force.

Revelation 17:3-5

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, [which was] full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.


1 Kings Chapter 17

The message from God

1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab [the king of Israel], As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

A temporary shelter

2 And the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 3 Get you hence [away from here], and turn you eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 4 And it shall be, that you shall drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.

5 So he went and did according to the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. 7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.

Leave the country

8 And the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 9 Arise, get you to Zarephath, which belongs to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain you.

A test of faith

10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray you, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray you, a morsel of bread in your hand.

12 And she said, As the LORD your God lives, I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse [bottle]: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

13 And Elijah said to her, Fear not; go and do as you have said: but make me of it a little cake first, and bring it to me, and after make for you and for your son. 14 For thus says the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.

15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which He spoke by Elijah.

He was the means of a resurrection

17 And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, What have I to do with you, O you man of God? Are you come to me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?

The child and mother were separated first

19 And he said to her, Give me your son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. 20 And he cried to the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, have you also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? [Like Jacob in his trouble, he blamed God at first].

21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried to the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray you, let this child's soul come into him again. 22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him to his mother: and Elijah said, See, your son lives. 24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.

Chapter 18

The drought neared its end

1 And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, show yourself to Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. 2 And Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria [the new name for Israel].

3 And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared [or respected] the LORD greatly: 4 for it was so, when Jezebel [Ahab’s wife, a priestess of Baal] cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took a hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)

5 And Ahab said to Obadiah, Go into the land, to all fountains of water, and to all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts. 6 So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.

7 And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Are you that my lord Elijah?

8 And he answered him, I am: go, tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here. 9 And he said, What have I sinned, that you would deliver your servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me? 10 As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom, where my lord has not sent to seek you: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found you not. 11 And now you say, Go, tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here. 12 And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from you, that the Spirit of the LORD shall carry you where I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he shall slay me: but I your servant fear the LORD from my youth.

[Return to Notes for The Revelation chapter 12]

13 Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid a hundred men of the LORD's prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14 And now you say, Go, tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here: and he shall slay me.

15 And Elijah said, As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.

Ahab and Elijah meet

16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, Are you he that troubles Israel?

18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but you, and your father's house, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and you have followed Baalim. 19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel to mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table.

20 So Ahab sent to all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together to mount Carmel.

[Return to "The Image of the Beast"]

 

The question

21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, How long halt you between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word [because they did not know the difference!]. [Return to "The Image of the Beast"]

22 Then said Elijah to the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under. 24 And call you on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answers by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

A God-given test

25 And Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for you are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.

26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon [or danced around] the altar which was made.

27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleeps, and must be awaked.

28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice [3 pm], that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.

Elijah repaired the damage

30 And Elijah said to all the people, Come near to me. And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be your name: 32 and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.

33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. 34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. 35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.

36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their heart back again.

38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, He is the God; the LORD, He is the God.

The slaughter of the false prophets

40 And Elijah said to them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. [This was his idea, not a command from God].

He protected this enemy

41 And Elijah said to Ahab, Get you up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.

42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees [praying], 43 and said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again, seven times. 44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there arises a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say to Ahab, Prepare your chariot, and get you down, that the rain stop you not.

45 And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. 46 And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah [to guide his enemy]; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

Chapter 19

Jezebel’s reaction

1 And Ahab [a picture of the civil authorities] told Jezebel [a picture of the churches] all that Elijah [a picture of the 144,000] had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.

3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life [because he was scared], and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. [He thought God was against him].

5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said to him, Arise and eat. [God’s answer was His care for him]. 6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baked on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.

7 And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for you. 8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God [aka Mount Sinai in Arabia, where the Ten Commandments were given].

9 And he came there to a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, What do you here, Elijah? [Who told you to come here?] 10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, thrown down Your altars, and slain Your prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.


Romans 11:4

But what says the answer of God to him? I have reserved to Myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.


 

11 And He said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD [and learn a lesson]. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind [for He does not use force]: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake [He does not destroy]: 12 and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire [He does not consume]: and after the fire a still small voice [which is how He works].

13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice to him, and said, What do you here, Elijah? [Who sent you here?] 14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts [I am self-sent]: because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, thrown down Your altars, and slain Your prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. [He owned up to his sin and learned the lesson].


The translation of Elijah

 

2 Kings Chapter 2:1 -12

The first test of love

1 And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. 2 And Elijah said to Elisha, Tarry here, I pray you; for the LORD has sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said to him, As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. So they went down to Bethel.

3 And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said to him, Know you that the LORD will take away your master from your head today? [He has finished his work and is going to heaven]. And he said, Yes, I know it; hold you your peace. [This was no secret thing - his enemies could have seen it].

The second temptation

4 And Elijah said to him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray you; for the LORD has sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. So they came to Jericho. 5 And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said to him, Know you that the LORD will take away your master from your head to day? And he answered, Yes, I know it; hold you your peace.

The third temptation

6 And Elijah said to him, Tarry, I pray you, here; for the LORD has sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. And they two went on. 7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.

8 And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided here and there, so that the two went over on dry ground. 9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said to Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you, before I be taken away from you. And Elisha said, I pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me. [Let me be twice as useful as you have been].

10 And he said, You have asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so to you; but if not, it shall not be so. 11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire [an angelic host came for him], and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.


Let us not make the mistake of killing (condemning) the priests of Baal. Our job is to state the facts as they are and then leave the individuals to God's justice. Like Jezebel, they who live by violence will die by violence.

1 Kings 21:23 The statement of destiny

And of Jezebel also spoke the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.

2 Kings 9:30-37 The fulfilment

And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head [put on her crown], and looked out at a window. And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master? [You are a rebellious servant].

And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot.

And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter. And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands.

Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion [place] of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: and the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.

We need to learn the lessons Elijah learned - don't run from our place of duty when we are threatened (let God protect our backs), and speak with the small, quiet voice of the Spirit. Then we too will be cleansed of all our filthiness and able to be translated when the Lord comes.

See also "Joshua and the Angel" for the cleansing

 

Back to Notes for The Revelation chapter 11


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