Elijah Leaves Footsteps for Jesus to Follow
The prophet Elijah came directly onto the scene from Tishbe and began his career as prophet by performing miracles.
First, he kept a widow and her family alive by extending their supply of flour and oil, and second, he brought her son back to life after he had died.
God called Elijah to the court of King Ahab, a descendent of Jacob through Benjamin, who had married a Phoenician woman, Jezebel, a worshiper of the pagan god Baal. Even though Elijah won a contest with the priests of Baal, he left Samaria in fear and went to Beersheba.
Ahab had completed the building of the city of Samaria, which had been begun by his father, Omri.
After many conflicts with King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, Elijah was transported directly to heaven, without dying, in a chariot of fire.
Because the Jews believed that Elijah had never died, they were always looking for his return. Each family would set a place for Elijah at the Passover supper. They believed that he came to each house and took a sip of wine from the glass prepared for him. The children of the family often would search outside for sight of him, and they would watch the glass closely to see if they could see a sip of wine disappear.
When Jesus began his mission of preaching, healing, raising people from the dead, and feeding large crowds of people, many people believed that he was Elijah come back to earth. And like Jesus, Elijah had his own disciple or follower, Elisha.
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