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"Let Your Name Be Sanctified"



Chapter 9

THE TRUE GOD VERSUS BAAL

The ten-tribe kingdom of Israel was the first to revive the issue, The true God Jehovah or Baal, which? And a woman was involved! This took place more than a half century after the twelve-tribe kingdom of Israel broke up in the days of King Rehoboam of the house of David. Jeroboam, the king of the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel, became afraid that his subjects would revolt and go back to the house of David if they continued going up to Jerusalem, the capital city of the two-tribe kingdom of Judah, to worship Jehovah at his temple there. So King Jeroboam decided to set up a rival worship that would keep his people away from Jerusalem, where the house of David reigned. He tried the same device that the Israelites resorted to during Moses' absence for forty days in the mountain of God, that of representing the mighty God Jehovah as a young bull. This was, of course, a breaking of the Ten Commandments.

2 Jeroboam had two golden calves made. One he had set up at the far northern city of Dan. The other he had set up in Bethel. This was twelve miles north of Jerusalem and was in the territory of Ephraim, near where Jacob the grandson of Abraham had had his dream of the ladder between


1. (a) Which kingdom revived the issue. The true God Jehovah or Baal, which? (b) How did King Jeroboam reason himself into setting up calf worship in the land?
2. Where did Jeroboam set up the calf idols, whom did he make the priests of these, and whom did he say the calf represented?
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heaven and earth, upon which God's angels went up and down. The priests of the tribe of Levi stayed loyal to Jehovah's worship at Jerusalem. Hence King Jeroboam appointed his own priests to lead the false worship before his idol calves at Dan and Bethel. He told his subjects that it was too much of a task for them to go up to Jerusalem for worship, and that the calf represented the God who had brought them up out of Egypt.

3 In this way King Jeroboam caused the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel to sin and profane God's name. Jehovah condemned this calf worship and, by his prophet Ahijah, he notified King Jeroboam that the kingdom would not remain in his house. Anyone of his descendants dying in the open field the carrion birds would eat. A king of another house in Israel was to cut off all the house of unfaithful King Jeroboam. True to prophecy, Baasha of the tribe of Issachar rose up against Jeroboam's successor, his son Nadab, and wiped out all the royal house of Jeroboam. — 1 Kings 12:26 to 14:20; 15:25-31.

4 Baasha reigned as king in Tirzah as his capital for twenty-four years and kept up the calf worship. For this reason his royal house was condemned to the same terrible end as that of Jeroboam. Charioteer Zimri rose up against Baasha's son and successor Elah and wiped out all the house of Baasha. Zimri reigned for only seven days in Tirzah, because the majority of the Israelites made army chief Omri their king. When Omri captured Tirzah, Zimri committed suicide. Omri established himself on the throne and reigned six years in Tirzah. Then he bought the hill of Samaria and built Samaria on it and made this his capital


3. (a) In condemnation of calf worship, what did God notify King Jeroboam would happen to his royal house? (b) How was this prophecy fulfilled?
4. (a) How did King Baasha's royal house come to an end, and why? (b) How did Omri become king instead of Zimri, and what did he finally make his capital city?
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city because of its strongly fortified position. He also kept up calf worship. — 1 Kings 16:1-28.

5 In 941 B.C.E. Ahab the son of Omri became ruler over the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel, with the city of Samaria as his capital, about forty miles north of Jerusalem. King Ahab of Israel became notorious for his wickedness in matters of religion. He not only kept up the calf worship installed by apostate Jeroboam but did worse. How? He introduced Baal worship.

6 Upward of fifty miles north of Mount Carmel in the territory of the tribe of Asher lies the seaport of Sidon. There in King Ahab's day the Phoenician king named Ethbaal ruled a section of the Mediterranean seacoast. Melkart was the god of the city; in fact, the name of this false god means "King of the City." This god was the same as Baal, in whose favor the king of the Sidonians was supposed to be, for Ethbaal means "With Baal," that is, in the favor of Baal. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, King Ethbaal was the priest of the goddess Ashtoreth (Astarte). Very much devoted to worship of Ashtoreth was King Ethbaal's daughter named Jezebel. By marrying this idolatrous Jezebel King Ahab of Israel entered into a political alliance with her father King Ethbaal. Self-willed Jezebel dominated her husband Ahab, even religiously.

7 Concerning the effect of this God-forbidden marriage of King Ahab to Jezebel the record in 1 Kings 16:31-33 says:

8 "As if it were the most trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he now took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal the king of the Sidonians and began to go and


5. Who succeeded King Omri, and how did he become notorious for wickedness in matters of religion?
6. (a) In Ahab's day, who was the king of Sidon, and what does this one's name mean? (b) How did Ahab enter into a political alliance with King Ethbaal?
7, 8. As a follow-up to his marriage to Jezebel, what did King Ahab do religiously in Israel?
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serve Baal and to bow down to him. Further, he set up an altar to Baal at the house of Baal that he built in Samaria. And Ahab went on to make the sacred pole [or, the Asherah]; and Ahab came to do more to offend Jehovah the God of Israel than all the kings of Israel that happened to be prior to him."

9 Jezebel used her position to promote her father's worship in Israel, the worship of Baal and of the sacred pole or Asherah. There came to be hundreds of priests of Baal in Israel, as many as four hundred and fifty of them. There were also four hundred of the "prophets of the sacred pole" who ate at Jezebel's table, or at her expense. Baalism became more prominent in Israel than calf worship, which was practiced in the name of Jehovah. (1 Kings 18:19) Yet there was a remnant of some thousands in Israel that did not bow the knee to Baal or wave a kiss to his idol image.

A PROPHET FROM GILEAD

10 Suddenly, unannounced, a strange figure appeared in Israel, with solemn words for King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. The first words reported out of his mouth were: "Hha'i Yehowah'." That is to say: "As Jehovah is alive!" The man was a prophetical witness of Jehovah. His very name honored the one living and true God, for it was Elijah, which name means "Jehovah Is God." He came from east of the Jordan River, from the land of Gilead, from the village of Tishbeh about ten miles north of the Jabbok River, a tributary of the Jordan. Hence he was called Elijah the Tishbite.

11 The dry summer season that lasts six months, from April to September, was ending. The rainy season of winter was expected. But in giving his


9. (a) What did Jezebel promote in Israel, and what became more prominent than calf worship? (b) What did a remnant in Israel not do?
10. Who now appeared with a message for Ahab and Jezebel, with what opening words, and what did his name mean?
11. What season was then about to end, but what did Elijah say would follow as surely as Jehovah lived?
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first message to Israel Elijah says: "As Jehovah the God of Israel before whom I do stand is living, there will occur during these years neither dew nor rain, except at the order of my word!" (1 Kings 17:1) Elijah had prayed that, as an expression of Jehovah's indignation at the government-promoted Baal worship, there should be no rain for the following three years in Israel. Until he again prayed to Jehovah God for it, rain and the dews of the dry summer season would not return.  — James 5:17,18.

12 Drought now had to occur in Israel to prove Elijah a true prophet of the Most High God. (Deuteronomy 18:21, 22) Elijah did not produce the drought; he merely announced it after his prayer to Jehovah God. But the length of the drought depended upon Elijah's prayer, the order of his word. His God Jehovah was to be a drought maker as well as a rain maker for Elijah.  — Jeremiah 14:22.

13 The drought was to prove that Israel was ostracized from God for its Baal worship. Yet it was not Elijah who brought ostracism upon Israel but King Ahab, who had turned to shameful Baal worship. The drought with famine was to be a long one. It was an answer to the prayer of faith of a man with feelings like ours, but a righteous man: "Elijah was a man with feelings like ours, and yet in prayer he prayed for it not to rain; and it did not rain upon the land for three years and six months." (James 5:17) The prayer was merely prayer for God to bring his promised curse upon Israel for breaking their solemn covenant with him. — Deuteronomy 28:23, 24.

14 How would Elijah himself survive the drought


12. By whom was the drought produced, and to prove what point, and to depend upon what for its length?
13. Who had brought this ostracism upon Israel, and in answer to what was the drought produced, and in expression of what curse?
14. How did Elijah survive part of the drought and famine while on the east of the Jordan?
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and famine called for by his own prayer? Almighty God can feed ceremoniously unclean ravens that cry to him for food; and he could just as easily feed Elijah, even inside the drought-stricken land of Israel. (Job 38:41; Psalm 147:9) Jehovah said: "Go away from here, and you must turn your way eastward and conceal yourself at the torrent valley of Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And it must occur that from the torrent valley you should drink, and the ravens I shall certainly command to supply you food there." Elijah obeyed. Over there in safe hiding the ravens shared with Elijah. They brought him bread and meat both morning and evening, and the waters of the torrent valley supplied him drink. But the water stream kept getting smaller and smaller. Finally it ceased. "There had occurred no downpour upon the earth." — 1 Kings 17:2-7.

15 Over Israel's land the skies became like copper. The earth below became like iron. Instead of moisture from the skies there were gusts of powder and dust. The wintertime torrent valleys kept dry; they thirsted for the seasonal waters. Farmers felt shame at the yield of the ground. Vinedressers howled. Desolation clothed the country. The animals of the land felt the burden of the guilt of Baal-worshiping Israel. The domestic animals sighed; droves of cattle wandered in confusion, but no food! The droves of sheep followed their shepherds in vain.* Let all these poor creatures cry to Baal! Was he not the lord of sky and weather, the lord of rain and vegetation? Were there not 450 priests of Baal in the land of Israel? Why could not the prayers of the Baal priests along with slashings of themselves with


* Compare Deuteronomy 28:23, 24; Psalm 107:33, 34; Joel 1:4-20; Haggai 1:10, 11.
15. (a) How did the drought and food situation become in Israel? (b) According to their religious worship, who was the one for the stricken Israelites and their livestock to appeal to for relief?
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daggers and lances to their god Baal overcome the prayer of Elijah to his God Jehovah? Why did not Baal display himself as a rain maker and vindicate the powers attributed to him by his priests? Why did their sponsor, King Ahab, have to have search made for vegetation to save his mules and horses?

16 His god Baal proving helpless, King Ahab blamed Elijah for this ostracism from the rain-making God. He instituted a search for this wrecker of Israel's economy. He made inquiry of kingdoms far and near; but none could discover where Elijah was and hand him over to King Ahab. His queen, Jezebel, was furious against the God of Elijah. As many of Jehovah's prophets as could be found she killed off. All of them she did not track down. Right in the household of her lord the king there was a worshiper of Jehovah, Obadiah, whose very name means "Servant of Jehovah." He took a hundred prophets of Jehovah and hid them by fifties in caves, supplying them with bread and water. Micaiah may have been one of these prophets.

17 It was now time for Elijah to move to another place. God sent him to a widow, no, not one in Israel, but one outside of Israel, up near where Jezebel's father ruled at Sidon. God told Elijah: "Rise up, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and you must dwell there. Look! I shall certainly command there a woman, a widow, to supply you food." Without prejudice, Elijah went. At Zarephath he came upon the widow. He asked for a bit of bread, besides water.

18 The widow acknowledged Elijah's God: "As Jehovah your God is living, I have no round cake, but a handful of flour in the large jar and a little


16. What widespread search did King Ahab have made, and what furious action did Queen Jezebel take and with what limited success?
17. To whom did God now send Elijah to dwell and get food?
18. How did Elijah put the widow's hospitality to a test, and how did Jehovah make it possible for Elijah to live there till the drought was to end?
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oil in the small jar." She was picking up sticks to make a fire and bake something for herself and her son and eat it and die. Elijah asked her to put hospitality to a stranger before her own and her son's needs. For Jehovah promised that flour in the large jar and oil in the little jar would not get exhausted till Jehovah gave a downpour upon the surface of the ground. In faith the widow did as told; and Jehovah fulfilled his promise to her. So Elijah stayed with her and her son till the drought was to end.

19 However, was Elijah's presence really meant to drag her sins out into the open for punishment? For her son died! Elijah asked for the dead boy and laid him upon the couch in Elijah's chamber on the roof. After prayer to God he stretched himself three times upon the dead boy, calling out: "O Jehovah my God, please, cause the soul of this child to come back within him." God answered Elijah, and the boy became a living soul again. "See, your son is alive," said Elijah as he gave the boy to his widowed mother. At this she said: "Now, indeed, I do know that you are a man of God and that Jehovah's word in your mouth is true." (1 Kings 17:8-24) This non-Israelite widow had exercised faith in caring for Jehovah's prophet. She had not betrayed this hunted man to the Baal-worshiping King Ethbaal of Sidon nor to his son-in-law King Ahab of Israel. Now her faith was rewarded by the first reported case of a resurrection of the dead, that of her son.

THE TEST BY FIRE FROM HEAVEN

20 King Ahab had no success in tracking down Elijah, for God had hid him. In the third year after Elijah made his prediction of a long drought,


19. How did Elijah's presence appear to bring misfortune to the widow, but how was her faith in caring for him remarkably rewarded?
20. When did God send Elijah back to Israel, and to whom did Elijah first present himself?
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God said: "Go, show yourself to Ahab, as I am determined to give rain upon the surface of the ground." Elijah now returned to the land of Israel, although the famine was still severe in Samaria. King Ahab and his household steward Obadiah went hunting grass to preserve the royal horses and asses alive. King Ahab went one way in search, and Obadiah went another. Suddenly a man stood in Obadiah's path. Elijah! His appearance identified him — that garment of hair, the leather belt girded about his loins!

21 Obadiah prostrated himself. Elijah said: "Go, say to your lord, 'Here is Elijah.'" But Obadiah voiced fear that Elijah would disappear after he went to tell King Ahab; and would Elijah want one of Jehovah's witnesses killed? Obadiah had "feared Jehovah from his youth," and had proved it by hiding Jehovah's prophets in caves from Queen Jezebel's murderous vengeance. If Elijah vanished after being announced to King Ahab, then, said Obadiah, "he will be bound to kill me." So Elijah swore: "As Jehovah of armies before whom I do stand is living, today I shall show myself to him." — 1 Kings 18:1-15.

22 Thus Elijah sent for King Ahab, and not King Ahab for Elijah, and this by means of one of Jehovah's witnesses, one of the thousands in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal. King Ahab came eagerly. At meeting Elijah he said: "Is this you, the bringer of ostracism upon Israel?" Elijah countered this charge, saying that King Ahab and his father's house had brought the ostracism: "because you men have left the commandments of Jehovah, and you went following the Baals." Elijah then asked the king to collect together to him at Mount Carmel Baal's four hundred and fifty prophets and Jezebel's four hundred prophets


21. What did Elijah tell Obadiah to do. and how did he have to reassure Obadiah to do so?
22. What did King Ahab accuse Elijah of being, but with what request of Elijah did he comply?
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of the sacred pole, the Asherah. King Ahab complied with this request. — 1 Kings 18:16-20.

23 The name Carmel means "Orchard." But after three and a half years of drought Mount Carmel, famous for its olive trees and fruit trees, did not look like a prosperous orchard. Mount Carmel's headland rises 556 feet above the Mediterranean Sea. Some distance in from this the contest between Elijah and the priests of Baal was staged before King Ahab and representative men of Israel. Elijah took the lead, for he had called for this assembly. Said he: "How long will you be limping upon two different opinions? If Jehovah is the true God, go following him; but if Baal is, go following him." But how were the people to decide? Elijah would help them. The odds were 450 to 1, against Elijah. So let Baal's 450 priests get a sacrifice all ready to be burnt on an altar and then let them call upon Baal to light the wood under the sacrifice. Elijah also would prepare a bull for sacrifice, and not light the wood himself. He would call upon Jehovah to do so. "And it must occur that the true God that answers by fire is the true God." The people agreed to this test of godship. — 1 Kings 18:21-24

24 Now under obligation, the priests of Baal as the majority got their sacrifice ready first, but lit no fire. "O Baal, answer us!" they cried out from morning till noon. Elijah mocked the Baal priests: "Call at the top of your voice, for he is a god; for he must be concerned with a matter, and he has excrement and has to go to the privy. Or maybe he is asleep and ought to wake up!" As the priests kept calling in vain, they became frenzied and followed their custom of cutting themselves with daggers and lances. Blood flowed out upon them. High noon passed and they kept on behaving


23. What exhortation did Elijah make to the gathering there on Mount Carmel, and what test of godship did he propose?
24. How did Elijah have occasion to taunt the Baal priests, and what proof was made of Baal's godship?
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like prophets, yes, till the time for the daily grain offering to be burnt in the temple of Jerusalem far to the southeast. Baal did not answer with miraculous fire. He was not the true God!  — 1 Kings 18:25-29.

25 Now at Elijah's request the people got near to inspect his movements. "So Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the sons of Jacob, to whom Jehovah's word had come, saying: 'Israel is what your name will become.' And he went on to build the stones into an altar in the name of Jehovah and to make a trench, of about the area sowed with two seah measures of seed, all around the altar. After that he put the pieces of wood in order and cut the young bull in pieces and placed it upon the pieces of wood." Then for three times he had them pour four large jars of precious water upon the burnt offering and the wood underneath. "Thus the water went all around the altar, and the trench also he filled with water." Now, at the time when the grain offering was burnt on the temple altar over fire that God lighted in Solomon's day, Elijah prayed:

26 "O Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that you are God in Israel and I am your servant and it is by your word that I have done all these things. Answer me, O Jehovah, answer me, that this people may know that you, Jehovah, are the true God and you yourself have turned their heart back."

27 Without delay down came the fire of Jehovah from heaven. It consumed the drenched animal victim and wood, yes, the altar and the dust. It hotly licked up the water that was in the surrounding trench. Blue transparent crystals found three thousand years later in the neighborhood of this fire test argue that it was atomic fire, channeled down


25, 26. (a) How did Elijah prepare his sacrifice and make it proof against all trickery? (b) What did Elijah then pray?
27. What response was there to Elijah's prayer, and what did the people cry out?
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without injury to the nearby onlookers, directly hitting the target.* So awesome was the sight that the people fell upon their faces and cried out: "Yehowah' hu ha-Elohim'!" "Jehovah is the true God!" repeatedly. He had answered by fire.

28 Death therefore to the priests of the false god! "Then Elijah said to [the people]: 'Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let a single one of them escape!' " Stirred by the convincing demonstration of Jehovah's godship, the people seized the 450 Baal prophets. Elijah now had them brought down the eastern slope of Mount Carmel, to the torrent valley of Kishon. There, taking the lead in destroying Baal worship out of Israel, Elijah had those priests slaughtered. — 1 Kings 18:25-40.

29 The time had come for the drought to be broken, in further proof that Jehovah is the true God. Elijah, as if hearing the turmoil of a downpour of rain, told Ahab to go and enjoy a meal. But for Elijah it was a time to pray in faith to the great Rain Maker. With an attendant he climbed to the top of Mount Carmel. There he began crouching to the earth, with his face between his knees. He expected an early answer to prayer. To his attendant he said: "Go up, please. Look in the direction of the sea." The attendant looked westward across the Mediterranean Sea. "There is nothing at all," he said. "Go back," said Elijah repeatedly. On the seventh look the attendant's eyes brightened. "Look! There is a small cloud like a man's palm ascending out of the sea," he cried. Ah! Jehovah answers prayer! Elijah sent


* See Awake! as of December 22, 1948, page 19, under the title "Atomic Energy on Mount Carmel."
The traditional scene for the fire test is the height of el-Mahrakah (el-Muhregah), "the place of burnt sacrifice," a place still held sacred by the religious Druses. It is over 1,680 feet high.
28. What did Elijah now do to the 450 priests of Baal?
29. (a) How did Elijah now pray for rain, and what showed up? (b) What did Elijah send word to King Ahab now to do?
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the attendant at once to notify King Ahab to hitch up his chariot for a fast drive to his city of royal residence, Jezreel in the valley of Jezreel (Greek, Esdraelon). — 1 Kings 18:41-44.

30 The heavens darkened up with clouds, a high wind arose, the smell of rain was in the air. O how refreshing! In his chariot King Ahab went driving southeastward through the valley. Past the city of Megiddo he sped. But he had a runner ahead. It was the prophet Elijah. 'The very hand of Jehovah proved to be upon Elijah, so that he girded up his hips and went running ahead of Ahab all the way [some twenty-five miles] to Jezreel." A great downpour of rain followed them. (1 Kings 18:45,46) Faithfully, about a thousand years later, the Christian disciple James said concerning that man of prayer, Elijah: "And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the land put forth its fruit." — James 5:17,18.

NOT THE TIME TO DIE

31 Unimpressed by the providential break in the long drought, Queen Jezebel was infuriated when her husband Ahab told her of the test of true godship on Mount Carmel and of how Elijah had killed all the prophets of the god of her royal priestly father Ethbaal with the sword. By messenger she said to Elijah: "So may the gods do, and so may they add to it, if at this time tomorrow I shall not make your soul like the soul of each one of them!" — 1 Kings 19:1,2.

32 Elijah did not like the idea of becoming a "dead soul." (Leviticus 21:11; Numbers 6:6) He became afraid. With his attendant he fled eighty-five miles southwestward to a place named by


30. (a) In advance of what but preceded by whom did King Ahab drive to Jezreel? (b) What did the disciple James write about this prayer of Elijah?
31. How was Queen Jezebel affected by these events, and what message did she send to Elijah?
32. What did Elijah do at this, and what did he pray before falling asleep?
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his forefather Abraham, namely, Beer-sheba, about thirty miles west of the lower Dead Sea. Here he left his attendant and continued on south for a day's journey. Sitting under a broom tree, "he began to ask that his soul might die," of course, not at Jezebel's hand. Said he: "It is enough! Now, O Jehovah, take my soul away, for I am no better than my forefathers." He fell asleep, but not in death. — 1 Kings 19:3-5.

33 An angel waked Elijah up and told him to eat. There at his head was a round cake baked upon heated stones and a jug of water. Then he lay down and slept again. Jehovah's angel woke him again, with news that a journey was ahead of him: "Rise up, eat, for the journey is too much for you." Elijah did so and then got on the move. "He kept going in the power of that nourishment for forty days and forty nights as far as the mountain of the true God, Horeb." On that two-hundred-mile journey along into the wilderness of Sinai, Elijah fasted for forty days, just as the prophet Moses had fasted for forty days when receiving the Ten Commandments.

34 "What is your business here, Elijah?" This was Jehovah's question to Elijah while spending the night there in a cave. Elijah seemed to have no prospects of further business as a prophet, as he said: "I have been absolutely jealous for Jehovah the God of armies; for the sons of Israel have left your covenant, your altars they have torn down, and your prophets they have killed with the sword, so that I only am left; and they begin looking for my soul to take it away." But Jehovah's word said to Elijah: "Go out, and you must stand on the mountain before Jehovah." Elijah did so. — 1 Kings 19:5-11.


33. What miraculous provision was made for Elijah, and where did he go. and on a fast of how many days?
34. What inquiry now came to Elijah, what answer did he make, and what was he told to do?
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35 Frightful must have been the phenomena of nature that Elijah now experienced. "Look! Jehovah was passing by, and a great and strong wind was rending mountains and breaking crags before Jehovah. (Jehovah was not in the wind.) And after the wind there was a quaking. (Jehovah was not in the quaking.) And after the quaking there was a fire. (Jehovah was not in the fire.)" How was that? If Jehovah was passing by and was responsible for those terrifying manifestations of nature, how was it that he himself was not in those manifestations? In that Jehovah is not a nature god, or just natural forces that are personified and idolized. The crashing wind, the earthquake and the flaming fire were not themselves God, Jehovah, and therefore were not to be personalized like Baal, the false god of sky, storm, weather and vegetation. The wind, earthquake and fire were merely expressions of Jehovah's active force. This was very different from when Jehovah covered Moses in a cleft in the rock of Sinai and passed by and proclaimed his name so fully. — 1 Kings 19:11,12.

36 For Elijah it had just been a roaring, shaking time. What a contrast to what followed! After the fire there was a "calm, low voice," or a voice of gentle calm, of motionlessness. It was Jehovah's voice talking. "As soon as Elijah heard it, he immediately wrapped his face in his official garment and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave; and, look! there was a voice for him, and it proceeded to say to him: 'What is your business here, Elijah?' " To this question Elijah replied as before. No business prospects!

37 Jehovah set business before his discouraged prophet. To the north of Israel lay the country of


35. What phenomena of nature did Elijah now experience, and in what way was Jehovah not in these?
36. What followed those phenomena of nature, and what question was put to Elijah, with what response by him?
37. What business was set before discouraged Elijah, and now was he assured that he was not left alone in Israel?
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Syria, with its capital at Damascus. It had gained its independence from Israel and had its own king, at that time Ben-hadad. Syria was like a king of the north to Israel. Elijah was to promote great changes in government, including that of Syria. Jehovah said to him: "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; and you must come in and anoint Hazael as king over Syria. And Jehu the grandson of Nimshi you should anoint as king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat from Abel-meholah you should anoint as prophet in place of you. And it must occur that the one escaping from Hazael's sword, Jehu will put to death; and the one escaping from Jehu's sword, Elisha will put to death. And I have let seven thousand remain in Israel, all the knees that have not bent down to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him. (1 Kings 19:12-18) No, Elijah was not left alone in Israel.

38 With renewed purpose in life Elijah came back north from the peninsula of Sinai. He crossed the Jordan River and came into his home country of Gilead, east of Jordan. The town of Abel-meholah? He knew it well. It was just a few miles northeast of his own home town of Tishbeh. Elijah now proceeded to anoint as his successor Elisha, whose name means "God Is Salvation." How? Elijah found him plowing with twelve spans of bulls before him, he himself being behind with the twelfth span. "So Elijah crossed over to him and threw his official garment upon him." Elisha then understood this anointing or appointment. He left plowing and ran after Elijah and said: "Let me, please, kiss my father and my mother. Then I will go following you." Elijah's words: "Go, return; for what have I done to you?" were not a rejection of this Elisha, who


38, 39. (a) Whom did Elijah "anoint" first, and how? (b) What did the anointed one first do, and then what ministry did he undertake?
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was one of the remnant of seven thousand in Israel who had not bowed down to Baal.

39 After having a farewell meal with the people, including the fellow plowmen, Elisha "rose up and went following Elijah and began to minister to him." (1 Kings 19:19-21) He came to be known as "Elisha the son of Shaphat, who poured out water upon the hands of Elijah," when Elijah washed his hands. — 2 Kings 3:11.

CONDEMNATION UPON AHAB AND JEZEBEL

40 After this King Ben-hadad of Syria committed aggression upon Israel. A certain man of the true God, one of the remnant of seven thousand still loyal to Jehovah, twice predicted victory for the king of Israel, in the course of two years. King Ahab did not follow up his victory but compromised with his enemy. In view of this another one of the remnant, a certain man of the "sons of the prophets," told King Ahab that his soul must go for the soul of the king of Syria whom he had let escape, and King Ahab's people for King Ben-hadad's people. This caused King Ahab great dejection of spirit. — 1 Kings 20:1-43.

41 Be it here noted that Elijah did not lose his prophetic office after he fled in fear from murder-minded Jezebel. At Horeb, the mountain of God, Jehovah did not discharge Elijah. And after anointing Elisha by throwing his official garment over Elisha, he did not step out of prophetic service. Elisha did not keep wearing the official garment, but Elijah resumed wearing it. So Elijah had a further encounter with King Ahab.

42 Besides Queen Jezebel, King Ahab had other


40. How did King Ahab fail in his dealing with the king of Syria and according to one of the "sons of the prophets" what consequences were he and his people to suffer?
41. What is to be noted with regard to whether Elijah was discharged from prophetic service at Mount Horeb or after anointing Elisha?
42. (a) What children did King Ahab have, and by what means? (b) What marriage alliance did he have with the king of Judah, and with what effect on the royal house of Judah?
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wives, with concubines, no doubt. Two of his sons named in the record were Ahaziah and Jehoram. Besides these there came to be seventy other sons, along with daughters, including Athaliah, who had the same spirit as her mother Jezebel. Athaliah was the tie in a political alliance between the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah; for King Ahab married off his daughter Athaliah to Jehoram the son of King Jehoshaphat of Judah. Thus Athaliah was in line to become queen of Judah. (2 Kings 8:16-18,26,27; 2 Chronicles 22: 2-4; 2 Kings 10:1, 6) This was a religiously dangerous marriage! And before long the kingdom of Judah suffered for this poor marriage as arranged for by King Jehoshaphat of Jerusalem. When Athaliah's son Ahaziah became king of Judah, Athaliah as queen mother counseled him in doing what was wicked in Jehovah's sight. — 2 Chronicles 24:7.

43 King Ahab of Israel had a God-fearing neighbor living to the east of his royal residence in Jezreel. This man was Naboth the Jezreelite, who had a vineyard. It was on ground that was a family inheritance, a hereditary possession from his forefathers according to the law of Jehovah God. King Ahab began coveting it, that he might turn it into a garden of vegetables for himself. He proposed to Naboth either to make an exchange for it or buy it outright. Naboth stuck to the law and arrangement of God, saying: "It is unthinkable on my part, from Jehovah's standpoint, for me to give the hereditary possession of my forefathers to you." — 1 Kings 21:1-3.

44 King Ahab felt so bad at not getting the property that he lay down on his couch with face to the wall and would not eat. His wife Jezebel asked why. When he told her, she said: "Is it


43. What property did King Ahab begin to covet, and what did the property owner say to Ahab's offers?
44. How did Ahab act about his failure, and how did Queen Jezebel arrange to have matters handled?
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you that now exercise the kingship over Israel? Rise up, eat bread and let your heart be merry. I myself shall give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite." Ignoring that Ahab himself was king over Israel, she took matters in hand. She wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed them with his official seal. These she sent to elderly men and nobles that were fellow citizens of Naboth. She instructed these in the king's name to "frame" Naboth and to have two false witnesses on a public occasion say to Naboth: "You have cursed God and the king!" Then on this charge of blasphemy and sedition by the false witnesses they were to stone Naboth to death. — 1 Kings 21:4-10.

45 The elderly men and nobles looked at the royal seal on the letters, and chose to obey man (in this case really Jezebel) rather than the God of the Ten Commandments. They brought about Naboth's murder as ordered, and stray dogs licked up the blood from his battered body. His sons and heirs were also killed. "They now sent to Jezebel, saying: 'Naboth has been stoned so that he is dead.' " In turn, Jezebel said to her husband: "Rise up, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is no longer alive, but dead." Without grief for Naboth's death, but in covetousness, King Ahab took possession of the vineyard. — 1 Kings 21:11-16.

46 His pleasure at taking possession was quickly changed to despondency. Uninvited, the prophet Elijah confronted him in the vineyard. The all-seeing Jehovah had sent Elijah to say: " 'Have you murdered and also taken possession?'... This is what Jehovah has said: 'In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth, the dogs will lick up your blood, even yours.'" Like a caught


45. How were the instructions carried out, and what did Jezebel tell Ahab to do?
46. Who confronted Ahab at Naboth's vineyard, and with what message?
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criminal, Ahab said to Elijah: "Have you found me, O enemy of mine?" — 1 Kings 21:17-20.

47 Yes, Elijah had found him, and that with a message of judgment from Jehovah. Jehovah would cut off every male descendant of King Ahab, and make his royal house like that of King Jeroboam the introducer of calf worship in Israel and like that of Baasha the conspirator who wiped out Jeroboam's house but who kept up the calf worship in Israel. "And also as regards Jezebel Jehovah has spoken, saying, The very dogs will eat up Jezebel in the plot of land of Jezreel. Anyone of Ahab's that is dying in the city the dogs will eat up; and anyone dying in the field the fowls of the heavens will eat up. Without exception no one has proved to be like Ahab, who sold himself to do what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah, whom Jezebel his wife egged on. And he went acting very detestably by going after the dungy idols, the same as all that the Amorites had done, whom Jehovah drove out from before the sons of Israel.' " (1 Kings 21:21-26) Listening to this at Naboth's vineyard were Ahab's army chieftain, Jehu the grandson of Nimshi, and his adjutant named Bidkar, riding their chariot teams behind the king. However, Elijah did not anoint Jehu the grandson of Nimshi at that time. Jehu's work must begin later.

48 At this terrifying pronouncement from Elijah's God, King Ahab humbled himself, fasting and sitting and walking despondently in unroyal sackcloth. On this account Jehovah told Elijah that he would bring this announced calamity on Ahab's house, not in Ahab's days, but in the days of a son of Ahab. — 1 Kings 21:27-29.


47. (a) What was to happen to Ahab's royal house, and what to Jezebel? (b) What two army men were listening to this judgment message, but why was there no anointing of one of them then?
48. Till when was extermination of Ahab's royal house postponed, and why?
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49 Three years went by without the words of Jehovah through Elijah taking effect. King Ben-hadad of Syria had not resumed war on Israel, but he still held the Israelite city of Ramoth-gilead, some twenty miles northeast of Elijah's home town of Tishbeh. Now there came a visit by King Jehoshaphat from Jerusalem. Jehoshaphat had taken Athaliah, the daughter of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, to be the wife of his son Jehoram, so that a family relationship then existed between the two royal houses. On this state visit Ahab proposed that King Jehoshaphat join him in a military campaign to recapture Ramoth-gilead across the Jordan River. King Jehoshaphat agreed. But he asked first to have some word from his God Jehovah.

50 King Ahab did not send for Elijah. What would be the use, as Elijah had already pronounced destruction upon him? King Ahab summoned about four hundred professed prophets. These presumed to speak in Jehovah's name, to suit the occasion. To Ahab's question about a campaign against Ramoth-gilead, they said: "Go up, and Jehovah will give it into the king's hand." Unsatisfied, King Jehoshaphat asked to inquire of still another "prophet of Jehovah." This time Ahab suggested, no, not Elijah, but Micaiah the son of Imlah. His name means "Who Is Like Jehovah?" He was one of the remnant of seven thousand in Israel who had not bent the knee to Baal. Ahab hated Micaiah, because he backed up Elijah's prophecy and predicted only bad things against King Ahab. Before Micaiah came, he said to the king's messenger: "As Jehovah is living, what Jehovah will say to me, that is what I shall speak." — 1 Kings 22:1-14.


49. What relationship was there between Ahab and King Jehoshaphat of Judah, and what proposal did Ahab make to him on a state visit?
50. (a) What prophets did Ahab first send for, and what did they say regarding this military venture? (b) Whom was Ahab then obliged to call, and what did this one say before coming?
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51 In mockery Micaiah imitated what the four hundred false prophets had told the king. So Ahab put Micaiah under oath to speak nothing but the truth in Jehovah's name. Micaiah respected the oath and now predicted disaster for the king. The Israelites would be scattered like sheep without a royal shepherd. Furthermore, Jehovah God had let go a deceptive spirit into the mouths of those four hundred prophets who had predicted success, to bring about Ahab's death; "but Jehovah himself has spoken calamity concerning you." King Ahab listened to the majority and ordered Micaiah to be imprisoned until, said he, "I come in peace." Micaiah submitted himself to the test of a true prophet of Jehovah and said: "If you return at all in peace, Jehovah has not spoken with me." And he added: "Hear, all you peoples."

52 Despite this, King Jehoshaphat of Jerusalem went along with King Ahab, but, in doing so, he did not please Jehovah God. (2 Chronicles 19:1, 2) With their combined military forces they crossed the Jordan River and moved against Ramoth-gilead. Feeling insecure, especially in view of Micaiah's prophecy, Ahab disguised himself to avoid becoming a target of attack. The battle was joined outside the Syrian-held city, but Ahab's disguise did not shield him. A Syrian arrow, guided in its course by Jehovah God, struck Ahab at a hard place to hit, between the appendages and the coat of mail. Ahab had to be held up to keep his standing position in his chariot with his face toward the Syrians. "Gradually he died in the evening; and the blood of the wound kept pouring out upon the interior of the war chariot." At sunset the battle was halted, and they took


51 (a) Under what obligation was Micaiah finally put, and what did he predict? (b) What did Ahab order to be done to Micaiah, and what did Micaiah say?
52 (a) How did the military campaign proceed, and how did King Ahab's disguise fail? (b) Did Ahab come back to Samaria in peace, and who proved to be a true prophet, speaking in God's name?
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the king's corpse back across the Jordan River and buried it in Samaria. He did not come back in peace and prosperity. His four hundred prophets were proved to have taken up Jehovah's name in a worthless way and Micaiah was proved a true prophet who genuinely spoke in Jehovah's name. Micaiah was a true witness of Jehovah.  — 1 Kings 22:15-37.

53 But what about fulfillment of Elijah's words three years previously to King Ahab in the vineyard of Naboth? The king's chariot had to be washed. "And they began to wash off the war chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs went licking up his blood (and the prostitutes themselves bathed there), according to Jehovah's word that he had spoken." (1 Kings 22:38) This fulfillment of Elijah's words about King Ahab gave promise that all the rest of the prophecy that he spoke in the vineyard of Naboth respecting Ahab's royal household and his queen, Jezebel, would be fulfilled also. Just wait!

54 Ahab's death left behind Queen Jezebel, as a widow; but "Ahaziah his son began to reign in place of him." — 1 Kings 22:39,40.

55 The mother of the new king Ahaziah continued to influence him religiously. "He kept doing what was bad in Jehovah's eyes and went walking in the way of his father and in the way of his mother [Jezebel] and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had caused Israel to sin. And he continued serving Baal and bowing down to him and kept offending Jehovah the God of Israel according to all that his father had done." (1 Kings 22:52, 53) It was not extraordinary, then, that when King Ahaziah fell down through the grating in his roof chamber and got sick, he finally sent to


53. How was Elijah's prophecy concerning Ahab's blood fulfilled and what promise did this fulfillment give as to the rest of the prophecy?
54, 55. (a) Who succeeded King Ahab, and after whose example and counsel did he proceed religiously? (b) After his accident to whom did he send to inquire about his recovery?
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the nearest Philistine city to the southwest, Ekron, to inquire of its local god, Baal-zebub, about recovery from his sickness. — 2 Kings 1:2.

56 However, Jehovah's word against the house of Ahab could not be ignored and set aside. By his angel Jehovah sent Elijah to meet the king's messengers. Elijah said to them: "Is it because there is no God at all in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron? So therefore this is what Jehovah has said: 'As regards the couch upon which you have gone up, you will not come down off it, because you will positively die.' " When the messengers went back and reported to King Ahaziah the son of Ahab, he asked about the prophet's appearance. They said he was a "man possessing a hair garment, with a leather belt girded about his loins." The king recognized the description: "It was Elijah the Tishbite." — 2 Kings 1:3-8.

57 To arrest Elijah King Ahaziah sent out a chief of fifty with his fifty men. These never returned. He sent out another group like that. These too never returned. What had happened?

58 In each case the chief of the fifty found Elijah sitting on the top of the mountain. He addressed him as "Man of the true God" and commanded him to obey the king and come down. In each case Elijah replied that, if he was in fact a man of God, "let fire come down from the heavens and eat up you and your fifty." As at Mount Carmel, "fire of God came descending from the heavens and went eating up him and his fifty." The king defied Jehovah by sending out a third group, but the chief of this fifty did not defy Jehovah. He pleaded with Elijah that he and his company might be spared from fiery death. "At that the angel of


56 Whom did Jehovah send with a message to King Ahaziah's messengers, and how did Ahaziah recognize the message bearer?
57 58. (a) What attempts did King Ahaziah make to arrest Elijah, and how did Elijah finally come to deliver God's message personally to Ahaziah? (b) How long after Elijah's getting his commission at Mount Horeb did this happen?
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Jehovah spoke to Elijah: 'Go down with him. Do not be afraid because of him.' " Fearlessly Elijah went with the group and personally delivered Jehovah's message to King Ahaziah. Later the king did die, "according to the word of Jehovah that Elijah had spoken." He died without a son to succeed him on the throne of Israel. Accordingly his brother Jehoram began to reign in place of him. (2 Kings 1:9-17) At this time also in Jerusalem a king of the same name was reigning, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, this Jehoram being also the brother-in-law of the king of Israel by having married the king's sister Athaliah. The time now was not less than six years after the prophet Elijah had received his commission at Mount Horeb and had anointed Elisha to be his successor.

ASCENT IN A WINDSTORM TO THE HEAVENS

59 The beginning of the reign of King Jehoram of Israel in Samaria finds the prophet Elijah at Gilgal, about seven miles north of Bethel or about nineteen miles north of Jerusalem. At this Gilgal in the mountains there appears to have been a company of prophets, called "the sons of the prophets." (2 Kings 4:38) Years before this, one of such "sons of the prophets" had told King Ahab that he was to lose his own soul for having let the soul of King Ben-hadad of Syria escape. (1 Kings 20:35-42) These were not sons of other prophets, but were members of a society or organization of prophets, possibly a school for prophets. Some or many of these may have been hidden by Obadiah in caves for protection from Jezebel. They were of the remnant of seven thousand in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal. These "sons of the prophets" were associated with Elijah,


59. At Gilgal with whom does Elijah appear to have been associated, and what did the way in which they were designated indicate?
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who doubtless served them and helped them in their ministry as prophets of the true God Jehovah.

60 The time came for Elijah to part permanently from the prophets at Gilgal up in the mountains. By now his attendant, Elisha the son of Shaphat, had had years of training in prophetic work. It was revealed to Elisha that his master Elijah was about to be taken from him in a supernatural way. "And it came about that when Jehovah was to take Elijah in a windstorm up to the heavens, Elijah and Elisha proceeded to go from Gilgal. And Elijah began to say to Elisha: 'Sit here, please, because Jehovah himself has sent me clear to Bethel.' But Elisha said: 'As Jehovah is living and as your soul is living, I will not leave you.' So they went down to Bethel." (2 Kings 2:1, 2) This Bethel is 3,000 feet above the Jordan River where the Israelites crossed it dry-shod, near Jericho, in the days of Judge Joshua.

61 Here at Bethel the sons of the prophets asked Elisha: "Do you really know that today Jehovah is taking your master from headship over you?" At this Elisha said: "I too well know it. Be silent." After a farewell visit with the prophets at Bethel Elijah said: "Elisha, sit here, please, because Jehovah himself has sent me to Jericho." Again Elisha refused to let his master go on alone. So down they went to Jericho, near the Jordan River but some miles up above where it empties into the Dead Sea. Here also the sons of the prophets asked Elisha if he knew that Jehovah was taking Elijah from him. Elisha told them: "I too well know it. Be silent." After a farewell visit with these prophets, Elijah had to move on. He said to


60. (a) When Elijah and Elisha began their last journey together, how much prophetic training had Elisha had? (b) How is it that Elijah arrived from Gilgal and at Bethel accompanied by Elisha?
61. (a) What did the sons of the prophets at Bethel and at Jericho ask Elisha, and what did he answer? (b) What did Elisha answer to Elijah's requests to stay behind, and so where did they arrive together?
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Elisha: "Sit here, please, because Jehovah himself has sent me to the Jordan." Again Elisha refused, saying: "As Jehovah is living and as your soul is living, I will not leave you." So together they went toward the western bank of the Jordan River. — 2 Kings 2:3-6.

62 What would happen at the Jordan? Fifty of the sons of the prophets stood at a distance to watch. They saw Elijah and Elisha reach the Jordan and stand on the bank. They witnessed Elijah's final miracle. "Then Elijah took his official garment and wrapped it up and struck the waters, and gradually they were divided this way and that way, so that both of them went across on the dry ground." (2 Kings 2:7, 8) Near there, over five hundred years before, the nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan from the opposite bank by a miraculous parting of the waters. It was by the power of the God of Elijah.

63 "As soon as they had gone across Elijah himself said to Elisha: 'Ask what I should do for you before I am taken from you.' To this Elisha said: 'Please, that two parts in your spirit may come to me.' " Elisha desired to have a spirit like that of Elijah. He did not ask for all of Elijah's spirit nor for twice as much as Elijah had. A part is a part, a mere part of the whole; and Elisha asked for two parts in Elijah's spirit, as though he were the first-born son of Elijah to whom an extra part was due above the respective parts going to other sons. Elisha desired the other prophets to have their due part in Elijah's spirit also. However, if he was to be Elijah's successor and take the lead as Elijah had done, then he needed twice as much of Elijah's spirit as any of the other prophets. How, then, could Elisha get the first-born's two parts?


62. How did the two get to the other side of the Jordan?
63. On the other side, what did Elisha ask from Elijah, and how are we to understand his request?
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64 Elijah, still wearing his official garment, told Elisha: "You have asked a difficult thing. If you see me when taken from you, it will happen to you that way; but if you do not, it will not happen." (2 Kings 2:9, 10) This meant that it was really God who imparted the spirit in any measure; and if God favored Elisha with the privilege of seeing Elijah taken away miraculously, it would signify that God would also favor Elisha with two parts of his master's spirit. It became necessary, therefore, for Elisha to keep at Elijah's side to the end.

65 "And it came about that as they were walking along, speaking as they walked, why, look! a fiery war chariot and fiery horses, and they proceeded to make a separation between them both; and Elijah went ascending in the windstorm to the heavens. All the while Elisha was seeing it, and he was crying out: 'My father, my father, the war chariot of Israel and his horsemen!' And he did not see him any more. Consequently he took hold of his own garments and ripped them into two pieces." — 2 Kings 2:11,12.

66 In this remarkable way Elijah ended his public career in the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel as a prophet of the true God Jehovah. He is reported as ministering in Israel more years after the fire test on Mount Carmel and his flight to Horeb than before. He had not served as a witness of Jehovah in vain. He restored the name of Jehovah to an honorable place in Israel, at least with the remnant of seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal. At least their hearts he, as Jehovah's agent, turned back to the one living and true God, the God who could bring down fire from heaven and who is also a Rain Maker.


64. What did Elijah say in answer to Elisha, and what did this require Elisha to do?
65. How was Elijah parted from Elisha, and what did Elisha cry out?
66. (a) Thus how long after his flight to Horeb did Elijah end his public career, and what had he really accomplished? (b) In what state of relationship with God was Elijah when taken away, and in whose equipment did Elisha see him taken up?
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(1 Kings 18:37, 38, 45) His ascension to the heavens was no fearful flight from Queen Mother Jezebel as in the days when her husband King Ahab was alive. Elijah was not separated from his successor Elisha during any time of divine disfavor, a time of God's anger against him. Elijah was taken away by an ascent heavenward under God's approval, shortly after God had used Elijah to perform one of the greatest miracles of his career. This occurred less than fifteen miles from where the prophet Moses had died on Mount Nebo, east of the Jordan River. Elijah ascended in the windstorm along with the fiery war chariot and fiery horses, which Elisha called "the war chariot of Israel and his horsemen!" It was the miraculous war equipment of Jehovah of armies.

67 The gift that Elijah left behind with his successor Elisha was not a spirit of fear and of despondency at God's disfavor. It was "two parts" of a spirit of courage and of being "absolutely jealous for Jehovah the God of armies." — 1 Kings 19:10, 14.

68 In grief Elisha tore his garments in two because of being parted from his beloved master; but it was no time for mourning inasmuch as Elijah had gone away alive. Elisha held no period of mourning for Elijah's being taken away. Elisha went to work immediately after, so that there was no break in the prophetic ministry to which Elisha had succeeded. Elijah departed alive in a supernatural glory, leaving the work in good trained hands.

69 Elijah did not go to heaven in the sense of going into the invisible spiritual realm in which God and his only-begotten Son and the heavenly angels live. Nine hundred and fifty years later the


67. What gift did Elijah leave behind to his successor?
68. Why did Elisha hold no mourning period over Elijah?
69. 70. (a) How do we know whether Elijah ascended into the invisible presence of Jehovah God? (b) What did the letter to King Jehoram of Judah say, and thus Elijah proved to be a prophet to what kingdom also?
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Son of God from heaven was here on earth as a man, and he said to the Jewish ruler Nicodemus: "No man has ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man." (John 3:13) Furthermore, the evidence is that Elijah did not die right after he was parted from Elisha. More than seven years after his ascension Elijah the prophet sent from somewhere a letter to King Ahab's son-in-law, King Jehoram of Judah at Jerusalem. We read:

70 "Eventually there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying: 'This is what Jehovah the God of David your forefather has said, "Due to the fact that you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father or in the ways of Asa the king of Judah, but you walk in the way of the kings of Israel and cause Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to have immoral intercourse the same way that the house of Ahab caused the having of immoral intercourse, and even your own brothers, the household of your father, who were better than you, you have killed; look! Jehovah is dealing a great blow to your people and to your sons and to your wives and to all your goods. And you will be with many sicknesses, with a malady of your intestines, until your intestines have come out because of the sickness day by day."' " (2 Chronicles 21:12-15) Elijah was thus not a prophet to Israel merely, but after his ascension he became also a prophet to the kingdom of Judah.

71 Elijah had eight reported miracles to his credit. They were: (1) Shutting heaven from rainfall; (2) keeping the flour and oil supply of the widow of Zarephath renewed; (3) resurrecting the widow's son; (4) having fire fall from heaven in answer to prayer; (5) having rain break the drought in answer to prayer; (6) calling down fire on King Ahaziah's captain and his fifty men;


71. What miracles did Elijah perform, and how is he referred to in Hebrews, chapter eleven?
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(7) calling down fire on a second captain and his fifty; (8) parting the Jordan River by smiting it with his official garment. His ascension to the heavens was miraculous, but was the direct act of God. In Hebrews 11:2 to 12:1, which gives a list of ancient witnesses of Jehovah, reference is unquestionably made to Elijah when it says: "The time will fail me if I go on to relate about . . . Samuel and the other prophets, who through faith . . . effected righteousness . . . Women received their dead by resurrection." Elijah thus performed an important part toward the sanctifying of the name of Jehovah.

72 Elijah's history must be significant, according to what is written in 1 Corinthians 10:11. It appears that he was enacting a prophetic drama. This must be true in view of the last book of the Hebrew prophets, written more than four hundred years after Elijah, namely, Malachi. In Malachi 4:4-6 it is written: "Remember, you people, the law of Moses my servant with which I commanded him in Horeb concerning all Israel, even regulations and judicial decisions. Look! I am sending to you people Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah. And he must turn the heart of fathers back toward sons, and the heart of sons back toward fathers; in order that I may not come and actually strike the earth with a devoting of it to destruction."

73 According to the Bible time schedule and according to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, the time is not far distant for Elijah himself to be raised from the dead to live again here on earth. This, however, is not the thing to which Malachi 4:5, 6 just quoted refers. It is left for later pages in this book to explain.


72. According to 1 Corinthians 10:11 and Malachi 4:4-6, what was Elijah enacting of significance to us?
73. How is Elijah shortly to return personally, and is this what Malachi 4:5, 6 refers to?


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