Due to this providential necessity, it is said in the New Testament that John the Baptist was Elijah returned.
Elijah (Standard Hebrew: ?????????? Eliyyбhu'), also known as Elias (New Testament Greek: H????), was a ninth-century B.C.E.
None of the prophets of the Hebrew Bible is so frequently referenced in the New Testament as Elijah.
Particularly in the affair of Naboth's vineyard (1 Kings 21), Elijah stood for social justice and the rights of small landholders against royal prerogative.
Most significant of these is an account of the return of Elijah during a Passover service at the Kirtland Temple in April 1836.
Many parallels can be found between the characterizations of Elijah and John the Baptist.
Elijah is considered to be one of the great prophets of the Abrahamic religions because he warned people against forgetting God's commandments and advised the Israelites to repent of their polytheistic ways.
Another reference to Elijah in the Hebrew Bible can be found in 2 Chronicles 21:12–15.
After his return to human society, Elijah continued to attack and criticize the apostate reigns of Ahab and (later) his son, Ahaziah.
The further development of Elijah as a harbinger of the arrival of the Messiah is developed throughout later Jewish and Christian traditions.
The prophet Calchas correctly determined the source of the troubles, but would not speak unless Achilles vowed to protect him.
Upon reaching the mountain, Elijah was visited by the Lord YHWH, who, significantly, appeared not in earthquakes or thunderstorms (in the manner of Baal), but in a "still, small voice."
Similarly, Jesus testified that the prophesied coming of Elijah was realized in none other than John the Baptist (Matthew 17:12, see also 16:14; 17:10; Mark 9:11; 15:35; Luke 9:7, 8; John 1:21).
During this period, the widow's son died and it is said that he was restored to life by Elijah (1 Kings 17:2–24).
Perhaps this accounts for the enthusiastic acceptance of the Elijah tradition by other religious faiths.
The king came to meet Elijah, and reproached him as the "troubler of Israel" for criticizing his public conversion to the religion of Baal.
The priests and Levites said to John the Baptist (John 1:25), "Why, then, dost thou baptize, if thou art not the Christ, nor Elijah?"
Elijah escaped to Beersheba and was visited in the night by an angel, who offered him heavenly food for his flight into the wilderness.
The equation between the two is overtly made in the Matthew 11:11, where John the Baptist is described as the Elijah that "was to come" (Matthew 11:11, 14).
The further development of Elijah as a precursor to the arrival of the Messiah (and sometimes as harbinger of the apocalypse) is developed throughout later Jewish literature, including the Talmud and various Midrashic sources.
The events of 2 Kings 2 may not be recorded in chronological order, and thus there may be room for the opinion that Elijah was still alive in the beginning of Jehoram's reign.
Christian theologians of a more liberal persuasion, on the other hand, tend to interpret Elijah's eschatological significance in a less literal sense.
After having delivered his message to the apostate king, Elijah retired (at the command of God) to a hiding-place by the brook Cherith, beyond the Jordan, where he was fed by ravens.
When they arrived at the borders of Gilead, it is said that "Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."
One example of this belief is articulated in Malachi (4:5–6): "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.
The figure of Elijah (pronounced Ilia (Arabic ?????)) is also seen as an important prophet of Islam, and is mentioned by name in the Qur'an.
The Bible also describes Elijah as a divinely-inspired wonder worker, and a forerunner of the coming messiah.
According to Kirsch, polytheism is better because it is less intolerant and less violent than monotheism.
Afterward, Elijah met Obadiah (an officer of King Ahab) and bade him go and tell his master that Elijah was there.
Some Christian theologians of a conservative, pre-millennial perspective believe that Elijah must eventually return to physically die here on Earth, perhaps as one of the "two witnesses" described in the Book of Revelation (11:2–12).
Apparently this impression of Jesus was believed by some—that he was the return of Elijah (Mark 6:14-16; Matt.