Elijah, Spiritual Warrior

Elijah stands out in Old Testament as the great Spiritual warrior.  He was the prophet to Israel during the Baal counterattack when only 7,000 believers were left in the Northern Kingdom.  He opposed the Evil King Ahab and Jezebel, his wife, the foremost example of the Prostitute of Babylon.  Elijah and Moses are believed to be the two witnesses who will be called back to serve in the Tribulation in Israel's darkest hour.  And Elijah's prophecy of no rain for 3.5 years will become the standard for the division of the seven years of the Tribulation in half to mark the beginning of the Great Tribulation.

Contents

Elijah's Early Life
Suffering
Victory at Mt. Carmel
Flight to the Wilderness
Elijah on Mt. Horeb
Elijah Calls Elisha
Ascension to Heaven
Elijah's Spiritual Growth

Elijah's Travels Elijah's Travels

Elijah's Early Life

Elijah suddenly appeared on the scene in the Northern Kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Ahab.  Ahab was the seventh king of Israel, where the number seven symbolizes categorical punishment.  Israel had just completed the categorical punishment of the First Cycle of Discipline of the Nation, which included loss of prosperity and health.1  The nation was about to advance into the Second Cycle, which included drought and economic recession.  Ahab, who worshipped Baal, was the most evil king of Israel up to that time (1 Kings 16:33), and Jezebel, his wife, was the foremost example of the Prostitute of Babylon.2  She housed and fed 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah (1 Kings 18:19) and sought to put all the prophets of the Lord to death.  This was a Satanic plot to exterminate all believers from Israel.  Satan's master plan throughout history is to destroy Israel and usher in a false millennium apart from fulfilling the unconditional covenants to Israel.

All that is known of Elijah's early life comes from one verse of scripture.

Elijah, the Tishbite, from the settlers of Gilead said to Ahab, "As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be these ensuing years dew nor rain except at the word of my mouth." (1 Kings 17:1)
The name Elijah in Hebrew means whose God is Jehovah.  Elijah is called "the Tishbite," which means a person from the town of Tishbeh.  He was born in Tishbeh.  The only known reference to Tishbeh is Tobit 1:2, which is not part of the accepted Hebrew Bible.  Tishbeh is said to be in Naphtali in the Upper Galilee south of Kedesh, which is on the west side of the Jordan.  It is shown near the top of the map of Elijah's Travels.

1 Map:  Elijah's Travels

Elijah was one of the "settlers of Gilead."  Gilead is the mountainous region west of the Jordan.  "Settler" is the Hebrew toshab, which refers to a person who left the place of his birth and lived in another tribe as a foreigner.  A settler, however, differs from a Gentile from a foreign country.  Gilead means hill of witness.  It is the mountain region east of the Jordan to the south of the River Jabbok.  In a city of the region, Ramoth Gilead, there are two mountains, Jebel Jelad and Jelud).3   The two mountains signify a witness.  Moses and Elijah are believed to be the two great witnesses of the Old Testament, who will be resuscitated during the Tribulation to evangelize Israel.  They are symbolized by two olive trees and two lampstands and have the power two stop rain, to turn water into blood, and send plagues (Revelation 11:2-12).

2 Map:  Elijah's Travels

Elijah lived in Gilead until he had grown spiritually.  Then Elijah crossed the Jordan River to confront King Ahab, the Evil King, in Spiritual Warfare.  Ahab lived in Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (reference location 2 on map).  He also had a castle, which was a summer residence, in Jezreel (1 Kings 21:1).  He prophesied to Ahab that it would not rain for the next years until he (Elijah) gave the word.  From history it turned out that it didn't rain for 3.5 years (Luk 4:25; Ja 5:17-18).  The end of rain signaled the beginning of the Second Cycle of National Cursing, which included drought and economic recession in an agricultural economy (Deut 28:23-24; Lev 26:18-20; Jer 14:1-6).

Suffering

Without rain the land of Israel along with the people and livestock in the agricultural economy entered suffering.  The nation had entered the Second Cycle of National Cursing.  The Lord commanded Elijah to go back to the Jordan and hide out because his life was in danger.

3 Map:  Elijah's Travels
 
1 Kings 17:2-3
2 The decree of the LORD came to him commanding, 3 "Depart from here.  Turn eastward, and hide yourself by the Brook Kerith, which is in front of  the Jordan."
Elijah was commanded to hide out by the Brook Kerith, which empties into the Jordan.  Whether the Brook was on the east or west side of the Jordan is not clear.  Tradition has it on the west side.  The name, "Kerith" is from the Hebrew verb karath, meaning to cut off.  Elijah must separate and cut his ties with the evil administration of King Ahab.
And it shall come to pass that you shall drink from the brook.  I have commanded the crows to provide food for you there. (1 Kings 17:4)
The Lord provides food, clothing, and shelter in Logistical Grace.  Elijah would be able to drink water from the Brook Kerith, and the crows would bring him food.  Here the Hebrew `oreb, which means literally to be black, refers to a raven or crow.  The word may also be onomatopoetic.  The crow or raven usually symbolizes a demon commander, such as Baal.  Since it is one of the unclean animals, it is not usually a sign of God's Grace, but in this time of national degeneracy God sent Elijah's daily food via the crows.
1 Kings 17:5-6
5 Therefore, he went and performed according to the decree of the  Lord, i.e. he went and dwelt by the brook Kerith, which is before the Jordan. 6 The crows brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and out from the brook he drank.
The Lord did not provide Elijah with garbage or carrion to eat.  He gave him fresh bread and meat in the morning and evening.  The word, "meat," is the Hebrew basar, meaning the flesh of bulls or animals, beef-steak, or meat.  While Elijah lived alone in the swamp and the rest of the land suffered, the Lord provided him good food twice a day.
It came about after a time the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land. (1 Kings 17:7)
Since there was no rain, the brook eventually dried up.  So, the Lord sent Elijah to Zarephath.

4 Map:  Elijah's Travels

Elijah traveled to Zarephath and lived with a widow and her son (1 Kings 17:8-16).  She was down to a handful of flour and a little olive oil when Elijah arrived, but the Lord provided.  The flour and oil did not run out as long as Elijah stayed with her.  Zarephath (Hebrew tsarephathah) means smelting place and refers to Fire Testing.4  As the land was scorched in the summer heat, Elijah was given food along with a widow and her son.

While they were living comfortably, the widow's son became sick and died.  The widow became bitter and blamed Elijah.  However, Elijah prayed for the boy, and the Lord resuscitated him (1 Kings 17:17-24).

Victory at Mt. Carmel

5 Map:  Elijah's Travels

After 3.5 years of drought (Luke 4:25), the Lord sent Elijah back to tell King Ahab that it would rain.  Elijah headed south toward Samaria, the capital of Israel.  Ahab was out with the governor of his castle, Obadiah, looking for some grass around water holes for the livestock when Elijah came upon Obadiah (1 Kings 18:1-19).  Elijah asked Obadiah to go tell Ahab that Elijah was here.  Obadiah, who was a believer, was at first afraid because the King had sought to kill Elijah.  And since Elijah was good at disappearing and capable of spirit travel, Obadiah might be accused of hiding him.  However, Elijah convinced Obadiah to tell Ahab, and Ahab came to meet Elijah.

1 Kings 18:17-18
17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is this you, you troubler of Israel?”  18 He answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have and your father’s house, because you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and you have followed the Baals.
When Ahab saw Elijah, he immediately blamed Elijah for the drought.  Ahab had not recognized God's hand in the divine punishment, but blamed it all on Elijah.  No, Ahab did not really believe that God sends rain.  He believed that Elijah had prevented it.  This was denial and projection, a psychological problem.  However, Elijah pointed out that the reason for the trouble was the rejection of the Lord and worship of Baal by Ahab and his family.  To prove the point Elijah asked Ahab to invite all the prophets of Baal and Asherah in Israel to Mount Carmel.  Ahab consented and invited them along with the people of Israel.

Carmel means fruitful field, plantation, garden, fruit garden.  The name is synonymous with a green, fruitful garden, which symbolizes blessing and prosperity.  Elijah has now reached Spiritual Maturity and is enjoying the blessings of prosperity.  He is fully confident and has challenged the prophets of Baal and Asherah to a test of faith.

Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you alternate between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word.  (1 Kings 18:21)
Elijah challenged the people to stop alternating (literally limping) between two different opinions but to decide for the Lord or for Baal.  When the people refused to commit, Elijah offered a challenge.  Why not let the true god, either the LORD or Baal, prove himself?  The prophets of Baal should select two bulls for sacrifice.  They could choose one for themselves, and Elijah would take the other.  The bulls would be placed on wood for sacrifice, but no fire would be lit.  Elijah said:
“Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD, and it shall be the God who answers by fire, He is God.” And all the people answered, “That is a good proposal.”  (1 Kings 18:24)
So, the prophets of Baal prepared their sacrifice and called upon Baal, but he did not answer.
1 Kings 18:26-29
26 Then they took the bull which was given them and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, “O Baal, answer us.” But there was no voice and no one answered. And they leaped (a ceremonial dance) about the altar which they had made.
27 It came about at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry out louder, for he is a god; either he is meditating or he has gone aside, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.”
28 So they cried louder and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lancets until the blood gushed out on them.
29 And it happened when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention.
When Baal did not answer, Elijah ridiculed the prophets of Baal and told them to cry out louder.  So, they cried out louder, cut themselves, and after noon they began to prophesy, which amounted to confessing their sins and punishing their flesh with scourges and swords.  However, no one answered.

At the end of the day after the prophets of Baal had completely failed, Elijah prepared his sacrifice (1 Kings 18:30-35).  He called the people closer so they could both observe and hear.  He repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down.  The altar was on Mount Carmel and had probably been torn down during the reign of Ahab.  Elijah built an altar of twelve stones for the twelve Tribes of Israel.  The number, 12, signifies authority.  And he made a trench around the altar.  After he had placed the pieces of the bull on the altar and laid wood on it, he ordered four water jars (as those carried on a woman's shoulder) of water to be poured on the sacrifice and the wood.  They did this three times and also filled the trench with water.  Then Elijah prayed to God.

1 Kings 18:36-39
36 At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word.
37 “Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.”
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
39 When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God.”
The Lord answered Elijah's prayer with fire from heaven that consumed the sacrifice, the wood, stones, and water in the trench.  Then the people believed in the Lord.  This was a great evangelistic crusade.

Elijah immediately ordered that the prophets of Baal be seized.  They were taken down to the Brook Kishon and executed (1 Kings 18:40).  Idolatry was a sin punishable by death under the Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 13:12-18; 17:2-7).

Then Elijah told Ahab to go up from the Brook Kishon to the place of sacrifice and eat and drink (1 Kings 18:41-45).  Elijah said he could already hear the sound of rain, which would end the drought.  Then Elijah went to the top of Mount Carmel and prayed for rain.  Since Elijah was on the east side of the mountain, he sent his servant to go to the west and look out over the sea for a sign of rain.  The servant saw nothing.  Elijah sent him out seven times.  On the seventh time he saw a small cloud as small as a man's hand coming from the sea.  Then Elijah sent his servant to tell Ahab to go down the mountain to his chariot before the heavy rain stopped him.  The sky soon grew dark with clouds and there was a heavy rain.  Ahab rode to his palace in Jezreel, and Elijah girded up his loins and outran him to the gates of Jezreel, a distance of about 12 miles.5  Thus, Elijah was in good physical condition and had undoubtedly been running before.  Averaging 5 minutes per mile would require one hour to go 12 miles.

Why would Elijah run to Jezreel?  There are some logical explanations.  There was a rainstorm coming, and it would be logical to seek shelter in a nearby city.  Elijah had just won a great Spiritual victory, and it appeared that Israel had rejected idolatry and returned to the Lord.  Ahab was a believer and had certainly gone along with the events of the day.  It appeared that Elijah could now enjoy the fruits of his lobor.  Furthermore, there were runners in Elijah's day who carried news, and Elijah's running was not considered strange.

Flight to the Wilderness

6 Map:  Elijah's Travels

As soon as Ahab got home, he told Jezebel about all that Elijah had done on Mt. Carmel and how he had slain all of the prophets of Baal.  Jezebel was enraged.  She sent a message to Elijah that she would take revenge on him.

Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” (1 Kings 19:2)
Jezebel had stayed home when Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel.  She was negative to any hope of salvation.  When Ahab told her about the Lord answering with fire from Heaven, she was still negative.  She expressed her negative volition in animosity toward Elijah.  God is fair.  He gave Jezebel a chance to believe along with all the others in the land.  He even revealed Himself by fire, but Jezebel stayed home and refused to listen.  She made her decision to burn in the Lake of Fire forever.  She was one of the most evil people who ever lived.  In her violent death, the dogs ate her corpse and licked up her blood.

Elijah's grace victory on Mt. Carmel stopped Satan's plan to purge all believers from Israel.  Elijah was in Spiritual Maturity and was the recipient of grace blessing in bearing the fruit of Eternal Life.  He stood alone with the Lord against 450 prophets of Baal and destroyed the Cosmic stronghold in Spiritual Warfare.  After the great victory, it appeared he would receive glory and enjoy the fruit of his labors in a nation that was on the road to recovery of its Spiritual heritage.  However, Satan was sure to counterattack, and God was not finished with Elijah.  So Elijah's victory celebration was short-lived.  Satan was given permission to cross-examine Elijah, and within a day Elijah was staring in the face of death at the hands of Jezebel, the Prostitute of Babylon and Satan's host.

In Spiritual Maturity Elijah had the power to withstand the counterattack of Baal, but he lacked the power to deal with Satan, who empowered Jezebel as the Prostitute of Babylon.  Elijah was not a coward.  He was not afraid, but he lacked the Spiritual power to stop the threat from Jezebel.

When he saw the situation, he arose, and went for the sake of his soul-life, and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. (1 Kings 19:3)
When Elijah saw the situation, he fled "for the sake of his soul-life."  Here the Hebrew el (for the sake of) plus nephesh (soul-life) does not mean that he was running in fear for his life, but that he was seeking solitude and safety to deal with this life or death situation.  Elijah's normal method for dealing with a crisis was to isolate himself and humble himself before God.  He needed a refuge in the storm.

Jezebel ran her husband's life and ran the castle.  The government obeyed her orders.  The Lord left Elijah in Jezebel's power.  Jezebel was the pawn of Satan, who was using her to attack Elijah just as he used the woman in the Garden to destroy her husband and take over the world.  Satan's favorite weapon to take over the world is not a strong army, but the woman under his power, the Prostitute of Babylon.  Satan incites women to take over the household, destroy their husbands, and take over the government, churches, and other divine institutions.

Elijah fled to Beersheba, which was in Judah.  More precisely, it was in region allotted to the Tribe of Simeon (Joshua 19:2), which was in Judah (map).  Simeon was the criminal, and Elijah was fleeing as a fugitive from the criminality of Jezebel, who was a murderer like Satan.

Elijah left his servant in Beersheba and went a day's journey into the desert of Paran.  He sat down under a broom tree, a striking desert shrub that affords natural cover for camping.  He was exhausted and totally demoralized.  He realized that he was in a helpless and hopeless situation and offered his soul to God that his life might be taken.  He had his eyes on himself and his problem and not on the divine solution.  Of course, he didn't know the divine solution yet.  Elijah was facing a paradigm shift in the Spiritual Life.  The things that worked before would not solve this problem.  He was facing the angelic power of the Throne Angel, Satan, in the person of the Prostitute of Babylon.

Elijah was using his normal methodology for dealing with a crisis.  He humbled himself before God to receive God's grace.  He had humbled himself to the point of death, but that paradigm would not work against a Satanic counterattack.  He needed to resist the devil in Spiritual Warfare.  It was not the time to be humble and turn the other cheek.  Jezebel ruled her wimp husband, and now she was trying to conquer Elijah.  Elijah was facing the same type of darkness that Adam faced in Eclipse Testing when his wife sinned in the Garden.  He was facing the same kind of testing that Job faced and David faced in the Absalom rebellion.  This was also Evidence Testing in the Appeal Trial of Satan.  The testing was designed to promote Elijah to Spiritual Rapport.

Exhausted, Elijah fell asleep under the broom tree, and an angel touched him and said, "Arise, eat!"  He looked and saw at his head a bread-cake, fresh baked over red-hot stones, and a jar of water.  He ate and drank and lay down again.

1 Kings 19:7-8
7 The Angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, else the journey will be too great for you.” 8 So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.
The Angel of the LORD was a preincarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Lord provides food, clothing, and shelter in Logistical Grace.  Elijah was given some very high energy food to last 40 days and 40 nights for his journey through the desert to Mt. Horeb, "the mountain of God."  Mt. Horeb is where the angel of the LORD appeared to Moses in the burning bush, and where Moses received the tables of the Law.  Since it is also called Mt. Sinai as the specific mountain where the Law was given to Israel, Horeb was probably the name of the mountain range and Sinai was a specific mountain.

Moses also spent 40 days and 40 night without food when he was on the mountain the second time for the confirmation of the Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 34:28).  He had previously spent 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain (Exodus 24:18).  The number, 40, stands for maximum divine discipline.  Elijah's total time in the wilderness was 40 days and 40 nights, plus the one day he had traveled into the wilderness.  That adds up to 81 as the number of days and nights, where 81 = 34 , which is 3, for the Justice of the Holy Spirit, raised to the 4th power, for weakness.  He was under a grace counterattack, and he needed more grace.  Raising 3 to a higher power implies greater authority.  Raising it to the 4th power would represent the authority of a throne, or Throne Angel, since there are four levels of angelic authority.

Elijah on Mt. Horeb


Elijah came to the cave on Mt. Horeb and lodged there (1 Kings 19:9-10).  A definite article before "cave" in the Hebrew indicates a specific cave, such as the cleft in the rock where Moses watched the glory of the Lord pass (Exodus 33:22).  The Lord said to Elijah, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"  Elijah answered.
He (Elijah) said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of the armies; for the people of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” (1 Kings 19:10)
The Lord told Elijah to go out of the cave, and then He proceeded to give a demonstration.
1 Kings 19:11-12
11 Then He (the LORD) said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was tearing apart the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
12 After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire the sound (whisper) of a gentle breeze.
The Lord demonstrated His power in three Judgments, a storm, an earthquake, and fire.  The three Judgments were a summary of God's Judgment upon people and the Client Nation.  The storm was Judgment from above.  The earthquake was Judgment from below.  It symbolized Judgment of the Land of Israel, since earthquakes judge the land.  And fire consumed what was left.  It symbolized Fire Testing and the Holocaust.

The three Judgments were followed by "the sound (whisper) of a gentle breeze."  This was the sound of peace and calm to symbolize God's compassion and Gracious Love in Spiritual Rapport.  The gentle breeze symbolized the Lord's compassion when He appeared to Moses on the mountain the second time to confirm His Covenant.

Then the LORD passed by in front of him (Moses) and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in Gracious Love and truth; (Exodus 34:6)
The "sound of a gentle breeze" is just three words in the Hebrew:  qol (sound) + demamah (silence, whisper, calm of winds) + daq (gentle).  Although there are various interpretive translations, the gist is the sound of a gentle breeze blowing.  In music this would be the piano that followed the fortissimo.  The contrast reveals a love relationship, like the cooing of a dove or soft melody of woodwinds in contrast to blasting brass.  The sequence of Judgments represents the testing in Elijah's life of his Spirituality (wind, Z-axis), his faith (earthquake, X-axis), and integrity that separated him from the dross of the prophets of Baal (Fire Testing, X, Y, Z axes).  The gentle breeze symbolized the promotion to Spiritual Rapport.  It was a gentle sound, which Elijah heard.
It came about when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak; and he went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.  And behold, a voice came to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" (1 Kings 19:13)
The Lord asked Elijah a second time what he was doing there.  Elijah had not yet understood the meaning of this symphony.  He had been selected for promotion to Spiritual Rapport.  Like Moses, the Lord appeared to him on Mt. Horeb and confirmed his covenant.  Elijah had reached the final color in the rainbow in his Spiritual Growth.  He was symbolized by green for fruit bearing and blue for Spiritual Maturity on Mt. Carmel.  He was symbolized by indigo in Eclipse/Evidence Testing from Jezebel and for the covering in the cave and his cloak covering his face.  The symphony of Judgments on the mountain were symbolized by violet for Justice, Justification, and royalty.  And the gentle breeze was symbolized by white for the Love and Sanctification of Spiritual Rapport.

The Lord then commanded Elijah to return by his way to the Desert of Damascus and anoint Hazael king over Syria and Jehu king over Israel and Elisha as prophet in his place (1 Kings 19:15-16).  "By your way to the Desert of Damascus" refers to the road Elijah will take, the King's Highway, because it was the only Highway to Damascus.  The highway goes up to Damascus and symbolizes a new strategic direction for Elijah's life, the path of life.  The Desert of Damascus is southeast of Damascus.

“It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death. (1 Kings 19:17)
The sequence of Judgments upon Israel begins with an attack from King Hazel's army from Syria (the fire).  The invasion by the foreign army will begin the destruction of Israel (the earthquake).  Those that are left alive in the Land of Israel will then face the judgment of Jehu.  And the remainder will die the sin unto death from the Spiritual advance of Elisha (the windstorm).  Elisha did not literally slay.  He used the word of God as in (2 Kings 2:24).

The Lord further explained to Elijah that He would preserve 7,000 as the remnant in Israel.  There were 7,000 believers in Israel whom the Lord would preserve through the destruction of the nation under the Fifth Cycle of National Cursing.  This was "the remnant according to the election of grace" (Romans 11:4-5).  The number, 7,000 symbolizes categorical punishment.

Elijah Calls Elisha

Elijah left Mt. Horeb and proceeded north.  Elijah called (symbolically anointed) Elisha, but Elisha anointed Jehu over Israel and Hazael over Syria (2 Kings 8, 9).  Actually Elisha ordered one of the young prophets to anoint Jehu (2 Kings 9:6).  Hazael was simply told by Elisha that he would be king (2 Kings 8:13).

Elijah found Elisha at Abel-meholah on the west bank of the Jordan River in the region that belonged to the Tribe of Issachar.  The name means meadow of dancing.  Elisha was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, which indicates a wealthy farmer.  There were 12 teams of oxen.  Elisha plowed with one team while his servants plowed with the other 11 teams.  Elijah passed by and threw his cloak to him.  The cloak was a sign of a prophet, and throwing him the cloak symbolized his call to the office of prophet.

Death of Ahab and Jezebel

Meanwhile, King Ahab tried to buy Naboth's vineyard, since it was next to the King's castle in Jezreel and Ahab wanted it for a vegetable garden.6  When Naboth refused to sell it, Ahab pouted and Jezebel took charge.  She ordered the execution of Naboth and his family, and Ahab took possession of the property.  The Lord sent Elijah to deliver a curse upon Ahab, the Evil King, and Jezebel, the Prostitute of Babylon (1 Kings 21:16-24).
"And you shall speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD, "Have you murdered, and also taken possession?"' And you shall speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD, "In the place where the dogs have licked the blood of Naboth, the dogs, they will also lick your own blood."'" (1 Kings 21:19)
This verse was fulfilled in 1 Kings 22:38 when the dogs licked up Ahab's blood in Samaria - not Jezreel - after he was killed in battle (1 Kings 22:29-38).  The LORD had mercy on Ahab when he repented after he heard the LORD's curse from Elijah (1 Kings 21:27-29).  The dogs licked up Ahab's blood at the pool where the prostitutes bathe.  The curse of verse 19 was literally fulfilled in the case of Ahab's son, Joram, whose corpse was cast into Naboth's piece of ground (2 Kings 9:25-26).

Elijah met King Ahab when he went to Jezreel to take possession of Naboth's property and delivered the LORD's curse to Ahab. Elijah said:

"Behold, I will bring evil upon you, and will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab everyone who urinates against a wall, both bond and free, in Israel; (1 Kings 21:21)
Elijah told Ahab that the LORD would totally sweep away Ahab and cut off every male from his family, and the dogs would eat Jezebel.
"And of Jezebel also has the LORD spoken, saying, 'The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the town-land (district) of Jezreel.' (1 Kings 21:23)
The curses upon Jezebel and the sons of Ahab were repeated when Jehu was anointed king of Israel (2 Kings 9:6-10).

Ahaziah's Death

When Ahab was killed in battle, he was succeeded by his son, Ahaziah (1 Kings 22:40).

Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber which was in Samaria and was injured. So he sent messengers and said to them, "Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this sickness."
Baal-zebub, or Baalzebub, means lord of the flies.  Baalzebub is a name for Satan as the ruler of the demons. Baalzebub also rules the demon commander, Baal.  Baalzebub is the same as the Greek Beelzeboul, lord of dung (Matthew 12:24), since flies come from dung.  Symbols of Baalzebub include a spider, dragonfly, bat, and martin.

The Angel of the Lord, the preincarnate Christ, sent Elijah to intercept the King's messengers and tell them that since Ahaziah had sought the counsel of Baalzebub and not the prophet of the Lord, he would die.  The sin unto death involves a relationship with a prophet, or pastor-teacher in the Church Age. The messengers returned and gave Ahaziah the message:

And they said to him (Ahaziah), "A man came up to meet us and said to us, 'Go, return to the king who sent you and speak specifically to him, "Thus says the Lord, 'Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore, the bed on which you have gone up there, you will not come down from it because dying you shall die.'" (2 Kings 1:6)
When Ahaziah asked for a description of the man who gave the message, the messengers replied:
They answered him, "He was a man with a garment of animal's hair with a waistcloth of animal skin girded about his loins."  And he (Ahaziah) said, "It is Elijah the Tishbite." (2 Kings 1:8)
So Ahaziah sent a company of soldiers for Elijah.
2 Kings 1:9-10
9 Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him.  Behold, he was sitting on the top of the mountain (or cliff).  And he commanded him, "O man of God, the king commands, 'Come down!'" 10 But Elijah answered and specified to the captain of fifty, "Then if I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty."  Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
Ahaziah sent another captain with fifty men to Elijah, and the same thing happened.  The third captain of fifty that was sent to Elijah did not command Elijah but got down on his knees and begged for his life.  The Angel of the Lord told Elijah to go with the captain.  So Elijah went to Ahaziah and repeated the Lord's curse to his face that he would die because he tried to inquire of Baalzebub.

In all this it can be seen that Elijah in Spiritual Rapport has a relationship with the Angel of the Lord and has power over Baalzebub.  Furthermore, Elijah is the Spiritual leader who is standing in the gap for Israel and the one who anoints or deposes the kings of Israel and Syria.

Jezebel's Death

When Ahaziah died, he and was succeeded by another son of Ahab, Joram.  After Jehu was anointed king, he killed Joram  Then Jehu went to Jezreel after Jezebel and had some men throw her off the palace wall.

He (Jehu) 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 trampled her under foot. (2 Kings 9:33)
Then the dogs ate Jezebel's corpse.  All that remained were her skull, feet, and palms.  The skull is a sinister symbol of death.  The feet represent the walk, or strategic path, of life.  Jezebel walked in darkness and did evil.  The palms, or hands, represent service.  Jezebel served Baal and Asherah as the Prostitute of Babylon.
2 Kings 9:35-37
35 When they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. 36 Therefore they returned and told him (Jehu). And he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘In the district of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; 37 and the corpse of Jezebel shall be as dung on the face of the field in the district of Jezreel, so they cannot say, “This is Jezebel.”’”
The dogs had eaten the body of Jezebel and there was not enough left to be recognizable.  This was the doom of the Prostitute of Babylon who opposed Elijah just as the Prostitute of Babylon the Great will be destroyed in the Tribulation (Revelation 18:2).

Ascension to Heaven

7 Map:  Elijah's Travels

When Elijah was in Dying Grace about to ascend to Heaven in a whirlwind, he departed from Gilgal to Bethel (2 King 2:1).  Elijah had founded Schools of the Prophets at Gilgal and Bethel.  Note, this was not the same Gilgal as the one east of Jericho.  "Whirlwind" is a common translation of the Hebrew se`arah, a tempest or wind storm.  Storms, which are produced by weather angels, are a source of revelation about divine control of history and the Angelic Conflict (Job 38:1; 40:6; Zechariah 9:14).

As Elijah sought solitude for his final departure, Elisha, who also knew about it, would not leave his side.  When Elijah asked him to stay behind at Gilgal, he insisted on accompanying Elijah to Bethel (2 Kings 2:2).  When they arrived at Bethel, the prophets at the School of the Prophets there also knew of Elijah's imminent departure.  They told Elisha that the Lord would take Elijah away "over your (Elisha's) heard" (2 Kings 2:3),  The Lord had revealed the knowledge of Elijah's departure separately to Elijah, Elisha, and the prophets.  It was a big deal.  How a person dies is very important.  It is God's victory and God's seal of approval.  God chooses the time, place, and manner of death  Everyone has a fair shake, and God is glorified in a person's death.

8 Map:  Elijah's Travels

Elijah asked Elisha to stay in Bethel while he went to the Jericho, but Elisha again refused to leave Elijah's side (2 Kings 1:4).  At Jericho, the prophets also knew of Elijah's departure (2 King 1:5).  Elijah asked Elisha to stay in Jericho while he went to the Jordan, but Elisha again refused (2 Kings 1:6).  Now 50 from the School of the Prophets stood at a distance and watched as the two stood at the Jordan (2 King 1:7).  Before his final departure, Elijah had visited the Schools of the Prophets, which he had founded.  And Elisha stuck by his side to receive the inheritance of the first-born.

At the Jordan, Elijah rolled his prophet's sheepskin cloak and struck the waters so that they divided and the two walked across on dry ground (2 Kings 1:8).  They crossed from the west to symbolize exiting the land as opposed to Joshua's entrance from the east.

When they had crossed the Jordan, Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for him before he was taken away.  Elisha answered, "Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me" (2 Kings 1:9).  This did not mean that Elisha requested twice the spiritual power as Elijah.  It was a request for the inheritance of the first-born (Deuteronomy 21:17).  Elisha thought of himself as the spiritual child of Elijah and wanted to receive his spiritual inheritance, which, of course, was not Elijah's to give.  Only God can provide a spiritual heritage.  So, Elijah answered by leaving room for the Grace of God.  He said, "If you see me taken from you, it shall be so to you, but if not, it shall not be so" (1 Kings 1:10).

It came about as they were walking along and talking, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated between the two of them; and Elijah went up in a whirlwind into Heaven. (2 Kings 1:11)
A chariot of fire with horses of fire suddenly separated Elijah and Elisha, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into Heaven.  A chariot with horses is a symbol of war.  Elijah was the great example of a Spiritual warrior in his stand against Satan's attack on Israel through the Evil King and Prostitute of Babylon.  The fire of the chariot and horses symbolizes a propulsion system, like a rocket engine.  And the whirlwind is a sign of Judgment, such as a battle.  Elijah's ascension into Heaven without dying symbolized the Resurrection and Ascension, or Rapture, of the Church.  Elijah's body was not left behind but was transformed into his interim body for Heaven.  The 50 student prophets who watched from a distance symbolize the Church, per the meaning of the number 50.

The ascension of Elijah was magnificent and glorious, a splendor to behold.  It was a crowning glory to a humble servant of God.  It offered a glimpse of the riches of glory that await the saints in Eternity.  The trials and tribulations of this life pale in comparison to the glory of the Eternal future for the faithful in Christ.  The Rapture of the Church will be millions of times brighter and more glorious than Elijah's ascension.

Elijah's Spiritual GrowthSpiritual Growth Colors

The key to understanding Elijah is his Spiritual growth according to the pattern of the rainbow.7  Elijah's travels in the geographical will of God reveal the steps in his Spiritual growth.  He wasn't born in Maturity, and he didn't die by accident.  He was born for a purpose to confront the greatest evil in Israel up to that time.  In his early life he was a recluse who lived spiritually after learning the Law, which is all the Bible that he had.  He then lived by Grace through faith and obeyed God.  Consequently, the Lord promoted Elijah through all the phases of the Spiritual life from Salvation to Spiritual Rapport.  He died gloriously in Dying Grace and has a special place in Biblical prophecy.
 
 

Elijah's Spiritual Growth

Color Phase Map Location Remarks
Red Salvation 1 Tishbeh (1 Ki 17:1) .
Orange Separation from World 1 Gilead  (hill of witness) (1 Ki 17:1) Crossed Jordan, lived as a foreigner in Gilead
Yellow Walking in Light .  . .
. Spiritual Growth 1 Mountains of Gilead Gilead = "hill of witness"
. Spiritual Warfare 2 Samaria (1 Ki 17:1) Faced King Ahab, the Evil King, and prophesied no rain 
Red Suffering  3 Kerith (cut off) (1 Ki 17:3-7) Logistical Grace - food from crows
. . 4 Zarephath (smelting place) (1 Ki 17:8-24) Fire Testing - Lived with widow during famine
. Spiritual Maturity . . .
Green - Blessing 5 Mt. Carmel (garden, fruit, plantation) (1 Ki 18:16-46) Killed prophets of Baal
Blue - Righteousness  . Mt. Carmel (1 Ki 18:41-45) Prayer for rain from blue sky
Indigo Eclipse/Evidence Testing 6 Desert (1 Ki 19:3-8), Mt. Horeb cave (1 Ki 19:9-10) Flight from Jezebel to Mt. Horeb (desert, waste)
Violet Royal Family 6 Mt. Horeb (1 Ki 19:11-13) Judgments of wind, earthquake, fire
White Spiritual Rapport 6 Mt. Horeb (1 Ki 19:13-18) The Lord in the gentle breeze
. . 7 Abel-Meholah (1 Ki 19:16), (dance-meadow), Gilgal, Bethel  (2 Ki 2:1) Trained Elisha, established school for the prophets
Glory Dying Grace 8 Over Jordan beyond Jericho (1 Ki 2:1-11) Elijah ascends in chariot with horses of fire in whirlwind

References

1.  Larry Wood.  Colors in Scripture.
2.   Larry Wood. Babylon the Great.
3.  Wilhelm Gesenius and Samuel Prideaux Tregelles. Gesenius' Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures, first published in 1810-1812 under title: Hebräisch-deutsches Handwörterbuch des Alten Testaments. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc, 2003).
4.  Larry Wood.  Fire Testing.
5.  William McClure Thomson.  The Land and the Book, Published by T. Nelson, 1883.
6.  Larry Wood.  Babylon the Great.
7.  Larry Wood.  Colors in Scripture.

Released November 4, 2008 - Revised Oct. 16, 2013

Author: Larry Wood
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