Elias of great fame was from Thisbe, a town of Galaad (Gilead), beyond the Jordan. He was of priestly lineage, and a man of a solitary and ascetical character. He clothed himself in a mantle of sheep skin, and girded his loins with a leather belt.
His name is interpreted as “Yah is my God.” His zeal for the glory of God was compared to fire, and his speech for teaching and rebuke was likened unto a burning lamp. From this he received the name Zealot (fanatic) as he was set aflame with such zeal, and so sternly reproved the impiety and lawlessness of Ahab and his wife Jezebel, that he shut up heaven by means of prayer, so that it did not rain for three years and six months.
Ravens brought him food for his need when, at God’s command, as he was hiding by the torrent of Horrath.
He multiplied the little flour and oil from the poor widow of Sarephtha (Zarephath) of Sidon. She was instructed by the Lord to provide for him. When her son died, she berated him saying “You have come to bring my sin to remembrance and cause the death of my son”. Elijah exclaimed that was untrue and prayed to the Lord and so he raised him up. (1 Kings 17:17-24)
Prayer: Holy Spirit, our eyes don’t see
Your work in our time in the way
You sustained Elijah, the widow and her son
And how you raised the child from the dead
And gave him life once more
We pray that you
Open our eyes to your miracles
So that our faith, like the widow’s, may bloom.
He brought down fire from Heaven upon Mount Carmel, and it burned the sacrifice offered to God before all the people of Israel, so that they might know the truth.
At the torrent of Kisson, he slew 450 false prophets and priests who worshipped idols and led the people astray. He received food wondrously at the hand of an Angel, and being strengthened by this food he walked for forty days and forty nights. He beheld God on Mount Horeb, as far as this is possible for human nature.
He foretold the destruction of the house of Ahab, and the death of his son Ohozias; and so too the two captains of fifty that were sent by the king, whom he burned them for their punishment, and brought fire down from Heaven.
He divided the flow of the Jordan, and he and his disciple Elisseus passed through as though it were on dry land, just like Moses. Finally, while speaking with Yahweh, Elias was suddenly snatched away by a fiery chariot in the year 895 B.C. He ascended above as though into heaven, whether God most certainly put like he had done Enoch into the bosom of Abraham (Gen. 5:24; IV Kings 2: 11).
But from thence also, after seven years, by means of an epistle he reproached Joram, the son of Josaphat, as it is written: “And there came a message in writing to him from Elias the Prophet, saying, Thus saith the Lord God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the way,” and so forth (II Chron. 21:12).
According to the opinion of the majority of the interpreters, this came to pass either through his disciple Elisseus, or through another Prophet when Elias appeared to them, even as he appeared on Mount Tabor to the Disciples of Christ (see Aug. 6).
Apolytikion of Prophet Elias in the Fourth Tone
The incarnate Angel, the Cornerstone of the Prophets, the second Forerunner of the Coming of Christ, the glorious Elias (Elijah),
Who from above, sent down to Elisha the grace to dispel sickness and cleanse lepers, abounds therefore in healing for those who honor him.