Elijah the Prophet icon (6)
Orthodox icon of Prophet Elijah (6). Icon of 12 cent. Mount Athos
Notice: the sizes of the icon are NOT exact.
Commemorated July 20th.
"The Holy Prophet Elijah is one of the greatest of the prophets. He lived about 900 years before Christ during the rule of King Ahab. Prophet Elijah boldly spoke on God's behalf and performed many miracles which prefigured those of Christ. He was successful in bringing back some of the people who King Ahab had led astray. After the end of three years of drought God sent the prophet to go to King Ahab and promise to send rain upon the earth.The Prophet Elijah told the king to order all of Israel to gather upon Mount Carmel, and also the priests of Baal.
"When the nation had gathered, the Prophet Elijah proposed that two sacrificial altars be built: one for the priests of Baal, and the other for the Prophet Elijah who served the True God. The Prophet Elijah told them to call on their gods to consume the sacrificial animals with fire, and he would call on his. Whichever was first to send fire on the sacrifice would be acknowledged as the true God. The prophets of Baal called out to their idol from morning till evening, but the heavens were silent.
Through the prayer of the prophet fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, and even the water.
The people cried out: Truly, the Lord is God! Then the Prophet Elijah had all the pagan-priests of Baal put to death, and he began to pray for rain. Through his prayer the heavens opened and an abundant rain fell, soaking the parched earth. After Ahab's death and Elisha rose as a prophetic successor, Elijah was taken into heaven by a fiery chariot, and the Lord's servant never tasted death. According to the Tradition of Orthodox Church, the Prophet Elijah will be the Forerunner of the Dread Second Coming of Christ.
He will proclaim the truth of Christ, urge all to repentance, and will be slain by the Antichrist. This will be a sign of the end of the world. The life of the holy Prophet Elijah is recorded in the Old Testament books (3 Kings; 4 Kings; Sirach/Ecclesiastes 48: 1-15; 1 Maccabees 2: 58). At the time of the Transfiguration, the Prophet Elijah conversed with the Savior upon Mount Tabor (Mt. 17: 3; Mark 9: 4; Luke. 9: 30).