Elijah: A Study in Jewish Folklore by Samuel M. Segal

By Samuel M. Segal

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7 0 Numbers 20:10. , 12; this was Moses' punishment. Isaiah 6:5. , 6:6; the Seraph's coals of fire cleansed Isaiah from the sin of libelling the people in the foregoing verse. I Kings 19:10 and 14. , 16; Elijah is punished by being removed. 1 Kings 19:14. I Kings 19:15; that is, Elijah should have been the first type of prophet and been zealous for Israel's honor as well as God's. 8 0 8 1 8 2 8 3 8 4 8 6 8 6 T H E H I S T O R I C A L ELIJAH 49 ELIJAH GAINSAID GOD AND W A S RIGHT Rabbi Eleazar said: Elijah uttered words against God, as it says: Thou didst turn their hearts backwards?

6 6 1 Midrash Aggadot Bereshit, ch. 77, sec. 3, p. 148; ed. Buber. W H Y ELIJAH PRAYED AS H E D I D Concerning the verse, And it came to pass at the time of the evening offering . . that Elijah the prophet came near and said, O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob . . the question is asked, why didn't Elijah repeat the name of God before each Patriarch? Because he did B8 6 6 1 Kings 18:36. 5 7 Isaiah 28:21. 42 6 8 1 Kings 36:18. T H E H I S T O R I C A L ELIJAH 43 not want the people to misinterpret and say that there are three Gods.

Elijah then took the key of rain and went away, and there was a great famine in the whole world until God 7 1 So that Elijah may personally see that the Jews observe the cov­ enant. Malachi 3:1-3:24. 1 Kings 16:34. 1 Kings 17:1. 72 7 3 7 4 T H E H I S T O R I C A L ELIJAH 47 spoke to Elijah: Go, show thyself unto Ahab and I will send rain upon the land. Furthermore, God took Elijah and placed him where he could see the places in which his own predecessors prayed for mercy for their children. " and he answered: / have been very jealous of the Lord, the God of Hosts.

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