As a born-again Christian, I have learned to always dig deeper into the stories and lives of prophets of God in the Bible. Recently, I have been studying the life of Elijah and have developed a deep appreciation for how faithful he was as a servant of God. As I was reading about this great prophet of God, I noted Elijah is mentioned in many verses in the Bible. While his significance automatically answers why he is mentioned severally, I wanted to know, “How many times is Elijah mentioned in the bible?”
The number of times Elijah has been mentioned in the Bible varies according to the Bible version. For example, in King James Version, Elijah is mentioned 69 times, while in other Bible versions, it varies from 63 to 70 times. He is mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments.
In this article, I invite you to join me as we delve into the topic of the mention of Elijah in the Bible. We will also uncover answers to questions such as who Elijah was in the Bible, what he did in the Bible, and how old he was when he was taken to Heaven. We will also get to learn Bible verses about Elijah, so read till the end.
Who Was Elijah in the Bible?
Elijah was a prophet of God in the Bible. According to Luke 4:24-27, Jesus referred to Elijah as a prophet of God. Therefore, Jesus acknowledged that Elijah was a prophet in the Bible. Also, Elijah is described in the Old Testament as a man who shared God’s message and warnings with the people. Elijah was a prophet chosen by God to help the people leave the worship of false gods and turn to the Almighty God.
Also, Elijah was a servant of God who experience God’s provision. In the book of 1St Kings, Christians learn that whenever Elijah faced danger, God would ask him to hide, and he would provide for him food and water. According to 1 Kings 18:41-46, God gave Elijah strength, and he was able to run far beyond any human capability. Also, in 1 Kings 17:1-6, the Bible implies that God made the Ravens feed Elijah.
What did Elijah do in the Bible?
According to the Bible, Elijah prayed to God to send fire to burn his sacrifice in a face-off with the false prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. In 1 Kings 18:36-38, Elijah prayed to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and the Lord let down fire from Heaven and burned the sacrifice, and even dried the water that Elijah had poured in the trench. Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal and asked them to call their God to burn the sacrifice they were offering to them. However, the false gods did not do anything. Elijah then poured water in the trenches he had made around his altar of sacrifice and prayed to God to burn the sacrifice. God heard Elijah and cause a fire that burned all the sacrifices, the altar, and even the water in the trench.
Additionally, according to the Bible, Elijah appeared with Jesus during Jesus’ transfiguration. In Matthew 17:3, the Bible mentions that Peter, John, and James saw Elijah and Moses appearing to Jesus and even conversing with Him. Therefore, Christians lean that one of the things that Elijah did in the New Testament is he appeared with Jesus.
Another thing that Elijah did in the Bible is that he left his spirit in Elisha. According to 2 Kings 2:15, the Bible narrates that when the sons of Jericho saw Elisha after Elijah had been taken to Heaven, they said to him that Elijah’s spirits were resting in him. This is because just like Elijah was able to part the waters of River Jordan for him and Elisha to pass on dry land, Elisha also parted the waters and crossed the river on dry land.
Biblical references about Elijah
James 5:17 says that Elijah prayed without ceasing that the rain would not fall, and for three and a half years, it did not rain.
2 Kings 2:11 says that a chariot of horses and fire came down Elijah and took him to Heaven in a whirlwind.
Luke 1:17 says that Jesus will, in the spirit of Elijah, appear before the Lord to prepare the people for the Lord.
Matthew 17:11 says that Jesus said that Elijah would come and restore everything.
1 Kings 17:1- 7 says that Elijah told King Ahab that there would be no rain in his empire for the next few years. Then God told Elijah to go and hide in Kerith, where he would have food and water, and Elijah did what God told him.
1 Kings 18:41-45 says that after three and a half years, Elijah prayed, and a small cloud rose from the sea. Then there was rain falling on the land.
1 Kings 18:25-29 says that Elijah told the prophets of Baal to call their gods to light the fire and burn their sacrifices. However, the gods did not hear them, so Elijah started taunting them and telling them to shout because their gods may be asleep. However, no matter what the prophets did, the gods did not answer them.
Mark 9:4 says that Elijah appeared before Jesus and the disciples during his transfiguration.
Matthew 17:10-12 says that the disciples asked Jesus why it was said that Elijah would come first. Jesus answers them that Elijah has already come, but the people did not recognize him and treated him how they wished, just like Jesus would suffer at their hands.
Malachi 4:5 says that the prophet Elijah would be sent before the frightful day of the Lord comes.
John 1:21 says that they asked whether he was Elijah, and he said that he was not.
How is Elijah referenced in the New Testament?
Elijah is referenced as one of the rejected prophets of God. According to Luke 4:24-27, Jesus uses Elijah as an example to show that prophets rejected in their hometown. In the Bible, Jesus said that during the time of drought in Israel, there were many widows in Israel, yet, God sent Elijah to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. This is because Elijah would be rejected by the widows in his hometown.
How old was Elijah when he was taken to Heaven?
The Bible does not give the exact age of Elijah when he was taken to Heaven. The Bible only says that a chariot of horses and fire came and took Elijah to Heaven, leaving Elisha. However, Elijah is seen as an old man because the Bible mentions that Elijah was a prophet during the reign of two prophets in Israel, King Ahab and King Ahaziah.
Characteristics of Elijah in the Bible
According to the Bible, one characteristic of Elijah was obedience. In the 1st King, many are times when God instructed Elijah to deliver the hard truth to King Ahab, and even though he knew Ahab would try to hurt him, he always obeyed God and delivered his message. Also, according to 1 Kings 17:5, the Bible says that Elijah obeyed God’s word and went to Jordan, where God had instructed him to go.
Also, according to the Bible, Elijah was persistent even when there seemed to be no hope. According to 1 Kings 18:43, Elijah sent his servant to check the horizon seven times, even when the servant said there were no clouds. Even though the clouds were not appearing, Elijah did not give up and persistently prayed and sent his servant to go check the horizon. After checking the seventh time, the Bible implies that the servant came with good news and told him that there was a small cloud of rain.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.