And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
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Ambrose of Milan
Great is the virtue of fasting; in short so splendid is the warfare that it delighted even Christ to fast; and so mighty that it raised people to heaven. And, that we may use human rather than divine examples, a word sent from the fasting mouth of Elijah closed heaven to the sacrilegious people of the Jews. For when an altar had been set up to an idol by Ahab, at the word of the prophet for three years and six months dewy rain did not fall on the earth. A worthy punishment fittingly to check insolence, that heaven should be closed to the impious who had polluted the things of earth! It was also right that a prophet, for the condemnation of a sacrilegious king, was sent to a widow in Zarephath of Sidonia, who, since she preferred piety to food, merited that she alone should not feel the distress of the general drought. And so the “urn of barley meal did not fail” when the water of the torrent failed. Why should I present the rest of this history? While fasting he raised the widow’s son ...
Elijah was sent to prevent Ahab’s insane rage and to show with words and actions of power and vigor the truth of the curses that the fathers had proclaimed against the transgres sors of the law of God, as they were not vain threats.… Moses wrote a large book of curses and ordered Joshua to proclaim them before the assembly of all the tribes of Israel with great clamor and loudly. He especially mentions the harsh famine and the other evils that follow it, the deprivation of the rain, the aridity and infertility of the land. Ahab despised and laughed at them, because he saw how abundant his supplies were, thanks to his father who was an impious king like him. Therefore, that arrogant king necessarily had to be punished for his arrogance.
But the main reason why Elijah was sent was Jezebel, whose pride the Lord wanted to humiliate and whose falsehood he wanted to disclose. She had actually appointed herself as minister of Baal and had entrusted herself with the religious service for this ...
Exactly at the time when the prophet and father of the prophets Elijah appeared, the rebellion of Ahab and his wife Jezebel had increased to such an extent that they not only trampled the law and fear of God underfoot, nor were content to promote the worship of idols, but even persecuted and killed the prophets and the saints. - "On the First Book of Kings 17.1"
Elias means, "the strong God. "Some Greeks derive the name of the prophet from elios, "the sun "improperly. His parentage is not known, nor even his tribe. Thesbe was situated in the tribe of Gad. The Fathers agree that Elias never was married. He seems to have had no fixed abode; but was sent to the house of Israel, to maintain the cause of the true God, with the most active and generous zeal. He may have presided over the colleges of the prophets, (Calmet) which were then numerous in Israel, particularly at Mount Carmel, (Tirinus) notwithstanding the general corruption, chap. xviii. 13., and xix. 10. (Haydock)
I stand, to serve (Numbers iii. 6.) and pray, James v. 17., and Luke iv. 25. He calls God to witness, like St. Paul, Galatians i. 20.
Mouth. Stupendous power and assurance of the prophet, with which the pagans have nothing to compare. (Calmet)
God had threatened his people with drought, if they proved faithless, Deuteronomy xxviii. 24. Elias begs that this punishment may now...