July 20, 2012

5 Places Connected to the Life of the Prophet Elijah

1. Monastery of Prophet Elias, Jerusalem

A 12th century Greek Orthodox monastery, on the side of the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. Built over the ruins of a Byzantine church, it serviced the pilgrimage route to Bethlehem.

The monastery is named after Prophet Elijah (Elias), who according to tradition stopped here on his way to the south while fleeing from the anger of Queen Jezebel, after slaying the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel.

1 Kings 19:2 -- "Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah… And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah…"

2. Elijah’s Cave, Mount Carmel

One of the most sacred caves in the Holy Land. According to all faiths, this site was named after the prophet Elijah who was based in Mount Carmel, and he lived and hid here.

1 Kings 18:42 -- “…And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees.”

3. The Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Lord, Mount Tabor

On the north-east side of the top of Mount Tabor is the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Lord, where Elijah appeared with Moses before Christ.

Matthew 17:1-2 -- “…there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him.”

4. The Monastery of Saint George the Hozebite, Judean Desert

The Cave where the Prophet Elijah was fed by the raven.

1 Kings 17:2-6 -- “Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: 'Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.' So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”

5. The Cave and Chapel of the Prophets Elijah and Elisha on Mount Sinai

At a natural basin below the summit of Sinai there is a double chapel. The first chapel one enters is dedicated to the Prophet Elisseus (Elisha). From there, one enters into a second chapel, dedicated to the Prophet Elias (Elijah). This latter chapel is built at the site of a cave that is identified with the revelation of God to the holy Prophet, as it is recorded in III Kings 19:9-18 LXX (I Kings 19:9-18):

“And, behold, a great and strong wind rending the mountains, and crushing the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire the voice of a gentle breeze.”

There was already a chapel at this site in the fourth century.