On being told what had taken place, Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah with a vow that ere another day had passed his life would be even as the lives of the prophets of Baal, and the threat was enough to cause him to take to instant flight (xix.
Of this tradition the Naboth incident in the time of Ahab furnishes a clear example which brings to light the contrast between the Tyrian Baal-cult, which was scarcely ethical, and of which Jezebel and Ahab were devotees, and the moral requirements of the religion of Yahweh of which Elijah was the prophet and impassioned exponent.
The prophet Elijah must reappear to bring back the hearts of fathers and children before the great and terrible day of Yahweh come.
Both these stories appear to belong to a biography of Isaiah, and, like the similar biographies of Elijah and Elisha, are open to the suspicion that historical facts have been subordinated to idealize the work of the prophet.
The natural and most reliable estimate of the career of Elijah is that which is based upon a critical examination of the narratives; see, in addition to Robertson Smith, Prophets of Israel (2), pp. 75 sqq., Cheyne, Hallowing of Criticism, the articles by Addis in Encyc. Bib., and J.
The antagonism of Elijah was not against Baalism in general, but against the introduction of a rival deity.
But neither Elijah nor Elisha raised a voice against the cult; then, as later, in the time of Amos, it was nominally Yahweh-worship, and Hosea is the first to regard it as the fundamental cause of Israel's misery.
It was in itself a foretaste of resurrection, and the puzzled disciples remembered that the scribes declared that before the resurrection Elijah would appear.
In 1836 the Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy(1802-1837), a native of Albion, Maine, removed the Observer, a religious (Presbyterian) periodical of which he was the editor, from St Louis to Alton.
The value of this external evidence for the history of Israel is enhanced by the fact that biblical tradition associates the changes in the thrones of Israel and Damascus with the work of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, but handles the period without a single reference to the Assyrian Empire.