Today is the Feast of the Prophet Elijah

20 Jul

The Russians, with their flair for red, always made the most beautiful Elijah icons and were always partial to the “fiery ascent to heaven” part of his story.  Greek images of Elijah usually focus on the image in the lower right of this icon, that of Elijah in the cave in the wilderness and the “still, small voice:”

And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces 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:

12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

9 καὶ εἰσῆλθεν ἐκεῖ εἰς τὸ σπήλαιον καὶ κατέλυσεν ἐκεῖ καὶ ἰδοὺ ῥῆμα κυρίου πρὸς αὐτὸν καὶ εἶπεν τί σὺ ἐνταῦθα Ηλιο

10 καὶ εἶπεν Ηλιου ζηλῶν ἐζήλωκα τῷ κυρίῳ παντοκράτορι ὅτι ἐγκατέλιπόν σε οἱ υἱοὶ Ισραηλ τὰ θυσιαστήριά σου κατέσκαψαν καὶ τοὺς προφήτας σου ἀπέκτειναν ἐν ῥομφαίᾳ καὶ ὑπολέλειμμαι ἐγὼ μονώτατος καὶ ζητοῦσι τὴν ψυχήν μου λαβεῖν αὐτήν

11 καὶ εἶπεν ἐξελεύσῃ αὔριον καὶ στήσῃ ἐνώπιον κυρίου ἐν τῷ ὄρει ἰδοὺ παρελεύσεται κύριος καὶ πνεῦμα μέγα κραταιὸν διαλῦον ὄρη καὶ συντρῖβον πέτρας ἐνώπιον κυρίου οὐκ ἐν τῷ πνεύματι κύριος καὶ μετὰ τὸ πνεῦμα συσσεισμός οὐκ ἐν τῷ συσσεισμῷ κύριος

12 καὶ μετὰ τὸν συσσεισμὸν πῦρ οὐκ ἐν τῷ πυρὶ κύριος καὶ μετὰ τὸ πῦρ φωνὴ αὔρας λεπτῆς κἀκεῖ κύριος

13 καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤκουσεν Ηλιου καὶ ἐπεκάλυψεν τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ μηλωτῇ ἑαυτοῦ καὶ ἐξῆλθεν καὶ ἔστη ὑπὸ τὸ σπήλαιον καὶ ἰδοὺ πρὸς αὐτὸν φωνὴ καὶ εἶπεν τί σὺ ἐνταῦθα Ηλιου
I don’t know what Arab images of Elijah tend to look like, but Elias is a very common name among Levantine Christians; Mar Elias is the name of the only predominantly Christian Palestinian refugee camp in the Middle East, south of Beirut.

 

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

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