Elijah versus the Narrative of Elijah: The Contest between the Prophet and the Word

Glover, Neil
June 2006
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament;Jun2006, Vol. 30 Issue 4, p449
Academic Journal
The Elijah narrative centres on the themes of presence and absence. The narrative undermines the apparent and uncomfortable identification of Elijah with the presence of YHWH by staging a contest between Elijah and the words that tell his story. These words meticulously minute Elijah's speech and draw him into unfavourable comparison with other characters in the story, particularly Obadiah. Despite such an exacting contest, Elijah emerges from the narrative unbowed. This article asks why, of all Old Testament/Tanakh characters, is it Elijah that is allowed to cheat death through flight to heaven. In addition, it suggests the prophet's fiery charisma as reason for his evasion of death.


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