Elijah (Hebrew: אֱלִיָּהוּ, Eliyahu, meaning "My God is Yahu / Jah") or Elias (/ᵻˈlaɪ.əs/; Greek: Ηλίας Elías; Syriac: ܐܸܠܝܼܵܐ Elyāe; Arabic: إلياس or إليا, Ilyās or Ilyā) was a prophet and a wonder-worker who operated in the northern kingdom of Israel during the reign of Ahab (9th century BC), according to the biblical Books of Kings. According to the Books of Kings, Elijah defended the worship of Yahweh over that of the Canaanite idol Baal. Yahweh also performed many miracles through Elijah, including raising the dead, bringing fire down from the sky, and taking the prophet up to heaven "by a whirlwind". The Book of Malachi prophesies Elijah's return "before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord", making him a harbinger of the Messiah and of the eschaton in various faiths that revere the Hebrew Bible. References to Elijah appear in the New Testament, the Talmud, the Mishnah, and the Quran.
In Judaism, Elijah's name is invoked at the weekly Havdalah ritual that marks the end of Shabbat, and Elijah is invoked in other Jewish customs, among them the Passover Seder and the Brit milah (ritual circumcision). He appears in numerous stories and references in the Haggadah and rabbinic literature, including the Babylonian Talmud.
The Christian New Testament (Matthew 16:14 & Mark 8:28) describes how Jesus was thought by some to be John the Baptist, by others Elijah and by still others Jeremiah or "one of the prophets". Jesus makes it clear that John the Baptist is "the Elijah" (Matthew 11:14 & Matthew 17:11-12) who was promised to come in Malachi 4:5. This is also explained in Luke 1:16-17. Elijah appears with Moses during the Transfiguration of Jesus. Elijah is also a figure in various Christian folk traditions, often identified with earlier pagan thunder or sky gods.
The Qur'an and certain Islamic traditions describe Elijah as a great and righteous man of God who preached powerfully against the worship of Baal.
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