Monday in the Week Per Annum 10

I Kings 17.1-6; Psalm 120; Matthew 5.1-12

The Old Testament can be capsulised as The Law and The Prophets. [cf Matthew 22.40] (A third section of the Old Testament, including the Psalter and wisdom books, is usually called “The Writings.”  The name Tanakh, an acronym formed from Torah, Nevi’im and Ketuvim, is a handy shorthand for these three divisions.)  Moses is the preeminent lawgiver [cf John 1.17] and Elijah the archetype of the prophets. 

Elijah is not a literary prophet (like Isaiah, Jeremiah or Ezekiel).  He is identified by the demonym Tishbite, probably meaning that he was born in the village of Tishbe in Gilead.  He prophesied in the 9th Century Before Christ in the northern kingdom of Israel. (The united kingdom of David and Solomon was divided during the reign of Solomon’s son Rehoboam.)

A prophet is a spokesman for God; as God himself is said to have declared, ‘I will put my words into his mouth.’ [Deuteronomy 18.18] Elijah enters public life with his proclamation of a three-year drought across Israel. God promises Elijah that he would survive the drought: ravens, usually birds of death, feeding on carrion, and ritually unclean [Leviticus 11.13-17], would become bringers of life, carrying bread and meat to him.  Ultimately, Elijah’s hunger and thirst for the righteous purpose of God would be satisfied as God restored life to his people.

Posted in Daily Reflection.