Eli/Elijah Eli/Elijah
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In the Old Testament, the account of the prophet Elijah is given. He is one of one of two
people (besides the blessed Lord Jesus Christ) who was caught up to heaven without dying.
The other one, of course, is Enoch.
Elijah prophesied among the rebellious 10 tribes of Israel that had left Solomon’s son,
Rehoboam kingdom, and set up Jeroboam as their king in opposition to the two tribes of
Juda and Benjamin that remained faithful to Jehovah, Jerusalem, and King David’s seed.
The time of Elijah’s prophesying was during, perhaps, the darkest and most godless time of
the rebellious ten tribes—Ahab and his wicked idolatrous wife, Jezebel, ruled during Elijah’s
life time.  We may learn innumerable lessons from Elijah’s life. But we might summarize
his life’s ministry by the word righteousness.
He prophesied to Israel that they should repent of their idolatry and sin, and return in full
obedience and submission to Jehovah. He prayed that it might not rain for three years to
show Israel (the 10 tribes) how displeased Jehovah was with their rebellious, sinful ways.
When the New Testament ways written, it was written in “koine” (common) Greek which is
very different from the language that the Old Testament was written in. Because of this
difference, names that are found in the Old Testament, and repeated in the New Testament
are spelled differently.
When the Lord Jesus was here, He referred to “Eli” and “Elias”. This is the very same name
as “Elijah”. We know that when Elijah was caught up by the whirlwind into heaven, Elisha
began to prophesy among the 10 tribes in Elijah’s place.
In the New Testament, when the Lord Jesus was about to begin His earthly ministry, John
Baptist baptized the people. That was a baptism to repentance—it prepared those who con-
fessed that they had disobeyed Jehovah, to receive their King—of the seed of David. Their
Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
When the Lord Jesus spoke of “Elias” or “Eli”, He was referring to Elijah, but John Baptist
was the complete fulfillment during the Lord Jesus’ life, of Elijah. In other words, John
Baptist was the NT type of Elijah—calling people to come out into the wilderness, and by
baptism, confess their sins so they would be ready to receive their promised King (the Lord
Jesus) when He appeared.
We might also add as a note, that the Lord Jesus was the perfect fulfillment of Elisha. John
Baptist/Elias/Elijah is a picture of righteousness and repentance. The Lord Jesus Christ,
pictured by Elisha, is a type of God’s grace acting to bring blessing.