Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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In the first centuries CE, the ascended Elijah was expected to return as herald to (the second coming of) the Messiah. Especially from the 4th century CE onward, Elijah becomes an inspiration for the monastic life, a master who provides a model of life. The earliest Christian iconography combines these traditions by depicting the moment when Elijah ascends and transfers his mantle to his disciple.

The Prophet of the Old Testament

All of a sudden, in 1 Kgs 17, “Elija…

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Bos, Anne-Marie, “Elijah”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 27 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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