Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ELIJAH

One of the greatest religious leaders of the Israelite people. He lived in the ninth century before Christ, and his influence dominated Hebrew thought for centuries although he left no writings. He was an unusual man, unconventional, physically robust, a man who survived many ordeals (I Kings 17-21). In an arduous trip across the desert to Mount Horeb, he reenacted the experiences of Moses when he received the law. His communication with God amplified the application of the Ten Commandments in an era of more complex social life. To prove the authenticity of his God, Elijah triumphed over the prophets of Baal in a contest, a vindication that established the Hebrew religion firmly and ended the drought that had afflicted Israel (I Kings 18:22-40). In his old age Elijah chose Elisha as his successor (II Kings 2:15). Presumably he went to heaven without dying, and it was an established belief that one day he would reappear on earth to restore Israel's glory (II Kings 2:11). Many people, in fact, mistook Jesus for Elijah (Matthew 16:14). At the Transfiguration it was Moses and Elijah who appeared with Christ (Matthew 17:3). At the Jewish Passover the door is opened in anticipation of his return and a cup of wine is poured out for him. Elijah is also spelled Elias.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Making Moral Progress? July 3
Vatican statement clarifies duties of Catholic faithful after Obergefell decision July 2
Political battles vs. sacrificial service: The Brooks paradox revisited July 2
A Baptist leader with a message the Synod of Bishops should hear June 30
'Helpful' advice for social conservatives: ignore causes, deal with effects June 30

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope approves process for holding bishops accountable in abuse cases CWN - June 10
Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical released (includes link to full text) CWN - June 18
US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage CWN - June 26
Archbishop Nienstedt, auxiliary bishop resign CWN - June 15