Elijah Ascends to Heaven / Elijah Succeeds Elisha

Elijah Ascends to Heaven Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel. The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent.’ Elijah said to him, ‘Elisha, stay … Continue reading Elijah Ascends to Heaven / Elijah Succeeds Elisha

Amos and Hosea

See also: Amos (art), Hosea (art)

In earlier times, prophets such as Nathan and Elijah addressed themselves primarily to the kings. But by the eighth century, prophets such as Amos and Hosea began to address the whole nation, warning Israel that abandoning its covenant with God would lead it to doom. The oracles of these prophets are preserved in writing, hence the term “writing prophets.” The people naturally wanted to know whether the worst would come to pass as predicted, which must have been one motivation for writing them down. Continue reading “Amos and Hosea”

Why Baal?

Why Baal? This simple question proves deceptively challenging to answer. Looking into historical evidence, it seems easy enough to describe the outlines of Baal worship–as a storm king, god of fertility and nature–but less easy to confidently explain what motivated the people of Israel, at any given point, to forsake YHWH for Baal (or alternatively, to repent and return to YHWH). Continue reading “Why Baal?”