The New Elijah

In a technical, but fascinating piece in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, John C. Poirier observes that Jesus is the true Messiah Priestly Elijah figure. And further, that interpretations that have viewed Elijah as merely a prophet has led to “unnecessary complications in the text.” As central proof to this priestly role of Elijah is the “matter of Elijah’s defeating the 450 prophets of Baal with a superior sacrifice on Mount Carmel (I Kings 18:20-35), a showdown that involved Elijah’s performing undeniably priestly duties.” This, then, has some implications to the Lucan account in chapter four (16-30) where Jesus’ life is put at risk. If Jesus is the Elijianic figure, the priestly fulfillment of Elijah, the one who is the greater priest who pleases God, as Elijah pleased God with his sacrifice against the 450 Baalite prophets, then the “violent reaction to what Jesus says about Elijah and Elisha has nothing to do with any sort of insularity or anti-Gentile sentiments…but rather with Jesus implying that the Nazareth crowd is the antitype to Israel of Elijah’s and Elisha’s day.” In other words, the Nazarenes were like the “apostatized public of Elijah and Elisha’s day.” But the end of the story is also Elijianic. Jesus escapes the tyranny of the crowd, like Elijah “slipped through the grip of Ahab and Jezebel (cf. John 8:59).”


About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
This entry was posted in Luke, Typology/Symbolism/Biblical Parallels. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s