The Old Testament prophet
Elijah spoke against Ahab
, king of Israel
, whose wife Jezebel
had introduced the heathen cult of Baal
During a drought God sent Elijah east to live by a brook where ravens fed him. When the brook dried up he met a widow of the city of Zarephath whom he found gathering sticks. She gave him food, and, in gratitude, Elijah cured her child of his sickness.
After three years of drought and famine, Elijah assembled 450 priests of Baal on Mount Carmel and built two sacrificial altars with King Ahab's blessing, for an offering of bullocks. Both Elijah and the priests of Baal built fires, which were to be ignited by their respective gods. The priests' fire refused to catch alight, but Elijah's ignited immediately. The priests were put to death, thus appeasing the god of Israel, and the rains returned.
Fearing Jezebel's revenge, Elijah fled into the desert and prayed for his own death. He slept under a juniper tree and was fed by an angel.
On mount Horeb Elijah encountered the voice of God, who told him to seek out his successor as a prophet. Elijah did so, finding Elisha ploughing a field. They travelled together until one day there appeared a chariot and horses of fire, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. As he ascended, Elijah's mantle fell from him, and Elisha took it up. Elijah also appeared with Moses at Christ's Transfiguration.