Giovanni Battista (1683-1754)
As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
2 Kings 2:11 (New International Version)
I: Who are you?
E: I am Elijah and this is my daughter Salome.
I: The daughter of Herod, the bloodthirsty woman?”
E: Why do you judge so? You see that she is blind. She is my daughter, the daughter of the prophet.
I: What miracle has united you?
E: It s no miracle. It was so from the beginning. My wisdom and my daughter are one.
I: I am shocked. I am incapable of grasping it.
Elijah and Salome are important entities in the Red Book, part of the basis for Jung’s concepts of the archetypes of the Wise Old Man and the anima. So who was Elijah and was did he show up in Jung’s active imagination?:
Elijah: Profile & Biography of Elijah, Old Testament Prophet & Biblical Figure
Austin Cline, About.com Guide
Elijah was an important Israelite prophet whose name in Hebrew means “my Lord is Jehovah.” Accounts of Elijah’s life and actions are recorded through 1 and 2 Kings. Aside from coming from the village of Tosabe in Gilead (about which nothing is known), nothing is recorded about his background before he appears suddenly to promote traditional, orthodox Jewish beliefs.
Elijah is described as having lived during the reigns of Israelite kings Ahab, Ahaziah, and Jehoram, so during the first half of the 9th century BCE. His first appearance is about half way through the reign of king Ahab, son of Omri (who founded the northern kingdom in Samaria), which would put him at about 864 BCE.
Elijah’s activities were confined to the northern kingdom of Israel. At times he is recorded as having to flee from Ahab’s wrath, taking refuge in a Phoenician city for example.
Stories about Elijah are primarily about his battles against the foreign god Baal and Baal’s various priestly representatives. King Ahab had formed strong ties with Phoenician states and, in the process, had become lax in maintaining strict religious purity. He even went so far as to marry Jezebel, daughter of the king of Sidon and worshipper of foreign gods. He allowed her to promote her religion and this led to Ahab being treated as one of the worst of the Israelite kings.
Why was Elijah important?:
Elijah is regarded as a “reformer” prophet — his purpose was to call the Israelites back to the worship of Yahweh and away from the evil pagan religious cults that were growing in popularity. The conflicts between Elijah and the priests of Baal are struggles to see which is stronger: Hebrew monotheism or pagan polytheism.
According to 2 Kings, Elijah was taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire. Jewish tradition has it, then, that Elijah is not really dead — he continues to wander the earth and will reappear once again when it is time to announce the arrival of the Messiah. For this reason many early Christians identified John the Baptist with Elijah because John announced the arrival of Jesus.
Philippe de Champaigne
Oil on canvas
Musee de Tesse, Le Mans, France
from Wikipeida: Elijah
Elijah, also Elias. Eliyahu, meaning “Yahweh is my God”; was a prophet in the Kingdom of Israel during the reign of Ahab (9th century BCE), according to the Books of Kings.
According to the Books of Kings, Elijah defended the worship of Yahweh over that of the more popular Baal, he raised the dead, brought fire down from the sky, and ascended into heaven in a whirlwind (either accompanied by a chariot and horses of flame or riding in it). In the Book of Malachi, Elijah’s return is prophesied “before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord,” making him a harbinger of the Messiah and the eschaton in various faiths that revere the Hebrew Bible. Derivative references to Elijah appear in the Talmud, Mishnah, the New Testament, and the Qur’an.
In Judaism, Elijah’s name is invoked at the weekly Havdalah ritual that marks the end of Shabbat, and Elijah is invoked in other Jewish customs, among them the Passover seder and the Brit milah (ritual circumcision). He appears in numerous stories and references in the Haggadah and rabbinic literature, including the Babylonian Talmud.
In Christianity, the New Testament describes how both Jesus and John the Baptist are compared with Elijah, and on some occasions, thought by some to be manifestations of Elijah, and Elijah appears with Moses during the Transfiguration of Jesus.
In Islam, the Qur’an describes Elijah as a great and righteous prophet of God, and one who powerfully preached against the worship of Ba’al.
Elijah is also a figure in various folkloric traditions. In Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania, he is known as “Elijah the Thunderer” and in folklore is held responsible for summer storms, hail, rain, thunder, and dew.
Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” He looked around and saw some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again.
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”