Elijah the Tishbite
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab,
As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years,
but according to my word.
I Kings 17.1
The Prophet Elijah first appears in I Kings on Spoke 11. Exactly the same pattern is seen on the Inner
Wheel of Matthew, where Elijah first appears by name in
Matthew 11. Likewise, the two witnesses of
possess the powers given Elijah to stop rain and to call down fire. This does not necessarily
imply that one of the
witnesses will literally be Elijah, but it does seem like a viable possiblity, especially since Elijah
never died. But such speculation dims in comparison with the insight we gain into the structure of
God's Word, which will remain long after all speculations fail.
The last appearance of Elijah in the Old Testament is in Malachi on Spoke 17, corresponding to the
chapter index of his first appearance. This passage gived great insight into his title as the Tishbite:
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and
dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and
the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
This integrates with the great theme of the
Coming of the Lord that dominates Spoke 17. The word
translated as "and he shall turn" is והשיב (v'heshiv) from the root
שוב (shub, S# H7725) which means turn or return. It is
the root of Teshuvah (Repentance), and is found,
for example, in Jeremiah 3.14:
Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for
I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I
will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed
you with knowledge and understanding.
Elijah is stongly associated with both advents
of the Lord. John the Baptist came in "the power and
spirit of Elijah" and the endtime prophets of Revelation 11 will possess his powers. His title
conveys this idea. Tishbite is a translation of the Hebrew
התשבי (HaTishbi), which carries the connotion as the one who
returns, or as is more
appropriate for Elijah, he who is "of the return" that is, the return of the Lord.