Posted by: biblestudyseattle | May 12, 2015

Did Elijah Die?

“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

It appears as we read in 1 and 2 Kings that Elijah is suddenly taken to heaven without dying.  It should be pointed out that the word translated ‘heaven’ doesn’t mean the heaven we think of, it means, ‘sky’.  So Elijah was transported to another place on earth.  But it is possible he didn’t die.  There is precedence for this:

“By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”Hebrews 11:5

Some say that since it is appointed for all men to die once, that Elijah and Enoch must have died.  It is possible Elijah died.  If Enoch died, then the writer of Hebrews is clearly wrong.  Is it possible that God miraculously preserved them as the two witnesses of Revelation who will die at that time?

“Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it.  Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.  And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”  These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.  And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way.  These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.”  Revelation 11:1-6

Having power to shut up the sky is exactly what Elijah did for three and a half years in 1 Kings 17.  After three and a half years, Elijah challenged the prophets of Ba’al to a match.  Elijah won because the Lord breathed fire upon his sacrifice.  Immediately after this, Jezebel tried to kill Elijah.  Something similar will probably happen at the end times just before Jesus comes to save his people.

“When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.  And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.  Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb.  And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them.  And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them.  And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.”  Revelation 11:7-13

Apparently, at the end of seven years, Enoch and Elijah are resurrected in plain sight to heaven, which may be descending toward Jerusalem at that point.  It seems to this author that Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy has a fulfillment starting somewhere between 1878 and 1918 terminating somewhere around 2368 and 2402 just before Jesus returns visibly.

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