Tuesday 7 December 2010
Fire of Elijah?
Andrew Sibley is of the opinion that the fire in Israel’s Carmel region was significant. Could it be the “fire of Elijah”, he asks on my blog “The Israel Inferno” (Sunday).
What exactly does Andrew mean by the “fire of Elijah”? Presumably he is referring to the fire Elijah was able to call down from heaven to demonstrate to an apostate Israel that Yahweh was God, and Baal wasn’t. Elijah also called down fire from heaven to consume several of the king’s men when they were sent to arrest him.
Andrew wants to know my thoughts. Well here they are:
First, no one called down this fire from heaven; it was apparently the result of two Druze brothers leaving burning rubbish unattended.
Secondly, Elijah’s fire vindicated him as a prophet of Yahweh and everyone who observed the fire come down knew it was a supernatural vindication of the prophet.
Thirdly, the fire on Carmel came as the result of a showdown between the prophets of Baal and Elijah. This latest fire on Carmel was the result of an accident (forgive me if my theology sounds a little flaky there; I hope you know what I mean).
Fourthly, if I understand Andrew’s book Zion’s New Name properly (see my blog "Replacement Theology's New Name", Monday 11 January 2010), he believes the modern state of Israel no longer stands in a covenant relationship with Yahweh. Israel’s astonishing transformation of the land from desert and swamp to fertile arable land apparently means nothing; Israel’s remarkable technical achievements have no significance; the benefits bestowed on the rest of the world in the areas of agriculture, technology and medicine are too insignificant to mention. However, when a fire breaks out in an area of outstanding natural beauty, killing 42 people, that has significance. And biblical significance to boot!
Perhaps I am reading far more into Andrew’s brief comment than I ought and am judging him a little harshly, in which case I am open to correction.
For a very interesting and bizarre revelation on the "fire of Elijah", visit Joseph Weissman's latest blog at Harry's Place.