19 February 2010

The drought of Elijah

The story of Elijah begins with a drought.
Elijah … 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. 1 Kings 17.1
And according to 1 Kings, the drought ended in its third year (so it lasted more than two but less than three years).
The LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. 1 Kings 18.1
But if you believe the New Testament authors, the drought lasted for 3 years and six months, during which time there was no rain anywhere on earth.
In the days of Elias [Elijah]…the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land. Luke 4.25
Elias [Elijah]… prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. James 5.17-18
The Bible doesn’t say why the drought occurred; apparently it was just to get Elijah’s prophecy career off to a good start. But if the book of James is right and it didn’t rain anywhere on earth for 3 and a half years, then many people must have died of starvation.

I’ll just guess that 3,000 people starved to death (1000 per year) in God’s promotional campaign for Ellijah.

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