Exodus chapter 3 (The book of Exodus dates back to around BC 1350. Along with four other ancient books of Israel it was written by Moses. This chapter takes place before the people of Israel, numbering perhaps 1.5 million, are released from slavery and opression in Egypt and is about the call of Moses to achieve that. In the extract below, Almighty God the LORD appoints Moses to redeem His people from Egypt".)
3 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said,
"I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned."
4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush,
And he said,
"Here I am."
5 Then he said,
"Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."
6 And he said,
"I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."
And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
7 Then the Lord said,
"I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt."
11 But Moses said to God,
"Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?"
12 He said,
"But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain."
13 Then Moses said to God,
"If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?"
14 God said to Moses,
"I AM WHO I AM."
And he said,
"Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ "
15 God also said to Moses,
"Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. 16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, "I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, 17 and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey." ’ 18 And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go. 21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, 22 but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians."
2 Kings Chapter 1 (The 2 Books of Kings, part of the national archives of Israel, cover the period of Israel's Kings after King David (970 BC) until the end of the monarchy in 586 BC. In this extract - the opening words of 2 Kings - Elijah is identified by King Ahaziah (841 BC) through his unusual clothing. This style of clothing was also worn, around AD 30, by John the Baptist.)
1 After the death of Ahab, Moab rebelled against Israel.
2 Now Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay sick; so he sent messengers, telling them,
"Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this sickness."
3 But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite,
"Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? 4 Now therefore thus says the Lord, You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’ "
So Elijah went.
5 The messengers returned to the king, and he said to them,
"Why have you returned?"
6 And they said to him,
"There came a man to meet us, and said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him, Thus says the Lord, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’ "
7 He said to them,
"What kind of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?"
8 They answered him,
"He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist."
And he said,
"It is Elijah the Tishbite."
1 Kings 17: 1-24 (one of the ancient archival books of the nation of Israel dealing with the history of their kings from 970 BC to 586 BC)
Elijah Predicts a Drought
17 Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab,
"As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word."
2 And the word of the LORD came to him: 3
"Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 4 You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there."
5 So he went and did according to the word of the LORD. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. 7 And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.
The Widow of Zarephath
8 Then the word of the LORD came to him, 9
"Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you."
10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said,
"Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink."
11 And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said,
"Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand."
12 And she said,
"As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die."
13 And Elijah said to her,
"Do not fear; go and do as you have said.
But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. 14
For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel,
‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’ "
15 And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah.
Elijah Raises the Widow’s Son
17 After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah,
"What have you against me, O man of God?
You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!"
19 And he said to her,
"Give me your son."
And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed. 20 And he cried to the LORD,
"O LORD my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?"
21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord,
"O LORD my God, let this child’s life come into him again."
22 And the LORD listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said,
"See, your son lives."
24 And the woman said to Elijah,
"Now I know that you are a man of God,
and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth."
Malachi Chapter 4 (Malachi was the last of the Prophets send by the LORD to His people Israel. He wrote in the fifth century BC. After that there was silence from the LORD God until John the Baptist appeared on the scene as described in Mark's Gospel chapter 1.
In his chapter 4 - below - Malachi foretells the coming of the Messiah preceded by Elijah....)
1 "For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.
2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.
3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.
4 "Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.
5 "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction."