How old was Elijah?

Elijah painting by Tilemann

In museums, paintings such as Tilemann’s show Elijah with bald head and white beard.

Yet, for 36 years he delivered messages to three kings.

  • King Ahab reigned for 22 years – “neither dew nor rain”
  • King Ahaziah reigned for 2 years – “die in your bed”
  • King Joram reigned for 12 years – “bowels will drop out”

In 866 BC, most people died before their fiftieth birthday, so I started Elijah at twelve.

If Elijah could build a world, he’d make one where little boys threw wicked slave traders over cliffs then ran to the edge and watched them bounce on the rocks. . . .

Light played off a blade lying next to the hammer and tongs. He ran a curious finger across its bright edge then slapped his long, skinny waist. How cool to strap on a sword for their next trip to the King’s Highway.

Dad frowned. “Not for my son.”

Elijah shrugged. Maybe twelve was too young. He would ask next year.

The Boy Who Closed the Sky, Page 11

What would you tell twelve-year-old Elijah?


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