It is time to finish up with Hillel Millgram’s The Elijah Enigma.
In a postscript to the book, he talks about the myth of Elijah that continued in Judaism. This had already started before Kings was written. One of its sources contained the mythical story of his translation. It continued in Malachi 4:5 which promises that Elijah will return. This is picked up in Ben Sira and in the rabbinical literature. Millgram does not go into its presence in the New Testament. But he gives examples from folk Judaism and mystical Judaism.
Today it is still the custom to have an empty seat for Elijah at circumcisions and sometimes at meals.
Millgram sees as the purpose of his book to go behind the myth and recover a more realistic and historical portrait of the prophet. The historical Elijah had flaws. The most obvious of these was a lack of…
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