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Haifa

Cave of Elijah

The Cave of Elijah is a grotto in which the biblical prophet Elijah sought shelter on his journey in the wilderness.

Elijah traveled for 40 days and 40 nights into the Wilderness of Sin, to Mount Horeb, the original mountain where Moses saw the burning bush and where the Israelites made a covenant with God. Upon reaching the Mountain, he sought shelter in a cave.

God again spoke to Elijah : "What doest thou here, Elijah?".

Elijah did not give a direct answer to the LORD's question but evades and equivocates, implying that the work the LORD had begun centuries earlier had now come to nothing, and that his own work was fruitless. Unlike Moses, who tried to defend Israel when they sinned with the golden calf, Elijah bitterly complains over the Israelites' unfaithfulness and says he is the "only one left".

Up until this time Elijah has only the word of God to guide him, but now he is told to go outside the cave and "stand before the Lord." A terrible wind passes, but God was not in the wind. A great earthquake shook the mountain, but God was not in the earthquake. Then a fire passes the mountain, but God was not in the fire.

Then a "still small voice" comes to Elijah and asks again, "What doest thou here, Elijah?" Elijah again evades the question and his lament is unrevised, showing that he did not understand the importance of the divine revelation he had just witnesed.

God then sends him out again, this time to Damascus to anoint Hazael as king of Syria, Jehu as king of Israel, and Elisha as his replacement.

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