What Is the Background Story of Elijah the Prophet?

According to the Old Testament, Elijah the Prophet's background story is limited to being a native of the village of Tosabe in the Gilead region prior to his appearance during the reign of King Ahab in the ninth century B.C. Elijah's activities, as recorded in the Bible and Jewish folklore, are generally limited to the northern portion of the Kingdom of Israel.

Elijah's role in Biblical and Jewish stories is that of a promoter of Jewish tradition and beliefs through his resistance against the worship of Baal that spread throughout the kingdom of Israel. The spread of Baal worship was attributed to the political alliance between King Ahab of Israel and the various Phoenician states, and it led to a decrease in religious purity, according to the Bible.

Elijah's role was to call the people of the Kingdom of Israel back to the worship of the true God Yahweh and to denounce the emerging cults that worshipped pagan gods. In the Bible, Elijah's story ends with him riding a chariot of fire into heaven, indicating that he is not truly dead but is instead waiting to return with the Messiah's arrival. Elijah is also mentioned in the Qur'an as a righteous and pious man who denounced Baal worship and represented God.