Prayer to Elijah (Sir 48:4-48:8)

“How glorious you were!

O Elijah!

In your wondrous deeds!

Whose glory is equal to yours?

You raised a corpse

From death.

You raised him From Hades

By the word of the Most High.

You sent kings

Down to destruction.

You sent famous men

From their sickbeds.

You heard the rebuke

At Sinai.

You heard the judgments

Of vengeance at Horeb.

You anointed kings

To inflict retribution.

You anointed prophets

To succeed you.”

Sirach continues with his eulogy to Elijah with this second person singular prayer to him. In fact, Sirach almost treats Elijah like a god when he is talking about his great deeds. However, he carefully points out that Elijah raised the dead son of the widow by the word of the Most High, and not by himself as in 1 Kings, chapter 17. At the same time, he brought kings to destruction and saved people from their sick beds. Then Elijah went to where Moses got the 10 commandments, Horeb or Mount Sinai. Thus he is like a second Moses, certainly not in the Levitical line of Aaron, when he speaks with Yahweh as in 1 Kings, chapter 19. Yahweh told him whom he was to anoint as kings and prophets. Thus Elijah tried to follow out the orders of Yahweh.