Question:

I’m looking at Melachim 1 17:1. With most prophets in Tenach, I believe we’re told their father’s name or tribe. Why are we told nothing about Eliyahu? 16:1 tells us Yehu’s father though I don’t know how that helps understand what’s going on.

Answer:

There is much controversy as to who his father was! There is a fascinating Midrash Rabba (Bereishis 71-12) that says that his father’s name was Yerucham (see Divrei Hayamim 1-8) The above Midrash brings a story that there were two tanaim who were debating which shevet he was from. One said that he was from Binyamin, while anther said that he was from Gad. While they were arguing? My lineage is directly from Rochel!   On the other hand in Yalkut Shimoni (Devorim 940 the end of Parshas Nitzavim) it brings another such argument and Eliyahu came and said that he is from Leah! Also see Baba Metzia 114a and Tanna Dbei Eliyahu Rabba 18 that he was a Kohen and from Leah. Also see Yalkut beginning of Parshas Pinchos that Resh Lakish said that Pinchos is Eliyahu, and that he was a Kohen. There is a Kuntres called “Pinchos Who Eliyahu” (Engelman), who brings from the Arizal that Pinchos’s neshoma had different parts to it, a part from Shvet Gad, Binyamin and Levi, and that the various midrashim are all correct! This might answer why it isn’t written, specifically who his father was.

Best Wishes

Tags: Eliyahu Hanavi

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