James 5:17

New Testament

15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up—and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness. 17 Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain and there was no rain on the land for three years and six months! 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land sprouted with a harvest. 19 My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone turns him back,

4 Ezra 7:109

2 Esdras

107 Next, there is Joshua, who prayed for the Israelites in the time of Achan, 108 then Samuel in the time of Saul, David during the plague, and Solomon at the dedication of the temple. 109 Elijah prayed for rain for the people, and for a dead man that he might be brought back to life. 110 Hezekiah prayed for the nation in the time of Sennacherib; and there are many more besides. 111 If, then, in the time when corruption grew and wickedness increased, the just asked pardon for the wicked, why cannot it be the same on the day of judgment?’

 Notes and References

"... Finally, we come to Elijah, whom James connects to prayer (James 5:17-18). While a reasonable assumption on James' part, this is something of a strange reference in that to begin the drought the canonical Elijah simply appears and makes an announcement that only by his word will rain come (1 Kings 17:1). At the end of the drought there is prayer for fire from heaven (I Kings 18:36-37) and a posture that might imply prayer for rain (I Kings 18:42), but no explicit connection of prayer and rain. Jewish tradition, however, did connect Elijah and the Carmel narrative to prayer (Mishnah Taanit 2:4). More importantly, however, 4 Ezra 7:39 (109) states in a context of intercessory prayer that 'Elijah [prayed] for those who received the rain, and for one who was dead, that he might live'. Again, we cannot claim that James actually knew and used 4 Ezra, for in all probability it was completed after James was already published, but 4 Ezra witnesses to a Jewish evaluation of Elijah that was current in James' world and colored how James interpreted the canonical account ..."

Davids, Peter H. "The Pseudepigrapha in the Catholic Epistles" in Charlesworth, James H., and Craig A. Evans, editors. The Pseudepigrapha and Early Biblical Interpretation (p. 233) JSOT Press, 1993

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.