Pekka Pitkänen

Senior Lecturer in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at the University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK. He is the author of Central Sanctuary and Centralization of Worship In Ancient Israel (Piscataway: Gorgias Press, 2004) and Joshua in the Apollos Old Testament Commentary series (Leicester: IVP, 2010). His current research focuses on Genesis-Joshua and the early history of Israel.


In YHWH’s instructions to Israel in Leviticus 19, we see a concern for social justice and the righteous treatment of the poor and weak which has continued relevance in our own day.

Elijah’s ministry takes place during the reign of king Ahab in the 9th century BC. The narrative about the prophet is expressly political. It depicts a political dissident who speaks against the powers of his day, with the main focus on promoting the worship of Yahweh and fighting against the worship of Baal. The prophet’s actions must be understood against a wider Near Eastern context where religion was completely intertwined with politics and where Yahweh was the national god of the Israelites.