voices man's insistence that God be righteous; Elijah proclaims man's (and
God's) demand that the mighty rule with justice. The focal episode of this
window is Elijah's denunciation of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel for the
murder of Naboth and the seizure of his vineyard. When Elijah confronts
Ahab, the prophet assails him for his deeds: "1 have found you, because
you have given yourself over to do that which is evil in the sight of the
Lord." (First Kings 21:20) As God's spokesman, Elijah announces: (Hebrew)
"Behold, 1 will bring evil upon you," vividly describing the violent end
which must overtake Ahab and Jezebel and their family as an inevitable
consequence of their immoral, lawless reign. The painted Jezebel is depicted
being thrown from her tower in the revolution of Jehu. (Second Kings 9)
King Ahab is portrayed as a small-faced harlequin to her left because he
was almost a puppet in the hands of his wife.
The lowest panel of the window refers to the altar on Mount Carmel where Elijah defied the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal to prove that their god possessed any power, or, indeed, that he even existed. The blood flows from the animals which were sacrificed, the gashes which the heathen prophets made in their own flesh, and the bodies of the Hebrew prophets who had been slain at Jezebel's order. In a larger sense, the altar represents all the slaughter which has ever been perpetrated in the name of religion. The twelve squares of the bottom panel are the twelve stones of the altar which Elijah erected in order to prove that "the Lord, He is God," (First Kings 18) the words which conclude the service on the afternoon of Yom Kippur.
The figure of Elijah the prophet is inverted, rooted in God, but pointing downward to the altar and to the soil which is fructified by rain, not by the idolatrous excesses of the Baalists. God is represented by the golden circle at the zenith of the window containing the Hebrew words (First Kings 19:12) for "the still, small voice," or "the thin voice of silence," traditionally interpreted as man's conscience implanted by God. But conscience then is identical with the prophetic message, God's proclamation of the righteous way, through the voice of such courageous men as Elijah. Surrounding the corona are bolts of thunder and lightning, representative of the earth-shattering events which frequently do not express the will of God.
is seen twice more: once inside the fiery chariot which races upwards above
Jezebel, and again astride the lead horse (Second Kings 2 :11 )-which may
be regarded as his ascent through violence and conflict to his ultimate
destiny in Jewish lore as the forerunner of Messianic redemption.