What Are You Doing Here, Elijah

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44) It is written about Elijah, “And came and sat down under a broom-tree.” He said, “Dear Lord, You sent a woman to Israel, whose name is Deborah, as It is written, ‘And she sat under the palm-tree of Deborah.’ This is the broom-tree under which Elijah sat, and she reformed them, as it is written, ‘Until I, Deborah, arose.’ And I came among them and declared before them, and I cannot make them repent.

45) While he was seated, the Creator appeared before him and told him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” In the beginning, in Moses’ days, you were complaining and envious over the covenant. And when I saw that you were envious for Me over that covenant, I took it, with Moses’ consent, and gave it to you. And Moses said, ‘I give unto him My covenant of peace.’

Pinehas [Pinchas] is Elijah. And now that it is yours, it is unbecoming of you to complain about it. You should have put away your envy for Me, as in the beginning when the covenant was Mine and I gave it to another and did not complain about him.”

46) What is “here”? The holy covenant is the mouth of the Lord, of which it is said, “I give unto him My covenant of peace.” And the Creator told him, “Since you did not wish to leave your mouth, the mouth that is zealous for the covenant, let the mouth that I have given you, the covenant of peace, return to the place of the mouth from before, to the Creator. At that time, that gift He had given to Moses, the covenant of peace, passed away from him, as it is written, “and went in the strength of that meal… unto Horeb the mount of God,” to ask from there.

But does he ask from there? One asks from the Lord! But he asked for what he had in the beginning, from the one from whom he inherited this covenant on the mountain of the Lord, meaning Moses. Pinehas is Elijah. Certainly, they are on the same degree. Moses told him, “You cannot receive from me the covenant of peace. Instead, go to the circumcision of the children of Israel and earn the covenant from them, and they will give you.” And so he did.

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