This site has long been identified as the same place from which tradition says Elijah ascended to Heaven. Elijah, one of the most famous prophets sent to the people to bring them back from paganism, lived during the time of the rule of King Ahab in Israel. Ahab and his wife oppressed Elijah, and when Elijah grew old, God inspired him to leave and settle in what is today Jordan. When he and his successor Elisha arrived at the River Jordan, Elijah struck it with his cloak and parted the waters of the river. They crossed the dry land, and as they were speaking together upon the other side of the river, a fiery chariot came and carried Elijah into the heavens (2 Kings 2).