Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
seat reserved for prophet Elijah
1987, Joel Salzberg, Critical Essays on Bernard Malamud, G. K. Hall, ISBN 9780816188819, page 219:
2003 September 7, Bonnie Glassford, Living the Sacred Story: A Journey Into the Landscape of the Bible, iUniverse, ISBN 9780595283200, OL 7553104M, page 196:
- Because of my schedule of chores, the seder was half-over when I arrived and there was a choice of two seats: one right beside the rabbi, or else Elijah's seat, a chair that sits empty in case the prophet Elijah turns up with the Messiah in tow, on his donkey. I sat beside Michael as I am not Elijah, and I have absolutely no messianic pretensions or connections, and thus the Elijah seat implied responsibilities that I did not care to take on.
2004, Matilda Koén-Sarano, King Solomon and the Golden Fish: Tales from the Sephardic Tradition, Wayne State University Press, page 193:
- The Elijah seat on which the sandák sits and the performance of the brit at the synagogue as a religious ritual are elements that help affirm the link to Judaism.
(by extension) seat formally reserved for an absent special guest
2012 August 31, Andrew Beaujon, “Empty-chair interviews officially a trend after Clint Eastwood RNC speech”, Poynter:
- More important, this was the fourth incidence of an Elijah seat on TV since the beginning of the year.