1 Kings 19:10-21

10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
15 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram.
16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.
17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.
18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

The Call of Elisha

19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him.
20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”
21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.

1 Kings 19:10-21 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 KINGS 19

This chapter gives us a further account of Elijah, of his being obliged to flee for his life through the threats of Jezebel, 1Ki 19:1-4, of the care the Lord took of him, providing food for him, in the strength of which he went to Horeb, 1Ki 19:5-8, of the Lord's appearance to him there, and conversation with him, 1Ki 19:9-14, of some instructions he gave him to anoint a king over Syria, another over Israel, and a prophet in his room, 1Ki 19:15-18, and of his finding Elisha, and throwing his mantle over him, who left his secular employment, and followed him, and became his servant, 1Ki 19:19-21.

1 Kings 19:10-21 In-Context

8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
9 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
15 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram.
16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.
17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.
18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him.
20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”
21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.

Cross References 24

  • 1. S Numbers 25:13; Acts 22:3; Galatians 4:18
  • 2. S Deuteronomy 31:16
  • 3. 1 Kings 18:30
  • 4. 1 Kings 18:4,22; Jeremiah 5:11; Jeremiah 9:2; Romans 11:3*
  • 5. Exodus 34:2; Matthew 17:1-3; Exodus 24:12
  • 6. Exodus 33:19
  • 7. S Exodus 14:21; S 2 Kings 2:1; Ezekiel 1:4; Ezekiel 37:7
  • 8. Nahum 1:6
  • 9. S Exodus 3:2
  • 10. ver 11; S 1 Samuel 14:6; Job 4:16; Zechariah 4:6; 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • 11. ver 9; Exodus 3:6
  • 12. ver 10; 1 Kings 18:22; Romans 11:3*
  • 13. 2 Kings 8:7-15
  • 14. 2Ki 9:1-3,6
  • 15. ver 21; 2 Kings 2:1; 2 Kings 3:11; 2 Kings 2:9,15
  • 16. S Judges 7:22
  • 17. 2 Kings 8:12,29; 2 Kings 9:14; 2 Kings 10:32; 2 Kings 12:17; 2 Kings 13:3,7,22; Amos 1:4
  • 18. Jeremiah 48:44
  • 19. Romans 11:4*
  • 20. Hosea 13:2
  • 21. S Genesis 41:42; 2 Kings 2:8,14
  • 22. Matthew 8:21-22; Luke 9:61
  • 23. S 1 Samuel 6:14; 2 Samuel 24:22
  • 24. S ver 16