And Elijah came unto all the people
Assembled at Mount Carmel:
and said, how long halt ye between two opinions?
sometimes inclining to the one, and sometimes to the other: as a lame man in walking, his body moves sometimes to one side, and sometimes to another; or "leap ye upon two branches" F18, like a bird that leaps or hops from one branch to another, and never settles long; or rather it denotes the confusion of their thoughts, being like branches of trees twisted and implicated; thus upbraiding them with their inconstancy and fickleness; what their two opinions were, may be learnt from the next clause:
if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him;
for there is but one God, one infinite, immense, and incomprehensible being; one that is omnipotent, all sufficient, good, and perfect; there cannot be more, and therefore but one to be followed, served, and worshipped:
and the people answered him not a word:
through conviction and confusion, his reasoning being unanswerable; or not knowing which to choose at present; or fearing they should be drawn into a snare, should they name any; either incur the displeasure of the king, who was for Baal, or of the prophet, who was for the Lord, at whose word rain was withheld, and might be given, which they were desirous of.
F18 (Mypeoh ytv le Myxop) "transilietis super duos ramoe, Malvenda; vos transilientes super ambos ramos", Piscator.