1 Kings 19

The Book of 1 Kings
Chapter 19

Chapter Overview:

Elijah flees from Jezebel, ver. 1 - 3.
Is fed by an angel, ver. 4 - 8.
God manifests himself and directs him, ver. 9 - 18.
He calls Elisha, ver. 19 - 21.
19:1All the prophets - Of Baal.
19:2Jezebel sent - She gives him notice of it before hand: partly, out of the height of her spirit, as scorning to kill him secretly: partly, outof her impatience, till she had breathed out her rage: and principally,from God's all - disposing providence, that so he might have an opportunityof escaping. Do to me, &c. - So far was she from being changed by thatevident miracle, that she persists in her former idolatry, and adds to it amonstrous confidence, that in spight of God she would destroy his prophet.
19:3Left his servant - Because he would not expose him to those perils and hardships which he expected: and because he desired solitude, that hemight more freely converse with God.
19:4Into the wilderness - The vast wilderness of Arabia. He durst not stay in Judah, tho' good Jehosaphat reigned there, because hewas allied to Ahab, and was a man of an easy temper, whom Ahab mightcircumvent, and either by force or art seize upon Elijah.It is enough - I have lived long enough for thy service, and am not liketo do thee any more service; neither my words nor works are like to do anygood upon these unstable and incorrigible people. I am not better - ThatI should continue in life, when other prophets who have gone before me,have lost their lives.
19:7Angel of the Lord, &c. - He needed not to complain of the unkindness of men, when it was thus made up by the ministration of angels.Wherever God's children are, they are still under their father's eye.
19:8And went - He wandered hither and thither for forty days, 'till at last he came to Horeb, which in the direct road was not above three orfour days journey. Thither the spirit of the Lord led him, probably beyondhis own intention, that he might have communion with God, in the same placethat Moses had.
19:9Unto a cave - Perhaps the same wherein Moses was hid when the Lord passed before him, and proclaimed his name.
19:10I have been, &c. - I have executed my office with zeal for God's honour, and with the hazard of my own life, and am fled hither, not beingable to endure to see the dishonour done to thy name by their obstinateidolatry and wickedness. I only - Of all thy prophets, who boldly andpublickly plead thy cause: for the rest of thy prophets who are not slain,hide themselves, and dare not appear to do thee any service. They seekmy life - I despair of doing them any good: for instead of receiving mytestimony, they hunt for my life. It does by no means appear, that he wasat all to blame, for fleeing from Jezebel. If they persecute you in onecity flee into another. Besides, the angels feeding and preparing him forhis journey, and the peculiar blessing of God upon that food, indicated thedivine approbation.
19:11And behold - This is a general description of the thing, after which the manner of it is particularly explained. Strong wind - Wherebyhe both prepares Elijah to receive this discovery of God with greatesthumility, reverence, and godly fear; and signifies his irresistible power,to break the hardest hearts of the Israelites, and to bear down allopposition that was or should be made against him in the discharge of hisoffice. The Lord was not - The Lord did not vouchsafe his special andgracious presence to Elijah in that wind, which possibly was to teachhim not to wonder if God did not accompany his terrible administration atmount Carmel with the presence of his grace, to turn the hearts of theIsraelites to himself.
19:12A still voice - To intimate, that God would do his work in and for Israel in his own time, not by might or power, but by his ownspirit, Zechariah 4:6 , which moves with a powerful, but yet with asweet and gentle gale.
19:13He wrapped, &c. - Through dread of God's presence, being sensibly that he was neither worthy nor able to endure the sight of God with openface. And stood, &c. - Which God commanded him to do; and as he was goingtowards the mouth of the cave, he was affrighted and stopped in his course,by the dreadful wind, and earthquake, and fire; when these were past, heprosecutes his journey, and goeth on to the mouth of the cave.
19:16The son, &c. - That is, his grand - son, for he was the son of Jehosaphat, 9:2 . This was intended as a prediction that bythese God would punish the degenerate Israelites, plead his own causeamong them, and avenge the quarrel of his covenant.
19:17Shall Elisha slay - One or other of these should infallibly execute God's judgments upon the apostate Israelites. Elisha issaid to slay them, either, because he slew those forty two children, 2:24 , besides others whom upon like occasions he might destroy;or, because he by God's appointment inflicted the famine, 8:1 ,or rather, by the sword which came out of his mouth: the prophets beingsaid to pull down and to destroy what they declare and foretel shall bepulled down. Hazael began to slay them before Jehu was king, thoughhis cruelty was much increased afterward. Jehu destroyed those whomHazael did not, as king Joram himself, and Ahaziah, and all thenear relations of Ahab.
19:18I have left - Or, I have reserved to myself; I have kept from the common contagion: therefore thou art mistaken to think that thou artleft alone. Seven thousand - Either, definitely so many: or rather,indefinitely, for many thousands; the number of seven being oftenused for a great number. Kissed him - That is, all those who have notworshipped Baal, nor professed reverence or subjection to him: whichidolaters did to their idols, by bowing the knee, and by kissing them.
19:19Was plowing - Who had twelve ploughs going, whereof eleven were managed by his servants, and the last by himself; according to thesimplicity of those ancient times, in which men of good estate submittedto the meanest employments. Cast his mantle - By that ceremony conferringupon him the office of a prophet, which God was pleased to accompany withthe gifts and graces of his spirit.
19:20He ran - Being powerfully moved by God's spirit to follow Elijah, and wholly give up himself to his function. Let me kiss - Thatis, bid them farewell. Go - And take thy leave of them, and then returnto me again. For what, &c. - Either first, to hinder thee from performingthat office. That employment to which I have called thee, doth not requirean alienation of thy heart from thy parents, nor the total neglect of them.Or, secondly, to make such a change in thee, that thou shouldst be willingto forsake thy parents, and lands, and all, that thou mayest follow me.Whence comes this marvellous change? It is not from me, who did only throwmy mantle over thee; but from an higher power, even from God's spirit, whichboth changed thy heart, and consecrated thee to thy prophetical office:which therefore it concerns thee vigorously to execute, and wholly to devotethyself to it.
19:21From him - From Elijah to his parents; whom when he had seen and kissed, he returned to Elijah. The instruments - That is, withthe wood belonging to the plow, &c. to which more was added, as occasionrequired. But that he burned, to shew his total relinquishing of his formeremployment. And gave - That is, he made thereof a feast for his servantswho had been ploughing with him, and for him, and his other friends andneighbours who came to take their leave of him. Hereby he shewed howwillingly and joyfully he forsook all his friends, that he might serve Godin that high and honourable employment. It is of great advantage to youngministers, to spend some time under the direction of those that are aged andexperienced; and not to think much, if occasion be, to minister unto them.Those who would be fit to teach, must have time to learn; those should firstserve, who may hereafter rule.