1 Kings 17:1

Elijah Predicts a Drought

1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, of 1Tishbe[a] in Gilead, said to Ahab, 2"As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, 3before whom I stand, 4there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word."

1 Kings 17:1 Meaning and Commentary

1 Kings 17:1

And Elijah the Tishbite, [who] was of the inhabitants of
Which belonged partly to the Reubenites and Gadites, and partly to the half-tribe of Manasseh on the other side Jordan, where this prophet dwelt; but why he is called the Tishbite is not easy to say; what Kimchi observes seems right, that he was at first of a city called Toshab, and afterward's dwelt at Gilead; which city perhaps is the same with Thisbe, in the tribe of Naphtali, the native place of Tobit,

``Who in the time of Enemessar king of the Assyrians was led captive out of Thisbe, which is at the right hand of that city, which is called properly Nephthali in Galilee above Aser.'' (Tobit 1:2)

and, if so, is an instance of a prophet, even the prince of prophets, as Abarbinel calls him, coming out of Galilee, contrary to the suggestions of the Jews, ( John 7:52 ) . R. Elias Levita F12 observes, that after the affair of Gibeah an order was given to smite the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead, ( Judges 21:8-15 ) , and that as it is reasonable to suppose some might escape, he thinks Elijah was one of them; and that when this began to be inhabited again, they that returned were called the inhabitants of Gilead, of whom Elijah was, who lived in those times, being, as the Jews suppose, Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the son of Aaron, see ( Judges 20:28 ) , but that he should be Elijah, and live to the times of Ahab, is beyond belief. By Origen F13 he is said to be in Thesbon of Gilead; and by Epiphanius

F14 to be of Thesbis, of the land of the Arabians, Gilead bordering upon it: the same

said unto Ahab;
who perhaps had been with him before, and reproved him for idolatry, warned him of the evil consequences of it, but to no purpose, and therefore now threatened in a very solemn manner:

as the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand;
he swears by the living God, in whose presence he was, and to whom he appeals as the omniscient God, whose minister and prophet he was, and in whose name he came and spoke, and to whom he prayed; for standing was a prayer gesture, and sometimes put for it, (See Gill on Matthew 6:5) and it was at the prayer of Elijah that rain was withheld, as follows, see ( James 5:17 )

there shall not be dew nor rain these years;
for some years to come, even three years and a half:

but according to my word;
in prayer, or as he should predict, in the name of the Lord.

F12 In Tishbi, p. 275. Vid. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 11. 1. & David de Pomis Lexic. fol. 235. 4.
F13 Comment. in Matth. p. 224. Ed. Huet.
F14 De Prophet. Vit. c. 6.

1 Kings 17:1 In-Context

1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word."
2 And the word of the LORD came to him:
3 "Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan.
4 You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there."
5 So he went and did according to the word of the LORD. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan.

Cross References 4

  • 1. [Judges 12:4]
  • 2. 1 Kings 18:10, 15; 1 Kings 22:14; 2 Kings 3:14; 2 Kings 5:16; See Ruth 3:13
  • 3. 1 Kings 18:15; [Deuteronomy 10:8]
  • 4. Luke 4:25; James 5:17; [1 Kings 18:1]

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Septuagint; Hebrew of the settlers
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.