1 Kings 19:19

19 So he set out from there, and found Elisha son of Shaphat, who was plowing. There were twelve yoke of oxen ahead of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle over him.

1 Kings 19:19 Meaning and Commentary

1 Kings 19:19

So he departed thence
From Mount Horeb, and came to Abelmeholah, which Bunting computes F26 at one hundred and fifty six miles:

and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was ploughing with twelve yoke
of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth;
which may be understood either of twelve couple of oxen drawing one plough; which was a large number, but will not seem strange when it is observed, that Abelmeholah, where Elisha was ploughing, lay in the vale of Jordan, which was a clayey stiff ground, and required such a number of oxen to plough it up, especially at the first tilling of it, as this might be {a}; compare ( 1 Kings 4:12 ) ( 7:46 ) A late traveller F2 observes, that at Damegraed, in upper Egypt on the Nile, six oxen yoked to plough had a great deal of difficulty to turn up the ground; or else, as the Jewish writers generally understand it, there were twelve ploughs, and a yoke of oxen to each, and a ploughman to attend everyone, and Elisha attended the twelfth; or was with one of the twelve, as the Targum, and might have the oversight of them all; Kimchi thinks, and so Abarbiuel after him, that this signified that he should be leader of the twelve tribes of Israel: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him;
the skirts of it.


FOOTNOTES:

F26 Travels p. 204.
F1 See Fuller's Pisgah-Sight B. 2. ch. 8. p. 175.
F2 Norden's Travels in Egypt and Arabia, vol. 2. p. 85.

1 Kings 19:19 In-Context

17 Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill.
18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him."
19 So he set out from there, and found Elisha son of Shaphat, who was plowing. There were twelve yoke of oxen ahead of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle over him.
20 He left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, "Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you." Then Elijah said to him, "Go back again; for what have I done to you?"
21 He returned from following him, took the yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them; using the equipment from the oxen, he boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out and followed Elijah, and became his servant.