Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah
In Jezreel, or near it, to frighten him away; not caring to seize him, and dispatch him, for fear of the people, in whom he had now a great interest; or otherwise it is not easy to account for it that she should give him notice of it; unless she scorned to do it privately, as some think, and was determined to make a public example of him; but being not as yet prepared for it, sends him word what he must expect, imagining that as he had the courage to appear, he would not flee; no doubt there was an hand of Providence in it, be it which it will, that he might have time to make his escape:
saying, so let the gods do to me, and more also;
the gods she served, Baal and Ashtaroth, and by whom she swore:
if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about
as one of the prophets Elijah had slain; she swore by her gods, and wished the greatest evils might befall her, if she did not lodge him in the state of the dead where they were in the space of twenty four hours; though Abarbinel thinks it is not an oath, but that the words and meaning of them are, so the gods do; it is their usual way, and they will go on to do so for the future, because of the holiness of their name; and therefore do not boast of slaying the prophets, or make use of that as an argument of their falsehood, for they will do the same by thee by tomorrow this time.