Melachim Alef 19

1 9 And Ach’av told Izevel all that Eliyahu had done, and how he had slain kol haNevi’im with the cherev.
2 Then Izevel sent a malach unto Eliyahu, saying, So let elohim do to me, and more also, if I make not thy nefesh as the life of one of them by this time makhar (tomorrow).
3 And when he saw that, he arose, and fled for his nefesh, and came to Be’er Sheva, which belongeth to Yehudah, and left his na’ar (servant) there.
4 But he himself went derech yom (a day’s journey) into the midbar, and came and sat down under a broom tree; and he requested for his nefesh to die; and said, It is enough; now, O Hashem, take away my nefesh; for I am no better than my avot.
5 And as he lay and slept under a broom tree, hinei, then a malach touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
6 And he looked, and, hinei, there at his rosh was an oogah (disk or cake of bread) baked on hot coals, and a jar of mayim. And he did eat and drink, and returned to lie down again.
7 And the Malach Hashem came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the derech is too great for thee.
8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the ko’ach ha’achilah hahi (strength of that food) arba’im yom v’arba’im lailah unto Chorev the Har HaElohim.
9 And he came there unto hame’arah (the cave), and lodged there; and, hinei, the Devar Hashem came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Eliyahu?
10 And he said, I have been very kina (jealous, zealous) for Hashem Elohei Tzivos; for the Bnei Yisroel have forsaken Thy Brit (Covenant, i.e., Sinai Covenant), thrown down Thine mizbechot, and slain Thy nevi’im with the cherev; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my nefesh, to take it away.
11 And He said, Go forth, and stand upon the Har before Hashem. And, hinei, Hashem passed by, and a ruach gedolah v’chazak rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the sela’im (rocks) before Hashem; but Hashem was not in the ruach; and after the ruach, a ra’ash (earthquake); but Hashem was not in the ra’ash;
12 And after the ra’ash an eish; but Hashem was not in the eish; and after the eish a kol demamah dakkah (a quiet, gentle voice).
13 And it was so, when Eliyahu heard it, that he wrapped his face in his aderet (cloak, mantle), and went out, and stood in the mouth of the me’arah. And, hinei, there came a kol (voice) unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Eliyahu?
14 And he said, I have been very kina for Hashem Elohei Tzivos; because the Bnei Yisroel have forsaken Thy Brit (Covenant, i.e., Sinai Covenant), thrown down Thine mizbechot, and slain Thy nevi’im with the cherev; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my nefesh, to take it away.
15 And Hashem said unto him, Go, shuv (return) on thy derech to the midbar of Damascus; and when thou comest, anoint Chatzael to be Melech over Syria;
16 And Yehu ben Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be Melech over Yisroel; and Elishah ben Shaphat of Avel Mecholah shalt thou anoint to be navi in thy place.
17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the cherev of Chatzael shall Yehu slay; and him that escapeth from the cherev of Yehu shall Elishah slay.
18 Yet I have left me shivat alafim in Yisroel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Ba’al, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
19 So he departed from there, and found Elishah ben Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth; and Eliyahu passed by him, and cast his aderet (cloak, mantle) upon him.
20 And he left the bakar (oxen), and ran after Eliyahu, and said, Let me now kiss Avi and Immi, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Shuv (go back again): for what have I done to thee?
21 And he returned from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them, and boiled their basar with the equipment of the oxen, and gave unto the Am, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Eliyahu, and ministered unto him.

Melachim Alef 19 Commentary

Chapter 19

Elijah flees to the wilderness. (1-8) God manifests himself to Elijah. (9-13) God's answer to Elijah. (14-18) The call of Elisha. (19-21)

Verses 1-8 Jezebel sent Elijah a threatening message. Carnal hearts are hardened and enraged against God, by that which should convince and conquer them. Great faith is not always alike strong. He might be serviceable to Israel at this time, and had all reason to depend upon God's protection, while doing God's work; yet he flees. His was not the deliberate desire of grace, as Paul's, to depart and be with Christ. God thus left Elijah to himself, to show that when he was bold and strong, it was in the Lord, and the power of his might; but of himself he was no better than his fathers. God knows what he designs us for, though we do not, what services, what trials, and he will take care that we are furnished with grace sufficient.

Verses 9-13 The question God put, What doest thou here, Elijah? is a reproof. It concerns us often to ask whether we are in our place, and in the way of our duty. Am I where I should be? whither God calls me, where my business lies, and where I may be useful? He complained of the people, and their obstinacy in sin; I only am left. Despair of success hinders many a good enterprise. Did Elijah come hither to meet with God? he shall find that God will meet him. The wind, and earthquake, and fire, did not make him cover his face, but the still voice did. Gracious souls are more affected by the tender mercies of the Lord, than by his terrors. The mild voice of Him who speaks from the cross, or the mercy-seat, is accompanied with peculiar power in taking possession of the heart.

Verses 14-18 God repeated the question, What doest thou here? Then he complained of his discouragement; and whither should God's prophets go with their complaints of that kind, but to their Master? The Lord gave him an answer. He declares that the wicked house of Ahab shall be rooted out, that the people of Israel shall be punished for their sins; and he shows that Elijah was not left alone as he had supposed, and also that a helper should at once be raised up for him. Thus all his complaints are answered and provided for. God's faithful ones are often his hidden ones, ( Psalms 83:3 ) , and the visible church is scarcely to be seen: the wheat is lost in chaff, and the gold in dross, till the sifting, refining, separating day comes. The Lord knows them that are his, though we do not; he sees in secret. When we come to heaven we shall miss many whom we thought to have met there; we shall meet many whom we little thought to have met there. God's love often proves larger than man's charity, and far more extended.

Verses 19-21 Elijah found Elisha by Divine direction, not in the schools of the prophets, but in the field; not reading, or praying, or sacrificing, but ploughing. Idleness is no man's honour, nor is husbandry any man's disgrace. An honest calling in the world, does not put us out of the way of our heavenly calling, any more than it did Elisha. His heart was touched by the Holy Spirit, and he was ready to leave all to attend Elijah. It is in a day of power that Christ's subjects are made willing; nor would any come to Christ unless they were thus drawn. It was a discouraging time for prophets to set out in. A man that had consulted with flesh and blood, would not be fond of Elijah's mantle; yet Elisha cheerfully leaves all to accompany him. When the Saviour said to one and to another, Follow me, the dearest friends and most profitable occupations were cheerfully left, and the most arduous duties done from love to his name. May we, in like manner, feel the energy of his grace working in us mightily, and by unreserved submission at once, may we make our calling and election sure.

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives us a further account of Elijah, of his being obliged to flee for his life through the threats of Jezebel, 1Ki 19:1-4, of the care the Lord took of him, providing food for him, in the strength of which he went to Horeb, 1Ki 19:5-8, of the Lord's appearance to him there, and conversation with him, 1Ki 19:9-14, of some instructions he gave him to anoint a king over Syria, another over Israel, and a prophet in his room, 1Ki 19:15-18, and of his finding Elisha, and throwing his mantle over him, who left his secular employment, and followed him, and became his servant, 1Ki 19:19-21.

Melachim Alef 19 Commentaries

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