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Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left of the prophets of Yahweh; but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. Bible

“I, even I only, am left of the prophets of Yahweh.” This was not true, and no doubt Elijah knew that. For example, not long before this event, a servant of Ahab, Obadiah, hid 100 prophets in a cave and told Elijah about it (1 Kings 18:4, 13). Elijah’s statement could easily have been hyperbole (exaggeration), which was common in the culture, mixed with Elijah’s feelings that no other prophet of Yahweh was taking a stand against the king and queen like he was doing, and so in that sense he was the only prophet of Yahweh around. Also, however, and easily as likely, Elijah may have been purposely hiding what he knew about other prophets of Yahweh, knowing that if Jezebel knew that there were other prophets of Yahweh alive who had escaped her persecution she would try to find them and kill them. In that case, Elijah was only repeating what Ahab and Jezebel thought, that Elijah was the last prophet of Yahweh left, which would help to keep the other prophets safe.


Commentary for: 1 Kings 18:22