1 Kings Chapter 19  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: 1 Kings 19
1Ki 19:1

“and above all.” As per Fox, following the ancient versions and not the Masoretic text.

1Ki 19:2

“life.” The Hebrew is often translated as “soul,” but here “soul” means “life.”

1Ki 19:3

“And he was afraid.” The reading “and he was afraid” is almost certainly the meaning of the original text. The Masoretic Hebrew Text is vocalized as “he saw,” meaning that the vowel points are put in the text (they were not in the original text) in such a way as to form the word “he saw.” However, there are ancient versions and medieval manuscripts that are vocalized differently, and thus read, “he was afraid.” This is a matter of vowel points, and not the way the consonantal Hebrew text—which all scholars agree on—reads. Thus understanding the context of 1 Kings 19:3 is the only way to tell whether a version such as the King James is correct, which reads “and when he saw…” or a version such as the NASB is correct, which reads, “and he was afraid.” Given that Elijah had just executed 450 of Jezebel’s prophets, and given that Jezebel had vowed to kill Elijah within one day, and given that Elijah ran for his life, the translation that is in many modern versions, that “he was afraid,” is almost certainly the original meaning of the text. Elijah was afraid and ran away.

“to Beer-sheba that belongs to Judah.” Elijah left Israel and went south into Judah.

1Ki 19:4

“he asked that he would die.” The literal text is, “he asked for his soul [his life] to die.”

“take my life.” The Hebrew uses the word for “soul,” meaning “life” in this context. Thus, the sentence could also be translated as, “Now, O Yahweh, take my soul, for I am no better than my fathers.”

1Ki 19:5

“an angel.” The Hebrew word translated “angel” can also refer to a messenger, and this could be a human being that God sent to help Elijah.

1Ki 19:6

“loaf.” The “loaf” would have been like a small pancake—a piece of flatbread. This is the same word as in 1 Kings 17:13. In fact, this “loaf” may have reminded Elijah of Yahweh’s provision that he had experience earlier with the widow woman in Phoenicia.

1Ki 19:7

“too much for you.” That is, “too much for you in the condition you are in, not having eaten in so long.”

1Ki 19:8

“40 days and 40 nights.” The journey from south Judah to Mount Horeb would not have taken even close to 40 days and nights, but Elijah made the journey take that long. This could well be tying Elijah to Moses and Christ.

1Ki 19:9

“the cave.” The use of the definite article makes it sound like this was a specific cave that was known or known about. It is uncertain, but possible that this “cave” was the “cleft” or “hole” that Moses was in when Yahweh passed by (cp. Exod. 33:22).

“What are you doing here, Elijah?” The Hebrew is idiomatic, “What do you have here, Elijah?”

1Ki 19:10

“zealous, yes, zealous.” This is the figure of speech polyptoton for emphasis (see commentary on Gen. 2:16).

1Ki 19:11

“Go out.” Go out of the cave he was in.

“Yahweh passed by.” This is similar wording to Exodus 34:6 when Yahweh passed by Moses.

1Ki 19:12(top)
1Ki 19:13(top)
1Ki 19:14(top)
1Ki 19:15

“return on your way toward the wilderness of Damascus.” Elijah would have begun his journey north the way he came down, but then veered off to head toward Damascus. The phrase “wilderness of Damascus” is not clear in Hebrew. It could be more like, “toward the wilderness, toward Damascus,” meaning the wilderness and then on to Damascus. Hazael would have been in Damascus. Interestingly, the Douay-Rheims version (NT 1582 AD; OT 1609 AD) reads, “through the desert, to Damascus” which is likely what happened.

1Ki 19:16

“Abel-meholah.” About nine miles southeast of Beth-shean, on a ford of the Jordan.

1Ki 19:17

“he who escapes from the sword of Jehu.” This whole verse is ominous as to the coming judgment on the house of Omri. Jehoram (son of Ahab) and Jezebel were killed by Jehu, as well as the worshipers of Baal.

1Ki 19:18

“will preserve 7,000.” More than 7,000 people would be protected and remain alive in Israel, no doubt in part because these 7,000 had not worshiped Baal.

“every mouth that has not kissed him.” Kissing the feet of the statue of the god was an act of submission.

1Ki 19:19

“and found Elisha.” To some extent, Elijah would have had to look for Elisha. Elijah would have had a general idea of where he was, but since Elisha was plowing, he could have been in a number of places in the general vicinity.

“12 yoke of oxen before him.” For fellowship and protection, it was the custom for farmers to work together to get the farm work such as plowing done. Elisha was not driving 24 oxen. He was plowing with 11 other men, each of whom had a yoke of oxen.

1Ki 19:20(top)
1Ki 19:21

“using the oxen’s plowing equipment.” The “equipment” would include the plow, the yoke, the goad, and perhaps any threshing equipment Elisha might have owned. But even if Elisha burned all of those things, it would not have been nearly enough wood to cook an “ox” (which would have been male or female cows; they would not have been donkeys because donkeys were “unclean” and could not have been eaten by the people). So the point of saying Elisha burned his plowing equipment was to emphasize that Elisha totally gave up his previous life in order to follow Elijah as a full-time prophet.


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