1 Kings Chapter 18  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: 1 Kings 18
1Ki 18:1(top)
1Ki 18:2(top)
1Ki 18:3

“over the household.” Obadiah was the palace administrator. The word “house” was often used in more contexts in the biblical culture than it is today. The “house” of God was the Temple, the “house” of the king was the palace, and so the “household” was the palace and all the goings on there.

1Ki 18:4

“cut off.” Killed. Jezebel was a murderer. The Devil and his people hate truth, and will kill to suppress it. There is no freedom of religion with the Devil or his people. However, all kinds of witchcraft, superstitions, and hurtful beliefs are allowed. Jesus said we would know them by their fruit and that is certainly true with religion.

1Ki 18:5(top)
1Ki 18:6(top)
1Ki 18:7

“Obadiah.” The Hebrew text reads “he,” but that could be confusing in this sentence, so we substituted the name for the pronoun.

1Ki 18:8(top)
1Ki 18:9(top)
1Ki 18:10(top)
1Ki 18:11(top)
1Ki 18:12(top)
1Ki 18:13(top)
1Ki 18:14(top)
1Ki 18:15(top)
1Ki 18:16(top)
1Ki 18:17(top)
1Ki 18:18(top)
1Ki 18:19(top)
1Ki 18:20(top)
1Ki 18:21

“Baal.” The Canaanite god of rain and fertility. See commentary on 1 Kings 17:1.

1Ki 18:22

“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.

1Ki 18:23(top)
1Ki 18:24(top)
1Ki 18:25(top)
1Ki 18:26(top)
1Ki 18:27(top)
1Ki 18:28

“cut themselves.” God made humans in His own image, and we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (or “remarkably and wonderfully made” HCSB; Ps. 139:14). It seems to be both logical and instinctual to protect one’s body and feel good and healthy, yet the Devil has been successful in getting humans to practice self-mutilation under a number of circumstances.

Self-mutilation is an attack on God’s love for people and a person’s relationship with God. It never makes a person more righteous or holy in God’s sight, and it does not bring His grace or favor to bear in any situation. Neither does God want people to somehow punish themselves for being “not good enough” or for any other reason. It is also important to keep in mind that in that culture, cutting oneself not only needlessly harmed the person, and from the Devil’s point of view defaced God’s wonderful creation, but it was a genuine danger because the people had no effective way to fight infection if the wound should become infected. Thus every cut was a very real danger to the person. The custom of cutting oneself for various “religious” reasons was so widespread that there can be little doubt that occasionally someone would get infected and die—a great coup for the Devil who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).

Self-mutilation is practiced in a number of religions, just as human sacrifice is, usually in the name of a god or as a demonstration of devotion or piety. Here in 1 Kings 18:28, the pagan priests used self-mutilation to get the attention of Baal and win his favor. Cutting oneself was also a pagan custom that was done as part of mourning for the dead (Jer. 16:6; 41:5; 47:5; 48:37; see commentary on Jer. 41:5), but God never wanted people to mourn that way and forbade it in the Law of Moses: “do not cut yourselves…for the dead” (Deut. 14:1).

The Devil works hard behind the scenes to get to the point that people call good “evil,” and evil “good” (Isa. 5:20). Often he gets “evil” to become imbedded in the culture as something “good.” That is clearly the case with many superstitions, which honor him and take glory away from God. The wise Christian studies the Scripture to get to know the character of God and His commands, and thus can avoid participating in the evils the Devil has managed to embed in the culture. For example, Jesus knew the character and commands of God, so he did not keep the cultural dictate not to heal people on the Sabbath—he just ignored it (Luke 13:10-17).

The pagans, worshipping the Devil in disguise, had various religious reasons for cutting themselves. Sadly, the Jews did not understand the character of God and some of those pagan and demonic practices became part of the customs of Israel.

1Ki 18:29(top)
1Ki 18:30(top)
1Ki 18:31

“sons of Jacob.” God does not call them “the tribes of Israel” here. They are the “sons of Jacob;” Jacob, that “heel snatcher,” who was on and off for Yahweh and wavered just as his descendants were now doing toward Yahweh.

1Ki 18:32(top)
1Ki 18:33(top)
1Ki 18:34

“a third time.” So he used 12 stones for the 12 tribes of Israel, and now he had used 12 jars of water, no doubt also pointing to the 12 tribes of Israel.

1Ki 18:35(top)
1Ki 18:36(top)
1Ki 18:37(top)
1Ki 18:38(top)
1Ki 18:39(top)
1Ki 18:40(top)
1Ki 18:41

“there is the sound.” At this point there was not even a cloud in the sky, as we learn a couple of verses later (1 Kings 18:43), but God showed Elijah there was going to be an abundance of rain by making him hear the sound. This is audible revelation; revelation hearing.

1Ki 18:42(top)
1Ki 18:43(top)
1Ki 18:44(top)
1Ki 18:45(top)
1Ki 18:46(top)

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