View 1st Kings 19 in the note window.
Elijah flees from Jezebel, ver. 1 - 3.
Is fed by an angel, ver. 4 - 8.
God manifests himself and directs him, ver. 9 - 18.
He calls Elisha, ver. 19 - 21.
1: All the prophets - Of Baal.
2: Jezebel sent - She gives him notice of it before hand: partly, out
of the height of her spirit, as scorning to kill him secretly: partly, out
of her impatience, till she had breathed out her rage: and principally,
from God's all - disposing providence, that so he might have an opportunity
of escaping. Do to me, &c. - So far was she from being changed by that
evident miracle, that she persists in her former idolatry, and adds to it a
monstrous confidence, that in spight of God she would destroy his prophet.
3: Left his servant - Because he would not expose him to those perils
and hardships which he expected: and because he desired solitude, that he
might more freely converse with God.
4: Into the wilderness - The vast wilderness of Arabia. He durst
not stay in Judah, tho' good Jehosaphat reigned there, because he
was allied to Ahab, and was a man of an easy temper, whom Ahab might
circumvent, and either by force or art seize upon Elijah.
It is enough - I have lived long enough for thy service, and am not like
to do thee any more service; neither my words nor works are like to do any
good upon these unstable and incorrigible people. I am not better - That
I should continue in life, when other prophets who have gone before me,
have lost their lives.
7: Angel of the Lord, &c. - He needed not to complain of the
unkindness of men, when it was thus made up by the ministration of angels.
Wherever God's children are, they are still under their father's eye.
8: And went - He wandered hither and thither for forty days, 'till at
last he came to Horeb, which in the direct road was not above three or
four days journey. Thither the spirit of the Lord led him, probably beyond
his own intention, that he might have communion with God, in the same place
that Moses had.
9: Unto a cave - Perhaps the same wherein Moses was hid when
the Lord passed before him, and proclaimed his name.
10: I have been, &c. - I have executed my office with zeal for God's
honour, and with the hazard of my own life, and am fled hither, not being
able to endure to see the dishonour done to thy name by their obstinate
idolatry and wickedness. I only - Of all thy prophets, who boldly and
publickly plead thy cause: for the rest of thy prophets who are not slain,
hide themselves, and dare not appear to do thee any service. They seek
my life - I despair of doing them any good: for instead of receiving my
testimony, they hunt for my life. It does by no means appear, that he was
at all to blame, for fleeing from Jezebel. If they persecute you in one
city flee into another. Besides, the angels feeding and preparing him for
his journey, and the peculiar blessing of God upon that food, indicated the
11: And behold - This is a general description of the thing, after
which the manner of it is particularly explained. Strong wind - Whereby
he both prepares Elijah to receive this discovery of God with greatest
humility, reverence, and godly fear; and signifies his irresistible power,
to break the hardest hearts of the Israelites, and to bear down all
opposition that was or should be made against him in the discharge of his
office. The Lord was not - The Lord did not vouchsafe his special and
gracious presence to Elijah in that wind, which possibly was to teach
him not to wonder if God did not accompany his terrible administration at
mount Carmel with the presence of his grace, to turn the hearts of the
Israelites to himself.
12: A still voice - To intimate, that God would do his work in and
for Israel in his own time, not by might or power, but by his own
spirit, (Zec 4:6), which moves with a powerful, but yet with a
sweet and gentle gale.
13: He wrapped, &c. - Through dread of God's presence, being sensibly
that he was neither worthy nor able to endure the sight of God with open
face. And stood, &c. - Which God commanded him to do; and as he was going
towards the mouth of the cave, he was affrighted and stopped in his course,
by the dreadful wind, and earthquake, and fire; when these were past, he
prosecutes his journey, and goeth on to the mouth of the cave.
16: The son, &c. - That is, his grand - son, for he was the son of
Jehosaphat, (2Ki 9:2). This was intended as a prediction that by
these God would punish the degenerate Israelites, plead his own cause
among them, and avenge the quarrel of his covenant.
17: Shall Elisha slay - One or other of these should infallibly
execute God's judgments upon the apostate Israelites. Elisha is
said to slay them, either, because he slew those forty two children,(2Ki 2:24), besides others whom upon like occasions he might destroy;
or, because he by God's appointment inflicted the famine, (2Ki 8:1),
or rather, by the sword which came out of his mouth: the prophets being
said to pull down and to destroy what they declare and foretel shall be
pulled down. Hazael began to slay them before Jehu was king, though
his cruelty was much increased afterward. Jehu destroyed those whom
Hazael did not, as king Joram himself, and Ahaziah, and all the
near relations of Ahab.
18: I have left - Or, I have reserved to myself; I have kept from
the common contagion: therefore thou art mistaken to think that thou art
left alone. Seven thousand - Either, definitely so many: or rather,
indefinitely, for many thousands; the number of seven being often
used for a great number. Kissed him - That is, all those who have not
worshipped Baal, nor professed reverence or subjection to him: which
idolaters did to their idols, by bowing the knee, and by kissing them.
19: Was plowing - Who had twelve ploughs going, whereof eleven were
managed by his servants, and the last by himself; according to the
simplicity of those ancient times, in which men of good estate submitted
to the meanest employments. Cast his mantle - By that ceremony conferring
upon him the office of a prophet, which God was pleased to accompany with
the gifts and graces of his spirit.
20: He ran - Being powerfully moved by God's spirit to follow
Elijah, and wholly give up himself to his function. Let me kiss - That
is, bid them farewell. Go - And take thy leave of them, and then return
to me again. For what, &c. - Either first, to hinder thee from performing
that office. That employment to which I have called thee, doth not require
an alienation of thy heart from thy parents, nor the total neglect of them.
Or, secondly, to make such a change in thee, that thou shouldst be willing
to forsake thy parents, and lands, and all, that thou mayest follow me.
Whence comes this marvellous change? It is not from me, who did only throw
my mantle over thee; but from an higher power, even from God's spirit, which
both changed thy heart, and consecrated thee to thy prophetical office:
which therefore it concerns thee vigorously to execute, and wholly to devote
thyself to it.
21: From him - From Elijah to his parents; whom when he had seen
and kissed, he returned to Elijah. The instruments - That is, with
the wood belonging to the plow, &c. to which more was added, as occasion
required. But that he burned, to shew his total relinquishing of his former
employment. And gave - That is, he made thereof a feast for his servants
who had been ploughing with him, and for him, and his other friends and
neighbours who came to take their leave of him. Hereby he shewed how
willingly and joyfully he forsook all his friends, that he might serve God
in that high and honourable employment. It is of great advantage to young
ministers, to spend some time under the direction of those that are aged and
experienced; and not to think much, if occasion be, to minister unto them.
Those who would be fit to teach, must have time to learn; those should first
serve, who may hereafter rule.