1 Kings 19:1
Now Ahab told Jezebel everything that Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.
Elijah's Weakness, and its CubeAlexander Maclaren1 Kings 19:1
Elijah's Prayer for DeathJ.A. Macdonald 1 Kings 19:1-8
The Prophet's DespairJ. Urquhart 1 Kings 19:1-8
The Desponding ProphetJ. Waite 1 Kings 19:1-18

How erratic have been the movements of this prophet! Our first introduction to him is at the court of Ahab, whence, as soon as he utters his prophecy, he is away to Cherith in the east, among the wilds of Gilead. Next we find him in the north, at Zarephath of Zidon. Then he meets Obadiah, probably in the plain of Esdraelon, whence he passes over to Carmel in the west. From Carmel he runs before Ahab's horses to the entrance of Jezreel. The next day finds him on his way to Beer-sheba in the extreme south of Judah. The day following he is pushing his way into the wilderness of Sinai, where we now find him under a shrub, requesting for himself that he may die. Let us consider -


1. Jezebel had threatened his life.

(1) Ahab had reported to his queen what Elijah had done at Carmel, and in particular recounted how he had slain all the prophets. In this statement we notice two capital faults. He did not recount what Jehovah had done; he did not properly distinguish the "prophets" slain as idolatrous and false. The gospel may be variously preached.

(2) Instead of reflecting and repenting, Jezebel was filled with resentment, and resolved upon the destruction of Elijah. Miracles will not do more than reason with a corrupt and prejudiced heart. (See Luke 16:31; John 12:10, 11.)

(3) She accordingly sent messengers to Elijah with an oath, declaring that within twenty-four hours she would revenge upon his life the slaughter of her priests. Wickedness is not always politic: by giving him this notice she gave him an opportunity to escape.

2. To save his life hefted.

(1) Was this wrong? Some have blamed him for it because he did not first ascertain the will of God. Had he no voice of God in the instinct of self preservation? Had he no voice of God in the providence which apprised him of his peril? Would he not have tempted the Lord his God to have waited for another voice? Had he remained and forfeited his life, would he not have been to blame? God gives us our reason, and if we follow its light, together with that of an upright conscience, we shall do well.

(2) But who can say that Elijah had no direction from the word of the Lord? Certainly there was a plan for his journey recognized by the angel with which he was familiar (see ver. 7). The distance from Beer-sheba to Horeb was about 150 miles.

(3) In his flight he came first to Beer-sheba, where he was under the pro. tection of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, who feared the Lord. There he left his servant in safety, and might have abode himself in safety had he not acted under the promptings of inspiration to proceed alone into the wilderness.

3. Alone with God he asks to die.

(1) The Hebrew phrase is, "He requested for his life that he might die." There is life in death to the righteous.

(2) "It is enough." This is the language of disappointment. He looked for better fruit of his ministry than he found. He thought, surely this demonstration on Carmel will extinguish idolatry; but he finds Jezebel swearing against his life, and apparently in a position to carry out her purpose. "Now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers." I am no more useful here than they have been who are gone hence. Let me join them.


1. They come in the form of physical refreshment.

(1) Elijah's prayer was evidently uttered under the influence of physical exhaustion and discomfort. His sitting under the "juniper" is mentioned, not to suggest that he derived comfort from an ample shade, but rather to show how little shelter he could find. The word (רתם) is construed as in the text by the Hebrews, by Jerome, and the Vulgate; yet it is rather the genista (broom), a shrub with yellow flowers which grows in the desert, and which has its name (from רתם to bind) from the toughness or tenacity of its twigs, which were used for withes. Not only was he wayworn with his journey and exposure to the sun, but faint also for want of food and drink.

(2) The answer came to his prayer, therefore, in the blessing of refreshing sleep. Out of this also he was seasonably aroused by an Angel to find a cake on the coals (as bread is sometimes baked in the East) and a cruse of water at his bolster. God knows our frame, pities us, and makes due allowance for our frailties. When we find our spirits in a morbid state let us look to our health. Hygiene may come, even to the soul, as an angel of God.

2. They came to him in spiritual blessing.

(1) The refreshment which Elijah received was supernatural in its source. The bread and water came to him with the word and touch of the Angel-Jehovah (מלא יהוה). This was no common angel, but one of the Persons of the Godhead.

(2) It was supernatural also in its effects (ver. 8). In these he is brought intimately into association with Moses and Jesus. (Compare Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9, 18; Matthew 4:2.) It is also noteworthy how these three appear in glory together on the holy mount. (See Luke 9:30, 31.) The spiritual life we derive from God's word is set forth in the mystery of the manna which for forty years nourished the people of God in this wilderness. It is also set forth in that new life of Jesus in which after His resurrection He appeared to His disciples during forty days. (See Romans 6:11; Galatians 2:20.) - J.A.M.

Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.
They separated; and I am sure there were no tears shed on either side at the parting. Never were two men more utterly unlike. Never were associates more ill-matched. How they managed for some time to pull together, I cannot imagine. The text has sufficient allegorical suggestiveness to awaken many a solemn thought within you.

1. There are, after all, but two ways; you must choose the one or the other. You must follow Ahab, or you must go with Obadiah. The snare into which large numbers of young men fall is the attempt at compromise. They shrink from the unblushing wickedness of the one, but do not care to commit themselves to the earnest piety of the other. The words which Fowell Buxton wrote near the close of his life are well worthy of being pondered by each of you: — "The longer I live, the more I am certain that the great difference between men is energy, invincible determination — a purpose once fixed, and then death or victory! This quality," added he, will do anything that can be done in this world; and no talent, no circumstances, no opportunities, will make a two-legged creature a man without it."

2. Choose for your associates those with whom you would wish to company all through life. Try to look below the surface and read the character; and do not give your friendship to any one whom, in your deepest soul, you do not respect. It was a good maxim of Lord Collingwood, Better be alone, than in mean company."

3. Should your most intimate associate prove to be of evil principles, part company with him at once. Better offend your acquaintance than lose your soul. Pull up the instant you find you are off the road, and take the shortest way back you can find. When the shoe of conscience begins to pinch, it is about time we turn our stops into another path. Ahabs and Obadiahs cannot remain long in partnership, and the sooner that partnership be dissolved the better.

(J. T. Davidson, D. D.)

Abel, Ahab, Aram, Elijah, Elisha, Hazael, Israelites, Jehu, Jezebel, Nimshi, Shaphat
Abel-meholah, Beersheba, Damascus, Horeb, Jezreel, Syria
Ahab, Death, Declareth, Detail, Elijah, Eli'jah, Jezebel, Jez'ebel, Killed, News, Prophets, Slain, Slew, Sword, Withal
1. Elijah, threatened by Jezebel, flees to Beersheba
4. In the desert, being weary of his life, he is comforted by an angel
9. At Horeb God appears unto him, sending him to anoint Hazael, Jehu, and Elisha
19. Elisha, taking leave of his friends, follows Elijah

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Kings 19:1

     5572   sword

1 Kings 19:1-2

     8828   spite

1 Kings 19:1-3

     5828   danger

1 Kings 19:1-4

     5290   defeat
     5559   stress
     6233   rejection, experience

1 Kings 19:1-5

     5714   men
     8332   reputation

1 Kings 19:1-8

     8615   prayer, doubts

1 Kings 19:1-11

     5831   depression

Elijah's Weakness, and Its Cube
'And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. 2. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to-morrow about this time. 3. And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. 4. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

What Doest Thou Here?
"And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?"--1 KINGS xix. 9. There is a sound of rebuke in these words. They seem to imply that the lonely mountain of Horeb was not the place in which God expected to find such a servant as Elijah, and that there should be no indefinite tarrying, no lingering without an aim in such a solitude. As you read the familiar history you see how the record of the prophet's retirement and his vision in Horeb is a
John Percival—Sermons at Rugby

God's Gentle Power
"And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so. when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?"--1 Kings 19:11-13.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 62: 1916

"Therefore, Brethren, we are Debtors, not to the Flesh, to Live after the Flesh,"
Rom. viii. 12.--"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh," &c. All things in Christianity have a near and strait conjunction. It is so entire and absolute a piece, that if one link be loosed all the chain falls to the ground, and if one be well fastened upon the heart it brings all alongst with it. Some speak of all truths, even in nature, that they are knit so together that any truth may be concluded out of every truth, at least by a long circuit of deduction
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

A Solemn Address to those who Will not be Persuaded to Fall in with the Design of the Gospel.
1. Universal success not to be expected.--2-4. Yet, as unwilling absolutely to give up any, the author addresses thou who doubt the truth of Christianity, urging an inquiry into its evidences, and directing to prayer methods for that purpose.--5 Those who determine to give it up without further examination.--6. And presume to set themselves to oppose it.--7, 8. Those who speculatively assent to Christianity as true, and yet will sit down without any practical regard to its most important and acknowledged
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

What Doest Thou Here?
'Then said the princes of the Philistines, What do these Hebrews here!'--1 SAMUEL xxix. 3. 'The word of the Lord came to him, and He said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?'--1 KINGS xix. 9. I have put these two verses together, not only because of their identity in form, though that is striking, but because they bear upon one and the same subject, as will appear, if, in a word or two, I set each of them in its setting. David was almost at the lowest point of his fortunes when he fled into
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

An Address to the Regenerate, Founded on the Preceding Discourses.
James I. 18. James I. 18. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. I INTEND the words which I have now been reading, only as an introduction to that address to the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, with which I am now to conclude these lectures; and therefore shall not enter into any critical discussion, either of them, or of the context. I hope God has made the series of these discourses, in some measure, useful to those
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

The Uses of the Law
Yet, pardon me my friends, if I just observe that this is a very natural question, too. If you read the doctrine of the apostle Paul you find him declaring that the law condemns all mankind. Now, just let us for one single moment take a bird's eye view of the works of the law in this world. Lo, I see, the law given upon Mount Sinai. The very hill doth quake with fear. Lightnings and thunders are the attendants of those dreadful syllables which make the hearts of Israel to melt Sinai seemeth altogether
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

Seven Sanctified Thoughts and Mournful Sighs of a Sick Man Ready to Die.
Now, forasmuch as God of his infinite mercy doth so temper our pain and sickness, that we are not always oppressed with extremity, but gives us in the midst of our extremities some respite, to ease and refresh ourselves, thou must have an especial care, considering how short a time thou hast either for ever to lose or to obtain heaven, to make use of every breathing time which God affords thee; and during that little time of ease to gather strength against the fits of greater anguish. Therefore,
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Of the True Church. Duty of Cultivating Unity with Her, as the Mother of all the Godly.
1. The church now to be considered. With her God has deposited whatever is necessary to faith and good order. A summary of what is contained in this Book. Why it begins with the Church. 2. In what sense the article of the Creed concerning the Church is to be understood. Why we should say, "I believe the Church," not "I believe in the Church." The purport of this article. Why the Church is called Catholic or Universal. 3. What meant by the Communion of Saints. Whether it is inconsistent with various
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Concerning the Ministry.
Concerning the Ministry. As by the light or gift of God all true knowledge in things spiritual is received and revealed, so by the same, as it is manifested and received in the heart, by the strength and power thereof, every true minister of the gospel is ordained, prepared, and supplied in the work of the ministry; and by the leading, moving, and drawing hereof ought every evangelist and Christian pastor to be led and ordered in his labour and work of the gospel, both as to the place where, as to
Robert Barclay—Theses Theologicae and An Apology for the True Christian Divinity

Grace Before Meat.
O most gracious God, and loving Father, who feedest all creatures living, which depend upon thy divine providence, we beseech thee, sanctify these creatures, which thou hast ordained for us; give them virtue to nourish our bodies in life and health; and give us grace to receive them soberly and thankfully, as from thy hands; that so, in the strength of these and thy other blessings, we may walk in the uprightness of our hearts, before thy face, this day, and all the days of our lives, through Jesus
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners:
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

"My Little Children, These Things Write I unto You, that Ye Sin Not. And if any Man Sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,"
1 John ii. 1.--"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father," &c. The gospel is an entire uniform piece, all the parts of it are interwoven through other, and interchangeably knit together, so that there can be no dividing of it any more than of Christ's coat that was without seam. If you have it not altogether by the divine lot, you cannot truly have any part of it, for they are so knit together, that if you disjoin
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Case of the Christian under the Hiding of God's Face.
1. The phrase scriptural.--2. It signifies the withdrawing the tokens of the divine favor.--3 chiefly as to spiritual considerations.--4. This may become the case of any Christian.--5. and will be found a very sorrowful one.--6. The following directions, therefore, are given to those who suppose it to be their own: To inquire whether it be indeed a case of spiritual distress, or whether a disconsolate frame may not proceed from indisposition of body,--7. or difficulties as to worldly circumstances.--8,
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

Conflicts with Giant Mistake
CONFLICTS WITH GIANT MISTAKE I make so many mistakes, it seems I am just a bundle of contradictions. I try to do good; but at times my efforts are so crude that I seem to do more harm than good. What shall I do? And though all the time I try hard not to make mistakes, yet I still make them. It seems to me that surely I am not sanctified, or else I should be more perfect. Do not the Scriptures command us to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect? I am not perfect; far from it. Really I
Robert Lee Berry—Adventures in the Land of Canaan

Concerning Peaceableness
Blessed are the peacemakers. Matthew 5:9 This is the seventh step of the golden ladder which leads to blessedness. The name of peace is sweet, and the work of peace is a blessed work. Blessed are the peacemakers'. Observe the connection. The Scripture links these two together, pureness of heart and peaceableness of spirit. The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable' (James 3:17). Follow peace and holiness' (Hebrews 12:14). And here Christ joins them together pure in heart, and peacemakers',
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

Of Passages from the Holy Scriptures, and from the Apocrypha, which are Quoted, or Incidentally Illustrated, in the Institutes.
TO THE AUTHORS QUOTED IN THE INSTITUTES PREFATORY ADDRESS TO HIS MOST CHRISTIAN MAJESTY, THE MOST MIGHTY AND ILLUSTRIOUS MONARCH, FRANCIS, KING OF THE FRENCH, HIS SOVEREIGN; [1] JOHN CALVIN PRAYS PEACE AND SALVATION IN CHRIST. [2] Sire,--When I first engaged in this work, nothing was farther from my thoughts than to write what should afterwards be presented to your Majesty. My intention was only to furnish a kind of rudiments, by which those who feel some interest in religion might be trained to
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Of the Discipline of the Church, and Its Principal Use in Censures and Excommunication.
1. Of the power of the keys, or the common discipline of the Church. Necessity and very great utility of this discipline. 2. Its various degrees. 1. Private admonition. 2. Rebukes before witnesses. 3. Excommunication. 3. Different degrees of delinquency. Modes of procedure in both kinds of chastisement. 4. Delicts to be distinguished from flagitious wickedness. The last to be more severely punished. 5. Ends of this discipline. 1. That the wicked may not, by being admitted to the Lord's Table, put
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

A Cloud of Witnesses.
"By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was a-dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when his end was nigh, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.... By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they had been compassed about for seven days. By faith Rahab the harlot perished not with them that were disobedient,
Thomas Charles Edwards—The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews

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