1 Kings 17:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word."

New Living Translation
Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, "As surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives--the God I serve--there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!"

English Standard Version
Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.”

New American Standard Bible
Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word."

King James Bible
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now Elijah the Tishbite, from the Gilead settlers, said to Ahab, "As the LORD God of Israel lives, I stand before Him, and there will be no dew or rain during these years except by my command!"

International Standard Version
Elijah the foreigner, who was an alien resident from Gilead, told Ahab, "As the LORD God of Israel lives, in whose presence I'm standing, there will be neither dew nor rain these next several years, except when I say so."

NET Bible
Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As certainly as the LORD God of Israel lives (whom I serve), there will be no dew or rain in the years ahead unless I give the command."

New Heart English Bible
And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except by my word."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Elijah, who was from Tishbe but had settled in Gilead, said to Ahab, "I solemnly swear, as the LORD God of Israel whom I serve lives, there will be no dew or rain during the next few years unless I say so."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said unto Ahab: 'As the LORD, the God of Israel, liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.'

New American Standard 1977
Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Elijah, the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

King James 2000 Bible
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

American King James Version
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

American Standard Version
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the sojourners of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As Jehovah, the God of Israel, liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Elias the Thesbite of the inhabitants of Galaad said to Achab: As the Lord liveth the God of Israel, in whose sight I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to the words of my mouth.

Darby Bible Translation
And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, As Jehovah the God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except by my word.

English Revised Version
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the sojourners of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD, the God of Israel, liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Elijah the Tishbite who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

World English Bible
Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the foreigners of Gilead, said to Ahab, "As Yahweh, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word."

Young's Literal Translation
And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, saith unto Ahab, 'Jehovah, God of Israel, liveth, before whom I have stood, there is not these years dew and rain, except according to my word.'
Study Bible
Ravens Feed Elijah
1Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word." 2The word of the LORD came to him, saying,…
Cross References
Luke 4:25
But I tell you truthfully that there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and great famine swept over all the land.

James 5:17
Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.

Revelation 11:6
These witnesses have power to shut the sky so that no rain will fall during the days of their prophecy, and power to turn the waters into blood, and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they wish.

Judges 12:4
Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought Ephraim; and the men of Gilead defeated Ephraim, because they said, "You are fugitives of Ephraim, O Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and in the midst of Manasseh."

1 Kings 17:2
The word of the LORD came to him, saying,

1 Kings 17:12
But she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die."

1 Kings 18:1
Now it happened after many days that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, "Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth."

1 Kings 18:10
"As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my master has not sent to search for you; and when they said, 'He is not here,' he made the kingdom or nation swear that they could not find you.

1 Kings 18:15
Elijah said, "As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today."

1 Kings 22:14
But Micaiah said, "As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I shall speak."
Treasury of Scripture

And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

A.M.

Matthew 11:14 And if you will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

Matthew 16:14 And they said, Some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elias; …

Matthew 27:47,49 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man …

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn …

Luke 4:25,26 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days …

Luke 9:30,33,54 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias…

John 1:21,25 And they asked him, What then? Are you Elias? And he said, I am not. …

Romans 11:2 God has not cast away his people which he foreknew. Know you not …

Elias
As the Lord God

1 Kings 22:14 And Micaiah said, As the LORD lives, what the LORD said to me, that …

2 Kings 3:14 And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, surely…

2 Kings 5:16 But he said, As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will receive …

Isaiah 49:18 Lift up your eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves …

Matthew 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn …

before whom

Deuteronomy 10:8 At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark …

Jeremiah 15:19 Therefore thus said the LORD, If you return, then will I bring you …

Luke 1:19 And the angel answering said to him, I am Gabriel, that stand in …

Luke 21:36 Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy …

Acts 27:23 For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,

dew nor rain

Luke 4:25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days …

James 5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed …

Revelation 11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of …

(1) Elijah the Tishbite of the inhabitants of Gilead.--The most probable rendering of this disputed passage is that of the LXX., and virtually of Josephus, "Elijah the Tishbite of Tishbe in Gilead," the last words being added to distinguish the place from a Tishbe (or Thisbe) in Naphtali, referred to, though the reading is rather doubtful, in Tobit 1:2. The word here rendered "inhabitants" (properly "sojourners") is evidently of the same derivation as the word rendered "Tishbite." The only alternative would be to render "the stranger of the strangers of Gilead," which has been adopted by some, as suggesting a startling and impressive origin of the great prophet. But it is doubtful whether the Hebrew will bear it.

Gilead--properly "the rocky region" that lay on the east of Jordan, between the Hieromax and the valley of Heshbon (although the name is often more widely used). Open to the desert on the east, and itself comparatively wild, with but few cities scattered through it, it suited well the recluse dweller in the wilderness.

The Lord God of Israel before whom I stand.--This adjuration (repeated in 18:15, and with some alteration by Elisha in 2Kings 3:14; 2Kings 5:16) is characteristic. Elijah is the servant of God standing to be sent whither He wills.

This is evidently not the first appearance of Elijah. In James 5:17, the withholding of rain, foretold again and again as a penalty on apostasy (see Leviticus 26:19, Deuteronomy 11:17; and comp. 1Kings 8:35), is noted as an answer to the prophet's prayer, calling down judgment on the land. Evidently there had been a struggle against the Baal-worship of the time, and, no doubt, previous warnings from Elijah or from some one of the murdered prophets. This chapter introduces us suddenly to the catastrophe.

Verse 1. - And Elijah [This name, which appears both as אֵלִיָּהוּ, and, less frequently, אֵלִיָּה, means my God is Jehovah. It is so singularly appropriate to the man who bore it, and so exactly expresses the idea of his life and the chapter of his work (see especially 1 Kings 18:39), that it is difficult to resist the belief that it was assumed by him. This is certainly more probable than that it was due to the prescience of his parents. It may, however, mark their piety and hopes, and may have influenced the life of their son. Cf. 1 Chronicles 4:10], the Tishbite [So he is called without any further designation in 1 Kings 21:17; 2 Kings 1:8, 8, etc. The presumption is altogether in favour of תשבי being the name of his birthplace. (Cf. 1 Kings 11:29], who was of the inhabitants of Gilead [The interpretation of these words is much disputed. The Heb. stands גִלְעָד הַתִּשְׁבִּי מִתּשָׁבֵי It will be the first and second words have the same radicals, and it hits been inferred that they cannot mean "two entirely distinct things" (Rawlinson cf.) and that either the Masoretic pointing must be set aside, when the words would yield the meaning, "Elijah, the Tishbite of Tishbe of Gilead" or they must be interpreted "Elijah the stranger of the strangers of Gilead." But it is by no certain that the current interpretaioni not the best. Such a play upon words as it involves is not at all uncommon in Hebrew. The meaning would then be that Elijah , who was, if not by birth, by domicile, of Tishbe, was one of the strangers - תּושִׁב is found in the sense of πάροικος, inquilinus, in Genesis 23:4; Exodus 12:45; Leviticus 22:10; Leviticus 25:35, 47, etc. - or immigrants who had settled in Gilead. The only objection to this rendering - apart from the identity of radicals just mentioned - is that we should have expected to find תּשָׁבֵי written plene, as the word always is elsewhere. It is alleged by Keil, Bahr, al., however, that the stat. constr. plur. may well be an exception to the rule, and in support of this view it may be mentioned that the cognate word, יושֵׁב, is constantly found in the constr, plural as ישְׁבֵי (see Gesen., Thessalonians 635). It is clear, then, that the usual interpretation is by no means to be lightly set aside. It is certainly preferable to the rendering, "Elijah the stranger," etc., for we have no proof that הַתִּשְׁבִּי can bear this meaning. In favour of the alternative rendering "the Tishbite of Tishbe," it may be said that it has the support of the LXX., ὁ ἐκ Θεσβῶν, and of Josephus (Ant. 8:13. 2), ἐκ πόλεως Θεσδώνης τῆς Γαλααδίτιδος χώρας. Nor is it any weighty objection to this view that we now here read of a Tishbe in Gilead: as for the matter of that, we have no undoubted traces of any such place west of the Jordan; the passage in Tobit (ch. 1:2, LXX.), which is often alleged as proving that there was a Tishbe in Galilee, and from which Gesenius, Bahr, Keil, etc., conclude that this must be the Tishbi here referred to, being too uncertain to permit us to build any positive conclusions thereupon. See Dict. Bib. 3. pp. 1489, 1516. In any case - and it is perhaps impossible to decide positively between this and the rendering of the A.V. - it is clear that Elijah, even if born in Galilee (but see John 7:52, for the belief of the Jews), was trained for his work in Gilead. It was, therefore, a rugged, unsettled, half-civilized, trans-Jordanic region gave to the world the greatest of its prophets. In this respect he was like Moses (Exodus 3:1), and his antitype the Baptist (Luke 1:80). "The fact that this mission was entrusted not to a dweller in royal city or prophetic school, but to a genuine child of the deserts and forests of Gilead, is in exact accordance with the dispensations of Providence in other times" (Stanley)] said unto Ahab [The abrupt way in which Elijah appears upon the scene without a word of introduction or explanation is certainly remarkable. Ewald observes that "his first entry within the province of the history seems almost as unique and inexplicable as his final disappearance." "Elijah comes in with a tempest, and goes out with a whirlwind" (Hall). But there is no sufficient ground for believing (Thenius, al.) that a part of our history which described some of his antecedents has been lost to us, or that our text merely recites the issue of a long conference which Elijah had held with Ahab, for other prophets of this period, Ahijah, Shemaiah, Jehu, are introduced to us in a similar manner, though it must be allowed that their respective ministries were of very different proportions and importance from Elijah's. This sudden appearance, however, is thoroughly characteristic of the man. He presently disappears just as suddenly (ver. 5. Cf. 19:3; 2 Kings 1:8). It was thought by some in that age that he was borne hither and thither by the Spirit of God! 1 Kings 18:12), and men of a later time caught this as one of his prominent characteristics (Ecclus. 48:1-12). Hence, too, the traditions of a still later period, according to which he was "the fiery Phinehas returned to earth, or an angel hovering on the outskirts of the world," Stanley], As the Lord God of Israel liveth [This formula here occurs for the first time, and it is full of meaning. It asserts first that Jehovah, not Baal, is the God of Israel, and it suggests, in the second place, that he is the living God, such as Baal was not, and that though ordinarily He keeps silence, He is one who can make His power felt], before whom I stand [i.e., "Whose I am and whom I serve" (Acts 27:23). Cf. 1 Kings 18:15. The slaves of the East stood before their masters. See note on 1 Kings 1:28, and cf. 1 Samuel 3:1; Luke 1:19. Elijah claims to speak in God's name, and as His ambassador], there shall not be dew nor rain [Observe the order of the words. Dew is perhaps put first as more essential to vegetable life. Elijah only denounces a plague already threatened in the law as the punishment of idolatry (Deuteronomy 11:16, 17; Deuteronomy 28:23; Leviticus 26:19). He came forward as the vindicator and restorer of the law] these years [An indefinite period. Its duration depended on Elijah's word, and that again on the penitence, etc., of the people. It was because of the obduracy of king and people that it lasted so long] but according to my word. [The idolatrous priests no doubt claimed for Baal the dominion over nature and absolute control over the clouds and rain - a power which, it may be worth observing, the monks of the convent of St. Katherine at Sinai, where Elijah was, are thought to possess by the Arabs of the Sinaitic peninsula. Elijah directly challenges them to a trial of strength. It was as if he had said, "The God that answereth by rain, let him be God." On the fitness of this miracle, both as a sign and as a punishment, see "Homil. Quart." 5:100,101. "To Eastern and Southern nations, where life and water go always together, where vegetation gathers round the slightest particle of moisture and dies the moment it is withdrawn...the withholding of rain is the withholding of pleasure, of sustenance, of life itself " (Stanley). "My word" is somewhat emphatic, "Nisi ego, et non alius vir... dixero " (Seb. Schmidt). No doubt there is a special reference to the prophets of Baal. Their inability to remove the ban would prove the impotency of their god. Elijah had asked for the supernatural powers which he here claims (James 5:17, 18).] And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead,.... Which belonged partly to the Reubenites and Gadites, and partly to the half-tribe of Manasseh on the other side Jordan, where this prophet dwelt; but why he is called the Tishbite is not easy to say; what Kimchi observes seems right, that he was at first of a city called Toshab, and afterward's dwelt at Gilead; which city perhaps is the same with Thisbe, in the tribe of Naphtali, the native place of Tobit,

"Who in the time of Enemessar king of the Assyrians was led captive out of Thisbe, which is at the right hand of that city, which is called properly Nephthali in Galilee above Aser.'' (Tobit 1:2)

and, if so, is an instance of a prophet, even the prince of prophets, as Abarbinel calls him, coming out of Galilee, contrary to the suggestions of the Jews, John 7:52. R. Elias Levita (l) observes, that after the affair of Gibeah an order was given to smite the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead, Judges 21:8, and that as it is reasonable to suppose some might escape, he thinks Elijah was one of them; and that when this began to be inhabited again, they that returned were called the inhabitants of Gilead, of whom Elijah was, who lived in those times, being, as the Jews suppose, Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the son of Aaron, see Judges 20:28, but that he should be Elijah, and live to the times of Ahab, is beyond belief. By Origen (m) he is said to be in Thesbon of Gilead; and by Epiphanius (n) to be of Thesbis, of the land of the Arabians, Gilead bordering upon it: the same

said unto Ahab; who perhaps had been with him before, and reproved him for idolatry, warned him of the evil consequences of it, but to no purpose, and therefore now threatened in a very solemn manner:

as the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand; he swears by the living God, in whose presence he was, and to whom he appeals as the omniscient God, whose minister and prophet he was, and in whose name he came and spoke, and to whom he prayed; for standing was a prayer gesture, and sometimes put for it; see Gill on Matthew 6:5 and it was at the prayer of Elijah that rain was withheld, as follows, see James 5:17.

there shall not be dew nor rain these years; for some years to come, even three years and a half:

but according to my word; in prayer, or as he should predict, in the name of the Lord.

(l) In Tishbi, p. 275. Vid. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 11. 1. & David de Pomis Lexic. fol. 235. 4. (m) Comment. in Matth. p. 224. Ed. Huet. (n) De Prophet. Vit. c. 6. CHAPTER 17

1Ki 17:1-7. Elijah, Prophesying against Ahab, Is Sent to Cherith.

1. Elijah the Tishbite—This prophet is introduced as abruptly as Melchisedek—his birth, parents, and call to the prophetic office being alike unrecorded. He is supposed to be called the Tishbite from Tisbeh, a place east of Jordan.

who was of the inhabitants of Gilead—or residents of Gilead, implying that he was not an Israelite, but an Ishmaelite, as Michaelis conjectures, for there were many of that race on the confines of Gilead. The employment of a Gentile as an extraordinary minister might be to rebuke and shame the apostate people of Israel.

said unto Ahab—The prophet appears to have been warning this apostate king how fatal both to himself and people would be the reckless course he was pursuing. The failure of Elijah's efforts to make an impression on the obstinate heart of Ahab is shown by the penal prediction uttered at parting.

before whom I stand—that is, whom I serve (De 18:5).

there shall not be dew nor rain these years—not absolutely; but the dew and the rain would not fall in the usual and necessary quantities. Such a suspension of moisture was sufficient to answer the corrective purposes of God, while an absolute drought would have converted the whole country into an uninhabitable waste.

but according to my word—not uttered in spite, vengeance, or caprice, but as the minister of God. The impending calamity was in answer to his earnest prayer, and a chastisement intended for the spiritual revival of Israel. Drought was the threatened punishment of national idolatry (De 11:16, 17; 28:23).17:1-7 God wonderfully suits men to the work he designs them for. The times were fit for an Elijah; an Elijah was fit for them. The Spirit of the Lord knows how to fit men for the occasions. Elijah let Ahab know that God was displeased with the idolaters, and would chastise them by the want of rain, which it was not in the power of the gods they served to bestow. Elijah was commanded to hide himself. If Providence calls us to solitude and retirement, it becomes us to go: when we cannot be useful, we must be patient; and when we cannot work for God, we must sit still quietly for him. The ravens were appointed to bring him meat, and did so. Let those who have but from hand to mouth, learn to live upon Providence, and trust it for the bread of the day, in the day. God could have sent angels to minister to him; but he chose to show that he can serve his own purposes by the meanest creatures, as effectually as by the mightiest. Elijah seems to have continued thus above a year. The natural supply of water, which came by common providence, failed; but the miraculous supply of food, made sure to him by promise, failed not. If the heavens fail, the earth fails of course; such are all our creature-comforts: we lose them when we most need them, like brooks in summer. But there is a river which makes glad the city of God, that never runs dry, a well of water that springs up to eternal life. Lord, give us that living water!
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