|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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!
Verse 7. - and it came to pass after awhile, [Heb. at the end of days. Not necessarily post annum. The words no doubt have this force elsewhere, Leviticus 25:29; Judges 11:40; Judges 17:10; 1 Samuel 27:7, etc.; but in all these cases, the meaning is not resident in the words themselves, but in the context. It is impossible to say how long Elijah remained in the Wady. All we can be sure of is that he must have been more than two rears, out of the three and a haft, at Zare-phath. See on 1 Kings 18:1] that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. [גֶּשֶׁם imber, signifies heavy rain. The word used in ver. 1 is מָטָר, rain of any kind.]
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And it came to pass after a while,.... Or "at the end of days" (x), perhaps a year, which sometimes is the sense of this phrase, see Exodus 13:10,
that the brook dried up; through the excessive heat, and for want of supplies from the springs and fountains with which it was fed, and for the following reason:
because there had been no rain in the land; from the time Elijah prayed and prophesied; of this drought mention is made in profane history: Menander, a Phoenician writer, speaks (y) of a drought in the times of Ithobalus (the same with Ethbaal the father of Jezebel), which lasted a whole year, and upon prayer being made there were thunder, &c.
(x) "in, vel a, fine dierum", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. (y) Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 8. c. 13. sect. 2.
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