|New International Version (©2011)|
Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table."
New Living Translation (©2007)
Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel."
English Standard Version (©2001)
Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"Now then send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table."
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Now summon all Israel to meet me at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel's table."
International Standard Version (©2012)
So go gather all of Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. Bring along 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah who are funded at Jezebel's expense."
NET Bible (©2006)
Now send out messengers and assemble all Israel before me at Mount Carmel, as well as the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah whom Jezebel supports.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Order all Israel to gather around me on Mount Carmel. And bring the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel's table."
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the idol poles four hundred, who eat at Jezebel's table.
American King James Version
Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel to mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table.
American Standard Version
Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the Asherah four hundred, that eat at Jezebel's table.
Nevertheless send now, and gather unto me all Israel, unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, who eat at Jezabel's table.
Darby Bible Translation
And now send, gather to me all Israel to mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the Asherah four hundred, who eat at Jezebel's table.
English Revised Version
Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the Asherah four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table.
Webster's Bible Translation
Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel to mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, who eat at Jezebel's table.
World English Bible
Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel to Mount Carmel, and four hundred fifty of the prophets of Baal, and four hundred of the prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table."
Young's Literal Translation
and now, send, gather unto me all Israel, unto the mount of Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the shrine, four hundred -- eating at the table of Jezebel.'
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:17-20 One may guess how people stand affected to God, by observing how they stand affected to his people and ministers. It has been the lot of the best and most useful men, like Elijah, to be called and counted the troublers of the land. But those who cause God's judgments do the mischief, not he that foretells them, and warns the nation to repent.
Verse 19. - Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel [i.e., by representation, the heads of the people, elders, etc. Cf. 1 Kings 8:2, 65; 1 Kings 12:16, 18; 1 Kings 16:16, 17] unto Mount Carmel [Heb., as almost always, the Carmel, i.e., the park. Cf. 1 Samuel 25:1-5. It is "the park of Palestine." It is indebted for this name to the luxuriant vegetation - "the excellency of Carmel" (Isaiah 35:2) - which clothes its southern slopes (Porter, p. 371; Stanley, S. and P. pp. 352-54, and App. p. 14; Van de Velde, 1. pp. 317, 318). It is now generally called Mar (i.e., Lord or Saint) Elyas, after the great prophet. No one who has seen the locality can have any doubts as to which part of the mountain was the scene of the sacrifice, or can fail to be struck with the singular fitness of the place to be the theatre of this thrilling history. Carmel is rather a ridge than a mountain, some twelve miles in length. Its western (or strictly N.N.W.) extremity is a bold headland, some 600 feet in height, which dips almost directly into the waters of the Mediterranean. Its highest point, 1728 feet above the sea level, is about four miles from its eastern extremity, which, at an elevation of 1600 feet, rises like a wall from the great plain of Esdraelon. It is at this point, there can be no question, we are to place the scene of the burnt sacrifice. The identification has only been effected in comparatively recent days (1852), but it is beyond dispute. Not only does the Arab name which it bears - El Murahkah, "the Burning," or "Sacrifice" - afford striking witness to the identity, but the situation and surroundings adapt themselves with such wonderful precision to the requirements of the narrative as to leave no reasonable doubt in the mind. For
(1) it is a sort of natural platform, or pulpit, raised 1000 feet above the adjoining plain, and therefore well calculated to afford a view of the proceedings, or at least of the descent of the Holy Fire, to spectators of all Israel. The flame would probably be seen by Jezebel in her palace at Jezreel. This eminence is visible from Nazareth, some twenty miles away. "There is not a more conspicuous spot on all Carmel than the abrupt, rocky height of El Murahkah, shooting up so suddenly on the east" (Van de Velde, 1. pp. 322, 323). "The summit... commands the last view of the sea behind and the first view of the great plain in front" (Stanley). In fact, it was in its way just as well adapted for the solemn vindication of the law which took place there as Jebel Sufsafeh was for the giving of the law.
(2) A sort of plateau near the summit - the table land where the altars were built, etc. - would accommodate a vast number of spectators (ver. 21).
(3) There is a spring of water close at hand - less than 100 yards distant - and a spring which is said to flow even in the driest seasons, which would supply the water of which we read in vers. 4, 33-35. Josephus (Ant. 8:13, 5) says it came from the fountain.
(4) The sea, though not visible from the plateau itself, is seen from a point some 300 feet higher, a detail which accords admirably with the account of vers. 42-44. It may be added that the place is still held sacred by the Druses, and reverenced by "Jews, Christians, Moslems, and Bedouin as the site of these miracles of Elijah" (Thomson). The traveller, consequently, cannot doubt for a moment, as he stands on the table-land of El Murahkah and looks across the great plain to Jezreel and the heights of Galilee and Samaria, that he is on the very spot sanctified by the descent of the heavenly fire. It should be added, as explaining the selection of Carmel by Elijah, that its situation is central end convenient; that it is near the sea, from whence the rain clouds would come; that it is easy of access from Jezreel; and that it was not only a holy place from earlier times (cf. 2 Kings 4:23), but also had its altar of Jehovah, an altar, no doubt, in constant use when the people "sacrificed and burnt incense on the high places," but which had in later days fallen into neglect, and was now broken down. It was every way, therefore, a most appropriate locality for the public vindication of the despised and outraged law of God. "No place could be conceived more fitted by nature to be that wondrous battlefield of truth" (Tristram in Wordsworth)], and the prophets of Baal [so called not because they were Weissager und Verkunder (Bahr) of the god, nor yet because they were teachers and emissaries of his religion, but because of the prophetic frenzy (ver. 28) into which they worked themselves (Keil)] four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves [Heb. of the Asherah, i.e., of Astarte, not "grove," as 'Rawlinson. See note on 1 Kings 14:15] four hundred [Rawlinson remarks that "the number 400 seems to have been one especially affected by Ahab." He reminds us that we find 400 prophets at the close of his reign (1 Kings 22:6), and also remarks on "the prevalence of the number 40 in the religious systems of the Jews (Exodus 36:24, 26; Deuteronomy 25:3, etc.) " But when it is remembered that Baal's prophets were 450, and the prophets of 1 Kings 22:6 were about 400 men, the solitary instance of the 400 prophets of Astarte - who, by the way, were Jezebel's rather than Ahab's ministers - affords but a slender basis for his conclusion], which eat at Jezebel's table. [Heb. eaters of. There is nothing in the Hebrew to imply that they sat with her at the same board; and it is certain that this would be altogether repugnant to Eastern ideas of propriety. All that is meant is that they were fed by her bounty. See note on 1 Kings 2:7.]
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto Mount Carmel..... No doubt but more discourse passed between Ahab and Elijah, though not recorded, before he made this motion to him; it is very probable, that after some dispute between them, who was the true God, and about idolatry, as the cause of want of rain, Elijah proposed to the king what he afterwards did to the people, to which he could not object; and being desirous of gratifying his curiosity, and especially of having rain, which the prophet might promise him in the issue of this affair, he agreed unto it; and therefore Elijah desired that all Israel might be convened, that it might be openly and publicly done, and to the conviction and reformation of them, which was what was chiefly designed; and he chose Carmel, a mountain in the tribe of Issachar, well situated for the people that came from all parts; and the rather this than Samaria, that he might meet with no obstruction from Jezebel, and from whence: he might be able to see the rain when coming, as he did. Of this mountain; see Gill on Jeremiah 46:18, to which may be added, the description of it by Mr. Sandys (n).
"Mount Carmel stretcheth from east to west, and hath its uttermost basis washed with the sea; steepest towards the north, and of an indifferent altitude; rich in vines and olives when farmed, and abounding with several sorts of fruits and herbs, both medicinal and fragrant, though now much overgrown with woods and shrubs of sweet savour.''
From the following solemn transaction at it, it seems in later times, to have become sacred, and was very venerable with the Heathens; from this mountain, a deity with them had the name of Carmel, and was worshipped here, without an image or a temple, only had an altar erected for it, in imitation of the God of Israel, worshipped here in like manner; here Vespasian sacrificed to this deity, assisted by the priest of it, Basilides, as Tacitus (o) relates; Suetonius (p) also makes mention of this deity, and of Vespasian's consulting its oracle, which gave him hopes of obtaining the empire; and from hence, in Popish times, there were an order of friars called Carmelites, instituted in the year 1180, pretending to be the successors of the children of the prophets Elijah left there:
and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty; who are supposed to be dispersed in the various parts of the kingdom, to teach and practise the worship of Baal, and encourage and spread it in the nation:
and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table; for it seems there were now more groves than that one Ahab first made, 1 Kings 16:33, for which such numbers were appointed to attend, and which, perhaps, were near Samaria, since they ate at Jezebel's table, and were a sort of domestic chaplains of her's. "Asheroth", we render "groves", the learned Selden (q) takes to be Ashtoreth, or Ashtareth, or Astarte, the goddess of the Zidonians, for whom, and so for these prophets, Jezebel might have a peculiar respect, see 1 Kings 11:5.
(n) Travels, l. 3. p. 158. Ed. 5. (o) Hist. l. 2. c. 78. (p) Vit. Vespasian. c. 5. (q) De Dis Syris Syntagm. 2. c. 2. p. 232, &c.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. gather … the prophets of Baal … the prophets of the groves—From the sequel it appears that the former only came. The latter, anticipating some evil, evaded the king's command.
which eat at Jezebel's table—that is, not at the royal table where she herself dined, but they were maintained from her kitchen establishment (see on 1Sa 20:25 and 1Ki 4:22). They were the priests of Astarte, the Zidonian goddess.
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