|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:14-18 God repeated the question, What doest thou here? Then he complained of his discouragement; and whither should God's prophets go with their complaints of that kind, but to their Master? The Lord gave him an answer. He declares that the wicked house of Ahab shall be rooted out, that the people of Israel shall be punished for their sins; and he shows that Elijah was not left alone as he had supposed, and also that a helper should at once be raised up for him. Thus all his complaints are answered and provided for. God's faithful ones are often his hidden ones, Ps 83:3, and the visible church is scarcely to be seen: the wheat is lost in chaff, and the gold in dross, till the sifting, refining, separating day comes. The Lord knows them that are his, though we do not; he sees in secret. When we come to heaven we shall miss many whom we thought to have met there; we shall meet many whom we little thought to have met there. God's love often proves larger than man's charity, and far more extended.
Verse 18. - Yet I have left me [So St. Paul, Romans 11:4, κατέλιπον; but the LXX. (καταλείψεις) and all the versions translate the word as future, as in the margin, 1 will leave, and so the ו conversive seems to require. See Gesen., Gram. § 124-26] seven thousand [not so much a round as a symbolical number - "the ἐκλογή of the godly" (Keil). "The remnant according to the election of grace" (Romans 11:5). It is like the 144,000 and the 12,000 of Revelation 7:4-8. The prominent idea is perhaps this: Though the children of Israel have forsaken My covenant, yet I have kept and will keep it. It also suggests how the still small voice had been speaking in the silence] in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. [We gather from Job 31:26, 27 that it was customary to kiss the hand to the idol, or object of worship, and from Hosea 13:2 to kiss the image itself. Most of the commentators adduce Cicero in Verrem 4:43, where he speaks of the statue of Hercules at Agrigentum, the lips and chin of which were a little worn by the kisses of devotees.]
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel,.... From perishing by the sword of either of them:
all the knees which have not bowed to Baal; that is, had not worshipped him, which was signified by this gesture:
and every mouth which hath not kissed him; either the image of Baal itself, or the hand, in reverence of him; which rites, one or other, or both, were used by his worshippers; See Gill on Hosea 13:2. This either refers, as some think, to the present time, and so is an answer to Elijah, who thought he was the only worshipper left with which seems to agree Romans 11:2, or to the times to come, when destruction should be made by the above persons, and when God would have some faithful worshippers, and would take care of them; so some render the words, "I will reserve", &c. (y).
(y) "reservabo vel servabo", Vatablus; so V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version.
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