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."
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.
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.
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.'
1 Kings 17:1 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
Elijah the Tishbite is introduced without the formula "The word of the Lord came to ...," with which the appearance of the prophets is generally announced, proclaiming to king Ahab in the name of the Lord the punitive miracle of a drought that will last for years. This abrupt appearance of Elijah cannot be satisfactorily explained from the fact that we have not the real commencement of his history here; it is rather a part of the character of this mightiest of all the prophets, and indicates that in him the divine power of the Spirit appeared as it were personified, and his life and acts were the direct effluence of the higher power by which he was impelled. His origin is also uncertain. The epithet התּשׁבּי is generally derived from a place called Tishbeh, since, according to Tobit 1:2, there existed in Upper Galilee a Θίσβη ἐκ δεξιῶν Κυδίως, "on the right, i.e., to the south of Kydios," probably Kedesh in the tribe of Naphtali, from which the elder Tobias was carried away captive, although this description of the place is omitted in the Hebrew version of the book of Tobit issued by Fagius and Mnster, and in the Vulgate. And to this we must adhere, and as no other Thisbe occurs, must accept this Galilean town as the birthplace of Elijah; in which case the expression "of the settlers of Gilead" indicates that Elijah did not live in his birthplace, but dwelt as a foreigner in Gilead. For תּושׁב in itself by no means denotes a non-Israelite, but, like גּד, simply one who lived away from his home and tribe relations in the territory of a different tribe, without having been enrolled as a member of it, as is clearly shown by Leviticus 25:40, and still more clearly by Judges 17:7, where a Levite who was born in Bethlehem is described as גּר in the tribe of Ephraim.
(Note: The supposition of Seb. Schmidt, with which I formerly agreed, namely, that Elijah was a foreigner, a Gentile by birth, after further examination I can no longer uphold, though not from the priori objection raised against it by Kurtz (in Herzog's Cycl.), namely, that it would show a complete misapprehension of the significance of Israel in relation to sacred history and the history of the world, and that neither at this nor any other time in the Old Testament history could a prophet for Israel be called from among the Gentiles, - an assertion of which it would be difficult to find any proof, - but because we are not forced to this conclusion by either התּשׁבּי or גלעד מתּשׁבי. For even if the Thisbeh in Tob. 1:2 should not be Elijah's birthplace, it would not follow that there was no other place named Thisbeh in existence. How many places in Canaan are there that are never mentioned in the Old Testament! And such cases as that described in Judges 7:7, where the Levite is said to have left his birthplace and to have lived in another tribe as a foreigner or settler, may not have been of rare occurrence, since the Mosaic law itself refers to it in Leviticus 25:41. - Again, the lxx were unable to explain גלעד מתּשׁבי, and have paraphrased these words in an arbitrary manner by ὁ ἐκ Θεσβῶν τῆς Γαλαάδ, from which Thenius and Ewald conjecture that there was a Thisbeh in Gilead, and that it was probably the Tisieh (tsh) mentioned by Robinson (Pal. iii. 153) to the south of Busra equals Bostra. The five arguments by which Kurtz has attempted to establish the probability of this conjecture are very weak. For (1) the defective writing מתּשׁבי by no means proves that the word which is written plene (תּושׁב) in every other case must necessarily have been so written in the stat. constr. plur.; and this is the only passage in the whole of the Old Testament in which it occurs in the stat. constr. plur.; - (2) the precise description of the place given in Tobit 1:2 does not at all lead "to the assumption that the Galilean Thisbeh was not the only place of that name," but may be fully explained from the fact that Thisbeh was a small and insignificant place, the situation of which is defined by a reference to a larger town and one better known; - (3) there is no doubt that "Gilead very frequently denotes the whole of the country to the east of the Jordan," but this does not in the least degree prove that there was a Thisbeh in the country to the east of the Jordan; - (4) "that the distinction and difference between a birthplace and a place of abode are improbable in themselves, and not to be expected in this connection," is a perfectly unfounded assumption, and has first of all to be proved; - (5) the Tisieh mentioned by Robinson cannot be taken into consideration, for the simple reason that the assumption of a copyist's error, the confusion of (Arabic) b with y (Tsieh instead of Thisbeh), founders on the long i of the first syllable in Tsieh; moreover the Arabic t corresponds to the Hebrew E and not to t.)
The expression "as truly as Jehovah the God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand (i.e., whom I serve; see at 1 Kings 1:2), there shall not fall dew and rain these years, except at my word," was a special application of the threats of the law in Deuteronomy 11:16-17; Deuteronomy 28:23-24, and Leviticus 26:19, to the idolatrous kingdom. האלּה השּׁנים, "these (ensuing) years," does not fix any definite terminus. In דברי לפי there is involved an emphatic antithesis to others, and more especially to the prophets of Baal. "When I shall say this by divine authority and might, let others prate and lie as they may please" (Berleb. Bibel). Elijah thereby describes himself as one into whose power the God of Israel has given up the idolatrous king and his people. In James 5:17-18, this act of Elijah is ascribed to the power of his prayers, since Elijah "was also a man such as we are," inasmuch as the prophets received their power to work solely through faith and intercourse with God in prayer, and faith gives power to remove mountains.
LibraryThe Inexhaustible Barrel
Though, however, I make these few observations by way of preface, this is not the subject of this morning. I propose to take the case of the poor widow of Sarepta as an illustration of divine love, as it manifests itself to man; and I shall have three things for you to notice. First, the object of divine love; secondly, the singular methods of divine love; and, then, in the third place, the undying faithfulness of divine love--"The barrel of meal did not waste, neither did the cruse of oil fail, …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 6: 1860
Elijah the Tishbite
But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land,
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.
They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire.
Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim. And the men of Gilead struck Ephraim, because they said, "You are fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and Manasseh."
1 Kings 17:2
And the word of the LORD came to him:
1 Kings 17:12
And she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die."
1 Kings 18:1
After many days the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, "Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth."
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