1 Kings 17:24
And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) Now by this I know . . .—In these words we trace the final victory of faith, brought out by the crowning mercy of the restoration of her son. First, the widow had spoken of Jehovah from without, as “the Lord thy God” (1Kings 17:14); next, had come to recognise Him as God (1Kings 17:18); now she not only believes, as she had never believed before, that His servant is “a man of God”; but, in accepting the “word of Jehovah” in his mouth as “the truth,” seems undoubtedly to express conversion to Him. (Compare the stages of faith in the nobleman at Capernaum, John 4:47; John 4:50; John 4:53.)

17:17-24 Neither faith nor obedience shut out afflictions and death. The child being dead, the mother spake to the prophet, rather to give vent to her sorrow, than in hope of relief. When God removes our comforts from us, he remembers our sins against us, perhaps the sins of our youth, though long since past. When God remembers our sins against us, he designs to teach us to remember them against ourselves, and to repent of them. Elijah's prayer was doubtless directed by the Holy Spirit. The child revived. See the power of prayer, and the power of Him who hears prayer.He stretched himself upon the child three times - This action of Elijah is different from that of Elisha (marginal reference), and does not imply the use of any natural means for the restoration of suspended animation. It is nearly parallel to the "touch," through which our Lord performed similar miracles Matthew 9:25; Luke 7:14. 1Ki 17:17-24. He Raises Her Son to Life.

17-24. the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick—A severe domestic calamity seems to have led her to think that, as God had shut up heaven upon a sinful land in consequence of the prophet, she was suffering on a similar account. Without answering her bitter upbraiding, the prophet takes the child, lays it on his bed, and after a very earnest prayer, had the happiness of seeing its restoration, and along with it, gladness to the widow's heart and home. The prophet was sent to this widow, not merely for his own security, but on account of her faith, to strengthen and promote which he was directed to go to her rather than to many widows in Israel, who would have eagerly received him on the same privileged terms of exception from the grinding famine. The relief of her bodily necessities became the preparatory means of supplying her spiritual wants, and bringing her and her son, through the teachings of the prophet, to a clear knowledge of God, and a firm faith in His word (Lu 4:25).

Now by this I know; now I am assured of that concerning which I began upon this sad occasion to doubt.

That the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth; that the God whom thou professest is the true God, and the doctrine and religion which thou teachest is the only true religion; and therefore henceforth I wholly renounce the worship of idols. And the woman said to Elijah, now by this I know that thou art a man of God,.... She took him to be one at his first coming to her; she was in a great measure confirmed in it by the miracle of the barrel of meal and cruse of oil; but upon the death of her son, which she was ready to impute to the prophet, she was staggered at it; but now, by his resurrection from the dead, was fully assured of it:

and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth; she had known before that what he said concerning the meal and oil not failing was true; but now she was more and more convinced and assured that the God, whose prophet he was, was the true God, and that the religion he professed was the true religion, and he a true prophet, and that all his prophecies would be exactly fulfilled.

And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this {l} I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.

(l) It is hard to depend on God, unless we are confirmed by miracles.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24. Now by this] R.V. omits the last two words. The italics of A.V. shew that there is nothing in the Hebrew for ‘by,’ and the word rendered ‘this’ is only a particle to strengthen the adverb ‘now.’ The same two words are rendered in A.V. by ‘now’ simply in Ruth 2:7 and should be so translated here. In 2 Kings 5:22 they are translated ‘even now.’

I know that thou art a man of God] She had so addressed him above in 1 Kings 17:18, but what she desires now to express is her firm assurance. The mercy of her son’s restoration spake more surely of God’s messenger than did the stroke of his death. Jewish tradition represents this boy as the servant who afterwards accompanied Elijah, and finally became the prophet Jonah. (See Jerome, Preface to Jonah.)

the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth] This is more than to say that the word which the prophet speaks is truth; or than that the word of the Lord is in his mouth. It expresses a conviction that the Lord Jehovah in whose name Elijah speaks is the true God. Whatever stage her religious belief had before reached, she now advances beyond it, and acknowledges Jehovah as truth itself.Verse 24, - And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this [Heb. this. Gesenius interprets עַתָּה זֶה just now. Similarly Bahr, nunmehr] I know that thou art a man of God [not that she had doubted it before. See ver. 18. In the face of what Elijah had done for her, she could not doubt it. All that she means is that this is a great fresh proof of his mission], and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth. [This last word ךאמֶת from which Amittai (Jonah 1:1) is formed, perhaps gave rise to the tradition that this boy was afterwards known as the prophet Jonah. Amiitai was held to have been this widow's husband.



The pious woman discerned in this death a punishment from God for her sin, and supposed that it had been drawn towards her by the presence of the man of God, so that she said to Elijah, "What have we to do with one another (מה־לּי ולך; cf. Judges 11:12; 2 Samuel 16:10), thou man of God? Hast thou come to me to bring my sin to remembrance (with God), and to kill my son?" In this half-heathenish belief there spoke at the same time a mind susceptible to divine truth and conscious of its sin, to which the Lord could not refuse His aid. Like the blindness in the case of the man born blind mentioned in John 9, the death of this widow's son was not sent as a punishment for particular sins, but was intended as a medium for the manifestation of the works of God in her (John 9:3), in order that she might learn that the Lord was not merely the God of the Jews, but the God of the Gentiles also (Romans 3:29).
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