And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1 Kings 17:7. After a while — Hebrew, at the end of the days; that is, of a year, as that phrase is often used. The brook dried up — For want of rain, and God so ordering it for the punishment of those Israelites who lived near it, and had hitherto been refreshed by it; and for the exercise of Elijah’s faith, and to teach him still to depend on God alone, and not on any natural means for support and preservation. Ezekiel 27:9, Ezekiel 27:27), or "Orbites." Jerome took it in this last sense, and so does the Arabic Version. After a while, Heb. at the end of days, i.e. of a year; for so the word days is oft used, as in Exodus 13:10 Leviticus 25:29 Numbers 9:22 Judges 17:10 1 Samuel 1:3 27:7. And this seems to be a convenient time for the drying up of the brook, which was gradually dried up; and so this agrees well with 1 Kings 18:1,
in the third year; of which See Poole "1 Kings 18:1".
The brook dried up; God so ordering it, partly, for the punishment of those Israelites who lived near it, and had hitherto been refreshed by it; partly, for the trial and exercise of Elijah’s faith, and to teach him to depend upon God alone, not on any creature, for his support; and partly, to show his own all-sufficiency in providing for his people. 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.And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. because there had been [R.V. was] no rain] Not only had there been none, but the drought was continuing.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.] 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.
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