1 Kings 18:18
And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but you, and your father's house, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and you have followed Baalim.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) Baalim—that is, as usual, “the Baalim”—the phrase being probably used contemptuously for false gods generally, the Baal, the Asherah, and perhaps other Canaanitish idols, being included.

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.Instead of apologies, and pleas for pardon, Elijah meets the charge with a countercharge, and makes a sudden demand. "Gather to me," etc. This boldness, this high tone, this absence of the slightest indication of alarm, seems to have completely discomfited Ahab, who ventured on no reply, made no attempt to arrest the prophet, did not even press him to remove his curse and bring the drought to an end, but simply consented to do his bidding. There is no passage of Scripture which exhibits more forcibly the ascendancy that a prophet of the Lord, armed with His spiritual powers, could, if he were firm and brave, exercise even over the most powerful and most unscrupulous of monarchs.

Baalim - i. e., the various aspects under which the god, Baal, was worshipped, Baal-shamin, Baal-zebub, Baal-Hamman, etc.

17, 18. Art thou he that troubleth Israel—A violent altercation took place. Ahab thought to awe him into submission, but the prophet boldly and undisguisedly told the king that the national calamity was traceable chiefly to his own and his family's patronage and practice of idolatry. But, while rebuking the sins, Elijah paid all due respect to the high rank of the offender. He urged the king to convene, by virtue of his royal mandate, a public assembly, in whose presence it might be solemnly decided which was the troubler of Israel. The appeal could not well be resisted, and Ahab, from whatever motives, consented to the proposal. God directed and overruled the issue. These calamities are not to be imputed to my passions, but thine and thy father’s wickedness, which God punisheth by this means. He answered him thus boldly, because he spoke and acted in God’s name, and for his honour and service, whose vassal Ahab was. And he answered,.... That is, Elijah, with great boldness and undaunted courage, not fearing the face of the king, being sent to show himself to him in the name of the King of kings:

I have not troubled Israel, but thou and thy father's house; they, by their sins, were the cause of all the troubles, those sore evil and sad calamities that were upon them:

in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord: to have no other gods before him, and not to make images, and worship them, which they had done:

and thou hast followed Baalim; the several Baals, the Sun, moon, and stars, the whole host of heaven, worshipped under this name; or, not content with the Phoenician Baal, or Baal of the Zidonians, followed others, see Judges 2:11.

And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but {f} thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.

(f) The true ministers of God should not only not permit falsehoods, but should boldly reprove the wicked slanderers without respect of persons.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord] This was done before the Baal-worship was introduced, by Jeroboam and by each king after him, and Omri, Ahab’s father, was no better than the rest. The LXX. omits ‘the commandments of.’

and thou hast followed Baalim] R.V. the Baalim. This was Ahab’s additional sin; so that it is said of him (1 Kings 21:25) ‘There was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness.’ The plural Baalim is used because there were many forms or aspects of Baal, so that he was worshipped under several names, at different places, as Baal-berith, Baal-zebub, Baal-peor, &c. Ahab in compliance with the will of Jezebel had admitted them all into Israel.Verse 18. - And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy fathers house [It has been supposed that Ahab "hoped to abash the Tishbite, perhaps to have him at his feet suing for pardon" (Rawlinson). If so, he must have completely misjudged his man. And why the prophet should sue for pardon, when he was so clearly master of the situation, it is difficult to imagine. It is quite as likely that Ahab expected denunciation and defiance such as he now provokes], in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou [The change from plural to singular is instructive. Preceding kings and the people at large had broken God's commandments by the calf-worship, but Ahab alone had introduced the Baal-cultus into the land] hast followed [Heb. goest after] Baalim. [The plural may either refer to the various names and forms under which Baal was worshipped - Baal-Berith, Baal-Zebub, etc. (Bahr, al.) - or more probably to the various images or statues of this god set up in the land (Gesenius). "This boldness, this high tone, this absence of the slightest indication of alarm, seems to have completely discomfited Ahab, who ventured on no reply," etc. (Rawlinson). It is probable that, though he put on a bold front, he was from the first thoroughly cowed. "And if it comes to pass (that) I go away from thee, and the Spirit of Jehovah carries thee away whither I know not, and I come to tell Ahab (sc., that thou art here) and he findeth thee not, he will slay me, and thy servant feareth the Lord from his youth," etc.; i.e., since I as a God-fearing man and a protector of the prophets cannot boast of any special favour from Ahab. מנּערי, from my youth up: "thy servant" being equivalent to "I myself." From the fear expressed by Obadiah that the Spirit of Jehovah might suddenly carry the prophet to some unknown place, Seb. Schmidt and others have inferred that in the earlier history of Elijah there had occurred some cases of this kind of sudden transportation, though they have not been handed down; but the anxiety expressed by Obadiah might very well have sprung from the fact, that after Elijah had announced the coming drought to Ahab, he disappeared, and, notwithstanding all the inquiries instituted by the king, was nowhere to be found. And since he was not carried off miraculously then (compare the לך and ויּלך, "get thee hence" and "he went," in 1 Kings 17:3, 1 Kings 17:5), there is all the less ground for imagining cases of this kind in the intermediate time, when he was hidden from his enemies. The subsequent translation of Elijah to heaven (2 Kings 2:11-12), and the miraculous carrying away of Philip from the chamberlain of Mauritania (Acts 8:39), do not warrant any such assumption; and still less the passage which Clericus quotes from Ezekiel (Ezekiel 3:12, Ezekiel 3:14), because the carrying of Ezekiel through the air, which is mentioned here, only happened in vision and not in external reality. If Obadiah had known of any actual occurrence of this kind, he would certainly have stated it more clearly as a more striking vindication of his fear.
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