1 Kings 18:2
And Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria.
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1 Kings 18:2. Elijah went — In this he showed strong faith, resolute obedience, and invincible courage, in that he durst, at God’s command, run into the mouth of this raging lion. There was a sore famine in Samaria — Which made it the more dangerous for him to appear in Ahab’s presence; lest, being so sorely afflicted, he should in his rage cause him to be killed before he could deliver his message to him.18:1-16 The severest judgments, of themselves, will not humble or change the hearts of sinners; nothing, except the blood of Jesus Christ, can atone for the guilt of sin; nothing, except the sanctifying Spirit of God, can purge away its pollution. The priests and the Levites were gone to Judah and Jerusalem, 2Ch 11:13,14, but instead of them God raised up prophets, who read and expounded the word. They probably were from the schools of the prophets, first set up by Samuel. They had not the spirit of prophecy as Elijah, but taught the people to keep close to the God of Israel. These Jezebel sought to destroy. The few that escaped death were forced to hide themselves. God has his remnant among all sorts, high and low; and that faith, fear, and love of his name, which are the fruits of the Holy Spirit, will be accepted through the Redeemer. See how wonderfully God raises up friends for his ministers and people, for their shelter in difficult times. Bread and water were now scarce, yet Obadiah will find enough for God's prophets, to keep them alive. Ahab's care was not to lose all the beasts; but he took no care about his soul, not to lose that. He took pains to seek grass, but none to seek the favour of God; fencing against the effect, but not inquiring how to remove the cause. But it bodes well with a people, when God calls his ministers to stand forth, and show themselves. And we may the better endure the bread of affliction, while our eyes see our teachers.The third year - i. e., in the third year of his sojourn with the widow. The whole period of drought was three years and a half Luke 4:25; James 5:17 : of this, probably about one year was passed by Elijah in the torrent-course of Cherith, and two years and a half at Sarepta. 2. Elijah went—a marvellous proof of the natural intrepidity of this prophet, of his moral courage, and his unfaltering confidence in the protecting care of God, that he ventured to approach the presence of the raging lion.

there was a sore famine in Samaria—Elijah found that the famine was pressing with intense severity in the capital. Corn must have been obtained for the people from Egypt or the adjoining countries, else life could not have been sustained for three years; but Ahab, with the chamberlain of his royal household, is represented as giving a personal search for pasture to his cattle. On the banks of the rivulets, grass, tender shoots of grass, might naturally be expected; but the water being dried up, the verdure would disappear. In the pastoral districts of the East it would be reckoned a most suitable occupation still for a king or chief to go at the head of such an expedition. Ranging over a large tract of country, Ahab had gone through one district, Obadiah through another.

Elijah went to show himself unto Ahab; wherein he shows a strong faith, and resolute obedience, and invincible courage, that he durst at God’s command run into the mouth of this raging lion; which was a degree of martyrdom. And Elijah went to show himself unto Ahab,.... Which showed his cheerful and ready obedience to the will of God, and his great courage and magnanimity, to face a king enraged against him, and that sought his life:

and there was a sore famine in Samaria; the metropolis of the kingdom, where Ahab kept his court, and therefore must be sensible of it, and bore the greater indignation against the prophet who had foretold it.

And Elijah went to show himself unto Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria.
2. And there was a sore famine] R.V. with more strict adherence to the original, And the famine was sore.Verse 2. - And Elijah went to show himself unto Ahab. And [or Now. It would, perhaps, have been better to begin a new verse here, as this is the beginning of a parenthesis, explanatory of the circumstances under which king and prophet met. It was the famine led to Obadiah's encountering Elijah on the road] there was a sore famine in Samaria. [The effect of a three years' drought would be to reduce the entire people to the verge of starvation. The severity of the famine was no doubt mitigated, as on a former occasion (Genesis 41:57), by the importation of corn from Egypt.] Elijah told her to carry the dead child up to the chamber in which he lived and lay it upon his bed, and then cried to the Lord, "Jehovah, my God! hast Thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, to slay her son?" These words, in which the word also refers to the other calamities occasioned by the drought, contain no reproach of God, but are expressive of the heartiest compassion for the suffering of his benefactress and the deepest lamentation, which, springing from living faith, pours out the whole heart before God in the hour of distress, that I may appeal to Him the more powerfully for His aid. The meaning is, "Thou, O Lord my God, according to Thy grace and righteousness, canst not possibly leave the son of this widow in death." Such confident belief carries within itself the certainty of being heard. The prophet therefore proceeds at once to action, to restore the boy to life.
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