And Elijah said to Ahab, Get you up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Get thee up, eat and drink.—There seems a touch of scorn in these words. Ahab, remaining passive throughout, had descended to the place of slaughter in the valley, looking on silent—if not unmoved—while the priests, whose worship he had openly or tacitly sanctioned, were slain by hundreds. Now Elijah bade him get up to his palace, taking it for granted that, fresh from that horrible sight, he is yet ready to feast, and rejoice over the approaching removal of the judgment, which alone had told on his shallow nature. The king goes to revel, the prophet to pray.1 Kings 18:41. Get thee up — From the river, (where he had been present at the execution of Baal’s priests,) to thy tent; which probably was pitched on the side of Carmel. Eat, &c. — Take comfort, and refresh thyself: for neither the king nor any of the people could have leisure to eat, being wholly intent upon the decision of the great controversy. For there is a sound of abundance of rain — The rain is as certainly and speedily coming, as if you did actually see it, or hear the noise which it makes.
There is a sound of abundance of rain - Either the wind, which in the East usually heralds rain, had begun to rise, and sighed through the forests of Carmel - or perhaps the sound was simply in the prophet's ears, a mysterious intimation to him that the drought was to end, and rain to come that day.Get thee up from the river, where the king and he had been present at the slaughter of Baal’s priests, to thy tent; which probably was pitched on the side of Carmel.
Eat and drink; take comfort, and refresh thyself; for neither the king nor any of the people could have any leisure to eat, being wholly intent upon the decision of the great controversy.
There is a sound of abundance of rain; the rain is as certainly and speedily coming, as if I did actually see it, or hear the noise which it makes. God’s wrath is now appeased, and thou shalt have no cause to repent of this day’s work.
eat and drink; which he had no leisure for all the day, from the time of the morning sacrifice to the evening sacrifice, which was taken up in attending to the issue of the several sacrifices; but now he is bid to eat and refresh himself, and that in token of joy and gladness, as became him, both for the honour of the true God, which had been abundantly confirmed, and for the near approach of rain, of which he assures him:
for there is a sound of abundance of rain; the wind perhaps began to rise, and blow pretty briskly, which was a sign of it (f); besides, according to the Tyrian annals (g), there were loud claps of thunder at this time, at least when the heavens became very black, as in 1 Kings 18:45.And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)41–46. The prophecy of rain. Elijah awaits its approach on Mount Carmel and then goes to Jezreel (Not in Chronicles)
41. Elijah said unto Ahab] The king had been present through all the events of the day, but had been powerless to stay the slaughter of the false prophets. Ahab was overpowered by what he had seen, and Jezebel was not at hand to prompt him to oppose either the prophet or the people.
Get thee up, eat and drink] There was probably preparation made for the king’s refreshment on the top of Carmel, where the offerings had been made, and the words of the prophet apply to Ahab’s return from the Kishon, which was at a lower level. The expression ‘eat and drink’ has been taken by some to be spoken in mockery or uttered as if to one who was callous even after such a scene of butchery. It would rather seem as if Elijah had not yet despaired of Ahab, and was giving the king, who must have been paralysed by the scene, the best advice for his present need, after the long and tragic day. The words may also imply that now there was no longer any fear of want, for the rain was coming at once. Thus they would form a fit introduction for the announcement which follows.
for there is a [R.V. the] sound of abundance of rain] The expression is definite in the original. The LXX. has a very poetical paraphrase ὅτι φωνὴ τῶν ποδῶν τοῦ ὑετοῦ, ‘for there is the sound of the feet of the rain.’Verse 41. - And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up [It is clear from the word עֲלֵה that the king had gone down with the crowd to the Kishon. Curiosity had perhaps impelled him to witness the slaughter which he was powerless to prevent. And no doubt he had been profoundly awed by the portent he had just witnessed], eat and drink [It is hardly likely that there was aught of derision in these words. It is extremely probable that the excitement of the ordeal was so intense that the king had barely tasted food all day long. Elijah now bids him eat if he can, after what he has witnessed. There is now, he suggests, no further cause for anxiety or alarm. The people being repentant (vers. 39, 40), and the men who have brought a curse on the land being cut off, the drought can now be abated (cf. 2 Samuel 21:1, 6, 14). The next words assign the reason why he should eat and drink. It is a mistake, however (Ewald, Rawlinson), to suppose that he was bidden to "eat of the feast which always followed a sacrifice," for this was a whole burnt offering and had been entirely consumed (ver. 38). It is probable that the attendants of the king had spread a tent for him upon the plateau, and had brought food for the day along with them]; for there is a sound of abundance of rain [Heb. for a voice of a noise - הָמון; cf. hum, an onomatopoetic word - of rain. Gesenius and Keil think that the prophet could already hear the sound of the drops of rain, but if so, it was only in spirit (cf. ver. 45). The words may refer to the rise of the wind which so often precedes a storm, but it is more probable that Elijah speaks of signs and intimations understood only by himself. This was the "word" of 1 Kings 17:1.] Genesis 32:29; Genesis 35:10), Israel shall be thy name," and built these stones into an altar. The twelve stones were a practical declaration on the part of the prophet that the division of the nation into two kingdoms was at variance with the divine calling of Israel, inasmuch as according to the will of God the twelve tribes were to form one people of Jehovah, and to have a common sacrificial altar; whilst the allusion to the fact that Jehovah had given to the forefather of the nation the name of Israel, directs attention to the wrong which the seceding ten tribes had done in claiming the name of Israel for themselves, whereas it really belonged to the whole nation. יהוה בּשׁם (in the name of Jehovah) belongs to יבנה (built), and signifies by the authority and for the glory of Jehovah. "And made a trench as the space of two seahs of seed (i.e., so large that you could sow two seahs
(Note: i.e., about two Dresden pecks (Metzen). - Thenius.)
of seed upon the ground which it covered) round about the altar." The trench must therefore have been of considerable breadth and depth, although it is impossible to determine the exact dimensions, as the kind of seed-corn is not defined. He then arranged the sacrifice upon the altar, and had four Kad (pails) of water poured three times in succession upon the burnt-offering which was laid upon the pieces of wood, so that the water flowed round about the altar, and then had the trench filled with water.
(Note: Thenius throws suspicion upon the historical character of this account, on the ground that "the author evidently forgot the terrible drought, by which the numerous sources of the Carmel and the Nachal Kishon must have been dried up;" but Van de Velde has already answered this objection, which has been raised by others also, and has completely overthrown it by pointing out the covered well of el Mohraka, in relation to which he makes the following remark: "In such springs the water remains always cool, under the shade of a vaulted roof, and with no hot atmosphere to evaporate it. While all other fountains were dried up, I can well understand that there might have been found here that superabundance of water which Elijah poured so profusely over the altar" (vol. i. p. 325, trans.). But the drying up of the Kishon is a mere conjecture, which cannot be historically proved.)
Elijah adopted this course for the purpose of precluding all suspicion of even the possibility of fraud in connection with the miraculous burning of the sacrifice. For idolaters had carried their deceptions to such a length, that they would set fire to the wood of the sacrifices from hollow spaces concealed beneath the altars, in order to make the credulous people believe that the sacrifice had been miraculously set on fire by the deity. Ephraem Syrus and Joh. Chrysostom both affirm this; the latter in his Oratio in Petrum Apost. et Eliam proph. t. ii. p. 737, ed. Montf., the genuineness of which, however, is sometimes called in question.
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