1 Kings 18:45
And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.
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(45) Jezreel.—This is the first mention of the city Jezreel, a city of Issachar (Joshua 19:18), as a royal city. The name (signifying “Jehovah hath sown”) was applied to the whole of the rich plain, the garden and battlefield of northern Palestine. (See Judges 6:33 : 1Samuel 29:1; 2Samuel 2:9.) The city was made a royal residence by Ahab, as Samaria by Omri. It stands in a position of some strength and great beauty, supplied by unfailing springs of water, visible from Carmel, and commanding views east and west far over the plain.

18:41-46 Israel, being so far reformed as to acknowledge the Lord to be God, and to consent to the execution of Baal's prophets, was so far accepted, that God poured out blessing upon the land. Elijah long continued praying. Though the answer of our fervent and believing supplications does not come quickly, we must continue earnest in prayer, and not faint or give over. A little cloud at length appeared, which soon overspread the heavens, and watered the earth. Great blessings often arise from small beginnings, showers of plenty from a cloud of span long. Let us never despise the day of small things, but hope and wait for great things from it. From what small beginnings have great matters arisen! It is thus in all the gracious proceedings of God with the soul. Scarcely to be perceived are the first workings of his Spirit in the heart, which grow up at last to the wonder of men, and applause of angels. Elijah hastened Ahab home, and attended him. God will strengthen his people for every service to which his commandments and providence call them. The awful displays of Divine justice and holiness dismay the sinner, extort confessions, and dispose to outward obedience while the impression lasts; but the view of these, with mercy, love, and truth in Christ Jesus, is needful to draw the soul to self-abasement, trust, and love. The Holy Spirit employs both in the conversion of sinners; when sinners are impressed with Divine truths, they should be exhorted to set about the duties to which the Saviour calls his disciples.A little cloud ... - Sailors know full well that such a cloud on the far horizon is often the forerunner of a violent storm. 45. Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel—now Zerin, a distance of about ten miles. This race was performed in the midst of a tempest of rain. But all rejoiced at it, as diffusing a sudden refreshment over all the land of Jezreel. Not that in Judah, Joshua 15:56, but another city in the border of Issachar and Manasseh, Joshua 19:18.

And it came to pass in the mean while,.... That the servant was gone with the message to Ahab, and Ahab was getting ready his chariot:

that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain; which all sprung from the cloud like a man's hand; and so we are told (k), that sometimes a little cloud called the ox's eye is seen on a mount of the Cape of Good Hope, called Tafesbery, when the sky is most serene, and the sea quiet; which is at first scarce so big as a barley corn, and then as a walnut; and presently it extends itself over the whole surface of the mountain:

and Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel; as fast as he could.

(k) Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacra, vol. 3. p. 591.

And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.
45. in the mean while] [R.V. in a little while] The literal sense is ‘until so and until so.’ The expression is probably borrowed from a waving of the hand backward and forward, and means ‘before you could do that.’ Hence ‘in a little while’ seems to be the better rendering.

And Ahab rode] The LXX. says ‘Ahab wept.’ Ahab made his way to his palace (see 1 Kings 21:2) at Jezreel, that he might report to Jezebel what had happened. Jezreel stood in the plain of Jezreel, in the tribe of Issachar, and became one of the most famous of the royal residences of the kings of Israel.

Verse 45. - And it came to pass in the meanwhile [Heb. unto thus and unto thus, i.e., till now and then (cf. Exodus 7:16; Joshua 17:14). Gesen., Bahr, al. support the rendering of the A.V. Ewald, Keil, al. understand "while the hand is being moved hither and thither," i.e., very speedily. The practical difference is not great], that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. ["The cry of the boy from his mountain watch had hardly been uttered when the storm broke upon the plain" (Stanley). "The storm" [over "the dark slate-coloured ridge of Carmel," witnessed by Conder in 1872] "burst suddenly, the rain descending with violence, hissing on the ground, as if not able to come down fast enough, and accompanied with gusts of wind, thunder, and lightning."] And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. 1 Kings 18:45Before any provision had been made for it (עד־כּה ועד־כּה: hither and thither, i.e., while the hand is being moved to and fro, "very speedily;" cf. Ewald, 105, b.) the heaven turned black with clouds and wind, i.e., with storm-clouds (Thenius), and there came a great fall of rain, while Ahab drove along the road to Jezreel. It was quite possible for the king to reach Jezreel the same evening from that point, namely, from the foot of Carmel below el Mohraka: but only thence, for every half-hour farther west would have taken him too far from his capital for it to be possible to accomplish the distance before the rain overtook him (V. de Velde, i. p. 326). Jezreel, the present Zerin (see at Joshua 19:18), was probably the summer residence of Ahab (see at Joshua 21:1). The distance from el Mohraka thither is hardly 2 3/4 German geographical miles (? 14 Engl. Miles - Tr.) in a straight line.
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