1 Kings 19:14
And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and slain your prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
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1 Kings 19:14. And he said, I have been very jealous, &c. — “Though Elijah showed tokens of humble adoration on this occasion, the repetition of his answer to the Lord’s renewed inquiry, (‘What doest thou here?’) shows, that he did not fully understand the emblematic display; and that he was not properly convinced of his unbelief, in fleeing out of the land; nor reconciled to going back to his station and employment. He afterward better understood the Lord’s meaning, as it appears from his subsequent conduct.” — Scott.19:14-18 God repeated the question, What doest thou here? Then he complained of his discouragement; and whither should God's prophets go with their complaints of that kind, but to their Master? The Lord gave him an answer. He declares that the wicked house of Ahab shall be rooted out, that the people of Israel shall be punished for their sins; and he shows that Elijah was not left alone as he had supposed, and also that a helper should at once be raised up for him. Thus all his complaints are answered and provided for. God's faithful ones are often his hidden ones, Ps 83:3, and the visible church is scarcely to be seen: the wheat is lost in chaff, and the gold in dross, till the sifting, refining, separating day comes. The Lord knows them that are his, though we do not; he sees in secret. When we come to heaven we shall miss many whom we thought to have met there; we shall meet many whom we little thought to have met there. God's love often proves larger than man's charity, and far more extended.Mantle - The upper garment, a sort of short cloak or cape - perhaps made of untanned sheepskin, which was, besides the strip of leather round his loins, the sole apparel of the prophet (compare Matthew 3:4). For the action compare the marginal references.

There came a voice unto him ... - The question heard before in vision is now put again to the prophet by the Lord Himself. Elijah gives no humbler and more gentle answer. He is still satisfied with his own statement of his case.

1Ki 19:4-18. He Is Comforted by an Angel.

4-18. went a day's journey into the wilderness—on the way from Beer-sheba to Horeb—a wide expanse of sand hills, covered with the retem (not juniper, but broom shrubs), whose tall and spreading branches, with their white leaves, afford a very cheering and refreshing shade. His gracious God did not lose sight of His fugitive servant, but watched over him, and, miraculously ministering to his wants, enabled him, in a better but not wholly right frame of mind, by virtue of that supernatural supply, to complete his contemplated journey. In the solitude of Sinai, God appeared to instruct him. "What doest thou here, Elijah?" was a searching question addressed to one who had been called to so arduous and urgent a mission as his. By an awful exhibition of divine power, he was made aware of the divine speaker who addressed him; his attention was arrested, his petulance was silenced, his heart was touched, and he was bid without delay return to the land of Israel, and prosecute the Lord's work there. To convince him that an idolatrous nation will not be unpunished, He commissions him to anoint three persons who were destined in Providence to avenge God's controversy with the people of Israel. Anointing is used synonymously with appointment (Jud 9:8), and is applied to all named, although Jehu alone had the consecrated oil poured over his head. They were all three destined to be eminent instruments in achieving the destruction of idolaters, though in different ways. But of the three commissions, Elijah personally executed only one; namely, the call of Elisha to be his assistant and successor [1Ki 19:19], and by him the other two were accomplished (2Ki 8:7-13; 9:1-10). Having thus satisfied the fiery zeal of the erring but sincere and pious prophet, the Lord proceeded to correct the erroneous impression under which Elijah had been laboring, of his being the sole adherent of the true religion in the land; for God, who seeth in secret, and knew all that were His, knew that there were seven thousand persons who had not done homage (literally, "kissed the hand") to Baal.

No text from Poole on this verse. And he said,.... Elijah, in answer to the question put, and he says the same as before:

I have been very jealous,.... which the question was designed to draw from him, in order to give him some instructions and directions; which would suggest to him, that though he should not deal severely with Israel, nor with Ahab and his house, yet he would hereafter by the kings he should anoint over Syria and Israel, and by the prophet he should anoint in his room, as instruments of his vengeance.

And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: {g} because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

(g) So should not depend on the multitude in maintaining God's glory, but because our duty requires us to do it.

Verse 14. - And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. [Verbatim as in ver. 10. What are we to understand from this repetition of the former answer? Has the lesson of this theophany been lost upon him? Has he failed to grasp its significance? It is probable that he only partially understood its meaning, and it certainly looks as if he still felt himself an injured and disappointed man; as if the recollection of the way in which his work had been frustrated still rankled in his soul. But though the words are the same, it is possible, and indeed probable, that the tone was entirely different; that instead of speaking, as he had spoken before, querulously and almost defiantly, he now, catching his inspiration from the still small voice, speaks with bated breath and profound self humiliation. The facts are the same. He repeats them, because they and they alone explain why he is there, and because he cannot see as yet how they are to be remedied. But he is now conscious of a misgiving as to the wisdom and piety of his course. He feels he has acted hastily and faithlessly, and has wanted to do God's work in his own rough way. He will go back, if it be God's will; he will be content to wait God's time, and to follow His leading. The commission which is straightway given him almost proves that he had experienced a change. It implies that he is now fitted for his high ministry.] "Then he arose, ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to the mount of God at Horeb." As the angel did not tell him whither he was to go, and Elijah wandered to Horeb in consequence of this strengthening, it appears to have been his intention from the very beginning to go into the desert, and see whether the Lord would still further acknowledge him and his work; so that in the support and strength imparted by the angel he saw an indication that he was to follow the footsteps of the divine grace still farther into the desert, and make a pilgrimage to Horeb, with the hope that there perhaps the Lord would reveal to him His counsel concerning the further guidance of the people of His covenant, as He had formerly done to His servant Moses, and give him the necessary instruction for the continuance of his prophetic service. Horeb is called the mount of God here, as it was proleptically in Exodus 3:1, as the place where the Lord confirmed the covenant, already made with the patriarchs, to their descendants, and adopted the tribes of Israel as His people and made them into a kingdom of God. The distance from Beersheba to Horeb is about 200 miles. Consequently Elijah would not have required forty days to travel there, if the intention of God had been nothing more than to cause him to reach the mountain, or "to help him on his say" (Thenius). But in the strength of the food provided by the angel Elijah was not only to perform the journey to Horeb, but to wander in the desert for forty days and forty nights, i.e., forty whole days, as Moses had formerly wandered with all Israel for forty years; that he might know that the Lord was still the same God who had nourished and sustained His whole nation in the desert with manna from heaven for forty years. And just as the forty years' sojourn in the desert had been to Moses a time for the trial of faith and for exercise in humility and meekness (Numbers 12:3), so was the strength of Elijah's faith to be tried by the forty days' wandering in the same desert, and to be purified from all carnal zeal for the further fulfilment of His calling, in accordance with the divine will. What follows shows very clearly that this was the object of the divine guidance of Elijah (cf. Hengstenberg, Diss. on the Pentateuch, vol. i. 171,172).
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