And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said to him, Arise and eat.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)An angel touched him.—The word may signify simply “a messenger,” human or super-human; but the context suggests a miraculous ministration of some unearthly food. It is notable that, except as ministers of God in the physical sphere (as in 2Samuel 24:16-17; 2Kings 19:35), the angels, whose appearances are so often recorded in earlier days, hardly appear during the prophetic period, as though the place of their spiritual ministry, as messengers of God, to the people had been supplied by the prophetic mission. Here, and in 2Kings 6:17, the angel is but auxiliary to the prophet, simply ministering to him in time of danger and distress, as the angel of the Agony to the Prophet of prophets.1 Kings 19:5-6. He lay and slept under a juniper tree — But he is wakened out of his sleep, and finds himself not only well provided for with bread and water, but, which is more, attended by an angel, who guarded him when he slept, and called him to his victuals once and again when they were ready for him. “He needed not complain of the unkindnesses of men, when it was thus made up by the ministration of angels: thus provided for he had reason to think he fared better than the prophets of the groves that ate at Jezebel’s table. Wherever God’s children are, as they are still upon their Father’s ground, so they are still under their Father’s eye and care. They may lose themselves in a wilderness, but God has not left them; there they may look at him, that lives and sees them, as Hagar, Genesis 16:13.” — Henry.Genesis 18:2-16; Genesis 19:1-22; Genesis 28:12; Genesis 32:1, Genesis 32:24-29, and known also under the Judges Jdg 6:11-21; 13:3-20, was now extended to Elijah. Any other explanation of this passage does violence to the words. It is certainly not the intention of the writer to represent Elijah as relieved on this occasion by a human "messenger."
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.
behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, arise, and eat; so far was the Lord from granting his request to take away his life, that he made provision to preserve it; so careful was he of him, as to give an angel charge to get food ready for him, and then awake him to eat of it.And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. And as he lay and slept] Better, with R.V., ‘And he lay down and slept.’ The verb is the same as that which is so rendered at the close of the next verse. The description is of what Elijah did, not only of something which happened ‘as he lay.’
behold then] R.V. and behold. A change made necessary by the previous alteration.
an angel touched him] The LXX. omits ‘an angel,’ and so does the narrative of Josephus, which merely has διεγειράντος δʼ αὐτόν τινος.Verse 5. - And as he lay and slept ["While death was called for, the cousin of death comes unbidden" (Hall)] under a [Heb. one] Juniper tree, behold, then [Heb. זֶה this; "behold here," siehe da, Gesen.], an angel [Heb. messenger; the same word as in ver. 2, but explained in ver. 7 to be a messenger of God. Cf. Genesis 16:9; Genesis 21:17] touched [Heb. touching] him and said unto him, Arise and eat. [Probably he had eaten little or nothing since leaving Jezreel. Food was now what he most needed. This circumstance suggests that the profound depression betrayed in his prayer (ver. 4) was largely the result of physical weakness.] 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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