And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baked on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And laid him down.—There is a pathetic touch in the description of the prophet, wearied and disheartened, as caring not to eat sufficiently, and glad, after a morsel eaten, to forget himself again in sleep.
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.Genesis 18:6, the stones hereabout might be heated by a supernatural power, and the cake baked on them by an angel; these sort of cakes are in Hebrew called "huggoth", as some pronounce the word, and are said to be now common in Bulgaria, where they are called "hugaces" (r):
and a cruse of water at his head; to drink of in eating the cake; which cruse or pot a learned man (s) thinks was Elijah's, not brought by the angel, only water put into it by him; see 1 Samuel 26:11, and he did eat and drink; but not all that was set before him:
and laid him down again; to take some more sleep for his greater refreshment.And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. and behold, there was] The R.V., following the Hebrew order, puts ‘at his head’ immediately after these words.Verse 6. - And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake [same word as in 1 Kings 17:13] baken on the coals [Heb. a cake of stones, or coals. LXX. ἐγκρυφίας. The thin, flat bread of the East, especially among the nomadic desert tribes, is constantly baked in a rude oven, constructed in the sand or soft. A little hollow is made; sometimes it is lined with stones to retain the heat; fuel, often the root of the genista, is placed upon it and kindled, and when the sand or stones are sufficiently hot, the embers are raked to one side, and the dough is placed in the oven, where it is sometimes covered with the ashes. Hence the Vulgate calls it sub-cinericius panis], and a cruse of water at his head [i.e., the place of his head. Marg. bolster. The word is almost used as a preposition. Cf. 1 Samuel 19:13; 1 Samuel 26:7]. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. [Heb. returned and laid down.] 2 Kings 3:15; Ezekiel 1:3; Ezekiel 3:15, etc.).
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