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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 19

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-21

1 Kings 19:1-18 Elijah’s Flight to Mount Sinai and God’s Divine Commission to Him In 1 Kings 19:1-18 we have the story of Elijah’s flight to Mount Sinai because of Jezebel’s threat of death and of God’s divine visitation and commissioning him to do several tasks. It is important to note how God dealt with Elijah’s severe depression. This great servant of God wanted to die and not life. In response, God put him to work and got him up off of his bed of pity and out and about. When we are busy, our minds are not so prone to daydream of the difficult circumstances around us. Elijah was a loner and had spent probably days and months alone with God. This time, God got him up and busy and out of a state of depression.

1 Kings 19:1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.

1 Kings 19:2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.

1 Kings 19:2 Comments - We are told that the spirit of Elijah rested upon John the Baptist in the New Testament (Luke 1:17). Note, however, how the same spirit that raised up Jezebel against Elijah also came against John the Baptist in the form of Herodias (Mark 6:19).

Luke 1:17, “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias , to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Mark 6:19, “Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:”

1 Kings 19:3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.

1 Kings 19:3 “and came to Beersheba” Comments - Beersheba was a southern city of Judah.

1 Kings 19:3 “left his servant there” - Comments - You must forsake all to follow Jesus (Luke 14:33).

Luke 14:33, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”

1 Kings 19:4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

1 Kings 19:4 “he requested for himself that he might die” - Comments - Luke 14:26 says that in order to come to Jesus, we must hate family, even or our own lives. Elijah hated his own life here.

Luke 14:26, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

Luke 9:23, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”

1 Kings 19:4 “for I am not better than my fathers” - Comments - Perhaps Elijah is commenting on his failure to bring a nation to repentance, as his fathers had also failed at this task. Therefore, when Elijah meets God on the mount, he complains about the sins of this nation.

When we come to God, we must come with this kind of a humble, broken spirit.

1 Kings 19:4 Comments - The God of Elijah is the same God today and will be near and save those who are broken (Psalms 34:17; Psalms 51:17).

Psalms 34:17-18, “The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”

Psalms 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

1 Kings 19:5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.

1 Kings 19:6 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.

1 Kings 19:6 “And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head” - Comments - God sent his angel to prepare a meal for Elijah.

Jesus sent his disciples to prepare a Passover meal (Luke 22:13) just like Elijah ate a cake and drank water. At the Passover meal, Jesus Christ said the bread was His body and the wine was His blood. This meal from an angel gave Elijah the strength to go to Mount Horeb, just like Jesus is our strength that brings us to God. The natural man cannot come to God in his own strength, because he has too much sin. We must be washed in blood (the wine in Luke 22:0 and the water in 1 Kings 19:0) and partake of the Word (the bread in Luke 22:0).

Many times in our lives we feel totally forsaken and that no one understands; but God understands (Hebrews 2:14; Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 4:14-16).

Hebrews 2:14, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;”

Hebrews 2:17, “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.”

Hebrews 4:14-16, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Elijah was a man of like passions as we are (James 5:17) and he felt like dying. But God sends us a messenger with a message from God, and we partake of the bread of life, and find the strength to carry on.

James 5:17, “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.”

1 Kings 19:6 “And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again” Comments - Jesus gives us rest to our souls (Isaiah 30:15, Matthew 11:28-30).

Isaiah 30:15, “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.”

Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

1 Kings 19:7 And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.

1 Kings 19:7 “Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee” Comments - The natural man cannot make it to God in the flesh (Luke 18:1). It must be with God’s help (Jesus). He cannot be good enough (Romans 3:23).

Luke 18:1, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”

Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

1 Kings 19:8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.

1 Kings 19:8 “went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights” - Comments - During my years serving the Lord, there have been times when He would give me a word to go by. It may have come from a dream, from His speaking to me, from a verse being quickened to me. But these experiences, these words from the Lord, have sustained me for years, just as Elijah “went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights”. A child of God can feast on a “rhema” word from God for years, giving him or her strength to go on in those difficult times. Kenneth Hagin teaches that many times the Lord will give his servants a word, knowing that this person is about to go through a trial in which he will need something supernatural to sustain him through the trial. [44] This word from God is capable of doing just that in a believer's life.

[44] Kenneth Hagin, Following God’s Plan For Your Life (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c1993, 1994), 118.

1 Kings 19:8 “unto Horeb the mount of God” Comments - PTW says the Hebrew name “Horeb” means, “desert.” Mount Horeb is also called Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 4:15). Two people in the Bible stood upon Mount Horeb: Moses and Elijah.

Deuteronomy 4:15, “Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:”

Sinai is mentioned, as a desert and a mountain, in thirty-five passages of the Old Testament. In seventeen passages, the same desert and mountain is called “Horeb.” The name “Horeb” is chiefly used in Deuteronomy, though Sinai also occurs (Deuteronomy 33:2). ( ISBI)

Deuteronomy 33:2, “And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.”

1 Kings 19:8 Comments - Elijah did not seek God in the midst of a perverse nation, but he first escaped the pollutions of the world.

2 Peter 2:20, “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,”

1 Kings 19:11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:

1 Kings 19:11 “and after the wind an earthquake” Comments - Note Acts 4:31, “place was shaken where they were assembled.” Thus, the strong wind, earthquake, and fire represent God’s presence.

Acts 4:31, “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together ; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”

1 Kings 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

1 Kings 19:12 “a still small voice” Scripture References - Note similar verses to the Lord speaking to man in a still, small voice during a time of rest in Him:

Psalms 27:14, “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”

Isaiah 30:7, “For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.”

Isaiah 30:15, “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.”

Isaiah 30:18, “And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.”

Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

John 8:47, “He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”

John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”

John 18:37, “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.”

1 Kings 19:11-12 Comments God’s Still, Small Voice The wind, earthquake and fire were simply outward manifestations of God’s presence, as when He descended upon Mount Sinai when Israel came out of Egypt (Exodus 19:16).

Exodus 19:16, “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.”

Frances Roberts writes:

“Yea, I was not in the wind nor the earthquake, but the still small voice. Though the very atmosphere seemeth to move out as I move in, and though the earth tremble beneath My feet, these are but manifestations of My presence. Thou shalt find Me in the still small voice: it is the love call of My heart.” [45]

[45] Frances J. Roberts, Dialogues With God (Uhrichsville, Ohio: Barbour Publishing, Inc., c1968), 40.

To the unbelievers, God speaks in signs and wonders, as He did on Mount Carmel when Elijah visited it; but to His children, He speaks in a still, small voice. The wind, earthquake, and the fire are natural voices, which the world hears. In contrast, His children have learned to listen to the spiritual voice of the Lord. Note this confirmation in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 14:22, “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.”

1 Kings 19:13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

1 Kings 19:13 “he wrapped his face in his mantle” Comments - Moses also hid his face in the presence of the Lord (Exodus 3:6). The seraphims hide their faces in God's presence (Isaiah 6:2).

Exodus 3:6, “Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face ; for he was afraid to look upon God.”

Isaiah 6:2, “Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face , and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.”

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 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.

1 Kings 19:10-14 Comments The Strong Wind and Fire - The Hebrew word ( רוּחַ ) (H7307) is translated “spirit, wind or breath” throughout the Old Testament. This wind and fire could have been the presence of God's angels (Hebrews 1:7), just as an angel of God appeared to Moses in a flaming fire in Exodus 3:2.

Hebrews 1:7, “And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits , and his ministers a flame of fire .”

Exodus 3:2, “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.”

1 Kings 19:15 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:

1 Kings 19:15 “anoint Hazael to be king over Syria” - Comments - This event actually took place during the ministry of Elisha in 2 Kings 8:7-15.

1 Kings 19:16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.

1 Kings 19:16 “And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel” - Comments - This event actually took place during the ministry of Elisha in 2 Kings 9:1-13.

1 Kings 19:15-18 Comments God Responds to Elijah’s Report by Bringing Judgment Upon Israel - God's response to Elijah's report of Israel's sins is to judge this nation. God uses Elijah to anoint men who will carry out this task.

1 Kings 19:19 So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.

1 Kings 19:19 “and he with the twelfth” - Comments - This means that Elisha has twelve teams of oxen ploughing. Therefore, there were twenty-four oxen ploughing, two to a team. Elisha was in the rear plowing with the twelfth team.

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 1 Kings 19". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/1-kings-19.html. 2013.
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