1 Kings 19
Elijah runs from Jezebel
Queen Jezebel gives Elijah one day to live1Ahab told his wife Jezebel what Elijah did and that he killed all the prophets she had been supporting.  2Jezebel sent this message to Elijah, “If I don’t end you by this time tomorrow, may the gods do worse to me than you did to those prophets.”
3Terrified, Elijah ran for his life. He ran all the way through Samaria and Judah. He didn’t stop until he reached the town of Beersheba  on Judah’s southern border. He left his servant there. 4And he traveled another day’s distance deep into the southern badlands. He stopped in the shade of a broom tree and asked God to kill him. He said, “I’ve done enough. Bring my life to an end. I’m just as bad as my ancestors were.”
Elijah to God: “Kill me”5Elijah stretched out on the ground and fell asleep under the broom tree. But a messenger  from God tapped him and said, “Wake up. It’s time to eat.”
6Elijah looked up and saw hot food by his head. The angel had fried some bread over hot stones. And there was a jug of water, too. Elijah ate and drank and then lay back down to rest again.
7The angel came back later, tapped him to wake him and said, “Time to get up and eat. You need to eat or you won’t have the energy to make the trip ahead.” 8Elijah got up, ate and drank, and then continued his trip. The angel gave him enough food and water for the trip to Mount Sinai,  40 days and nights. 9There, he spent the night in a cave. The LORD asked him, “Why did you come here?”
10Elijah said, “You are the LORD, God of everyone, and I have worked hard for you. But the people of Israel have broken their agreement with you, destroyed your altars, and slaughtered your prophets. I’m the last prophet standing. But they’re trying to kill me, too.”
God to Elijah: I’m coming11God said, “Step outside. Stand on the mountain and wait for me. I’m coming.” A wind blew in with a force that shattered rocks and split mountains. The LORD didn’t come in the wind. An earthquake shook the ground. The LORD didn’t come in the earthquake. 12Fire followed the earthquake. God didn’t come in the fire. After the fire there was nothing but the sound of nothing—absolute silence.
13Elijah took that as his cue. He covered his face with a cloak and stood at the mouth of the cave. There, he heard a voice: “Why did you come here, Elijah?”
14Elijah repeated the answer he gave to that question earlier: “You are the LORD, God of everyone, and I have worked hard for you. But the people of Israel have broken their agreement with you, destroyed your altars, and slaughtered your prophets. I’m the last prophet standing. But they’re trying to kill me, too.”
15The LORD said, “Go up to Damascus. When you get there, I want you to anoint Hazael as king of Syria. 16Then I want you to find Jehu son of Nimshi and anoint him as king of Israel. Finally, I want you to anoint your replacement. He’s Elisha son of Shaphat, from the town of Abel-meholah.  17All three of these men will destroy Baal worshipers. Those who escape Hazael will face Jehu’s sword. And those who escape Jehu will die when Elisha gets to them. 18In addition, I’m keeping in reserve 7,000 Israelites who have never bowed to Baal or kissed an image representing him.”
Elijah goes to Damascus19Elijah headed north to Damascus. Along the way, he found Elisha plowing—one of 12 people driving plows behind yokes of oxen. Elisha plowed with the twelfth yoke of oxen. Elijah walked past him and threw his cloak over him as he kept walking.
20Elisha left the oxen and ran to Elijah. He knew what the cloak meant, and he said, “Can you stop long enough for me to say goodbye to my mother and father?” Elijah said, “Go ahead. What does that have to do with me?”
21Elisha drove his oxen home. He killed them and cooked the meat with fire made from the plow and yoke. His family and friends ate together. Then Elisha left and caught up with Elijah, to become his servant.
1 Kings 18:19. Jezebel was weeding out prophets of God to replace the Israelite religion with her own brand, honoring Canaanite gods Baal and Asherah.
Elijah and King Ahab had been at the king’s getaway palace in the town of Jezreel. Beersheba was about 100 miles (160 km) south. That’s about a week-long walk.
The Hebrew word for “angel” is malak. It can mean “messenger,” celestial or human. That would make it an angel or a neighbor. Some scholars say it can also refer to God himself.
Also known as Mount Horeb. If this were the mountain traditionally linked to God giving Moses the Ten Commandments, Jabal Mousa, that would have been about 200 miles (300 km) south of Elijah’s last reported city, Beersheba. It doesn’t take 40 days to walk 200 miles, though it took Moses 40 years. At about 20 miles a day, Elijah would have gotten there in 10 days. Bible writers sometimes seemed to use “40 days” as a way of saying it was a long time. People sometimes say that today with the phrase, “It took a minute.” Not a literal minute, but a lot of them.
Location of Abel-meholah (Hebrew for “dancing in the meadow”) is uncertain. Ancient historians Jerome and Eusebius place it south of the Sea of Galilee, near Beth-shan. Two contenders are ruins still not excavated: Tel Abu Sus (supposedly the best bet), and Tel Abu Sifri.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.