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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
fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper-tree, behold then, an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
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.
And the angel of the LORD came down the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for thee.
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,
And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there: and behold, the WORD of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah ?
And Elijah said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and şlain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life to take it away.
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 : and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire, a still small voice.
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?
And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD Gov 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 seck my life, to take it away.
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.
And Jelu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel. meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.
And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu, shall Elisha slay.
Yet have I left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
So he departed thence and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with the twelve yoke of oxen before him, and lie with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle
him. And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. nd he said unto him, Go back again ; for what have I done to thec?
And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen,
gave unto the people, and ihey did eat: then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him,
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. It had been revealed to Elijah, and he had declared to Ahab that there should be neither dew nor rain for years, but according to his word; by which was meant that tho desired blessings should follow the prophet's prayer, in order to gain him esteem, and to magnify his office, which at that time was greatly depreciated in the land of Israel. The prophet of the LORD could not, without dishonouring the DIVINE BEING, intercede for a nation of idolaters; but as soon as Baal was disgraced, and the majesty of the LORD JEHOVAH vindicated, Elijah knew that his prayers would be accepted; he therefore immediately addressed himself to the AlMIGHTY God with the utmost earnestness of intercese sion, as we may judge by the humble posture he made use of, and his eagerness to know whether the Lord regarded his petitions. As soon as Elijah found that the blessing he prayed for was at hand, he not only dispatched his servant with a message to Ahab, but to shew that he was far from being his enemy, and only desired that he would become a worshipper of the true God, the prophet girded up his vest, as was the custom when any one wanted to make expedition, and ran before the king like an humble attendant.
It seems inconsistent that Elijall, who had hitherto been sustained and protected by the miraculous power of Gon, and whose behaviour to Ahab was full of intrepidity, should be intimidated by the threatenings of the impious Jezebel. The extraordinary courage which he had before displayed was certainly inspired by the LORD; Elijah, when he was not under the influence of the HOLY SPIRIT, was a man of like passions with ourselves ; * and perhaps he might have grown vain and arrogant, on account of the miracles wrought for him, had not the Lord, to make him sensible for his natural weakness, withdrawn that courage with which he had hitherto fortified the mind of this prophet.
* James v. 17. N 3.
Elijah certainly was very impatient, but his trial was a great one; for after the late memorable event he had reason to expect, that Ahab and the people would have returned to the worship of the true Gon, and honoured him as the prophet of the Loud: when he found the contrary he grew tired of his office, despaired of ever being serviceable to them, and seeing no chance of settling any where in peace and comfort, he wished to lay down his
weary head in the grave; but the Lord had compassion on his infirmities, and again restored his mind to tranquillity and confidence, by graciously sending an angel with food for his refreshment.
It is wonderful to observe, by what various means God sustained those sacred persons, who were set apart for the important purpose of calling others to righteousness; but we are not to infer from this circumstance, that God was partial to them; for, in order to convince the world that He was not so, they were exposed to a variety of distresses; only God wrought their deliverance openly, and by miraculous means, to distinguish them as his servants, and to encourage their faith, instead of relieving them by the ordinary methods of Providence.
It appears astonishing, that Elijah should be supported for forty days by only two meals of bread and water; but it is not at all incredible, since we are told they were sent by the great CREATOR. We can no otherwise account for our own bodies being nourished in the usual way, than by imputing it to the power of God, who can as easily make food efficacious for a longer, as a shorter time.
The mountain of Horeb, to which we may suppose the angel directed Elijah to go, was not above one hundred and fifty miles from Beersheba, so that if the prophet had travelled straight on, he might easily have reached it in a short time; but finding that he was sustained without food, as Moses had formerly been, he might think it his duty to remain there, till he received command from God to go to some other place.
Moses had a glorious vision of the LORD on this mountain; but on the present occasion God was pleased to reveal himself by a small still voice.
I think we may understand, that Elijah's zeal had lately transported him beyond proper bounds, and that he had wished for some sudden destruction on the land of Israel. To reprove him for this, perhaps, the LORD now taught him by external signs, that though He had all nature at his command, and could root out idolaters at once, by a wind, an earthquake, or a fire, He was mercifully inclined to use lenity towards them; and as there were yet many who had not bowed the knee to Baal, He would for their sakes preserve the land; but that all who persisted in idolatry should be cut off at His appointed time by Hazael, Jehu, and Elisha.
Elisha, who was chosen to succeed Elijah, appears to have been a man of considerable property, (or he would not have been master of twelve yoke of oxen ;) not. withstanding this, he willingly left the management of his farm, and from that day devoted himself entirely to the service of God, and personal attendance upon the Lord's prophet.
Elijah did not proceed to Damascus to anoint Hazael; but we have no reason to suppose that this prophet, who was so, zealous for the honour of the Lor would wil fully neglect to obey the Divine command. It may then N 4