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1 Kings 18-20, Bible Highlights: week starting august 3

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Highlights From Bible Reading: 1 Kings 18-19-20. Information for personal study.

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Research for Highlights of : 1 Kings 18-20


(1 KINGS 18:1)

“After some time, in the third year, Jehovah’s word came to E•liʹjah, saying: “Go, present yourself to Aʹhab, and I will send rain on the surface of the ground.””

*** w08 4/1 p. 19 He Watched, and He Waited ***
[Box/Picture on page 19]
How Long Was the Drought in Elijah’s Day?
Jehovah’s prophet Elijah announced to King Ahab that the long drought would end soon. That happened “in the third year”—evidently counting from the day Elijah first announced the drought. (1 Kings 18:1) Jehovah sent rain soon after Elijah said that He would. Some might conclude, then, that the drought ended during the course of its third year and that it was therefore less than three years long. However, both Jesus and James tell us that the drought lasted “three years and six months.” (Luke 4:25; James 5:17) Is this a contradiction?
Not at all. You see, the dry season in ancient Israel was quite long, lasting up to six months. No doubt Elijah came to Ahab to announce the drought when the dry season was already proving to be unusually long and severe. In effect, the drought had begun nearly half a year earlier. Thus, when Elijah announced the end of the drought “in the third year” from his previous announcement, the drought had already lasted nearly three and a half years. The full “three years and six months” had elapsed by the time all the people assembled to witness the great test on Mount Carmel.
Consider, then, the timing of Elijah’s first visit to Ahab. The people believed that Baal was “the rider of the clouds,” the god who would bring rains to end the dry season. If the dry season was unusually long, people likely wondered: ‘Where is Baal? When will he bring the rains?’ Elijah’s announcement that neither rain nor dew would occur until he said so must have been devastating to those Baal worshippers.—1 Kings 17:1.
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*** w92 4/1 p. 17 Do You Have Faith Like Elijah’s? ***
Both Jesus and James say that it did not rain in the land for “three years and six months.” Yet, Elijah is said to appear before Ahab to end the drought “in the third year”—no doubt counting from the day he announced the drought. Thus, it must have been after a long, rainless dry season when he first stood before Ahab.—Luke 4:25; James 5:17; 1 Kings 18:1.

(1 KINGS 18:3)

“Meanwhile, Aʹhab called O•ba•diʹah, who was over the household. (Now O•ba•diʹah greatly feared Jehovah,”

*** w06 10/1 p. 20 par. 18 Courageous Through Faith and Godly Fear ***
18 Undoubtedly, Obadiah was both cautious and discreet in his worship of Jehovah. Still, he did not compromise. In fact, 1 Kings 18:3 tells us: “Obadiah himself had proved to be one greatly fearing Jehovah.” Yes, Obadiah’s fear of God was exceptional! This wholesome fear, in turn, gave him outstanding courage, as was demonstrated immediately after Jezebel murdered Jehovah’s prophets.

(1 KINGS 18:4)

“and when Jezʹe•bel was doing away with Jehovah’s prophets, O•ba•diʹah took 100 prophets and hid them 50 to a cave, and he supplied them with bread and water.)”

*** w06 10/1 p. 20 par. 19 Courageous Through Faith and Godly Fear ***
19 We read: “It came about that when Jezebel cut off Jehovah’s prophets, Obadiah proceeded to take a hundred prophets and keep them hid by fifties in a cave, and he supplied them bread and water.” (1 Kings 18:4) As you can imagine, secretly feeding a hundred men was a very dangerous undertaking. Not only did Obadiah have to avoid getting caught by Ahab and Jezebel but he also had to avoid detection by the 850 false prophets who frequented the palace. Besides that, the many other false worshippers in the land, from peasants to princes, would no doubt have seized any opportunity to expose Obadiah so as to curry favor with the king and queen. Nevertheless, right under the noses of all these idolaters, Obadiah courageously attended to the needs of Jehovah’s prophets. How powerful the fear of God can be!

(1 KINGS 18:19)

“And now summon all Israel to me at Mount Carʹmel, as well as the 450 prophets of Baʹal and the 400 prophets of the sacred pole, who are eating at the table of Jezʹe•bel.””

*** it-1 p. 947 Divided Kingdom ***
Carmel (Mt.) 1Ki 18:19-40

*** it-1 p. 949 Prophetic Activity of Elijah and Elisha ***
Carmel (Mt.) 1Ki 18:19-40

*** it-1 p. 950 Prophetic Activity of Elijah and Elisha ***
[Picture on page 950]
Mount Carmel, site of the fire test proving that not Baal but Jehovah is the true God (1Ki 18:21-39)

(1 KINGS 18:21)

“Then E•liʹjah approached all the people and said: “How long will you be limping between two different opinions? If Jehovah is the true God, follow him; but if Baʹal is, follow him!” But the people did not say a word in answer to him.”

*** ia chap. 10 pp. 86-87 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
“Limping”—How?
9 The heights of Mount Carmel commanded a sweeping view—from the torrent valley of Kishon below to the Great Sea (Mediterranean Sea) nearby and to the mountains of Lebanon on the far northern horizon. But as the sun rose on this climactic day, the vista was grim. A deathly pall hung over the once fertile land that Jehovah had given to the children of Abraham. It was now a land baked hard by the merciless sun, ruined by the folly of God’s own people! As those people thronged, Elijah approached them and spoke: “How long will you be limping upon two different opinions? If Jehovah is the true God, go following him; but if Baal is, go following him.”—1 Ki. 18:21.
10 What did Elijah mean by the expression “limping upon two different opinions”? Well, those people did not realize that they had to choose between the worship of Jehovah and the worship of Baal. They thought that they could have it both ways—that they could appease Baal with their revolting rituals and still ask favors of Jehovah God. Perhaps they reasoned that Baal would bless their crops and herds, while “Jehovah of armies” would protect them in battle. (1 Sam. 17:45) They had forgotten a basic truth—one that still eludes many today. Jehovah does not share his worship with anyone. He demands and is worthy of exclusive devotion. Any worship of him that is mixed with some other form of worship is unacceptable to him, even offensive!—Read Exodus 20:5.
11 So those Israelites were “limping” along like a man trying to follow two pathways at once. Many people today make a similar mistake, allowing other “baals” to creep into their life and push aside the worship of God. Heeding Elijah’s clarion call to stop limping can help us to reexamine our own priorities and worship.

*** w08 1/1 p. 19 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
“Limping”—How?
On its wind-whipped heights, Mount Carmel commands a sweeping view of Israel—from the torrent valley of Kishon below to the Great Sea (Mediterranean Sea) nearby to the mountains of Lebanon on the far northern horizon. But as the sun rose on this climactic day, the vista was grim. A deathly pall hung over the once fertile land that Jehovah had given to the children of Abraham. It was now a land baked hard by the merciless sun, ruined by the folly of God’s own people! As those people thronged together, Elijah approached them and spoke: “How long will you be limping upon two different opinions? If Jehovah is the true God, go following him; but if Baal is, go following him.”—1 Kings 18:21.
What did Elijah mean by the expression “limping upon two different opinions”? Well, those people did not realize that they had to choose between the worship of Jehovah and the worship of Baal. They thought that they could have it both ways—that they could appease Baal with their revolting rituals and still ask favors of Jehovah God. Perhaps they reasoned that Baal would bless their crops and herds, while “Jehovah of armies” would protect them in battle. (1 Samuel 17:45) They had forgotten a basic truth—one that still eludes many today—that Jehovah does not share his worship with anyone. He demands and is worthy of exclusive devotion. Any worship of him that is mixed with some other form of worship is unacceptable to him, even offensive!—Exodus 20:5.
So those Israelites were “limping” along like a man trying to follow two pathways at once. Many people make a similar mistake today, allowing other “baals” to creep into their life, pushing aside the worship of God! Elijah’s clarion call to stop limping can help us to reexamine our own priorities and worship.

*** w05 7/1 p. 30 par. 8 Highlights From the Book of First Kings ***
18:21—Why were the people silent when Elijah asked them to follow either Jehovah or Baal? It could be that they recognized their failure to give Jehovah the exclusive devotion that he exacts and therefore felt guilty. Or perhaps their consciences were hardened to the extent that they saw nothing wrong with worshipping Baal while claiming to be worshippers of Jehovah. It was only after Jehovah demonstrated his power that they said: “Jehovah is the true God! Jehovah is the true God!”—1 Kings 18:39.


*** w98 1/1 p. 30 Elijah Exalts the True God ***
Then Elijah addressed the crowd: “How long will you be limping upon two different opinions? If Jehovah is the true God, go following him; but if Baal is, go following him.”—1 Kings 18:17-21.

*** w98 1/1 p. 30 Elijah Exalts the True God ***
Some scholars suggest that Elijah may have alluded to the ritual dance of Baal worshipers. The same use of the word “limping” is found at 1 Kings 18:26 to describe the dance of the Baal prophets.

*** it-2 p. 191 Lame, Lameness ***
On a later occasion, Elijah asked the Israelites: “How long will you be limping upon two different opinions? If Jehovah is the true God, go following him; but if Baal is, go following him.” At that time the Israelites were claiming to worship Jehovah but at the same time were worshiping Baal. Their course was unsteady and halting, like that of a lame man. During the contest that ensued, when the prophets of Baal were vainly trying from morning till noon to get their god to answer them, “they kept limping around the altar that they had made.” This may be a mocking description of the ritualistic dance or hobble of the fanatical Baal worshipers, or it may be that they limped because of their tiredness from the long, futile ritual.—1Ki 18:21-29.

(1 KINGS 18:23)

“Let them give us two young bulls, and let them choose one young bull and cut it into pieces and put it on the wood, but they should not put fire to it. I will prepare the other young bull, and I will place it on the wood, but I will not put fire to it.”

*** ia chap. 10 p. 87 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
Notably, Elijah told them: “You must not put fire to” the sacrifice. Some scholars say that such idolaters sometimes used altars with a secret cavity beneath so that a fire could appear to be lit supernaturally.

*** w08 1/1 p. 19 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
Notably, Elijah told them: “You must not put fire to” the sacrifice. Some scholars say that such idolaters sometimes used altars with a secret cavity beneath so that a fire could appear to be lit supernaturally.

(1 KINGS 18:26)

“So they took the young bull that was given to them, prepared it, and kept calling on the name of Baʹal from morning until noon, saying: “O Baʹal, answer us!” But there was no voice and no one answering. They kept limping around the altar that they had made.”

*** it-1 p. 575 Dancing ***
The worship of Baal was associated with wild, unrestrained dances. In Elijah’s time there was such a display by the priests of Baal who, in the course of the demonic dance, lacerated themselves with knives as they kept “limping around” the altar. (1Ki 18:26-29) Other translations say they “performed a limping dance” (AT), “danced in halting wise” (JP), “performed their hobbling dance” (JB).

(1 KINGS 18:27)

“About noon E•liʹjah began to mock them and say: “Call out at the top of your voice! After all, he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought or he has gone to relieve himself. Or maybe he is asleep and someone needs to wake him up!””

*** ia chap. 10 p. 88 par. 14 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
At noon Elijah began to mock them, asserting sarcastically that Baal must be too busy to answer them, that he was relieving himself in the privy, or that he was napping and someone needed to wake him up. “Call at the top of your voice,” Elijah urged those charlatans. Clearly, he saw this Baal worship as ridiculous fakery, and he wanted God’s people to see it for the fraud that it was.—1 Ki. 18:26, 27.

*** w08 1/1 p. 20 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
At noon Elijah began to mock them, asserting sarcastically that Baal must be too busy to answer them, that he was relieving himself in the privy, or that he was napping and someone needed to wake him up. “Call at the top of your voice,” Elijah urged those charlatans. Clearly, he saw this Baal worship as ridiculous fakery, and he wanted God’s people to see it for the fraud that it was.—1 Kings 18:26, 27.

(1 KINGS 18:28)

“They were calling out at the top of their voice and cutting themselves with daggers and lances, according to their custom, until their blood gushed out all over them.”

*** w98 1/1 p. 30 Elijah Exalts the True God ***
The Baal prophets even began cutting themselves with daggers and lances—a practice often employed by pagans to arouse the pity of their gods.—1 Kings 18:28.

*** w98 1/1 p. 30 Elijah Exalts the True God ***
Some suggest that self-mutilation was related to the practice of human sacrifice. Both acts implied that bodily affliction or the shedding of blood can invoke a god’s favor.

*** it-1 p. 563 Cuttings ***
Inflicting lacerations upon the flesh, however, was not limited to mourning rites. In the hope of having their god answer their appeals, the prophets of Baal cut themselves “according to their custom with daggers and with lances, until they caused blood to flow out upon them.” (1Ki 18:28) Similar rites were engaged in by other ancient peoples. For example, Herodotus (II, 61) mentions that during the festival of Isis, the Carians residing in Egypt cut their foreheads with knives.

(1 KINGS 18:29)

“Noon was past and they continued in a frenzy until the time the evening grain offering is presented, but there was no voice and no one answering; no one was paying attention.”

*** it-1 p. 1152 Hour ***
God commanded that burnt offerings be made on the altar “in the morning” and “between the two evenings.” Along with each of these, a grain offering was made. (Ex 29:38-42) So it came about that expressions such as “the going up of the grain offering,” where the context indicates whether morning or evening (as at 1Ki 18:29, 36), and “the time of the evening gift offering” (Da 9:21) referred to a fairly well-defined time.

(1 KINGS 18:30)

“At length E•liʹjah said to all the people: “Approach me.” So all the people approached him. Then he repaired the altar of Jehovah that had been torn down.”

*** ia chap. 10 pp. 88-90 par. 16 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
16 Late in the afternoon came Elijah’s turn to offer a sacrifice. He repaired an altar to Jehovah that had been torn down, no doubt by enemies of pure worship.

*** w08 1/1 p. 20 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
Late in the afternoon, Elijah’s turn came. He repaired an altar to Jehovah that had been torn down, no doubt by enemies of pure worship.

*** w05 12/15 p. 26 par. 6 Now Is the Time for Decisive Action ***
6 The meeting took place at the site of an altar of Jehovah that had been “torn down,” probably to please Jezebel. (1 Kings 18:30)

(1 KINGS 18:31)

“E•liʹjah then took 12 stones, corresponding to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom Jehovah’s word had come, saying: “Israel will be your name.””

*** ia chap. 10 p. 90 par. 16 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
He used 12 stones, perhaps reminding many in the 10-tribe nation of Israel that the Law given to all 12 tribes was still binding on them.

*** w08 1/1 p. 20 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
He used 12 stones, perhaps reminding many in the 10-tribe nation of Israel that the Law given to all 12 tribes was still binding upon them.

(1 KINGS 18:32)

“With the stones he built an altar in the name of Jehovah. Then he made a trench all around the altar, an area large enough to sow with two seah measures of seed.”

*** it-1 p. 711 Elijah ***
Now it is Elijah’s turn. Using 12 stones, he mends an altar that was torn down, probably at Jezebel’s instance. Then he has the people soak the offering and the altar in water three times; even the trench around the altar, circumscribing an area perhaps 32 m (103 ft) square, is filled with water. (1Ki 18:30-35)

(1 KINGS 18:33)

“After that he put the pieces of wood in order, cut the young bull into pieces, and placed it on the wood. He now said: “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the pieces of wood.””

*** w98 1/1 p. 31 Elijah Exalts the True God ***
Afterward, the bull, the altar, and the wood were thoroughly soaked with water, and the trench was filled with water (no doubt seawater obtained from the Mediterranean Sea).

*** ba p. 17 Can This Book Be Trusted? ***
In some cases the omission of certain details only adds to the credibility of the Bible writer. For example, the writer of 1 Kings tells of a severe drought in Israel. It was so severe that the king could not find enough water and grass to keep his horses and mules alive. (1 Kings 17:7; 18:5) Yet, the same account reports that the prophet Elijah ordered enough water to be brought to him on Mount Carmel (for use in connection with a sacrifice) to fill a trench circumscribing an area of perhaps 10,000 square feet [1,000 sq m]. (1 Kings 18:33-35) In the midst of the drought, where did all the water come from? The writer of 1 Kings did not trouble himself to explain. However, anyone living in Israel knew that Carmel was on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, as an incidental remark later in the narrative indicates. (1 Kings 18:43) Thus, seawater would have been readily available. If this otherwise detailed book were merely fiction masquerading as fact, why would its writer, who in that case would be a clever forger, have left such an apparent difficulty in the text?

(1 KINGS 18:34)

“Then he said: “Do it again.” So they did it again. Once more he said: “Do it a third time.” So they did it a third time.”

*** ba p. 17 Can This Book Be Trusted? ***
In some cases the omission of certain details only adds to the credibility of the Bible writer. For example, the writer of 1 Kings tells of a severe drought in Israel. It was so severe that the king could not find enough water and grass to keep his horses and mules alive. (1 Kings 17:7; 18:5) Yet, the same account reports that the prophet Elijah ordered enough water to be brought to him on Mount Carmel (for use in connection with a sacrifice) to fill a trench circumscribing an area of perhaps 10,000 square feet [1,000 sq m]. (1 Kings 18:33-35) In the midst of the drought, where did all the water come from? The writer of 1 Kings did not trouble himself to explain. However, anyone living in Israel knew that Carmel was on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, as an incidental remark later in the narrative indicates. (1 Kings 18:43) Thus, seawater would have been readily available. If this otherwise detailed book were merely fiction masquerading as fact, why would its writer, who in that case would be a clever forger, have left such an apparent difficulty in the text?

(1 KINGS 18:35)

“And the water ran all around the altar, and he also filled the trench with water.”

*** ba p. 17 Can This Book Be Trusted? ***
In some cases the omission of certain details only adds to the credibility of the Bible writer. For example, the writer of 1 Kings tells of a severe drought in Israel. It was so severe that the king could not find enough water and grass to keep his horses and mules alive. (1 Kings 17:7; 18:5) Yet, the same account reports that the prophet Elijah ordered enough water to be brought to him on Mount Carmel (for use in connection with a sacrifice) to fill a trench circumscribing an area of perhaps 10,000 square feet [1,000 sq m]. (1 Kings 18:33-35) In the midst of the drought, where did all the water come from? The writer of 1 Kings did not trouble himself to explain. However, anyone living in Israel knew that Carmel was on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, as an incidental remark later in the narrative indicates. (1 Kings 18:43) Thus, seawater would have been readily available. If this otherwise detailed book were merely fiction masquerading as fact, why would its writer, who in that case would be a clever forger, have left such an apparent difficulty in the text?

(1 KINGS 18:36)

“About the time when the evening grain offering is presented, E•liʹjah the prophet stepped forward and said: “O Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, today let it be known that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and that it is by your word that I have done all these things.”

*** ia chap. 10 p. 90 par. 17 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
17 When everything was ready, Elijah said a prayer. Eloquent in its simplicity, the prayer showed clearly where Elijah’s priorities lay. First and foremost, he wanted it known that Jehovah, not this Baal, was “God in Israel.” Second, he wanted everyone to know that his own role was that of Jehovah’s servant; all glory and credit should go to God. Finally, he showed that he still cared about his people, for he was eager to see Jehovah turn “their heart back.” (1 Ki. 18:36, 37) Despite all the misery that they had caused by their faithlessness, Elijah still loved them. In our own prayers to God, can we manifest similar humility, concern for God’s name, and compassion for others who need help?

*** w10 10/1 pp. 4-5 2 To Whom? ***
After Elijah prayed, his God answered instantly, sending fire from heaven to consume an offering that Elijah had set out. What was the difference? There is one vital clue in Elijah’s prayer itself, recorded at 1 Kings 18:36, 37. It is a very short prayer—there are only about 30 words in the original Hebrew. Yet, in those few lines, Elijah three times addressed God by his personal name, Jehovah.
Baal, meaning “owner” or “master,” was the god of the Canaanites, and there were many local versions of this deity. Jehovah, however, is a unique name, applying only to one Personage in all the universe. This God told his people: “I am Jehovah. That is my name; and to no one else shall I give my own glory.”—Isaiah 42:8.
Did Elijah’s prayer and the prayers of those Baal prophets go to the same place? Baal worship degraded people with ritual prostitution and even human sacrifice. In contrast, the worship of Jehovah ennobled his people, Israel, freeing them from such degrading practices. So think about it: If you specifically addressed a letter to a highly respected friend, would you expect it to be delivered to someone who did not bear your friend’s name and whose vile reputation contradicted everything your friend stood for? Surely not!

*** w08 1/1 p. 20 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
When everything was ready, Elijah said a prayer. Eloquent in its simplicity, the prayer showed clearly where Elijah’s priorities lay. First and foremost, he wanted it known that Jehovah, not this Baal, was “God in Israel.” Second, he wanted everyone to know that his own role was that of Jehovah’s servant; all glory and credit should go to God. Finally, he showed that he still cared about his people, for he was eager to see Jehovah turn “their heart back.” (1 Kings 18:36, 37) Despite all the misery that they had caused by their faithlessness, Elijah still loved them. In our own prayers to God, can we manifest similar concern for God’s name, as well as humility and compassion for others who need help?

*** it-1 p. 1152 Hour ***
God commanded that burnt offerings be made on the altar “in the morning” and “between the two evenings.” Along with each of these, a grain offering was made. (Ex 29:38-42) So it came about that expressions such as “the going up of the grain offering,” where the context indicates whether morning or evening (as at 1Ki 18:29, 36), and “the time of the evening gift offering” (Da 9:21) referred to a fairly well-defined time.

(1 KINGS 18:37)

“Answer me, O Jehovah! Answer me so that this people may know that you, Jehovah, are the true God and that you are turning their hearts back to you.””

*** ia chap. 10 p. 90 par. 17 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
17 When everything was ready, Elijah said a prayer. Eloquent in its simplicity, the prayer showed clearly where Elijah’s priorities lay. First and foremost, he wanted it known that Jehovah, not this Baal, was “God in Israel.” Second, he wanted everyone to know that his own role was that of Jehovah’s servant; all glory and credit should go to God. Finally, he showed that he still cared about his people, for he was eager to see Jehovah turn “their heart back.” (1 Ki. 18:36, 37) Despite all the misery that they had caused by their faithlessness, Elijah still loved them. In our own prayers to God, can we manifest similar humility, concern for God’s name, and compassion for others who need help?

*** w10 10/1 pp. 4-5 2 To Whom? ***
After Elijah prayed, his God answered instantly, sending fire from heaven to consume an offering that Elijah had set out. What was the difference? There is one vital clue in Elijah’s prayer itself, recorded at 1 Kings 18:36, 37. It is a very short prayer—there are only about 30 words in the original Hebrew. Yet, in those few lines, Elijah three times addressed God by his personal name, Jehovah.
Baal, meaning “owner” or “master,” was the god of the Canaanites, and there were many local versions of this deity. Jehovah, however, is a unique name, applying only to one Personage in all the universe. This God told his people: “I am Jehovah. That is my name; and to no one else shall I give my own glory.”—Isaiah 42:8.
Did Elijah’s prayer and the prayers of those Baal prophets go to the same place? Baal worship degraded people with ritual prostitution and even human sacrifice. In contrast, the worship of Jehovah ennobled his people, Israel, freeing them from such degrading practices. So think about it: If you specifically addressed a letter to a highly respected friend, would you expect it to be delivered to someone who did not bear your friend’s name and whose vile reputation contradicted everything your friend stood for? Surely not!

*** w08 1/1 p. 20 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
When everything was ready, Elijah said a prayer. Eloquent in its simplicity, the prayer showed clearly where Elijah’s priorities lay. First and foremost, he wanted it known that Jehovah, not this Baal, was “God in Israel.” Second, he wanted everyone to know that his own role was that of Jehovah’s servant; all glory and credit should go to God. Finally, he showed that he still cared about his people, for he was eager to see Jehovah turn “their heart back.” (1 Kings 18:36, 37) Despite all the misery that they had caused by their faithlessness, Elijah still loved them. In our own prayers to God, can we manifest similar concern for God’s name, as well as humility and compassion for others who need help?

(1 KINGS 18:40)

“Then E•liʹjah said to them: “Seize the prophets of Baʹal! Do not let a single one of them escape!” At once they seized them, and E•liʹjah brought them down to the stream of Kiʹshon and slaughtered them there.”

*** ia chap. 10 pp. 90-91 par. 19 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
However, they had not as yet shown any faith. Frankly, to admit that Jehovah is the true God after seeing fire fall from heaven in response to a prayer is not an impressive demonstration of faith. So Elijah asked more of them. He asked them to do what they should have done many years earlier—obey the Law of Jehovah. God’s Law said that false prophets and idolaters should be put to death. (Deut. 13:5-9) These Baal priests were committed enemies of Jehovah God, and they deliberately worked against his purposes. Did they deserve mercy? Well, what mercy had they ever granted to all those innocent children who were burned alive as sacrifices to Baal? (Read Proverbs 21:13; Jer. 19:5) Those men were well beyond the reach of mercy! So Elijah ordered that they be executed, and executed they were.—1 Ki. 18:40.

*** w08 1/1 p. 21 He Stood Up for Pure Worship ***
However, they had not as yet shown any faith. Frankly, to admit that Jehovah is the true God after seeing fire fall from heaven in response to a prayer is not an impressive demonstration of faith. So Elijah asked more of them. He asked them to do what they should have done many years earlier—obey the Law of Jehovah. God’s Law said that false prophets and idolaters should be put to death. (Deuteronomy 13:5-9) These Baal priests were committed enemies of Jehovah God who worked deliberately against his purposes. Did they deserve mercy? Well, what mercy was ever granted to all those innocent children who were burned alive as sacrifices to Baal? (Proverbs 21:13; Jeremiah 19:5) No, those men were well beyond the reach of mercy. So Elijah ordered that they be executed, and executed they were.—1 Kings 18:40.

*** it-1 p. 420 Carmel ***
After the test, Elijah had the false prophets brought down to the torrent valley of Kishon, which courses along the eastern foot of Carmel before ending in the Bay of Acco, and there slaughtered them. (1Ki 18:40)

(1 KINGS 18:41)

“E•liʹjah now said to Aʹhab: “Go up, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy downpour.””

*** ia chap. 11 p. 93 par. 5 He Watched, and He Waited ***
5 Elijah approached Ahab and said: “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the turmoil of a downpour.”

*** ia chap. 11 p. 95 pars. 10-11 He Watched, and He Waited ***
Remember, Elijah had just told King Ahab: “There is the sound of the turmoil of a downpour.” How could the prophet say such a thing when there were no rain clouds to be seen?
11 Elijah knew of Jehovah’s promise. As Jehovah’s prophet and representative, he was sure that his God would fulfill His word. Elijah was confident—so much so that it was as if he could already hear the downpour. We might be reminded of the Bible’s description of Moses: “He continued steadfast as seeing the One who is invisible.” Is God that real to you? He provides ample reason for us to put that kind of faith in him and his promises.—Heb. 11:1, 27.

*** w08 4/1 p. 18 He Watched, and He Waited ***
Remember, Elijah had just told King Ahab: “There is the sound of the turmoil of a downpour.” How could the prophet say such a thing when there were no rain clouds to be seen?
Elijah knew of Jehovah’s promise. As Jehovah’s prophet and representative, he was sure that his God would fulfill His word. Elijah was confident—so much so that it was as if he could already hear the downpour. We might be reminded of the Bible’s description of Moses: “He continued steadfast as seeing the One who is invisible.” Is God that real to you? He provides ample reason for us to put that kind of faith in him and his promises.—Hebrews 11:1, 27.

*** w08 4/1 p. 17 He Watched, and He Waited ***
Elijah approached Ahab and said: “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the turmoil of a downpour.” (Verse 41)

(1 KINGS 18:42)

“So Aʹhab went up to eat and drink, while E•liʹjah went up to the top of Carʹmel and crouched on the ground, keeping his face between his knees.”

*** ia chap. 11 pp. 93-94 pars. 5-8 He Watched, and He Waited ***
No, Ahab simply “proceeded to go up to eat and drink.” (1 Ki. 18:41, 42) What about Elijah?
6 “As for Elijah, he went up to the top of Carmel and began crouching to the earth and keeping his face put between his knees.” While Ahab went off to fill his stomach, Elijah had an opportunity to pray to his heavenly Father. Note the humble posture described here—Elijah on the ground with his head bowed so low that his face was near his knees. What was Elijah doing? We need not guess. The Bible, at James 5:18, tells us that Elijah prayed for the drought to end. Likely he was offering such a prayer on top of Carmel.
7 Earlier, Jehovah had said: “I am determined to give rain upon the surface of the ground.” (1 Ki. 18:1) So Elijah prayed for the fulfillment of Jehovah’s stated will, much as Jesus taught his followers to pray some one thousand years later.—Matt. 6:9, 10.
8 Elijah’s example teaches us much about prayer. Foremost in Elijah’s thoughts was the accomplishment of God’s will. When we pray, it is good to remember: “No matter what it is that we ask according to [God’s] will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14) Clearly, then, we need to know what God’s will is in order to pray acceptably—a good reason to make Bible study a part of our daily life. Surely Elijah also wanted to see an end to the drought because of all the suffering among the people of his homeland. His heart was likely full of thanksgiving after the miracle he had seen Jehovah perform that day. We likewise want our prayers to reflect heartfelt thanksgiving and concern for the welfare of others.—Read 2 Corinthians 1:11; Philippians 4:6.

*** w08 4/1 pp. 17-18 He Watched, and He Waited ***
No, Ahab simply “proceeded to go up to eat and drink.” (Verse 42) What about Elijah?
“As for Elijah, he went up to the top of Carmel and began crouching to the earth and keeping his face put between his knees.” While Ahab went off to fill his stomach, Elijah had an opportunity to pray to his Father. Note the humble posture described here—Elijah on the ground with his head bowed so low that his face was near his knees. What was Elijah doing? We need not guess. The Bible, at James 5:18, tells us that Elijah prayed for the drought to end. No doubt he was offering such a prayer on top of Carmel.
Earlier, Jehovah said: “I am determined to give rain upon the surface of the ground.” (1 Kings 18:1) So Elijah prayed that his Father’s stated will be accomplished, much as Jesus taught his followers to pray some one thousand years later.—Matthew 6:9, 10.
Elijah’s example teaches us much about prayer. Foremost in Elijah’s thoughts was the accomplishment of his Father’s will. When we pray, it is good to remember: “No matter what it is that we ask according to [God’s] will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14) Clearly, then, we need to know what God’s will is in order to pray acceptably—a good reason to make Bible study a part of our daily life. Surely Elijah also wanted to see an end to the drought because of all the suffering among the people of his homeland. His heart was likely full of thanksgiving after the miracle he had seen Jehovah perform that day. Concern for the welfare of others and heartfelt thanksgiving should mark our prayers as well.—2 Corinthians 1:11; Philippians 4:6.

*** it-1 pp. 215-216 Attitudes and Gestures ***
Sitting and prostrating. Sitting was another posture employed in prayer, the petitioner evidently kneeling and then sitting back upon his heels. (1Ch 17:16) From this position he could bow his head or rest it on his bosom. Or, as Elijah did, he might crouch to the earth and put his face between his knees. (1Ki 18:42)

(1 KINGS 18:43)

“Then he said to his attendant: “Go up, please, and look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked and said: “There is nothing at all.” Seven times E•liʹjah said, “Go back.””

*** ia chap. 11 pp. 94-95 He Watched, and He Waited ***
Confident and Watchful
9 Elijah was sure that Jehovah would act to end the drought, but he was not sure when Jehovah would act. So, what did the prophet do in the meantime? Note what the account says: “He said to his attendant: ‘Go up, please. Look in the direction of the sea.’ So he went up and looked and then said: ‘There is nothing at all.’ And he went on to say, ‘Go back,’ for seven times.” (1 Ki. 18:43) Elijah’s example teaches us at least two lessons. First, note the prophet’s confidence. Then, consider his watchfulness.
10 Because Elijah had confidence in Jehovah’s promise, he eagerly sought evidence that Jehovah was about to act. He sent his attendant up to a high vantage point to scan the horizon for any signs of impending rain. Upon his return, the attendant delivered this unenthusiastic report: “There is nothing at all.” The horizon was clear, and the sky, evidently cloudless. Now, did you notice something unusual? Remember, Elijah had just told King Ahab: “There is the sound of the turmoil of a downpour.” How could the prophet say such a thing when there were no rain clouds to be seen?
11 Elijah knew of Jehovah’s promise. As Jehovah’s prophet and representative, he was sure that his God would fulfill His word. Elijah was confident—so much so that it was as if he could already hear the downpour. We might be reminded of the Bible’s description of Moses: “He continued steadfast as seeing the One who is invisible.” Is God that real to you? He provides ample reason for us to put that kind of faith in him and his promises.—Heb. 11:1, 27.
12 Next, notice how watchful Elijah was. He sent his attendant back, not once or twice, but seven times! We might imagine the attendant tiring of such a repetitive task, but Elijah remained eager for a sign and did not give up.

*** w08 4/1 pp. 18-19 He Watched, and He Waited ***
Confident and Watchful
Elijah was sure that Jehovah would act to end the drought, but he was not sure when Jehovah would act. So, what did the prophet do in the meantime? Note what verse 43 says: “He said to his attendant: ‘Go up, please. Look in the direction of the sea.’ So he went up and looked and then said: ‘There is nothing at all.’ And he went on to say, ‘Go back,’ for seven times.” Elijah’s example teaches us at least two lessons. First, note the prophet’s confidence. Then, consider his watchfulness.
Elijah eagerly sought evidence that Jehovah was about to act, so he sent his attendant up to a high vantage point to scan the horizon for any signs of impending rain. Upon his return, the attendant delivered this unenthusiastic report: “There is nothing at all.” The horizon was clear, and the sky, evidently cloudless. Now, did you notice something unusual? Remember, Elijah had just told King Ahab: “There is the sound of the turmoil of a downpour.” How could the prophet say such a thing when there were no rain clouds to be seen?
Elijah knew of Jehovah’s promise. As Jehovah’s prophet and representative, he was sure that his God would fulfill His word. Elijah was confident—so much so that it was as if he could already hear the downpour. We might be reminded of the Bible’s description of Moses: “He continued steadfast as seeing the One who is invisible.” Is God that real to you? He provides ample reason for us to put that kind of faith in him and his promises.—Hebrews 11:1, 27.
Next, notice how watchful Elijah was. He sent his attendant back, not once or twice, but seven times! We might imagine the attendant tiring of such a repetitive task, but Elijah remained eager for a sign and did not give up.

(1 KINGS 18:44)

“The seventh time his attendant said: “Look! There is a small cloud like a man’s hand ascending out of the sea.” He now said: “Go, say to Aʹhab, ‘Hitch up the chariot! Go down so that the downpour may not detain you!’””

*** ia chap. 11 pp. 95-97 pars. 12-14 He Watched, and He Waited ***
Finally, after his seventh trip, the attendant reported: “Look! There is a small cloud like a man’s palm ascending out of the sea.” Can you picture that attendant holding his arm outstretched and using his palm to gauge the size of one little cloud coming up over the horizon of the Great Sea? The attendant may have been unimpressed. To Elijah, though, that cloud was significant. He now gave his attendant urgent directions: “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Hitch up! And go down that the downpour may not detain you!’”—1 Ki. 18:44.
13 Again, Elijah set a powerful example for us. We too live at a time when God will soon act to fulfill his stated purpose. Elijah awaited the end of a drought; God’s servants today await the end of a corrupt world system of things. (1 John 2:17) Until Jehovah God acts, we must keep ever on the watch, as Elijah did. God’s own Son, Jesus, advised his followers: “Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” (Matt. 24:42) Did Jesus mean that his followers would be completely in the dark as to when the end would come? No, for he spoke at length about what the world would be like in the days leading up to the end. All of us can observe the fulfillment of this detailed sign of “the conclusion of the system of things.”—Read Matthew 24:3-7.
14 Each facet of that sign furnishes powerful, convincing evidence. Is such evidence enough to move us to act with urgency in our service to Jehovah? One little cloud rising from the horizon was enough to convince Elijah that Jehovah was about to act.

*** w09 1/1 pp. 15-16 Be Thankful for the Rain ***
Less than a hundred years after Solomon’s day, God’s prophet Elijah showed his knowledge about the direction from which to expect rain. During his day, the land experienced a severe drought for over three years. (James 5:17) Jehovah God brought this calamity upon his people because they had rejected him in favor of the Canaanite rain-god, Baal. But Elijah helped to bring the Israelites to repentance, so he was now willing to pray for rain. While praying, Elijah asked his attendant to look “in the direction of the sea.” On being informed of “a small cloud like a man’s palm ascending out of the sea,” Elijah knew that his prayer was answered. Soon, “the heavens themselves darkened up with clouds and wind and a great downpour began to occur.” (1 Kings 18:43-45) Thus Elijah showed an awareness of the water cycle. He knew that clouds would form over the sea to be blown eastward by winds over the Promised Land. To this day, that is the method by which the land gets its rain.

*** w08 4/1 pp. 19-20 He Watched, and He Waited ***
Finally, after his seventh trip, the attendant reported: “Look! There is a small cloud like a man’s palm ascending out of the sea.” (Verse 44) Can you picture that attendant holding his arm outstretched and using his palm to gauge the size of one little cloud coming up over the horizon of the Great Sea? The attendant may have been unimpressed. To Elijah, though, that cloud was significant. He now gave his attendant urgent directions: “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Hitch up! And go down that the downpour may not detain you!’”
Again, Elijah set a powerful example for us. We too live at a time when God will soon act to fulfill his stated purpose. Elijah awaited the end of a drought; God’s servants today await the end of a corrupt world system of things. (1 John 2:17) Until Jehovah God acts, we need to remain watchful, as Elijah was. God’s own Son, Jesus, advised his followers: “Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” (Matthew 24:42) Did Jesus mean that his followers would be completely in the dark as to when the end would come? No, for he spoke at length about what the world would be like in the days leading up to the end. Each of us can learn about this detailed sign of “the conclusion of the system of things.”—Matthew 24:3-7.
Each facet of that sign furnishes powerful, convincing evidence. Is such evidence enough to move us to act with urgency? One little cloud rising from the horizon was enough to convince Elijah that Jehovah was about to act.

(1 KINGS 18:45)

“Meanwhile, the sky grew dark with clouds, the wind blew, and a heavy downpour fell; and Aʹhab kept riding and made his way to Jezʹre•el.”

*** ia chap. 11 p. 97 He Watched, and He Waited ***
Jehovah Brings Relief and Blessings
15 The account tells us: “It came about in the meantime that the heavens themselves darkened up with clouds and wind and a great downpour began to occur. And Ahab kept riding and made his way to Jezreel.” (1 Ki. 18:45) Events began to unfold at remarkable speed. While Elijah’s attendant was delivering the prophet’s message to Ahab, that little cloud became many, filling and darkening the sky. A great wind blew. At last, after three and a half years, rain fell on the soil of Israel. The parched ground drank in the drops. As the rain became a downpour, the river Kishon swelled, no doubt washing away the blood of the executed Baal prophets. The wayward Israelites too were being given a chance to wash away the terrible stain of Baal worship on the land.
16 Surely Elijah hoped that it would be so! Perhaps he wondered how Ahab would respond to the dramatic events that were unfolding. Would Ahab repent and turn away from the pollution of Baal worship? The events of the day had furnished powerful reasons to make such changes. Of course, we cannot know what was going through Ahab’s mind at the moment. The account simply tells us that the king “kept riding and made his way to Jezreel.” Had he learned anything? Was he resolved to change his ways? Later events suggest that the answer is no. Still, the day was not yet over for Ahab—nor for Elijah.

*** w08 4/1 p. 20 He Watched, and He Waited ***
Jehovah Brings Relief and Blessings
The account continues: “It came about in the meantime that the heavens themselves darkened up with clouds and wind and a great downpour began to occur. And Ahab kept riding and made his way to Jezreel.” (Verse 45) Events began to unfold at remarkable speed. While Elijah’s attendant was delivering the prophet’s message to Ahab, that little cloud became many, filling and darkening the sky. A great wind blew. At last, after three and a half years, rain fell on the soil of Israel. The parched ground drank in the drops. As the rain became a downpour, the river Kishon swelled, no doubt washing away the blood of the executed Baal prophets. The wayward Israelites too were being given a chance to wash away the terrible stain of Baal worship on the land.
Surely Elijah hoped that it would be so! Would Ahab repent and turn away from the pollution of Baal worship? The events of the day had furnished powerful reasons to make such changes. Of course, we cannot know what was going through Ahab’s mind at the moment. The account simply tells us that the king “kept riding and made his way to Jezreel.” Had he learned anything? Was he resolved to change his ways? Later events suggest that the answer is no. Still, the day was not yet over for Ahab—nor for Elijah.

(1 KINGS 18:46)

“But the hand of Jehovah came on E•liʹjah, and he wrapped his garment around his hips and ran ahead of Aʹhab all the way to Jezʹre•el.”

*** ia chap. 12 p. 99 par. 1 He Took Comfort in His God ***
ELIJAH ran through the rain as the darkness deepened. He had a long way to go before he would reach Jezreel, and he was no young man. Yet, he ran on tirelessly, for “the very hand of Jehovah” was upon him. The energy coursing through his body was surely unlike any he had ever known. Why, he had just outpaced the team of horses that was pulling King Ahab in his royal chariot!—Read 1 Kings 18:46.

*** ia chap. 11 p. 98 pars. 17-19 He Watched, and He Waited ***
17 Jehovah’s prophet began to make his way along the same road Ahab had taken. A long, dark, wet trek lay ahead of him. But something unusual happened next.
18 “The very hand of Jehovah proved to be upon Elijah, so that he girded up his hips and went running ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.” (1 Ki. 18:46) Clearly, “the very hand of Jehovah” was acting on Elijah in a supernatural way. Jezreel was 19 miles (30 km) distant, and Elijah was no youth. Just picture that prophet girding up his long garments, tying them at his hips so that his legs would have freedom of movement, and then running along that rain-drenched road—running so fast that he caught up with, passed, and outpaced the royal chariot!
19 What a blessing that must have been for Elijah! To feel such strength, vitality, and stamina—perhaps even more than he had ever felt in his youth—must have proved a thrilling experience. We might recall the prophecies that guarantee perfect health and vigor to faithful ones in the coming earthly Paradise. (Read Isaiah 35:6; Luke 23:43) As Elijah raced along that wet road, he surely knew that he had the approval of his Father, the only true God, Jehovah!

*** w11 7/1 p. 18 He Took Comfort in His God ***
ELIJAH ran through the rain as the darkness deepened. He had a long way to go before he would reach Jezreel, and he was no young man. Yet, he ran on tirelessly, for “the very hand of Jehovah” was upon him. The energy coursing through his body was surely unlike any he had ever known. Why, he had just outpaced the team of horses that was pulling King Ahab in his royal chariot!—1 Kings 18:46.

*** w08 4/1 p. 20 He Watched, and He Waited ***
Jehovah’s prophet began to make his way along the same road Ahab had taken. A long, dark, wet trek lay ahead of him. But something unusual happened next.
“The very hand of Jehovah proved to be upon Elijah, so that he girded up his hips and went running ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.” (Verse 46) Clearly, “the very hand of Jehovah” was acting upon Elijah in a supernatural way. Jezreel was some 20 miles [30 km] distant, and Elijah was no youth. Just picture that prophet girding up his long garments, tying them at his hips so that his legs would have freedom of movement, and then running along that rain-drenched road—running so fast that he caught up with, passed, and outpaced the royal chariot!
What a blessing that must have been for Elijah! To feel such strength, vitality, and stamina—perhaps even more than he had ever felt in his youth—must have proved a thrilling experience. We might be reminded of the prophecies that guarantee perfect health and vigor to faithful ones in the coming earthly Paradise. (Isaiah 35:6; Luke 23:43) As Elijah raced along that wet road, he surely knew that he had the approval of his Father, the only true God, Jehovah!

*** w08 4/1 p. 20 He Watched, and He Waited ***
Soon after this, Jehovah would assign Elijah to train Elisha, who would become known as the one “who poured out water upon the hands of Elijah.” (2 Kings 3:11) Elisha acted as Elijah’s attendant, evidently offering practical assistance to an older man.

*** it-1 p. 172 Arms, Armor ***
Girdle. The military girdle of ancient times was a leather belt worn around the waist or hips. It varied in width from 5 to 15 cm (2 to 6 in.) and was often studded with plates of iron, silver, or gold. The warrior’s sword was suspended from it, and at times the belt was supported by a shoulder strap. (1Sa 18:4; 2Sa 20:8) Whereas a loosened girdle denoted leisure (1Ki 20:11), girding up the loins or hips indicated readiness for action or battle.—Ex 12:11; 1Ki 18:46; 1Pe 1:13, ftn.

*** it-1 p. 420 Carmel ***
From here Elijah ran at least 30 km (19 mi) to Jezreel, by Jehovah’s help outpacing Ahab’s chariot all the way.—1Ki 18:46.

*** it-1 p. 654 Dress ***
Sash, belt, or girdle. A sash was often worn over the inner or the outer garments. When one engaged in some form of physical activity or work, he would ‘gird up his loins’ by wearing a sash, often pulling the ends of the garment up between his legs and tucking these ends under the sash so that he would have freedom of movement. (1Ki 18:46; 2Ki 4:29; 9:1)

*** it-1 p. 711 Elijah ***
By Jehovah’s power Elijah then runs ahead of Ahab’s chariot, perhaps as much as 30 km (19 mi), to Jezreel.—1Ki 18:39-46.

*** it-1 pp. 1120-1121 Hips ***
Before engaging in any form of vigorous physical activity, a person would ‘gird up his hips,’ often by pulling the ends of his loose, flowing garment between his legs and tucking those ends under his sash. The Israelites in Egypt ate the Passover with their hips girded, ready to march out of the land. Elijah was similarly prepared when he ran before Ahab’s chariot.—Ex 12:11; 1Ki 18:46.

(1 KINGS 19:1)

“Then Aʹhab told Jezʹe•bel all that E•liʹjah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.”

*** ia chap. 12 p. 101 He Took Comfort in His God ***
An Unexpected Turn of Events
5 When Ahab reached his palace in Jezreel, did he give any evidence of being a changed man? We read: “Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done and all about how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.” (1 Ki. 19:1) Notice that Ahab’s account of the day’s events left out Elijah’s God, Jehovah. A fleshly man, Ahab saw the day’s miraculous events in strictly human terms—what “Elijah had done.” Clearly, he had not learned to respect Jehovah God. And how did his vengeful wife react?

*** w11 7/1 p. 18 He Took Comfort in His God ***
An Unexpected Turn of Events
When Ahab reached his palace in Jezreel, did he give any evidence of being a changed, more spiritual man? We read: “Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done and all about how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.” (1 Kings 19:1) Notice that Ahab’s account of the day’s events left out Elijah’s God, Jehovah. A fleshly man, Ahab saw the day’s miraculous events in strictly human terms—what “Elijah had done.” Clearly, he had not learned to respect Jehovah God. And how did the vengeful Jezebel react?

(1 KINGS 19:2)

“At that Jezʹe•bel sent a messenger to E•liʹjah, saying: “So may the gods do to me and add to it if by this time tomorrow I do not make you like each one of them!””

*** ia chap. 12 p. 101 par. 6 He Took Comfort in His God ***
6 Jezebel was furious! Livid with rage, she sent this message to Elijah: “So may the gods do, and so may they add to it, if at this time tomorrow I shall not make your soul like the soul of each one of them!” (1 Ki. 19:2) This was a death threat of the worst kind. In effect, Jezebel was vowing that she herself should die if she could not have Elijah killed within the day to avenge her Baal prophets. Imagine Elijah being awakened from sleep in some humble lodging in Jezreel on that stormy night—only to hear the queen’s messenger deliver those awful words.

*** w11 7/1 pp. 18-19 He Took Comfort in His God ***
She was furious! Livid with rage, she sent this message to Elijah: “So may the gods do, and so may they add to it, if at this time tomorrow I shall not make your soul like the soul of each one of them!” (1 Kings 19:2) This was a death threat of the worst kind. In effect, Jezebel was vowing that she herself should die if she could not have Elijah killed within the day to avenge her Baal prophets. Imagine Elijah being awakened from sleep in some humble lodging in Jezreel on that stormy night—only to hear the queen’s messenger deliver those awful words.

(1 KINGS 19:3)

“At that he became afraid, so he got up and ran for his life. He came to Beʹer-sheʹba, which belongs to Judah, and he left his attendant there.”

*** ia chap. 12 pp. 101-102 He Took Comfort in His God ***
Overcome by Discouragement and Fear
7 If Elijah cherished any notions that the war against Baal worship was all but over, his hopes came crashing down at that moment. Jezebel was undeterred. A great many of Elijah’s faithful colleagues had already been executed on her orders, and now, it seemed, he was to be next. What effect did Jezebel’s threat have on Elijah? The Bible tells us: “He became afraid.” Did Elijah picture in his mind’s eye the terrible death that Jezebel had in store for him? If he dwelled on such thoughts, it is no wonder that his courage failed him. At any rate, Elijah “began to go for his soul”—he ran for his life.—1 Ki. 18:4; 19:3.
8 Elijah was not the only man of faith ever to be overcome by fear. Much later, the apostle Peter had a similar problem. For instance, when Jesus enabled Peter to join Him in walking on water, the apostle began “looking at the windstorm.” He then lost his courage and started to sink. (Read Matthew 14:30.) The examples of Elijah and Peter thus teach us a valuable lesson. If we want to maintain our courage, we must not let our mind dwell on the dangers that frighten us. We need to keep our focus on the Source of our hope and strength.
“It Is Enough!”
9 Driven by fear, Elijah fled southwestward some 95 miles (150 km) to Beer-sheba, a town near the southern border of Judah. There he left his attendant behind and struck out into the wilderness alone.

*** w11 7/1 p. 19 He Took Comfort in His God ***
Overcome by Discouragement and Fear
If Elijah cherished any notions that the war against Baal worship was all but over, his hopes came crashing down at that moment. Jezebel was undeterred. A great many of Elijah’s faithful colleagues had already been executed on her orders, and now, it seemed, he was to be next. The Bible tells us: “He became afraid.” Did Elijah picture in his mind’s eye the terrible death that Jezebel had in store for him? If he dwelled on such thoughts, it is no wonder that his courage failed him. At any rate, Elijah “began to go for his soul”—he ran for his life.—1 Kings 18:4; 19:3.
Elijah was not the only man of faith ever to be overcome by fear. Much later, the apostle Peter had a similar problem. For instance, when Jesus enabled Peter to join Him in walking on water, the apostle began “looking at the windstorm.” He then lost his courage and started to sink. (Matthew 14:30) The examples of Peter and Elijah thus teach us a valuable lesson. If we want to maintain our courage, we must not let our mind dwell on the dangers that frighten us. We need to keep our focus on the Source of our hope and strength.
“It Is Enough!”
Driven by fear, Elijah fled southwestward some 95 miles (150 km) to Beer-sheba, a town near the southern border of Judah. There he left his attendant behind and struck out into the wilderness alone.

*** it-1 p. 711 Elijah ***
Flees From Jezebel. On being informed of the death of her Baal prophets, Queen Jezebel vows to have Elijah put to death. In fear Elijah flees some 150 km (95 mi) southwestward to Beer-sheba, to the W of the lower Dead Sea. (MAP, Vol. 1, p. 949)

(1 KINGS 19:4)

“He went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree, and he asked that he might die. He said: “It is enough! Now, O Jehovah, take my life away, for I am no better than my forefathers.””

*** w14 3/15 p. 15 How to Maintain a Positive Viewpoint ***
“TAKE MY LIFE AWAY”
12 The prophet Elijah was loyal to Jehovah and had strong faith. Yet, at one point he felt so low that he asked Jehovah to put him to death, saying: “It is enough! Now, O Jehovah, take my life away.” (1 Ki. 19:4) Those who have not experienced such despair might be tempted to dismiss Elijah’s prayer as mere “wild talk.” (Job 6:3) However, his feelings were real. Note, though, that rather than chastise Elijah for wanting to die, Jehovah helped him.
13 How had Elijah come to feel as he did? Shortly before this, he had presided over a decisive test in Israel that proved that Jehovah is the true God, and this led to the execution of 450 prophets of Baal. (1 Ki. 18:37-40) Elijah likely hoped that God’s people would now return to pure worship, but that did not happen. Wicked Queen Jezebel sent a message to Elijah that she was arranging for him to be killed. Fearing for his life, Elijah fled south across neighboring Judah into the wilderness, a barren and wild place.—1 Ki. 19:2-4.
14 Alone with his thoughts, Elijah reflected on the seeming futility of his work as a prophet. He told Jehovah: “I am no better than my forefathers.” His point was that he felt as useless as the dust and bones of his dead ancestors. He had, in effect, tested himself by his own standards and had decided that he was a failure, of no value to Jehovah or anyone else.

*** ia chap. 12 pp. 102-103 He Took Comfort in His God ***
“It Is Enough!”
9 Driven by fear, Elijah fled southwestward some 95 miles (150 km) to Beer-sheba, a town near the southern border of Judah. There he left his attendant behind and struck out into the wilderness alone. The record says that he went “a day’s journey,” so we may picture him starting off at sunrise, evidently carrying no provisions with him. Depressed, spurred ever onward by fear, he struggled over the rough and wild terrain under the blazing sun. As that glaring disk gradually reddened and sank to the horizon, Elijah’s strength gave out. Exhausted, he sat down under a broom tree—the closest thing to shelter in that barren landscape.—1 Ki. 19:4.
10 Elijah prayed in utter desperation. He asked to die. He said: “I am no better than my forefathers.” He knew that his forefathers were then mere dust and bones in the grave, unable to do any good for anybody. (Eccl. 9:10) Elijah felt just as worthless. No wonder he cried out: “It is enough!” Why go on living?
11 Should it be shocking to learn that a man of God could become so low in spirits? Not necessarily. A number of faithful men and women in the Bible record are described as feeling so sad that they wished for death—among them Rebekah, Jacob, Moses, and Job.—Gen. 25:22; 37:35; Num. 11:13-15; Job 14:13.
12 Today, we live in “critical times hard to deal with,” so it is not surprising that many people, even faithful servants of God, find themselves feeling low at times. (2 Tim. 3:1) If you ever find yourself in such a dire situation, follow Elijah’s example in this respect: Pour out your feelings to God. After all, Jehovah is “the God of all comfort.” (Read 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4.) Did he comfort Elijah?

*** w11 7/1 pp. 19-20 He Took Comfort in His God ***
“It Is Enough!”
Driven by fear, Elijah fled southwestward some 95 miles (150 km) to Beer-sheba, a town near the southern border of Judah. There he left his attendant behind and struck out into the wilderness alone. The record says that he went “a day’s journey,” so we may picture him starting off at sunrise, evidently carrying no provisions with him. Depressed, spurred ever onward by fear, he struggled over the rough and wild terrain under the blazing sun. As that glaring disk gradually reddened and sank to the horizon, Elijah’s strength gave out. Exhausted, he sat down under a broom tree—the closest thing to shelter in that barren landscape.—1 Kings 19:4.
Elijah prayed in utter desperation. He asked to die. He said: “I am no better than my forefathers.” He knew that his forefathers were then mere dust and bones in the grave, unable to do any good for anybody. (Ecclesiastes 9:10) Elijah felt just as worthless. No wonder he cried out: “It is enough!” Why go on living?
Should it be shocking to learn that a man of God could become so low in spirits? Not necessarily. A number of faithful men and women in the Bible record are described as feeling so sad that they wished for death—among them Rebekah, Jacob, Moses, and Job.—Genesis 25:22; 37:35; Numbers 11:13-15; Job 14:13.
Today, we live in “critical times hard to deal with,” so it is not surprising that many people, even faithful servants of God, find themselves feeling low at times. (2 Timothy 3:1) If you ever find yourself in such a dire situation, follow Elijah’s example in this respect: Pour out your feelings to God. After all, Jehovah is “the God of all comfort.” (2 Corinthians 1:3) Did he comfort Elijah?

*** w97 5/15 p. 13 par. 17 When Jesus Comes in Kingdom Glory ***
17 Further, the Israel of God had an experience comparable to that of Elijah on Mount Horeb. Like Elijah at the time he was running from Queen Jezebel, the fearful anointed remnant thought that their work was done at the end of World War I. Then, also like Elijah, they had an encounter with Jehovah, who had come to judge those organizations claiming to be “the house of God.” (1 Peter 4:17; Malachi 3:1-3) While Christendom was found wanting, the anointed remnant was recognized as “the faithful and discreet slave” and was appointed over all Jesus’ earthly belongings. (Matthew 24:45-47) In Horeb, Elijah heard “a calm, low voice” that proved to be that of Jehovah, giving him more work to do. In the quiet period of the postwar years, faithful anointed servants of Jehovah heard his voice from the pages of the Bible. They too perceived that they had a commission to fulfill.—1 Kings 19:4, 9-18; Revelation 11:7-13.

*** it-1 p. 368 Broom Tree ***
When Elijah fled into the wilderness to escape Jezebel’s wrath, the record at 1 Kings 19:4, 5 says, he “sat down under a certain broom tree” and then slept there. While the smaller broom trees would provide very scant shade from the burning sun of the wilderness, one of good size could give welcome relief. This desert bush also served as fuel. The wood of the broom tree makes excellent charcoal, which burns with an intense heat.

(1 KINGS 19:5)

“Then he lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree. But suddenly an angel touched him and said to him: “Get up and eat.””

*** ia chap. 12 p. 103 par. 13 He Took Comfort in His God ***
1 Ki. 19:5

*** ia chap. 12 p. 103 par. 13 He Took Comfort in His God ***
After Elijah sank into sleep, Jehovah sent an angel to him. The angel gently woke Elijah with a touch and said: “Rise up, eat.”

*** w11 7/1 p. 20 He Took Comfort in His God ***
1 Kings 19:5

*** w11 7/1 p. 20 He Took Comfort in His God ***
After Elijah sank into sleep, Jehovah sent an angel to him. The angel gently woke Elijah with a touch and said: “Rise up, eat.”

*** it-1 p. 368 Broom Tree ***
When Elijah fled into the wilderness to escape Jezebel’s wrath, the record at 1 Kings 19:4, 5 says, he “sat down under a certain broom tree” and then slept there. While the smaller broom trees would provide very scant shade from the burning sun of the wilderness, one of good size could give welcome relief. This desert bush also served as fuel. The wood of the broom tree makes excellent charcoal, which burns with an intense heat.

(1 KINGS 19:6)

“When he looked, there at his head was a round loaf on heated stones and a jug of water. He ate and drank and lay down again.”

*** ia chap. 12 p. 103 par. 13 He Took Comfort in His God ***
1 Ki. 19:5-7.

*** ia chap. 12 p. 103 par. 13 He Took Comfort in His God ***
Elijah did so, for the angel had kindly set out a simple meal for him—fresh, warm bread along with water. Did he even thank the angel? The record says only that the prophet ate and drank and went back to sleep. Was he too despondent to speak?

*** w11 7/1 p. 20 He Took Comfort in His God ***
1 Kings 19:5-7.

*** w11 7/1 p. 20 He Took Comfort in His God ***
Elijah did so, for the angel had kindly set out a simple meal of fresh, warm bread and water for him. Did he even thank the angel? The record says only that the prophet ate and drank and went back to sleep. Was he too despondent to speak?

*** it-1 p. 243 Bake, Baker ***
Bread was generally baked in ovens in Bible times. (See OVEN.) Occasionally, however, baking was done by kindling a fire on stones that had been laid together. When they were well heated, the cinders were swept aside and dough was placed on the stones. After a while, the cake was turned and then left on the stones until the bread was thoroughly baked. (Ho 7:8) Travelers might bake coarse bread in a shallow pit filled with hot pebbles, upon which a fire had been built. After the embers were removed, dough was laid on the heated stones, perhaps being turned several times while the bread was baking.—1Ki 19:6.

(1 KINGS 19:7)

“Later the angel of Jehovah came back a second time and touched him and said: “Get up and eat, for the journey will be too much for you.””

*** ia chap. 12 p. 103 pars. 13-14 He Took Comfort in His God ***
At any rate, the angel woke him a second time, perhaps at dawn. Once more, he urged Elijah, “Rise up, eat,” and he added these remarkable words, “for the journey is too much for you.”—1 Ki. 19:5-7.
14 Thanks to God-given insight, the angel knew where Elijah was headed. He also knew that the journey would be too much for Elijah to carry out in his own strength. What a comfort to serve a God who knows our goals and our limitations better than we do! (Read Psalm 103:13, 14.)

*** w11 7/1 p. 20 He Took Comfort in His God ***
At any rate, the angel woke him a second time, perhaps at dawn. Once more, he urged Elijah, “Rise up, eat,” and he added these remarkable words, “for the journey is too much for you.”—1 Kings 19:5-7.
Thanks to God-given insight, the angel knew where Elijah was headed. He also knew that the journey would be too much for Elijah to carry out in his own strength. What a comfort to serve a God who knows our goals and our limitations better than we do! (Psalm 103:13, 14)

(1 KINGS 19:8)

“So he got up and ate and drank, and in the strength of that nourishment he went on for 40 days and 40 nights until he reached Hoʹreb, the mountain of the true God.”

*** ia chap. 12 pp. 103-104 pars. 15-17 He Took Comfort in His God ***
15 We read: “He rose up and ate and drank, and he kept going in the power of that nourishment for forty days and forty nights as far as the mountain of the true God, Horeb.” (1 Ki. 19:8) Like Moses some six centuries before him and Jesus nearly ten centuries after him, Elijah fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. (Ex. 34:28; Luke 4:1, 2) That one meal did not make all his problems go away, but it sustained him miraculously. Imagine that older man trudging through the trackless wilderness day after day, week after week, for nearly a month and a half!
16 Jehovah sustains his servants today as well, not with miraculous physical meals, but in a far more vital way. He provides for his servants spiritually. (Matt. 4:4) Learning about God from his Word and from publications that are carefully based on the Bible sustains us spiritually. Taking in such spiritual nourishment may not make all our problems go away, but it can help us endure what might otherwise be unendurable. It also leads to “everlasting life.”—John 17:3.
17 Elijah walked nearly 200 miles (320 km) until he finally reached Mount Horeb. It was a place of great significance, for there Jehovah God through an angel had long before appeared to Moses in the burning thornbush and there Jehovah had later made the Law covenant with Israel. Elijah found shelter in a cave.

*** w11 7/1 pp. 20-21 He Took Comfort in His God ***
We read: “He rose up and ate and drank, and he kept going in the power of that nourishment for forty days and forty nights as far as the mountain of the true God, Horeb.” (1 Kings 19:8) Like Moses some six centuries before him and Jesus nearly ten centuries after him, Elijah fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. (Exodus 34:28; Luke 4:1, 2) That one meal did not make all his problems go away, but it sustained him in a miraculous way. Imagine that older man laboring through the trackless wilderness day after day, week after week, for nearly a month and a half!
Jehovah sustains his servants today as well, not with miraculous physical meals, but in a far more vital way. He provides for his servants spiritually. (Matthew 4:4) Learning about God from his Word and from publications that are carefully based on the Bible sustains us spiritually. Taking in such spiritual nourishment may not make all our problems go away, but it can help us endure what might otherwise be unendurable. It also leads to “everlasting life.”—John 17:3.
Elijah walked nearly 200 miles (320 km) until he finally reached Mount Horeb, where Jehovah God through an angel had long before appeared to Moses in the burning thornbush and where Jehovah had later made the Law covenant with Israel. Elijah found shelter in a cave.

*** it-1 p. 711 Elijah ***
Here the angel of Jehovah appears to him, to prepare him for a long journey to “the mountain of the true God,” Horeb. Sustained for the 40-day journey by what he eats then, he covers a distance of over 300 km (190 mi).

*** it-1 p. 950 Prophetic Activity of Elijah and Elisha ***
[Picture on page 950]
Mount Sinai area. Elijah fled from the wrath of Jezebel some 450 km (285 mi) to this region (1Ki 19:1-18)

(1 KINGS 19:9)

“There he entered a cave and spent the night; and look! Jehovah’s word came to him, telling him: “What are you doing here, E•liʹjah?””

*** ia chap. 12 p. 104 par. 18 He Took Comfort in His God ***
1 Ki. 19:9,

*** ia chap. 12 p. 104 par. 18 He Took Comfort in His God ***
18 At Horeb, Jehovah’s “word”—evidently delivered by a spirit messenger—posed this simple question: “What is your business here, Elijah?” The question was likely spoken in a gentle way, for Elijah took it as an invitation to pour out his feelings.

*** w11 7/1 p. 21 He Took Comfort in His God ***
At Horeb, Jehovah’s “word”—evidently delivered by a spirit messenger—posed this simple question: “What is your business here, Elijah?” The question was likely spoken in a gentle way, for Elijah took it as an invitation to pour out his feelings.

*** w11 7/1 p. 21 He Took Comfort in His God ***
1 Kings 19:9,

(1 KINGS 19:10)

“To this he said: “I have been absolutely zealous for Jehovah the God of armies; for the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, your altars they have torn down, and your prophets they have killed with the sword, and I am the only one left. Now they are seeking to take my life away.””

*** ia chap. 12 p. 104 pars. 18-19 He Took Comfort in His God ***
He said: “I have been absolutely jealous for Jehovah the God of armies; for the sons of Israel have left your covenant, your altars they have torn down, and your prophets they have killed with the sword, so that I only am left; and they begin looking for my soul to take it away.” (1 Ki. 19:9, 10) Elijah’s words reveal at least three reasons for his low spirits.
19 First, Elijah felt that his work had been in vain. Despite years of being “absolutely jealous” in serving Jehovah, putting God’s sacred name and worship above all else, Elijah saw that conditions seemed only to have grown worse. The people were still faithless and rebellious, while false worship was running rampant. Second, Elijah felt alone. “I only am left,” he said, as if in that nation he were the last man who still served Jehovah. Third, Elijah was scared. Many of his fellow prophets had already been killed, and he was convinced that he was next. It may not have been easy for Elijah to admit to those feelings, but he did not let pride or embarrassment hold him back. By opening his heart to his God in prayer, he set a good example for all faithful people.—Ps. 62:8.

*** w11 7/1 p. 21 He Took Comfort in His God ***
He said: “I have been absolutely jealous for Jehovah the God of armies; for the sons of Israel have left your covenant, your altars they have torn down, and your prophets they have killed with the sword, so that I only am left; and they begin looking for my soul to take it away.” (1 Kings 19:9, 10) Elijah’s words reveal at least three reasons for his low spirits.
First, Elijah felt that his work had been in vain. Despite years of being “absolutely jealous” in serving Jehovah, putting God’s sacred name and worship above all else, Elijah saw that conditions seemed only to have grown worse. The people were still faithless and rebellious, while false worship was running rampant. Second, Elijah felt alone. “I only am left,” he said, as if he were the last man in the nation who still served Jehovah. Third, Elijah was scared. Many of his fellow prophets had already been killed, and he was convinced that he was next. It may not have been easy for Elijah to admit to those feelings, but he did not let pride or embarrassment hold him back. By opening his heart to his God in prayer, he set a good example for all faithful people.—Psalm 62:8.

(1 KINGS 19:11)

“But He said: “Go out and stand on the mountain before Jehovah.” And look! Jehovah was passing by, and a great and strong wind was splitting mountains and breaking crags before Jehovah, but Jehovah was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but Jehovah was not in the earthquake.”

*** cl chap. 4 p. 37 “Jehovah Is . . . Great in Power” ***
CHAPTER 4
“Jehovah Is . . . Great in Power”
ELIJAH had seen amazing things before. He had seen ravens carrying food to him twice a day while he lived in hiding. He had seen two containers supplying flour and oil throughout a long famine and never emptying. He had even seen fire falling from the sky in response to his prayer. (1 Kings, chapters 17, 18) Still, Elijah had never seen anything like this.
2 As he huddled near the mouth of a cave on Mount Horeb, he witnessed a series of spectacular events. First there was a wind. It must have made a howling, deafening roar, for it was so powerful that it sundered mountains and shattered crags. Next there was an earthquake, unleashing immense forces pent up in the earth’s crust. Then came a fire. As it swept through the region, Elijah likely felt the blast of its searing heat.—1 Kings 19:8-12.
3 All these diverse events that Elijah witnessed had one thing in common—they were demonstrations of Jehovah God’s great power.

*** cl chap. 4 p. 43 par. 15 “Jehovah Is . . . Great in Power” ***
Elijah’s experience, mentioned at the outset, is a case in point. Why did Jehovah give him that awesome demonstration of divine power? Well, wicked Queen Jezebel had vowed to have Elijah executed. The prophet was on the run, fleeing for his life. He felt alone, frightened, and discouraged—as if all his hard work had been in vain. To comfort the troubled man, Jehovah vividly reminded Elijah of divine power. The wind, the earthquake, and the fire showed that the most powerful Being in the universe was there with Elijah. What had he to fear from Jezebel, with the almighty God on his side?—1 Kings 19:1-12.

*** cl chap. 4 p. 43 “Jehovah Is . . . Great in Power” ***
The Bible states that “Jehovah was not in the wind . . . , the quaking . . . , the fire.” Unlike worshipers of mythical nature gods, Jehovah’s servants do not look for him within the forces of nature. He is far too great to be contained within anything that he has created.—1 Kings 8:27.

*** ia chap. 12 p. 106 pars. 20-21 He Took Comfort in His God ***
20 How did Jehovah address Elijah’s fears and concerns? The angel told Elijah to stand at the mouth of the cave. He obeyed, not knowing what was in store. A mighty wind sprang up! It must have emitted a deafening roar, for it was so powerful that it tore mountains and crags apart. Picture Elijah trying to shield his eyes while clinging to his heavy, rustic garment of hair as the gusts whipped it about him. Then he had to struggle to keep his footing, for the very earth began to heave and toss—an earthquake shook the region! He had barely recovered when a great fire swept through, forcing him back into the cave to shield himself from the searing heat.—1 Ki. 19:11, 12.
21 In each case, the account reminds us that Jehovah was not to be found within these spectacular displays of nature’s power. Elijah knew that Jehovah was not some mythical nature god such as Baal, who was hailed by his deluded worshippers as “the rider of the clouds,” or bringer of rains. Jehovah is the real Source of all the awesome power found in nature, but he is also vastly greater than anything he has made. Even the physical heavens cannot contain him! (1 Ki. 8:27) How did all of this help Elijah? Remember his fear. With a God like Jehovah on his side, a God who had all that overwhelming power at His disposal, Elijah had nothing to fear from Ahab and Jezebel!—Read Psalm 118:6.

*** w11 7/1 pp. 21-22 He Took Comfort in His God ***
How did Jehovah address Elijah’s fears and concerns? The angel told Elijah to stand at the mouth of the cave. He obeyed, not knowing what was in store. A mighty wind sprang up! It must have emitted a deafening roar, for it was so powerful that it tore mountains and crags apart. Picture Elijah trying to shield his eyes while clinging to his heavy, rustic garment of hair as the gusts whipped it about him. Then he had to struggle to keep his footing, for the very earth began to heave and toss—an earthquake shook the region! He had barely recovered when a great fire swept through, forcing him back into the cave to shield himself from the searing heat.—1 Kings 19:11, 12.
In each case, the account reminds us that Jehovah was not to be found within these spectacular displays of nature’s power. Elijah knew that Jehovah was not some mythical nature god, such as Baal, who was hailed by his deluded worshippers as the “Rider of the Clouds,” or bringer of rains. Jehovah is the real Source of all the awesome power found in nature, but he is also vastly greater than anything he has made. Even the physical heavens cannot contain him! (1 Kings 8:27) How, though, did all of this help Elijah? Remember his fear. With a God like Jehovah on his side, with all that overwhelming power at His disposal, Elijah had nothing to fear from Ahab and Jezebel!—Psalm 118:6.

*** it-1 p. 711 Elijah ***
At Horeb, Jehovah speaks to him after an awe-inspiring display of power in a wind, an earthquake, and a fire. Jehovah is not in these manifestations; he is not a nature god, or just natural forces that are personified. These natural forces are merely expressions of his active force, not Jehovah himself.

(1 KINGS 19:12)

“After the earthquake, there was a fire, but Jehovah was not in the fire. After the fire, there was a calm, low voice.”

*** cl chap. 4 p. 37 “Jehovah Is . . . Great in Power” ***
CHAPTER 4
“Jehovah Is . . . Great in Power”
ELIJAH had seen amazing things before. He had seen ravens carrying food to him twice a day while he lived in hiding. He had seen two containers supplying flour and oil throughout a long famine and never emptying. He had even seen fire falling from the sky in response to his prayer. (1 Kings, chapters 17, 18) Still, Elijah had never seen anything like this.
2 As he huddled near the mouth of a cave on Mount Horeb, he witnessed a series of spectacular events. First there was a wind. It must have made a howling, deafening roar, for it was so powerful that it sundered mountains and shattered crags. Next there was an earthquake, unleashing immense forces pent up in the earth’s crust. Then came a fire. As it swept through the region, Elijah likely felt the blast of its searing heat.—1 Kings 19:8-12.
3 All these diverse events that Elijah witnessed had one thing in common—they were demonstrations of Jehovah God’s great power.

*** cl chap. 4 p. 43 “Jehovah Is . . . Great in Power” ***
The Bible states that “Jehovah was not in the wind . . . , the quaking . . . , the fire.” Unlike worshipers of mythical nature gods, Jehovah’s servants do not look for him within the forces of nature. He is far too great to be contained within anything that he has created.—1 Kings 8:27.

*** cl chap. 4 p. 43 par. 15 “Jehovah Is . . . Great in Power” ***
Elijah’s experience, mentioned at the outset, is a case in point. Why did Jehovah give him that awesome demonstration of divine power? Well, wicked Queen Jezebel had vowed to have Elijah executed. The prophet was on the run, fleeing for his life. He felt alone, frightened, and discouraged—as if all his hard work had been in vain. To comfort the troubled man, Jehovah vividly reminded Elijah of divine power. The wind, the earthquake, and the fire showed that the most powerful Being in the universe was there with Elijah. What had he to fear from Jezebel, with the almighty God on his side?—1 Kings 19:1-12.

*** ia chap. 12 p. 106 pars. 20-22 He Took Comfort in His God ***
He had barely recovered when a great fire swept through, forcing him back into the cave to shield himself from the searing heat.—1 Ki. 19:11, 12.
21 In each case, the account reminds us that Jehovah was not to be found within these spectacular displays of nature’s power. Elijah knew that Jehovah was not some mythical nature god such as Baal, who was hailed by his deluded worshippers as “the rider of the clouds,” or bringer of rains. Jehovah is the real Source of all the awesome power found in nature, but he is also vastly greater than anything he has made. Even the physical heavens cannot contain him! (1 Ki. 8:27) How did all of this help Elijah? Remember his fear. With a God like Jehovah on his side, a God who had all that overwhelming power at His disposal, Elijah had nothing to fear from Ahab and Jezebel!—Read Psalm 118:6.
22 After the fire was gone, a hush fell and Elijah heard “a calm, low voice.” It invited Elijah to express himself again, and he did so, pouring out his concerns a second time.

*** ia chap. 12 p. 106 He Took Comfort in His God ***
The source of this “calm, low voice” may have been the same spirit who was used to deliver “Jehovah’s word” mentioned at 1 Kings 19:9. In verse 15, this spirit is referred to simply as “Jehovah.” We might be reminded of the spirit emissary whom Jehovah used to guide Israel in the wilderness and of whom God said: “My name is within him.” (Ex. 23:21) We cannot be dogmatic on this point, of course, but it is worth noting that in his prehuman existence, Jesus served as “the Word,” the special Spokesman to Jehovah’s servants.—John 1:1.

*** w11 7/1 p. 22 He Took Comfort in His God ***
He had barely recovered when a great fire swept through, forcing him back into the cave to shield himself from the searing heat.—1 Kings 19:11, 12.
In each case, the account reminds us that Jehovah was not to be found within these spectacular displays of nature’s power. Elijah knew that Jehovah was not some mythical nature god, such as Baal, who was hailed by his deluded worshippers as the “Rider of the Clouds,” or bringer of rains. Jehovah is the real Source of all the awesome power found in nature, but he is also vastly greater than anything he has made. Even the physical heavens cannot contain him! (1 Kings 8:27) How, though, did all of this help Elijah? Remember his fear. With a God like Jehovah on his side, with all that overwhelming power at His disposal, Elijah had nothing to fear from Ahab and Jezebel!—Psalm 118:6.
After the fire was gone, a hush fell and Elijah heard “a calm, low voice.” It invited Elijah to express himself again, and he did so, pouring out his concerns a second time.

*** w11 7/1 p. 22 He Took Comfort in His God ***
The source of this “calm, low voice” may have been the same spirit who was used to deliver “Jehovah’s word” mentioned at 1 Kings 19:9. In verse 15, this spirit is referred to simply as “Jehovah.” We might be reminded of the spirit emissary whom Jehovah used to guide Israel in the wilderness and of whom God said: “My name is within him.” (Exodus 23:21) We cannot be dogmatic on this point, of course, but it is worth noting that in his prehuman existence, Jesus served as “the Word,” the special Spokesman to Jehovah’s servants.—John 1:1.

*** w97 5/15 p. 13 par. 17 When Jesus Comes in Kingdom Glory ***
17 Further, the Israel of God had an experience comparable to that of Elijah on Mount Horeb. Like Elijah at the time he was running from Queen Jezebel, the fearful anointed remnant thought that their work was done at the end of World War I. Then, also like Elijah, they had an encounter with Jehovah, who had come to judge those organizations claiming to be “the house of God.” (1 Peter 4:17; Malachi 3:1-3) While Christendom was found wanting, the anointed remnant was recognized as “the faithful and discreet slave” and was appointed over all Jesus’ earthly belongings. (Matthew 24:45-47) In Horeb, Elijah heard “a calm, low voice” that proved to be that of Jehovah, giving him more work to do. In the quiet period of the postwar years, faithful anointed servants of Jehovah heard his voice from the pages of the Bible. They too perceived that they had a commission to fulfill.—1 Kings 19:4, 9-18; Revelation 11:7-13.

*** it-1 p. 711 Elijah ***
At Horeb, Jehovah speaks to him after an awe-inspiring display of power in a wind, an earthquake, and a fire. Jehovah is not in these manifestations; he is not a nature god, or just natural forces that are personified. These natural forces are merely expressions of his active force, not Jehovah himself.

(1 KINGS 19:13)

“As soon as E•liʹjah heard it, he wrapped his face in his official garment and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then a voice asked him: “What are you doing here, E•liʹjah?””

*** it-1 p. 802 Face ***
The concealing, or covering, of the face by a human or an angel may express humility or reverential fear and respect. (Ex 3:6; 1Ki 19:13; Isa 6:2)

*** it-2 p. 545 Official Garment ***
When translating ʼad•deʹreth, for the official garment used by Elijah and Elisha, the Septuagint uses the Greek word me•lo•teʹ (meaning sheepskin or any rough woolly skin). (1Ki 19:13) This suggests that the garment was made of skins with the hair left on, similar to the garb worn by certain Bedouin. Paul’s description of persecuted servants of God who “went about in sheepskins, in goatskins,” may refer to the dress of such prophets of Jehovah. (Heb 11:37)

(1 KINGS 19:15)

“Jehovah said to him: “Return, and go to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive, anoint Hazʹa•el as king over Syria.”

*** ia chap. 12 pp. 106-107 par. 22 He Took Comfort in His God ***
Undoubtedly, though, Elijah found even more comfort in what the “calm, low voice” told him next. Jehovah reassured Elijah that he was far from worthless. How so? God revealed much of his long-range purpose regarding the war against Baal worship in Israel. Clearly, Elijah’s work had not been in vain, for God’s purpose was moving inexorably forward. Furthermore, Elijah still figured in that purpose, for Jehovah sent him back to work with some specific instructions.—1 Ki. 19:12-17.

*** w11 7/1 p. 22 He Took Comfort in His God ***
Undoubtedly, though, Elijah found even more comfort in what the “calm, low voice” told him next. Jehovah reassured Elijah that he was far from worthless. How so? God revealed much of his long-range purpose regarding the war against Baal worship in Israel. Clearly, Elijah’s work had not been in vain, for God’s purpose was moving inexorably forward. Furthermore, Elijah still figured in that purpose, for Jehovah sent him back to work with some specific instructions.—1 Kings 19:12-17.

*** w97 5/15 p. 13 par. 17 When Jesus Comes in Kingdom Glory ***
17 Further, the Israel of God had an experience comparable to that of Elijah on Mount Horeb. Like Elijah at the time he was running from Queen Jezebel, the fearful anointed remnant thought that their work was done at the end of World War I. Then, also like Elijah, they had an encounter with Jehovah, who had come to judge those organizations claiming to be “the house of God.” (1 Peter 4:17; Malachi 3:1-3) While Christendom was found wanting, the anointed remnant was recognized as “the faithful and discreet slave” and was appointed over all Jesus’ earthly belongings. (Matthew 24:45-47) In Horeb, Elijah heard “a calm, low voice” that proved to be that of Jehovah, giving him more work to do. In the quiet period of the postwar years, faithful anointed servants of Jehovah heard his voice from the pages of the Bible. They too perceived that they had a commission to fulfill.—1 Kings 19:4, 9-18; Revelation 11:7-13.

*** it-1 p. 16 Abel-meholah ***
Additional argument adduced for this identification has been that Elijah, after leaving Horeb, stopped at Abel-meholah to anoint Elisha and had the further commission to travel to “the wilderness of Damascus” to anoint Hazael as king over Syria. (1Ki 19:15) The major ancient highway leading from Horeb to Damascus was E of the Jordan, although at times this route was controlled by nomads.

*** it-1 p. 16 Abel-meholah ***
And, as regards Elijah’s trip to the Wilderness of Damascus, the record shows that this was not effected immediately but, rather, was made sometime later by his successor, Elisha. (1Ki 19:15-19; 2Ki 8:7-13) In view of this, some geographic texts continue to recommend a site W of the Jordan rather than E of it. (The Geographical and Topographical Texts of the Old Testament, by J. Simons, Leiden, 1959; The Geography of the Bible, by D. Baly, 1957; and the Atlas of the Bible, by L. H. Grollenberg, 1956) Both Jerome and Eusebius of the early centuries of the Common Era identified Abel-meholah with a site 10 Roman miles (15 km; 9 mi) S of Beth-shean (W of the Jordan). The Land of the Bible, by Y. Aharoni, states: “Abel-meholah has now been identified with much confidence with Tell Abu Sus on the [west] bank of the Jordan, 15 km. south of Beth-shean.” (Translated and edited by A. Rainey, 1979, p. 313)

*** it-1 pp. 113-114 Anointed, Anointing ***
There are instances in which a person was regarded as being anointed because of being appointed by God, even though no oil was put on his head. This principle was demonstrated when Jehovah told Elijah to anoint Hazael as king over Syria, Jehu as king over Israel, and Elisha as prophet in place of himself. (1Ki 19:15, 16) The Scriptural record goes on to show that one of the sons of the prophets associated with Elisha did anoint Jehu with literal oil, to be king over Israel. (2Ki 9:1-6) But there is no record that anyone anointed with oil either Hazael or Elisha.

*** it-1 p. 1046 Hazael ***
Years prior to Hazael’s reign, Jehovah had instructed Elijah to “anoint Hazael as king over Syria.” The reason for the appointment was that Israel had sinned against God and Hazael was to execute punishment upon the nation.—1Ki 19:15-18.

(1 KINGS 19:16)

“And you should anoint Jeʹhu the grandson of Nimʹshi as king over Israel, and you should anoint E•liʹsha the son of Shaʹphat from Aʹbel-me•hoʹlah as prophet to take your place.”

*** w97 5/15 p. 13 par. 17 When Jesus Comes in Kingdom Glory ***
17 Further, the Israel of God had an experience comparable to that of Elijah on Mount Horeb. Like Elijah at the time he was running from Queen Jezebel, the fearful anointed remnant thought that their work was done at the end of World War I. Then, also like Elijah, they had an encounter with Jehovah, who had come to judge those organizations claiming to be “the house of God.” (1 Peter 4:17; Malachi 3:1-3) While Christendom was found wanting, the anointed remnant was recognized as “the faithful and discreet slave” and was appointed over all Jesus’ earthly belongings. (Matthew 24:45-47) In Horeb, Elijah heard “a calm, low voice” that proved to be that of Jehovah, giving him more work to do. In the quiet period of the postwar years, faithful anointed servants of Jehovah heard his voice from the pages of the Bible. They too perceived that they had a commission to fulfill.—1 Kings 19:4, 9-18; Revelation 11:7-13.

*** it-1 pp. 113-114 Anointed, Anointing ***
There are instances in which a person was regarded as being anointed because of being appointed by God, even though no oil was put on his head. This principle was demonstrated when Jehovah told Elijah to anoint Hazael as king over Syria, Jehu as king over Israel, and Elisha as prophet in place of himself. (1Ki 19:15, 16) The Scriptural record goes on to show that one of the sons of the prophets associated with Elisha did anoint Jehu with literal oil, to be king over Israel. (2Ki 9:1-6) But there is no record that anyone anointed with oil either Hazael or Elisha.

*** it-1 p. 218 Attitudes and Gestures ***
Elisha was ‘anointed’ by being appointed but was never literally anointed with oil. (1Ki 19:16, 19)

*** it-2 p. 22 Jehu ***
3. The son of Jehoshaphat (not King Jehoshaphat of Judah) and grandson of Nimshi. (2Ki 9:14) Jehu ruled as king of Israel from about 904 to 877 B.C.E. During the reign of King Ahab of Israel, Elijah the prophet had fled to Mount Horeb to escape death at the hands of Ahab’s wife Jezebel. God commanded Elijah to go back and to anoint three men: Elisha as Elijah’s successor, Hazael as king of Syria, and Jehu as king of Israel. (1Ki 19:15, 16) Elijah anointed Elisha (or, appointed him; see ANOINTED, ANOINTING). However, the anointing of Jehu remained for Elijah’s successor Elisha actually to perform.
Was this leaving of Jehu’s anointing to Elisha due to procrastination on Elijah’s part? No. A while after giving Elijah the command, Jehovah told him that the calamity on Ahab’s house (to be executed by Jehu) would not come in Ahab’s day, but in the days of Ahab’s son. (1Ki 21:27-29) So it is evident that the delay was by Jehovah’s guidance and not because of laxity on Elijah’s part. But Jehovah timed the anointing exactly right, when the opportunity was ripe for Jehu to put the anointing immediately into effect by action. And, in harmony with Jehu’s decisive and dynamic personality, he did not lose a moment, but acted immediately.

(1 KINGS 19:18)

“And I still have left 7,000 in Israel, all whose knees have not bent down to Baʹal and whose mouths have not kissed him.””

*** ia chap. 12 p. 107 par. 23 He Took Comfort in His God ***
Second, Jehovah revealed this thrilling news: “I have let seven thousand remain in Israel, all the knees that have not bent down to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (1 Ki. 19:18) Elijah was far from alone. It must have warmed his heart to hear of those thousands of faithful people who refused to worship Baal. They needed Elijah to keep up his faithful service, to set an example of unshakable loyalty to Jehovah in those dark times. Elijah must have been deeply touched to hear those words through Jehovah’s messenger, the “calm, low voice” of his God.

*** w11 7/1 p. 22 He Took Comfort in His God ***
Second, Jehovah revealed this thrilling news: “I have let seven thousand remain in Israel, all the knees that have not bent down to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18) Elijah was far from alone. It must have warmed his heart to hear of those thousands of faithful people who refused to worship Baal. They needed Elijah to keep up his faithful service, to set an example of unshakable loyalty to Jehovah in those dark times. Elijah must have been deeply touched to hear those words through Jehovah’s messenger, the “calm, low voice” of his God.

*** it-2 p. 511 Number, Numeral ***
Occasionally numbers are used in an approximate sense, as round numbers, for example, at Psalm 90:10, where the psalmist speaks of man’s age limit, and possibly also at 1 Kings 19:18 (7,000 who had not bowed to Baal) and 2 Chronicles 14:9 (the million Ethiopians defeated by Asa).

(1 KINGS 19:19)

“So he went from there and found E•liʹsha the son of Shaʹphat while he was plowing with 12 pairs of bulls ahead of him, and he was with the 12th pair. So E•liʹjah went over to him and threw his official garment on him.”

*** w14 2/1 p. 12 He Endured in the Face of Injustice ***
In any case, the Bible record states: “Elijah went over to him and threw his official garment on him.” (1 Kings 19:19) Elijah’s official garment—likely of sheepskin or goatskin—was worn as a cloak and signified his special appointment from Jehovah. Throwing it over Elisha’s shoulders, then, was a gesture full of meaning. Elijah willingly submitted to Jehovah’s command to appoint Elisha as his successor.

*** w97 11/1 p. 30 An Example of Self-Sacrifice and Loyalty ***
FOR a young farmer named Elisha, what began as a routine day of plowing turned out to be the most significant day in his life. While he was working in the field, Elisha received an unexpected visit from Elijah, Israel’s foremost prophet. ‘What could he want with me?’ Elisha may have wondered. He did not have to wait long for an answer. Elijah threw his official garment upon Elisha, indicating that one day Elisha would be his successor. Elisha did not treat this calling lightly. At once, he left his field to become Elijah’s attendant.—1 Kings 19:19-21.

*** w97 11/1 p. 31 An Example of Self-Sacrifice and Loyalty ***
When extended the invitation to special service with Elijah, Elisha immediately left his field to minister to Israel’s foremost prophet. Evidently, some of his duties were menial, for he became known as the one who “poured out water upon the hands of Elijah.” (2 Kings 3:11) Nevertheless, Elisha viewed his work as a privilege, and he stuck loyally by Elijah’s side.
Many of God’s servants today display a similar spirit of self-sacrifice. Some have left their “fields,” their livelihoods, to preach the good news in distant territories or to serve as members of a Bethel family. Others have traveled to foreign lands to work on the Society’s construction projects. Many have accepted what might be called lowly tasks. Yet, no one who slaves for Jehovah is performing an insignificant service. Jehovah appreciates all who serve him willingly, and he will bless their spirit of self-sacrifice.—Mark 10:29, 30.

*** w90 9/1 p. 16 Will You Learn From the Seasons? ***
You may read of Elijah’s appointing of his successor: “He . . . found Elisha the son of Shaphat while he was plowing with twelve spans before him.” (1 Kings 19:19)

*** w90 9/1 p. 16 Will You Learn From the Seasons? ***
Elisha was taking part in a major plowing operation when he was called as a prophet. That likely places the time in Tishri (September-October), when the extreme heat of the summer was past. The early rains had begun to soften the soil, making it possible to do plowing, followed by sowing.

*** it-1 p. 714 Elisha ***
ELISHA
(E•liʹsha) [God Is Salvation].
The son of Shaphat and a prophet of Jehovah in the tenth and ninth centuries B.C.E.; successor to the prophet Elijah. Elijah was directed by Jehovah to anoint Elisha from Abel-meholah. Finding Elisha plowing, Elijah threw his official garment over him, designating an appointment. (1Ki 19:16) Elisha was plowing behind 12 spans of bulls, “and he with the twelfth.” It is of interest that in the 19th century William Thomson in The Land and the Book (1887, p. 144) reported that it was a custom among the Arabs to work together with their small plows, and one sower could easily sow all that they plowed in a day. Elisha, in the rear of the group, would be able to stop without disrupting the work of the rest. The fact that he sacrificed a span of the bulls and used the implements as fuel speaks for Elisha’s promptness, decisiveness, and appreciativeness for Jehovah’s call. After preparing a meal, Elisha immediately left to follow Elijah.—1Ki 19:19-21.

*** it-2 p. 649 Plowing ***
A number of men, each with a pair, or span, of cattle, might work together, plowing parallel rows one behind the other. In Elisha’s case, as related at 1 Kings 19:19, he was the 12th and last so he could stop without disrupting others following him. He left the field and used his wood plowing instruments as firewood in offering the bulls as a sacrifice. (1Ki 19:21) In The Land and the Book (revised by J. Grande, 1910, p. 121), W. M. Thomson reports that one man could easily sow the area plowed by a group of men.

(1 KINGS 19:20)

“At that he left the bulls and ran after E•liʹjah and said: “Please, let me kiss my father and my mother. Then I will follow you.” He replied to him: “Go, return, for what have I done to stop you?””

*** w97 11/1 p. 31 An Example of Self-Sacrifice and Loyalty ***
When extended the invitation to special service with Elijah, Elisha immediately left his field to minister to Israel’s foremost prophet. Evidently, some of his duties were menial, for he became known as the one who “poured out water upon the hands of Elijah.” (2 Kings 3:11) Nevertheless, Elisha viewed his work as a privilege, and he stuck loyally by Elijah’s side.
Many of God’s servants today display a similar spirit of self-sacrifice. Some have left their “fields,” their livelihoods, to preach the good news in distant territories or to serve as members of a Bethel family. Others have traveled to foreign lands to work on the Society’s construction projects. Many have accepted what might be called lowly tasks. Yet, no one who slaves for Jehovah is performing an insignificant service. Jehovah appreciates all who serve him willingly, and he will bless their spirit of self-sacrifice.—Mark 10:29, 30.

*** w97 11/1 p. 30 An Example of Self-Sacrifice and Loyalty ***
FOR a young farmer named Elisha, what began as a routine day of plowing turned out to be the most significant day in his life. While he was working in the field, Elisha received an unexpected visit from Elijah, Israel’s foremost prophet. ‘What could he want with me?’ Elisha may have wondered. He did not have to wait long for an answer. Elijah threw his official garment upon Elisha, indicating that one day Elisha would be his successor. Elisha did not treat this calling lightly. At once, he left his field to become Elijah’s attendant.—1 Kings 19:19-21.

(1 KINGS 19:21)

“So he went back and took a pair of bulls and sacrificed them, and he used the plowing gear to boil the meat of the bulls and gave it to the people, and they ate. After that he rose up and followed E•liʹjah and began to minister to him.”

*** w97 11/1 p. 31 An Example of Self-Sacrifice and Loyalty ***
When extended the invitation to special service with Elijah, Elisha immediately left his field to minister to Israel’s foremost prophet. Evidently, some of his duties were menial, for he became known as the one who “poured out water upon the hands of Elijah.” (2 Kings 3:11) Nevertheless, Elisha viewed his work as a privilege, and he stuck loyally by Elijah’s side.
Many of God’s servants today display a similar spirit of self-sacrifice. Some have left their “fields,” their livelihoods, to preach the good news in distant territories or to serve as members of a Bethel family. Others have traveled to foreign lands to work on the Society’s construction projects. Many have accepted what might be called lowly tasks. Yet, no one who slaves for Jehovah is performing an insignificant service. Jehovah appreciates all who serve him willingly, and he will bless their spirit of self-sacrifice.—Mark 10:29, 30.

*** w97 11/1 p. 30 An Example of Self-Sacrifice and Loyalty ***
FOR a young farmer named Elisha, what began as a routine day of plowing turned out to be the most significant day in his life. While he was working in the field, Elisha received an unexpected visit from Elijah, Israel’s foremost prophet. ‘What could he want with me?’ Elisha may have wondered. He did not have to wait long for an answer. Elijah threw his official garment upon Elisha, indicating that one day Elisha would be his successor. Elisha did not treat this calling lightly. At once, he left his field to become Elijah’s attendant.—1 Kings 19:19-21.

*** it-1 p. 714 Elisha ***
ELISHA
(E•liʹsha) [God Is Salvation].
The son of Shaphat and a prophet of Jehovah in the tenth and ninth centuries B.C.E.; successor to the prophet Elijah. Elijah was directed by Jehovah to anoint Elisha from Abel-meholah. Finding Elisha plowing, Elijah threw his official garment over him, designating an appointment. (1Ki 19:16) Elisha was plowing behind 12 spans of bulls, “and he with the twelfth.” It is of interest that in the 19th century William Thomson in The Land and the Book (1887, p. 144) reported that it was a custom among the Arabs to work together with their small plows, and one sower could easily sow all that they plowed in a day. Elisha, in the rear of the group, would be able to stop without disrupting the work of the rest. The fact that he sacrificed a span of the bulls and used the implements as fuel speaks for Elisha’s promptness, decisiveness, and appreciativeness for Jehovah’s call. After preparing a meal, Elisha immediately left to follow Elijah.—1Ki 19:19-21.

(1 KINGS 20:1)

“Now King Ben-haʹdad of Syria gathered his whole army together along with 32 other kings and their horses and chariots; he went up and laid siege to Sa•marʹi•a and fought against it.”

*** it-1 p. 286 Ben-hadad ***
2. The next mention of a Syrian king named Ben-hadad occurs during the reign of King Ahab of Israel (c. 940-920 B.C.E.). About the fifth year before Ahab’s death, “Ben-hadad the king of Syria” led the combined forces of 32 kings, evidently vassals, against Samaria, besieging the city and calling on King Ahab to surrender unconditionally. (1Ki 20:1-6) Ahab called a council of the older men of the land, who advised him to resist. Then, while the Syrian forces were preparing for an assault on the city and while Ben-hadad and the other kings were drinking themselves drunk in the booths they had erected, Ahab, following divine counsel, used strategy to initiate a surprise attack on the Syrian camp, and he successfully routed them.—1Ki 20:7-21.

*** it-1 p. 951 Enemy Nations That Attacked Israel ***
Syria 1Ki 20:1-6, 26; 2Ki 12:17, 18; 16:5-9

(1 KINGS 20:11)

“The king of Israel answered: “Tell him, ‘The one who puts on his armor should not boast about himself like one who takes it off.’””

*** w05 7/1 p. 31 par. 10 Highlights From the Book of First Kings ***
20:11. When Ben-hadad bragged about destroying Samaria, Israel’s king answered: “Do not let one girding on [his armor in preparation for battle] boast about himself like one unfastening” his armor after returning victorious from battle. When faced with a new task, we must avoid the overconfidence of a braggart.—Proverbs 27:1; James 4:13-16.

*** it-1 p. 172 Arms, Armor ***
Girdle. The military girdle of ancient times was a leather belt worn around the waist or hips. It varied in width from 5 to 15 cm (2 to 6 in.) and was often studded with plates of iron, silver, or gold. The warrior’s sword was suspended from it, and at times the belt was supported by a shoulder strap. (1Sa 18:4; 2Sa 20:8) Whereas a loosened girdle denoted leisure (1Ki 20:11), girding up the loins or hips indicated readiness for action or battle.—Ex 12:11; 1Ki 18:46; 1Pe 1:13, ftn.

(1 KINGS 20:23)

“Now the servants of the king of Syria said to him: “Their God is a God of mountains. That is why they overpowered us. But if we fight against them on level land, we will overpower them.”

*** it-1 p. 1144 Horse ***
Horses, however, do not lend themselves well for military use in mountainous, rough terrain. (Am 6:12) Hence, when King Ahab of Israel defeated the army of Syria, Ben-hadad’s servants offered the excuse that it was because the God of Israel was “a God of mountains” and not of the level plains, where horses and chariots operate to advantage. Nevertheless, Jehovah gave Israel the victory even in the plains.—1Ki 20:23-29.

(1 KINGS 20:24)

“Also do this: Remove all the kings from their places, and replace them with governors.”

*** it-1 p. 286 Ben-hadad ***
The Syrian forces had been reorganized, the 32 kings having been replaced by governors as heads of the troops, evidently because it was thought that the governors would fight more unitedly and obediently and perhaps would also have stronger incentive for winning promotion to higher rank than the more independent kings. Ben-hadad’s religious and military theories, however, proved worthless against the Israelite forces who, though vastly outnumbered, were forewarned by a prophet of the attack and had the backing of the King of the universe, Jehovah God. The Syrian forces were cut to pieces, and Ben-hadad fled into Aphek. Ahab, however, let this dangerous enemy go free, with this promise from Ben-hadad: “The cities that my father took from your father I shall return; and streets you will assign to yourself in Damascus the same as my father assigned in Samaria.”—1Ki 20:22-34.
There is considerable difference of opinion as to whether this Ben-hadad is the same Syrian king of Baasha and Asa’s day or whether he is instead a son or grandson of that king. For Ben-hadad I (of Asa’s time) to be the Ben-hadad of Ahab’s and even of Jehoram’s time (c. 917-905 B.C.E.) would require a reign of some 45 years or more. This, of course, is not impossible.
However, those who hold that the Syrian king of Ahab’s day should be called Ben-hadad II point to the promise made by Ben-hadad to Ahab, quoted above. (1Ki 20:34) On the face of it, this appears to say that Ben-hadad’s father had taken cities from Omri, Ahab’s father. But if the seizure referred to was that effected by Ben-hadad I during Baasha’s rule, that would make Ben-hadad I the father (or perhaps simply the predecessor) of the Ben-hadad II of Ahab’s reign. Likewise, Ahab’s “father” could possibly refer to a royal predecessor on the throne even though not related by blood as a lineal ancestor.—See BELSHAZZAR.
Nevertheless, the fact that Ben-hadad’s promise to Ahab made reference to Samaria would appear to limit the Syrian capture of the Israelite cities to the reign of Omri, since Samaria was built by him and thereafter made Israel’s capital. The “streets” assigned apparently were for the establishment of bazaars, or markets, to promote commercial interests.
Whatever the circumstances and time of the capture of the Israelite cities, the Scriptural evidence would seem to point to a different Ben-hadad as ruling by Ahab’s time, and hence he may be referred to as Ben-hadad II. It appears that the promise of Ben-hadad to return the cities taken from Israel by his father was not completely fulfilled, for in Ahab’s final year of rule this Israelite king formed an alliance with Jehoshaphat in a vain attempt to recover Ramoth-gilead (E of the Jordan) from the Syrians. Ben-hadad II is evidently the anonymous “king of Syria” who ordered his “thirty-two chiefs of the chariots” to concentrate their attack on Ahab in that battle. (1Ki 22:31-37)

(1 KINGS 20:26)

“At the start of the year, Ben-haʹdad mustered the Syrians and went up to Aʹphek for battle against Israel.”

*** g94 3/8 p. 29 Watching the World ***
Biblical City Uncovered
Le Figaro, a French newspaper, reports that a team of Japanese archaeologists has uncovered the ruins of one of the five ancient Biblical cities named Aphek. For years scholars have unsuccessfully tried to connect the location of this ancient city with the modern village of Afriq, or Fiq, three miles [5 km] east of the Sea of Galilee. However, archaeologist Hiroshi Kanaseki believes that the discovery of part of an ancient wall at ʽEn Gev, located on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, proves that the site is indeed where this particular Biblical city of Aphek once stood. It is mentioned in the Bible at 1 Kings 20:26 as the location where Syrian King Ben-hadad II was defeated by the Israelite forces under King Ahab.

*** it-1 p. 120 Aphek ***
5. A city mentioned at 1 Kings 20:26 as the site of the defeat of the Syrian Ben-hadad II. The retreating Syrians pulled back to the city, only to have its wall fall upon 27,000 of them. (1Ki 20:29, 30) It likewise seems to be the place prophetically indicated to King Jehoash by the dying prophet Elisha as the point where the Syrians would suffer future defeats at the hands of Israelites. (2Ki 13:17-19, 25) Some scholars would place the Aphek mentioned in these texts about 5 km (3 mi) E of the Sea of Galilee, where the modern village of Afiq or Fiq is found. However, so far no remains older than the fourth century B.C.E. have been found at the site. But at nearby ʽEn Gev on the shore of the Sea of Galilee remains of a large fortified city of the tenth to eighth centuries B.C.E. have been discovered.

(1 KINGS 20:27)

“The people of Israel were also mustered and supplied, and they went out to meet them. When the people of Israel camped in front of them, they were like two tiny flocks of goats, while the Syrians filled the whole land.”

*** it-1 p. 60 Ahab ***
The Israelite forces advanced to the battle site but looked like “two tiny flocks of goats” compared to the massive Syrian encampment. Reassured by Jehovah’s promise to demonstrate that his power was not controlled by geography, Ahab’s forces dealt a crushing defeat to the enemy. (1Ki 20:26-30)

(1 KINGS 20:28)

“Then the man of the true God approached the king of Israel and said: “This is what Jehovah says, ‘Because the Syrians have said: “Jehovah is a God of mountains, and he is not a God of plains,” I will give all this large crowd into your hand, and you will certainly know that I am Jehovah.’””

*** it-1 p. 1144 Horse ***
Horses, however, do not lend themselves well for military use in mountainous, rough terrain. (Am 6:12) Hence, when King Ahab of Israel defeated the army of Syria, Ben-hadad’s servants offered the excuse that it was because the God of Israel was “a God of mountains” and not of the level plains, where horses and chariots operate to advantage. Nevertheless, Jehovah gave Israel the victory even in the plains.—1Ki 20:23-29.

(1 KINGS 20:31)

“So his servants said to him: “Look, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings. Please, let us wear sackcloth on our hips and put ropes on our heads and go out to the king of Israel. Perhaps he will spare your life.””

*** it-1 p. 216 Attitudes and Gestures ***
Bowing could also be a symbol of acknowledgment of defeat. (Isa 60:14) Those persons defeated might appear before their conqueror in sackcloth and, additionally, with ropes upon their heads in an appeal for mercy. (1Ki 20:31, 32) Some think that the ropes mentioned were put about their necks to symbolize their captivity and submission.

*** it-1 p. 507 Cord, Rope ***
In an act evidently symbolic of abject subjection and humiliation, defeated Syrians “girded sackcloth upon their loins, with ropes upon their heads, and came in to the king of Israel,” seeking Ahab’s indulgence toward Syrian King Ben-hadad II. Each may have worn a rope as a band around his head or his neck.—1Ki 20:31-34.

(1 KINGS 20:32)

“So they wore sackcloth around their hips and ropes on their heads and came in to the king of Israel and said: “Your servant Ben-haʹdad says, ‘Please, let me live.’” He replied: “Is he still alive? He is my brother.””

*** it-1 p. 216 Attitudes and Gestures ***
Bowing could also be a symbol of acknowledgment of defeat. (Isa 60:14) Those persons defeated might appear before their conqueror in sackcloth and, additionally, with ropes upon their heads in an appeal for mercy. (1Ki 20:31, 32) Some think that the ropes mentioned were put about their necks to symbolize their captivity and submission.

(1 KINGS 20:34)

“Ben-haʹdad now said to him: “The cities that my father took from your father I will return, and you may establish markets for yourself in Damascus, just as my father did in Sa•marʹi•a.” Aʹhab replied: “On the basis of this agreement, I will let you go.” With that he made an agreement with him and let him go.”

*** w05 7/1 p. 31 par. 1 Highlights From the Book of First Kings ***
20:34—After Jehovah gave Ahab victory over the Syrians, why did Ahab spare their king, Ben-hadad? Instead of striking Ben-hadad down, Ahab concluded a covenant with him by which streets in the Syrian capital, Damascus, would be assigned to Ahab, evidently for the establishment of bazaars, or markets. Earlier, Ben-hadad’s father had similarly assigned himself streets in Samaria for commercial purposes. Hence, Ben-hadad was released so that Ahab could establish commercial interests in Damascus.

*** it-1 p. 60 Ahab ***
However, much like King Saul with Agag the Amalekite, Ahab let Ben-hadad survive and concluded a covenant with him by which captured cities would be returned to Israel and streets in Damascus would be assigned to Ahab, evidently for the establishment of bazaars, or markets, to promote Ahab’s commercial interests in that Syrian capital. (1Ki 20:31-34) Similar to Saul, Ahab was condemned by Jehovah for this, with future calamity foretold for him and his people.—1Ki 20:35-43.

*** it-1 p. 286 Ben-hadad ***
The Syrian forces had been reorganized, the 32 kings having been replaced by governors as heads of the troops, evidently because it was thought that the governors would fight more unitedly and obediently and perhaps would also have stronger incentive for winning promotion to higher rank than the more independent kings. Ben-hadad’s religious and military theories, however, proved worthless against the Israelite forces who, though vastly outnumbered, were forewarned by a prophet of the attack and had the backing of the King of the universe, Jehovah God. The Syrian forces were cut to pieces, and Ben-hadad fled into Aphek. Ahab, however, let this dangerous enemy go free, with this promise from Ben-hadad: “The cities that my father took from your father I shall return; and streets you will assign to yourself in Damascus the same as my father assigned in Samaria.”—1Ki 20:22-34.
There is considerable difference of opinion as to whether this Ben-hadad is the same Syrian king of Baasha and Asa’s day or whether he is instead a son or grandson of that king. For Ben-hadad I (of Asa’s time) to be the Ben-hadad of Ahab’s and even of Jehoram’s time (c. 917-905 B.C.E.) would require a reign of some 45 years or more. This, of course, is not impossible.
However, those who hold that the Syrian king of Ahab’s day should be called Ben-hadad II point to the promise made by Ben-hadad to Ahab, quoted above. (1Ki 20:34) On the face of it, this appears to say that Ben-hadad’s father had taken cities from Omri, Ahab’s father. But if the seizure referred to was that effected by Ben-hadad I during Baasha’s rule, that would make Ben-hadad I the father (or perhaps simply the predecessor) of the Ben-hadad II of Ahab’s reign. Likewise, Ahab’s “father” could possibly refer to a royal predecessor on the throne even though not related by blood as a lineal ancestor.—See BELSHAZZAR.
Nevertheless, the fact that Ben-hadad’s promise to Ahab made reference to Samaria would appear to limit the Syrian capture of the Israelite cities to the reign of Omri, since Samaria was built by him and thereafter made Israel’s capital. The “streets” assigned apparently were for the establishment of bazaars, or markets, to promote commercial interests.
Whatever the circumstances and time of the capture of the Israelite cities, the Scriptural evidence would seem to point to a different Ben-hadad as ruling by Ahab’s time, and hence he may be referred to as Ben-hadad II. It appears that the promise of Ben-hadad to return the cities taken from Israel by his father was not completely fulfilled, for in Ahab’s final year of rule this Israelite king formed an alliance with Jehoshaphat in a vain attempt to recover Ramoth-gilead (E of the Jordan) from the Syrians. Ben-hadad II is evidently the anonymous “king of Syria” who ordered his “thirty-two chiefs of the chariots” to concentrate their attack on Ahab in that battle. (1Ki 22:31-37)

*** it-1 p. 571 Damascus ***
The “streets” that Ben-hadad II offered to be assigned to Ahab in Damascus were evidently for the establishment of bazaars, or markets, to promote Ahab’s commercial interests in that Syrian capital.—1Ki 20:34.

*** it-2 p. 845 Samaria ***
During the latter part of Ahab’s reign, the Syrian king Ben-hadad II laid siege to Samaria, vowing he would strip it so completely that there would not be sufficient dust to fill the hands of those in his army. However, the Israelites were given the victory in order that Ahab should know that Jehovah is God Almighty. (1Ki 20:1-21) In a second encounter less than a year later, when Ben-hadad was forced to surrender, Ahab let him go on the promise that cities would be returned to Israel and ‘streets in Damascus would be assigned’ to Ahab the same as Ben-hadad’s father had assigned himself streets in Samaria. (1Ki 20:26-34) These “streets” evidently had been for the establishment of bazaars, or markets, to promote the commercial interests of Ben-hadad’s father. Nevertheless, Ahab returned to Samaria sad and dejected, for, since he had spared Ben-hadad’s life, Jehovah told him he would forfeit his own.—1Ki 20:35-43.

*** it-2 p. 1039 Street ***
The “streets” that Ben-hadad offered to be assigned to Ahab in Damascus were evidently for the establishment of bazaars, or markets, to promote Ahab’s commercial interests in that Syrian capital. (1Ki 20:34)

(1 KINGS 20:35)

“By the word of Jehovah, one of the sons of the prophets said to his companion: “Strike me, please.” But the man refused to strike him.”

*** it-2 p. 697 Prophet ***
Though often sharing quarters and food in common, they might receive individual assignments to go out on prophetic missions.—1Ki 20:35-42;

(1 KINGS 20:40)

“And while your servant was busy here and there, suddenly the man was gone.” The king of Israel said to him: “So your own judgment will be; you have decided it yourself.””

*** it-1 p. 1176 Illustrations ***
(4) Even when being used to give correction to a person, illustrations can be used to sidestep prejudice on the part of the hearer, keeping his mind from being beclouded by such prejudice, and thereby accomplishing more than would a mere statement of fact. Such was the case when Nathan found a hearing ear in reproving King David for his sin in connection with Bath-sheba and Uriah. (2Sa 12:1-14) This was also the case when an illustration was used to get wicked King Ahab unknowingly to weigh the principles involved in his own disobedient action in sparing the life of King Ben-hadad of Syria, an enemy of God, and to utter a judgment condemning himself.—1Ki 20:34, 38-43.

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