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The Profit Elijah



INTRODUCTION: The name Elijah is familiar to many Christians as an important prophet, even though there is no book in Scripture written by him, AMONG the "major and minor" prophets. Elijah was active in the northern kingdom of Israel, and sent a letter to one king in the southern kingdom as well. Some of his prophecies were fulfilled centuries after he was miraculously taken up to heaven by the LORD.

NOTE: Bible passages are from the American King James Bible.



A - AHAB BEGAN HIS REIGN OVER ISRAEL IN SAMARIA IN THE 38TH YEAR OF KING ASA

1 Kings 16 "29 And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. 30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. 31 And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. 32 And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. 33 And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him. 34 In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun."



COMMENTS: Very soon after King Solomon died and his son Rehoboam became king in Jerusalem; Jeroboam became king over the dissatisfied tribes who rebelliously formed the northern kingdom. . About 58 years later, Ahab began to reign as the sixth king in the northern kingdom of Israel; while Asa was the third king after Solomon had died, and he was in his 38th year as king in Judah. The above passage of Scripture does not speak well of King Ahab, with some specific items listed: then it is summerized by saying he did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him. Also during his reign Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho: and fulfilled the prophecy by Joshua for the death of sons, over four hundred years earlier. Joshua 6 "26 And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that rises up and builds this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall The set up the gates of it."




B - ELIJAH DECLARED YEARS OF SEVERE DROUGHT TO KING AHAB

1 Kings 17 "1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. 2 And the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 3 Get you hence, and turn you eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 4 And it shall be, that you shall drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there. 5 So he went and did according to the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelled by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. 7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. 8 And the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 9 Arise, get you to Zarephath, which belongs to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain you. 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray you, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray you, a morsel of bread in your hand. 12 And she said, As the LORD your God lives, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 13 And Elijah said to her, Fear not; go and do as you have said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it to me, and after make for you and for your son. 14 For thus said the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sends rain on the earth. 15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by Elijah. 17 And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, What have I to do with you, O you man of God? are you come to me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? 19 And he said to her, Give me your son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he stayed, and laid him on his own bed. 20 And he cried to the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, have you also brought evil on the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? 21 And he stretched himself on the child three times, and cried to the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray you, let this child's soul come into him again. 22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him to his mother: and Elijah said, See, your son lives. 24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth."



COMMENTS: This is the first mention of Elijah in Scripture and there is no family line given for him, but He was said to be of the inhabitants of Gilead, and that area was on the east side of the Jordan River as part of the northern kingdom. Numbers 32 "39 And the children of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead, and took it, and dispossessed the Amorite which was in it. 40 And Moses gave Gilead to Machir the son of Manasseh; and he dwelled therein." Elijah told King Ahab that there would be a severe drought that would last for the years as given to him by the LORD God of Israel, which Elijah served. It was not uncommon for prophets to be sent by the LORD during the period of the kings, and there is no immediate response from Ahab. But the LORD then told Elijah to go to a specific location near the Jordan River to hide himself; and he drank from the brook, and ravens were sent by the LORD twice each day with bread and flesh for him to eat, so he had sufficient food by God's grace! When the brook dried up due to the drought, the LORD told Elijah to go to a certain Gentile city: and it is interesting that the city was in Zidon, the homeland of Jezebel (as recorded in 1 Kings 16:31 "Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians"). The LORD told Elijah he had commanded a widow in Zarephath to sustain him. The widow was at the gate of the city when Elijah arrived, and there is no indication from her conversation with Elijah that she had heard from the LORD. But she did as Elijah requested, and she did speak respectfully about the LORD in the remainder of the passage: especially after Elijah appealed three times, and the LORD brought the widow's son who had died from his illness, back to life.




C - THE LORD SENT ELIJAH TO AHAB IN THE THIRD YEAR OF THE DROUGHT

1 Kings 18 "1 And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, show yourself to Ahab; and I will send rain on the earth. 2 And Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria. 3 And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly: 4 For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) 5 And Ahab said to Obadiah, Go into the land, to all fountains of water, and to all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts. 6 So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself. 7 And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Are you that my lord Elijah? 8 And he answered him, I am: go, tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here. 9 And he said, What have I sinned, that you would deliver your servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me? 10 As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom, where my lord has not sent to seek you: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found you not. 11 And now you say, Go, tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here. 12 And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from you, that the Spirit of the LORD shall carry you where I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he shall slay me: but I your servant fear the LORD from my youth. 13 Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the LORD's prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14 And now you say, Go, tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here: and he shall slay me. 15 And Elijah said, As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him to day. 16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah."



COMMENTS: Because of the severe famine in Samaria King Ahab called Obadiah, who was the governor of his house, and they went in opposite directions to search for an area where there might be enough grass to keep their cattle alive. Obadiah feared the LORD, and had hidden 100 prophets and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water to protect them when Jezebel was cutting off the prophets of the LORD, . When Obadiah met Elijah along the way, he was very afraid to tell King Ahab as Elijah requested. He thought if Elijah disappeared again King Ahab would be so angry he would do Obadiah great harm because there had already been exhaustive searches made for Elijah with no result. Obadiah told Elijah that he had protected 100 profits, and now would he die at the hands of Ahab? Elijah assured him by an oath he would not die, so Obadiah went to Ahab; and Elijah and Ahab met together.




D - ELIJAH TOLD AHAB TO GATHER PRIESTS OF BAAL TO MOUNT CARMEL

1 Kings 18 "17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, Are you he that troubles Israel? 18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but you, and your father's house, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and you have followed Baalim. 19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel to mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table. 20 So Ahab sent to all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together to mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, How long halt you between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 22 Then said Elijah to the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: 24 And call you on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answers by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. 25 And Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for you are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. 26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped on the altar which was made. 27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleeps, and must be awaked. 28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out on them. 29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. 30 And Elijah said to all the people, Come near to me. And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be your name: 32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. 34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. 35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. 36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. 37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that you are the LORD God, and that you have turned their heart back again. 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. 40 And Elijah said to them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. 41 And Elijah said to Ahab, Get you up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down on the earth, and put his face between his knees, 43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. 44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there rises a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say to Ahab, Prepare your chariot, and get you down that the rain stop you not. 45 And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. 46 And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel."



COMMENTS: Since the drought had been in Israel for over two years, Ahab saw Elijah and said you are bringing trouble on Israel; but Elijah said Ahab had caused the people to worship Baalim and that was the great problem for Israel before the LORD. Therefore Elijah put a challenge before Ahab by telling him to send for 450 prophets of Baal, and they would see which God was truly a God! There was a large gathering of people at mount Carmel and Elijah came to all the people, and told them they needed to follow the LORD if he is God, or follow Baal if he is god; but the people gave no response. Elijah said he was the only prophet there for the LORD, but Baal had 450 prophets before the people. The passage above has great detail, and Elijah was demonstrating a contrast between what the LORD had directed Elijah to do, and what the prophets of Baal tried to make people believe about a false god. Elijah first made an alter with 12 stones to represent the tribes of Israel, and then he did all the work to prepare the offering to the LORD. The people agreed that the God who answered by fire is the true God. Elijah mocked the prophets of Baal as they went through various antics for hours supposing to call upon Baal. When it was finally time to actually make the offering to the LORD, Elijah requested much water to drench the wood and the whole area around the alter. Elijah made a prayer about Israel and praised the LORD for all things that He had directed Elijah to do: fire came down from heaven in a devastating manner far beyond the ability of any man to bring it about, the people fell on their faces in worship for only the LORD God! Elijah then gave a command for every one of Baal's prophets to be captured and killed. Chapter 18 draws to a close with a strong rainfall that marked the end of the drought. Ahab rode in his chariot while Elijah was empowered by the LORD to run ahead of Ahab back to the gates of Jezreel!




E - JEZEBEL SENT A MESSAGE TO ELIJAH THAT HE WOULD BE KILLED

1 Kings 19 "1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and with how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not your life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. 3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. 5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said to him, Arise and eat. 6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baked on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. 7 And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for you. 8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.



COMMENTS: Since Jezebel's homeland was fully dedicated to Baal worship, when Ahab told her how Elijah had 450 prophets of Baal killed, she sent a messenger to Elijah that she would make sure that he also died by the next day. Elijah went to Beersheba in the southern kingdom of Judah. He left his servant there, because he wanted to go into the wilderness alone, and there he requested the LORD to take his life. Elijah fell asleep under a juniper tree, but he was awakened by the angel of the LORD and given food and drink. When this happened a second time, he was told he needed that food and drink because the journey was too great for him. Elijah went in the strength of "that meat" (this seems to indicate fasting after that meat) forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.

TWO OTHER PASSAGES TO CONSIDER FOR FORTY DAYS AND NIGHTS: 1 BEFORE AND 1 AFTER ELIJAH'S LIFETIME!

Exodus 34 "1 And the LORD said to Moses, Hew you two tables of stone like to the first: and I will write on these tables the words that were in the first tables, which you brake. 2 And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me in the top of the mount."

Exodus 34 "28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote on the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments."

Matthew 4 "1 Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered."

Matthew 4 "10 Then said Jesus to him, Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve. 11 Then the devil leaves him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to him."

THESE THREE MEN WERE JOINED TOGETHER AT THE MOUNT OF TRANSFIGURATION!

Luke 9 "28 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. 29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. 30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: 31 Who appeared in glory, and spoke of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem."

NOTE: Elias is the translated Greek word for Elijah.




F - THE WORD OF THE LORD TO ELIJAH AT THE CAVE IN MOUNT HOREB

1 Kings 19 "9 And he came thither to a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, What do you here, Elijah? 10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and slain your prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 11 And he said, Go forth, and stand on the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice to him, and said, What do you here, Elijah? 14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and slain your prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 15 And the LORD said to him, Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when you come, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shall you anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shall you anoint to be prophet in your room. 17 And it shall come to pass, that him that escapes the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. 18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth which has not kissed him. 19 So he departed there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle on him. 20 And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray you, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you. And he said to him, Go back again: for what have I done to you? 21 And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave to the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered to him."



COMMENTS: Elijah lodged in a cave and the LORD asked him why he was there. Elijah said he had been fully dedicated in love to the LORD God of hosts: but the children of Israel had forsaken the LORD in every manner, and sought to kill him as they had done to other prophets of the LORD. Elijah was told to stand on the mountain before the LORD. As the LORD passed by, a great and strong wind tore the mountain and the rocks into pieces: after that there was an earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in any of those three signs. Then there was a still small voice. When Elijah heard the voice he went out of the cave, and he was asked again why he was there. Elijah gave exactly the same answer as he had at the first. Then the LORD told Elijah to return on the way to the wilderness of Damascus. Elijah was to anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi to be king over Israel: and anoint Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah to be prophet in his room. The LORD would bring judgment through a Syrian king to slay many in Israel who had turned to idol worship; and Jehu would continue that devastation after Hazael, then Elisha would cause more from Israel to be slain. And yet, the LORD said he had seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which had not bowed to Baal, and every mouth which had not kissed him. It seems then, that quite a few of the believers were firm for the LORD, but had been kept safe from being harmed by the idol worshippers. Elijah left the cave and found Elisha the son of Shaphat; and as described in the passage, they left the area together.




G - JEZEBEL HAD NABOTH THE JEZREELITE KILLED AND GAVE HIS VINEYARD TO AHAB

1 Kings 21 "1 And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 And Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near to my house: and I will give you for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to you, I will give you the worth of it in money. 3 And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you. 4 And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down on his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread. 5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, Why is your spirit so sad, that you eat no bread? 6 And he said to her, Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it please you, I will give you another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give you my vineyard. 7 And Jezebel his wife said to him, Do you now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let your heart be merry: I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. 8 So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. 9 And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: 10 And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, You did blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. 11 And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent to them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. 13 And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died. 14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead. 15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead. 16 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it. 17 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18 Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he is gone down to possess it. 19 And you shall speak to him, saying, Thus said the LORD, Have you killed, and also taken possession? And you shall speak to him, saying, Thus said the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your blood, even yours. 20 And Ahab said to Elijah, Have you found me, O my enemy? And he answered, I have found you: because you have sold yourself to work evil in the sight of the LORD. 21 Behold, I will bring evil on you, and will take away your posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that urinates against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, 22 And will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation with which you have provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin. 23 And of Jezebel also spoke the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. 24 Him that dies of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dies in the field shall the fowls of the air eat. 25 But there was none like to Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. 26 And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. 27 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth on his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. 28 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 See you how Ahab humbles himself before me? because he humbles himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil on his house."



COMMENTS: King Ahab's requested that Naboth the Jezreelite sell his vineyard so it could become a garden of herbs for him because it was adjacent to his house. Naboth would not accept any offer, as he said The LORD forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you. Later, when Jezebel saw that Ahab was downcast she asked of the cause; and when he told her about Naboth, she said you now govern Israel, so arise and eat and be merry. Jezebel did not hesitate to take extreme measures, as she placed little value on the lives of those under the rule of a king. She wrote letters in Ahab's name and with his seal to send to the elders and nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth to proclaim a fast. Jezebel arranged for Naboth to be murdered when she sent two false witnesses to declare that Naboth had blaspheme God and the king, and he was sentenced to death by stoning outside the city. Jezebel told Ahab that Naboth was dead, and Ahab went to claim the vineyard as his own. The word of the LORD sent Elijah to confront Ahab again, and Elijah told Ahab that the LORD said in the same place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, they would also lick the blood of Ahab. In addition because Ahab had carried Israel so far away from following the LORD, his posterity would also be wiped out, and the LORD said, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. . When Ahab heard those words, he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth on his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah, and we see in the text the undeserved grace even though Ahab had done so much during his reign to dishonor the LORD. His display of humility did not remove all judgment from him, but he did die in battle with the Syrians and was buried in Samaria. The severe judgment on Israel would fall upon his son during his brief reign as king, and when he died there was no posterity left to Ahab.




H - KING JEHORAM IN JUDAH RECEIVED A WRITING OF CONDEMNATION FROM ELIJAH THE PROFIT

2 Chronicles 21 "12 And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus said the LORD God of David your father, Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13 But have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the prostitutions of the house of Ahab, and also have slain your brothers of your father's house, which were better than yourself: 14 Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite your people, and your children, and your wives, and all your goods: 15 And you shall have great sickness by disease of your bowels, until your bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day. 16 Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians: 17 And they came up into Judah, and broke into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king's house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons. 18 And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. 19 And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers. 20 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired. However, they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchers of the kings."



COMMENTS: Elijah did not appear in person before king JEHORAM in Jerusalem, but all that he wrote to him in condemnation was fulfilled as he suffered for two years with the sickness in his bowels before he died, and he was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. All of his wives and sons had been taken through attacks by Philistines and Arabians on Jerusalem, except for Jehoahaz, his youngest son. These were not good years in the southern, or in the northern kingdom.




I - AHAZIAH FELL THROUGH A LATTICE IN HIS UPPER CHAMBER

2 Kings 1 "1 Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab. 2 And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said to them, Go, inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease. 3 But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that you go to inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? 4 Now therefore thus said the LORD, You shall not come down from that bed on which you are gone up, but shall surely die. And Elijah departed. 5 And when the messengers turned back to him, he said to them, Why are you now turned back? 6 And they said to him, There came a man up to meet us, and said to us, Go, turn again to the king that sent you, and say to him, Thus said the LORD, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that you send to inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? therefore you shall not come down from that bed on which you are gone up, but shall surely die. 7 And he said to them, What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words? 8 And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite. 9 Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spoke to him, You man of God, the king has said, Come down. 10 And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume you and your fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. 11 Again also he sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said to him, O man of God, thus has the king said, Come down quickly. 12 And Elijah answered and said to them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume you and your fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty."



COMMENTS: After Ahab died his son Ahaziah was king, and Moab rebelled against Israel. Ahaziah had a serious injury from his fall through an upper chamber lattice, and he sent his messengers to inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether he would recover. The LORD sent Elijah to meet those men on their way and told them to take the message back to King Ahaziah that he would die because he did not turn to the LORD God of Israel. From the description given by his messengers, King Ahaziah knew it was Elijah who had spoken to them, so he sent a captain with 50 soldiers to bring Elijah to him. They were all destroyed by fire, and a second company of fifty men led by a captain were likewise destroyed.




J - THE THIRD CAPTAIN OF FIFTY ASKED ELIJAH THAT THEIR LIVES BE PRESERVED

2 Kings 1 "13 And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and sought him, and said to him, O man of God, I pray you, let my life, and the life of these fifty your servants, be precious in your sight. 14 Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in your sight. 15 And the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him to the king. 16 And he said to him, Thus said the LORD, For as much as you have sent messengers to inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron, is it not because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word? therefore you shall not come down off that bed on which you are gone up, but shall surely die. 17 So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son. 18 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?"



COMMENTS: When a third company was sent to bring Elijah, the captain pleaded with Elijah to have mercy on his men and on him, knowing the LORD was with Elijah, and had destroyed the first two companies of men. Then the angel of the LORD told Elijah to Go down with him, and not to be afraid. When Elijah was there he told the king he would not recover, but would die; and there are no words recorded from anyone else at that time. It was undoubtedly known by everyone around how the LORD was protecting Elijah; but the king certainly showed no concern for his men after the first two companies were utterly destroyed. Ahaziah had no sons, so Jehoram reigned in his stead; while Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, was in his second year as king of Judah. This ended the line of Ahab as the LORD had spoken.




K - THE LORD TOOK ELIJAH UP TO HEAVEN AND APPOINTED ELISHA TO THAT SPECIAL PROPHETIC SERVICE

2 Kings 2 "1 And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. 2 And Elijah said to Elisha, Tarry here, I pray you; for the LORD has sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said to him, As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. So they went down to Bethel. 3 And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said to him, Know you that the LORD will take away your master from your head to day? And he said, Yes, I know it; hold you your peace. 4 And Elijah said to him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray you; for the LORD has sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. So they came to Jericho. 5 And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said to him, Know you that the LORD will take away your master from your head to day? And he answered, Yes, I know it; hold you your peace. 6 And Elijah said to him, Tarry, I pray you, here; for the LORD has sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. And they two went on. 7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan. 8 And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided here and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground. 9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said to Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you, before I be taken away from you. And Elisha said, I pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be on me. 10 And he said, You have asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so to you; but if not, it shall not be so. 11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. 13 He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; 14 And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted here and thither: and Elisha went over. 15 And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah does rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him."



COMMENTS: The sons of the prophets at Bethel and at Jericho knew Elijah was going to be separated from Elisha that day; and Elisha told them at both cities that he already knew, and therefore was going to stay with him. This was a very dramatic transfer of power from Elijah as he was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind, and the LORD gave Elisha a very special ministry to continue to serve as Elijah had done. When Elisha parted the Jordan and returned across to Jericho, the sons of the prophets greeted him with respect. Because the LORD had answered Elisha's request by allowing him to see Elijah taken up to heaven: Elisha carried out the anointing of Hazael as King of Syria, and Jehu as King of Israel as recorded in subsequent passages of Scripture.



--- REFLECTIONS IN PRAYER ---

LORD, I thank you for some of the ways your mercy was shown to wayward Israel during the 22 year reign of King Ahab; and the various passages that showed strengths and weaknesses of the prophet Elijah. He was very strong at the end of the drought he had told King Ahab the LORD would cause. Elijah boldly went back to Samaria and had Ahab call 450 prophets of Baal to a challenge to see whether the LORD God, or whether Baal, would destroy an offering by fire from heaven. LORD, your answer to Elijah's prayer brought the devastating fire on the offering prepared for you. The people responded with praise to God, and they killed all of the 450 prophets of Baal. But Elijah had to flea for his life from the murderous threat by Jezebel, and there was no evidence that the people were convinced to abandon Baal worship. Later, when Elijah pronounced the LORD's judgment on Ahab who had done more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him: Ahab tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his body, fasted, and lay in sackcloth. This was another time when the amazing mercy of the LORD upon Such a man touched me, because that time of humility was given recognition so Ahab did not experience the full course of death and devastation in Samaria. Ahab did die in battle with the Syrians and the blood in his chariot was licked up as the LORD had spoken. The widespread death and devastation in Israel would come when Ahab's son was king for a brief time, and when that son died there would be no remaining posterity to Ahab's family. There is much more in the Scriptures about Elijah that brought me to praise my Lord as I worked through each of the sections in this study. Help me LORD to firmly trust in all that is in your perfect will in my life, and in this temporary world around me. I have a sure hope in the everlasting Kingdom of Heaven by the gift of salvation through my precious Lord Christ Jesus. Amen.



Published 22 September 2020