1 Kings 18:12 MEANING

1 Kings 18:12
(12) The Spirit of the Lord shall carry thee.--In this phrase there is perhaps a survival of the original physical sense of the word "Spirit"--the whirlwind which is "the breath of the Lord." (Comp. 2 Kings 2:16; Acts 8:39.) To Obadiah it seemed that only by such miraculous agency could Elijah have been removed from the persecution for so long a time, and that, having emerged for a moment, he will be swept away into his hidden refuge again.

Verse 12. - And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that [Heb. I shall go from thee, and] the Spirit of the Lord shall carry thee whither I know not [These words, which literally translated are "shall lift thee up upon where," etc., are to be explained by 2 Kings 2:16, "lest the Spirit of the Lord hath taken him up" (same word) "and cast him upon some mountain," etc. Seb. Schmidt, Wordsworth, al. think that such a transportation must have already occurred in the history of Elijah, but the sudden, mysterious disappearance and the long concealment of the prophet is quite sufficient to account for Obadiah's fear. Compare Acts 8:39. The words do suggest, however, that it had been believed by some that the Lord had hid Elijah, and it is not improbable that during his long absence rumours had often gained credence that he had been seen and had suddenly disappeared, just as later Jews have held that he "has appeared again and again as an Arabian merchant to wise and good Rabbis at their prayers or in their journeys" (Stanley)]; and so when I come and tell [Heb. and I come to tell] Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me [This is just what a prince like Ahab, or any prince who was under the guidance of a Jezebel, would do, out of sheer vexation at losing his prey when so nearly in his grasp]: but [Heb. and] I thy servant fear the Lord from my youth. [Obadiah's meaning clearly is not that he, "as a God-fearing man and a protector of the prophets, cannot have any special favour to expect from Ahab" (Keil; similarly Ewald), but that it was hard that one who was a steadfast worshipper of Elijah's God should be slain for his sake. It is extremely unlikely that Ahab knew of Obadiah's having protected the prophets. He could hardly have maintained him in his post had he known that the steward of the palace had thwarted the designs of his queen.]

18:1-16 The severest judgments, of themselves, will not humble or change the hearts of sinners; nothing, except the blood of Jesus Christ, can atone for the guilt of sin; nothing, except the sanctifying Spirit of God, can purge away its pollution. The priests and the Levites were gone to Judah and Jerusalem, 2Ch 11:13,14, but instead of them God raised up prophets, who read and expounded the word. They probably were from the schools of the prophets, first set up by Samuel. They had not the spirit of prophecy as Elijah, but taught the people to keep close to the God of Israel. These Jezebel sought to destroy. The few that escaped death were forced to hide themselves. God has his remnant among all sorts, high and low; and that faith, fear, and love of his name, which are the fruits of the Holy Spirit, will be accepted through the Redeemer. See how wonderfully God raises up friends for his ministers and people, for their shelter in difficult times. Bread and water were now scarce, yet Obadiah will find enough for God's prophets, to keep them alive. Ahab's care was not to lose all the beasts; but he took no care about his soul, not to lose that. He took pains to seek grass, but none to seek the favour of God; fencing against the effect, but not inquiring how to remove the cause. But it bodes well with a people, when God calls his ministers to stand forth, and show themselves. And we may the better endure the bread of affliction, while our eyes see our teachers.And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the Lord shall carry thee whither I know not,.... This he supposed might possibly, and very probably, be the case, since small raptures might have been already, and known to Obadiah, as there were afterwards, see 2 Kings 2:16, and then he should not know where he was, nor be able to direct his master where to find him:

and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me; for telling him a lie, and deceiving and mocking him; or for not seizing on Elijah, and bringing him, when he knew he was so desirous of getting him into his hands:

but I thy servant fear the Lord from my youth; and therefore did not deserve to be treated after this manner, having been an early and conscientious worshipper of the true God.

Courtesy of Open Bible