1 Kings 18:1 MEANING

1 Kings 18:1
(1) The third year.--By the accurate tradition, preserved in Luke 4:25, James 5:17, it would seem that the drought lasted "three years and six months." If, therefore, the expression in the text is to be taken literally, it must be reckoned from the beginning of the visit to Zarephath.

Verse 1. - And it came to pass after [This word is wanting in the Heb. except in a few MSS.] many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year [From what date is this "third year" to be counted? The prima facie view is that the words refer to "these years" mentioned in 1 Kings 17:1, i.e., to the date of the announcement of the drought, and this is the interpretation of the Rabbins and some of the moderns. But it is almost fatal to this view that the duration of the drought is distinctly stated in the New Testament to have been "three years and six months" (Luke 4:25; James 5:17). It is every way better, therefore, to connect the words with 1 Kings 17:7, i.e., with the date of the sojourn at Zarephath. It follows hence that the prophet spent about one year in the Wady Cherith, and two and a half in the house of the widow], saying, Go, show thyself [Heb. be seen] unto Ahab; and I will send [Heb. give] rain upon the earth. [Heb. on the face of the ground. Cf. 1 Kings 17:14.]

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 came to pass after many days,.... When two years and more were gone from the time the drought and famine began; or rather from the time of the prophets departure to the brook Cherith, which might be six months after the famine began:

that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year; of his absence from Ahab:

saying, go show thyself unto Ahab; whom he had not seen so long, and who had been seeking for him, but to no purpose:

and I will send rain upon the earth; the term of three years and six months being almost expired, see James 5:17.

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