1 Kings 18:22 MEANING

1 Kings 18:22
Verse 22. - Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain [Heb. I, I am left alone. Cf. Genesis 32:24; μονώτατος] a prophet of the Lord [Thenius hence concludes that the "hundred prophets" of whom we read in vers. 4, 13 had been discovered in their hiding place and had been put to death. But this by no means follows from Elijah's statement here or in ch. 19:10 (where see note); and we know that the schools of the prophets had not ceased to exist (2 Kings 2:3, 5, 7; cf. 1 Kings 22:8). All that Elijah says is that he stood that day alone as a prophet of Jehovah. "I only remain in the exercise of the office of a prophet" (Rawlinson). The rest might well hesitate, after me fierce persecution which they had undergone, to face the king and their bitter enemies, the Baal prophets. It must be remembered that Elijah had had no opportunity of communicating with them, and he may have been quite ignorant as to what number had remained steadfast and true. One thing he knew, that he alone was left to prophesy, and to confront the whole hierarchy of the false God]; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. [It is clear, not only from the silence of this verse and of ver. 25, respecting them, but still more from the fact that they escaped in the general slaughter (ver. 40), that the prophets of Astarte were not present, and the natural inference is that either Jezebel had forbidden their presence or that they shrank from the ordeal. The LXX. inserts "and the prophets of the grove, four hundred," but the words are evidently added from ver. 19. The Baal prophets would doubtless have been only too glad to do the same, but they were under the immediate command of the king. It is not certain that they had any forebodings of evil, or dreaded reprisals on Elijah's part, but they had had proof conclusive of his power and of their impo-fence. We must remember that all through the triennium prayers and sacrifices had, no doubt, been constantly offered with a view to procure rain. We learn from Menander (Jos., 8:13. 2) that even in Phoenicia supplication had been made for rain by Ethabaal.

18:21-40 Many of the people wavered in their judgment, and varied in their practice. Elijah called upon them to determine whether Jehovah or Baal was the self-existent, supreme God, the Creator, Governor, and Judge of the world, and to follow him alone. It is dangerous to halt between the service of God and the service of sin, the dominion of Christ and the dominion of our lusts. If Jesus be the only Saviour, let us cleave to him alone for every thing; if the Bible be the world of God, let us reverence and receive the whole of it, and submit our understanding to the Divine teaching it contains. Elijah proposed to bring the matter to a trial. Baal had all the outward advantages, but the event encourages all God's witnesses and advocates never to fear the face of man. The God that answers by fire, let him be God: the atonement was to be made by sacrifice, before the judgment could be removed in mercy. The God therefore that has power to pardon sin, and to signify it by consuming the sin-offering, must needs be the God that can relieve from the calamity. God never required his worshippers to honour him in the manner of the worshippers of Baal; but the service of the devil, though sometimes it pleases and pampers the body, yet, in other things, really is cruel to it, as in envy and drunkenness. God requires that we mortify our lusts and corruptions; but bodily penances and severities are no pleasure to him. Who has required these things at your hands? A few words uttered in assured faith, and with fervent affection for the glory of God, and love to the souls of men, or thirstings after the Lord's image and his favour, form the effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous man, which availeth much. Elijah sought not his own glory, but that of God, for the good of the people. The people are all agreed, convinced, and satisfied; Jehovah, he is the God. Some, we hope, had their hearts turned, but most of them were convinced only, not converted. Blessed are they that have not seen what these saw, yet have believed, and have been wrought upon by it, more than they that saw it.Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only remain a prophet of the Lord,.... At least as he thought, all the rest being slain, as he supposed; however there were none present but himself:

but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men; which were very great odds he had to contend with.

Courtesy of Open Bible