Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

unto his mother: and Elijah said :-"See, thy son liveth.”

And the woman said to Elijah :"Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.”*

And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying :-"So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beer-sheba,

*After this incident, it is related in chapter xviii that the drought continued three years, during which King Ahab sought Elijah in all directions to put him to death as the "troubler of Israel.” When the famine had reduced both the king and the people of Israel to the last extremity, Elijah suddenly appeared before Ahab and demanded a public trial of the causes of divine displeasure. In the presence of all the people, he would prepare a sacrifice to the Lord; let the prophets of Baal make ready at the same time and place an offering to their God, and it would quickly be made manifest which of the two was the real God of Israel. Ahab did not dare refuse this test, and the armed host of Israel was assembled "unto Mt. Carmel," doubtless on a broad plateau which slopes gently to the east under the highest point of the eastern end of the ridge. To this day, the Arab inhabitants of the country call this height the "place of the burning.”

The two sacrifices were prepared. The prophets of Baal gashed themselves and howled and danced in vain around the altar; while in response to Elijah's appeal, "Hear me, O Lord,” fire from Heaven consumed his sacrificial offering. All Ahab's power and influence could not save the prophets of Baal from the wrath of the reawakened people; and while they were being slaughtered, Elijah, praying on the summit of the mountain, saw the welcome rain cloud rising out of the western sea.

which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went à 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.”

And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him:"Arise and eat.” And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. 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 thee." And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.

And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said unto him :—“What doest thou here, Elijah ?”.

And he said: “I have been very jealous* for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, thrown down Thine altars, and slain Thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

And he said :-“Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.” And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the

3. An earthen bottle. 4. Fearful.

Lord was not in the wind : and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 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 unto him, and said : _"What doest thou here, Elijah ?"

And he said :-“I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts : because the children of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, thrown down Thine altars, and slain Thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."

And the lord said unto him :-"Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left Me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him."

So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen

5. In the northern part of the Jordan valley.

before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.

And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said: -“Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee.”

And he said unto him :-"Go back again: for what have I done to thee?”

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 them unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.8

6. A token of investiture with the prophet's office, and of adoption as a son.

7. The wooden yokes and other harness. 8. Study Note 36, Outline Study.

XXVI

THE STORY OF ELISHA

(II Kings ii) Introductory Note.-The reign of the house of Ahab at Samaria was a turning point in the history of Israel. During this period, distinctive nationality, of which the national religion was the symbol and rallying point, was fiercely assailed in the larger and more important of the two kingdoms, by all the forces of heathenism. The royal house, followed, it would seem, by the nobility, succumbed to the foreign influences; but the national cause was upheld by the great prophets, Elijah and Elisha, supported by an organized body of enthusiasts, described in the narrative as the “sons of the prophets."

And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.' And Elijah said unto Elisha : —“Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Beth-el.”

And Elisha said unto him :-"As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee.” So they went down to Beth-el.

And the sons of the prophets that were at Beth-el came forth to Elisha, and said unto him :-“Knowest thou that the Lord will take away the master from thy head to-day?"

And he said :—“Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.” And Elijah said unto him :-"Elisha, tarry here, I

1. In the plain of Jordan, three miles east of Jericho.

« ForrigeFortsæt »