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1 Kings 21:17 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And the word of Jehovah came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And the word of Jehovah came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then came the word of Yahweh unto Elijah the Tishbite, saying:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And the word of Jehovah is unto Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And the word of the Lord came to Elias, the Thesbite, saying:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And the word of the LORD came to Eliiah the Tishbite, saying,
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the Lord spoke to Elijah{gr.Eliu} the Tishbite{gr.Thesbite}, saying,
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And the word of Yahweh came to Eliyyah the Tishbi, saying,

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And the word 1697
{1697} Prime
From H1696; a word; by implication a matter (as spoken of) or thing; adverbially a cause.
of Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
came x1961
(1961) Complement
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
to x413
(0413) Complement
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
liyy אֵלִיָּה 452
{0452} Prime
From H0410 and H3050; God of Jehovah; Elijah, the name of the famous prophet and of two other Israelites.
the Tib תִּשׁבִּי, 8664
{8664} Prime
Patrial from an unused name meaning recourse; a Tishbite or inhabitant of Tishbeh (in Gilead).
saying, 559
{0559} Prime
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Kings 21:17-19

_ _ 1 Kings 21:17-29. Elijah denounces judgments against Ahab and Jezebel.

_ _ Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? — While Ahab was in the act of surveying his ill-gotten possession, Elijah, by divine commission, stood before him. The appearance of the prophet, at such a time, was ominous of evil, but his language was much more so (compare Ezekiel 45:8; Ezekiel 46:16-18). Instead of shrinking with horror from the atrocious crime, Ahab eagerly hastened to his newly acquired property.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Kings 21:17-29

_ _ In these verses we may observe,

_ _ I. The very bad character that is given of Ahab (1 Kings 21:25, 1 Kings 21:26), which comes in here to justify God in the heavy sentence passed upon him, and to show that though it was passed upon occasion of his sin in the matter of Naboth (which David's sin in the matter of Uriah did too much resemble), yet God would not have punished him so severely if he had not been guilty of many other sins, especially idolatry; whereas David, except in that one matter, did that which was right. But, as to Ahab, there was none like him, so ingenious and industrious in sin, and that made a trade of it. He sold himself to work wickedness, that is, he made himself a perfect slave to his lusts, and was as much at their beck and command as ever any servant was at his master's. He was wholly given up to sin, and, upon condition he might have the pleasures of it, he would take the wages of it, which is death, Romans 6:23. Blessed Paul complained that he was sold under sin (Romans 7:14), as a poor captive against his will; but Ahab was voluntary: he sold himself to sin; of choice, and as his own act and deed, he submitted to the dominion of sin. It was no excuse of his crimes that Jezebel his wife stirred him up to do wickedly, and made him, in many respects, worse than otherwise he would have been. To what a pitch of impiety did he arrive who had such tinder of corruption in his heart and such a temper in his bosom to strike fire into it! In many things he did ill, but he did most abominably in following idols, like the Canaanites; his immoralities were very provoking to God, but his idolatries were especially so. Israel's case was sad when a prince of such a character as this reigned over them.

_ _ II. The message with which Elijah was sent to him, when he went to take possession of Naboth's vineyard, 1 Kings 21:17-19.

_ _ 1. Hitherto God kept silence, did not intercept Jezebel's letters, nor stay the process of the elders of Jezreel; but now Ahab is reproved and his sin set in order before his eyes. (1.) The person sent is Elijah. A prophet of lower rank was sent with messages of kindness to him, 1 Kings 20:13. But the father of the prophets is sent to try him, and condemn him, for his murder. (2.) The place is Naboth's vineyard and the time just when he is taking possession of it; then, and there, must his doom be read him. By taking possession, he avowed all that was done, and made himself guilty ex post factoas an accessary after the fact. There he was taken in the commission of the errors, and therefore the conviction would come upon him with so much the more force. “What hast thou to do in this vineyard? What good canst thou expect from it when it is purchased with blood (Habakkuk 2:12) and thou hast caused the owner thereof to lose his life?Job 31:39. Now that he is pleasing himself with his ill-gotten wealth, and giving direction for the turning of this vineyard into a flower-garden, his meat in his bowels is turned. He shall not feel quietness. When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, Job 20:14, Job 20:20, Job 20:23.

_ _ 2. Let us see what passed between him and the prophet.

_ _ (1.) Ahab vented his wrath against Elijah, fell into a passion at the sight of him, and, instead of humbling himself before the prophet, as he ought to have done (2 Chronicles 36:12), was ready to fly in his face. Hast thou found me, O my enemy? 1 Kings 21:20. This shows, [1.] That he hated him. The last time we found them together they parted very good friends, 1 Kings 18:46. Then Ahab had countenanced the reformation, and therefore then all was well between him and the prophet; but now he had relapsed, and was worse than ever. His conscience told him he had made God his enemy, and therefore he could not expect Elijah should be his friend. Note, That man's condition is very miserable that has made the word of God his enemy, and his condition is very desperate that reckons the ministers of that word his enemies because they tell him the truth, Galatians 4:16. Ahab, having sold himself to sin, was resolved to stand to his bargain, and could not endure him that would have helped him to recover himself, [2.] That he feared him: Hast thou found me? intimating that he shunned him all he could, and it was now a terror to him to see him. The sight of him was like that of the handwriting upon the wall to Belshazzar; it made his countenance change, the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another. Never was poor debtor or criminal so confounded at the sight of the officer that came to arrest him. Men may thank themselves if they make God and his word a terror to them.

_ _ (2.) Elijah denounced God's wrath against Ahab: I have found thee (says he, 1 Kings 21:20), because thou hast sold thyself to work evil. Note, Those that give up themselves to sin will certainly be found out, sooner or later, to their unspeakable horror and amazement. Ahab is now set to the bar, as Naboth was, and trembles more than he did. [1.] Elijah finds the indictment against him, and convicts him upon the notorious evidence of the fact (1 Kings 21:19): Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? He was thus charged with the murder of Naboth, and it would not serve him to say the law killed him (perverted justice is the highest injustice), nor that, if he was unjustly prosecuted, it was not his doing — he knew nothing of it; for it was to please him that it was done, and he had shown himself pleased with it, and so had made himself guilty of all that was done in the unjust prosecution of Naboth. He killed, for he took possession. If he takes the garden, he takes the guilt with it. Terra transit cum onereThe land with the incumbrance. [2.] He passes judgment upon him. He told him from God that his family should be ruined and rooted out (1 Kings 21:21) and all his posterity cut off, — that his house should be made like the houses of his wicked predecessors, Jeroboam and Baasha (1 Kings 21:22), particularly that those who died in the city should be meat for dogs and those who died in the field meat for birds (1 Kings 21:24), which had been foretold of Jeroboam's house (1 Kings 14:11), and of Baasha's (1 Kings 16:4), — that Jezebel, particularly, should be devoured by dogs (1 Kings 21:23), which was fulfilled (2 Kings 9:36), — and, as for Ahab himself, that the dogs should lick his blood in the very same place where they licked Naboth's (1 Kings 21:19 — “Thy blood, even thine, though it be royal blood, though it swell thy veins with pride and boil in thy heart with anger, shall ere long be an entertainment for the dogs”), which was fulfilled, 1 Kings 22:38. This intimates that he should die a violent death, should come to his grave with blood, and that disgrace should attend him, the foresight of which must needs be a great mortification to such a proud man. Punishments after death are here most insisted on, which, though such as affected the body only, were perhaps designed as figures of the soul's misery after death.

_ _ III. Ahab's humiliation under the sentence passed upon him, and the favourable message sent him thereupon. 1. Ahab was a kind of penitent. The message Elijah delivered to him in God's name put him into a fright for the present, so that he rent his clothes and put on sackcloth, 1 Kings 21:27. He was still a proud hardened sinner, and yet thus reduced. Note, God can make the stoutest heart to tremble and the proudest to humble itself. His word is quick and powerful, and is, when the pleases to make it so, like a fire and a hammer, Jeremiah 23:29. It made Felix tremble. Ahab put on the garb and guise of a penitent, and yet his heart was unhumbled and unchanged. After this, we find, he hated a faithful prophet, 1 Kings 22:8. Note, It is no new thing to find the show and profession of repentance where yet the truth and substance of it are wanting. Ahab's repentance was only what might be seen of men: Seest thou (says God to Elijah) how Ahab humbles himself; it was external only, the garments rent, but not the heart. A hypocrite may go very far in the outward performance of holy duties and yet come short. 2. He obtained hereby a reprieve, which I may call a kind of pardon. Though it was but an outside repentance (lamenting the judgment only, and not the sin), though he did not leave his idols, nor restore the vineyard to Naboth's heirs, yet, because he did hereby give some glory to God, God took notice of it, and bade Elijah take notice of it: Seest thou how Ahab humbles himself? 1 Kings 21:29. In consideration of this the threatened ruin of his house, which had not been fixed to any time, should be adjourned to his son's days. The sentence should not be revoked, but the execution suspended. Now, (1.) This discovers the great goodness of God, and his readiness to show mercy, which here rejoices against judgment. Favour was shown to this wicked man that God might magnify his goodness (says bishop Sanderson) even to the hazard of his other divine perfections; as if (says he) God would be thought unholy, or untrue, or unjust (though he be none of these), or any thing, rather than unmerciful. (2.) This teaches us to take notice of that which is good even in those who are not so good as they should be: let it be commended as far as it goes. (3.) This gives a reason why wicked people sometimes prosper long; God is rewarding their external services with external mercies. (4.) This encourages all those that truly repent and unfeignedly believe the holy gospel. If a pretending partial penitent shall go to his house reprieved, doubtless a sincere penitent shall go to his house justified.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

2 Kings 1:15-16 And the angel of the LORD said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king. ... And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron, [is it] not because [there is] no God in Israel to enquire of his word? therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.
2 Kings 5:26 And he said unto him, Went not mine heart [with thee], when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? [Is it] a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?
Psalms 9:12 When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.
Isaiah 26:21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
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2K 1:15; 5:26. Ps 9:12. Is 26:21.

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