The story in 1 Kings 19:1-21 is the conclusion of Elijah’s ministry. Because of this, the author introduced the characters in previous chapters. In order to gain an understanding of the characters in the context of the narrative, prior chapters must be consulted. The main characters of the story are Elijah and Yahweh, surrounded by other lesser characters in this specific narrative.
The first two characters mentioned in the story are Ahab and Jezebel. In this narrative, Ahab is merely an agent of transitioning from the prior story about God’s victory on Mount Carmel against Baal to Jezebel’s reaction. On the other hand, the narrative shows Jezebel as a flat character: the powerful, evil, Baal worshiping queen bent on Elijah’s destruction. The ancient reader would have seen implications within the name of the queen herself. Jezebel meant either “Where is the Exalted One?” or “The Prince lives”, the implication of Prince is that of Baal. The messenger who carries Jezebel’s message is merely another agent to continue the story.
The protagonist of this section of Scripture, from 1 Kings 17-19 has been Elijah. In the narrative, he is introduced here and given an even more rounded element of his character. The reader will first find him in 1 Kings 17 as a bold prophet of God sent to announce God’s message. Later, his character will be imbued with compassion and power resulting in provision for the widow and a conduit for God’s power in resurrecting her boy. 1 Kings 18 describes the further bravery and confidence that Elijah has when he confronts a king and the entire nation to a conclusion that leaves Yahweh as the one true God and Baal as a false god. However, 1 Kings 19 pivots Elija...
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...he expectation that the Lord would be in the wind, the fire, or the earthquake, He proved Himself to be unpredictable, revealed in a gentle whisper. Too often, Christians like to put God in a box so we can understand Him. However, the timeless principle we can find in this section of the narrative is that the Lord does not always appear like we expect Him to. Furthermore, there are times when He will show up when and where we least expect.
Cogan, Mordechai, and Hayim Tadmor. II Kings (the Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries). Garden City, NY: Yale University Press, 1988.
Dictionary of Jewish Lore and Legend. s.v. "Sinai, Mount (Also Called Horeb)." London: Thames & Hudson, 1991. http://www.liberty.edu:2048/login?url=http://literati.credoreference.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/content/entry/thjll/sinai_mount_also_called_horeb/0 (accessed December 5, 2013.)
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