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Verse 2

ELIJAH FLED TO THE BROOK OF CHERITH

"And the word of Jehovah came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according to the word of Jehovah; for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land."

"Get thee hence, and turn eastward" (1 Kings 17:3). This was God's order for Elijah to get himself outside the jurisdiction of Ahab, who certainly would have murdered him if he could have found him.

"That is before Jordan" (1 Kings 17:3). In the O.T. this expression always means "east of."

"I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there" (1 Kings 17:4). A statement such as this runs some writers wild. Impossible! "Saga ... legend ... myth"![10] However, as Snaith wisely said: "More than human ingenuity is required in order to excise all the miraculous elements from these wonders."[11]

The best explanation that rationalists have come up with is that the word here translated "ravens" can be translated "merchants" or "Arabians" as in Ezekiel 27:27; 2 Chronicles 21:16 and Nehemiah 4:7.[12] However, we reject out of hand any such effort to diminish what is written here.

Tatum's advice should be heeded: "Here we are face to face with a series of miracles and any attempt to explain one of them away still leaves us a number of others even more amazing. It is better to accept them by faith in an all-powerful God."[13] As Montgomery stated it in the International Critical Commentary, "The divine provision of the prophet's food was simply miraculous."[14] Amen!

"And it came to pass ... that the brook dried up" (1 Kings 17:7). When a nation suffers, God's people must also suffer. Elijah was NOT exempt from the effects of the terrible drought.

Charles G. Martin wrote that, "Outwardly the northern kingdom prospered under Ahab."[15] In support of that, he mentioned Ahab's ivory palace and Assyrian records that credit Ahab with contributing 2,000 chariots and 10,000 soldiers in the battle of Qarqar (833 B.C.), the new temple of Baal in Samaria, and all those pagan priests brought in by Jezebel, but this writer believes that none of those things indicates any real prosperity. Those who remember the terrible drought in the U.S.A. (a three-year drought) 1927-1929 that precipitated events ending in the stock market crash of November 1929 will also remember that the depression that followed lasted for at least six more years. The three-year drought in Israel eliminated all possibility of any real prosperity during Ahab's reign. Josephus wrote that, "The famine had seized upon the whole country, and there was a great want of what was necessary for sustenance."[16]

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