And when the messengers turned back unto him ,.... To Ahaziah king of Israel, as they did as soon as Elijah was gone from them; concluding from his habit, his gravity, and the authority with which he spoke, that he was a prophet of the Lord, and especially from his knowledge of them, and of what they were sent about:

he said unto them, why are ye now turned back ? for, by the time they had been gone, he knew they could never have been at Ekron and returned.