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1 Kings 18:1-15

Elijah Meets the King’s Servant

18:1 Some time later, in the third year of the famine, the Lord told Elijah, 1  “Go, make an appearance before Ahab, so I may send rain on the surface of the ground.” 18:2 So Elijah went to make an appearance before Ahab.

Now the famine was severe in Samaria. 2  18:3 So Ahab summoned Obadiah, who supervised the palace. (Now Obadiah was a very loyal follower of the Lord. 3  18:4 When Jezebel was killing 4  the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah took one hundred prophets and hid them in two caves in two groups of fifty. He also brought them food and water.) 18:5 Ahab told Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs and valleys. Maybe we can find some grazing areas 5  so we can keep the horses and mules alive and not have to kill 6  some of the animals.” 18:6 They divided up the land between them; Ahab went 7  one way and Obadiah went the other.

18:7 As Obadiah was traveling along, Elijah met him. 8  When he recognized him, he fell facedown to the ground and said, “Is it really you, my master, Elijah?” 18:8 He replied, “Yes, 9  go and say to your master, ‘Elijah is back.’” 10  18:9 Obadiah 11  said, “What sin have I committed that you are ready to hand your servant over to Ahab for execution? 12  18:10 As certainly as the Lord your God lives, my master has sent to every nation and kingdom in an effort to find you. When they say, ‘He’s not here,’ he makes them 13  swear an oath that they could not find you. 18:11 Now you say, ‘Go and say to your master, “Elijah is back.”’ 14  18:12 But when I leave you, the Lord’s spirit will carry you away so I can’t find you. 15  If I go tell Ahab I’ve seen you, he won’t be able to find you and he will kill me. 16  That would not be fair, 17  because your servant has been a loyal follower of 18  the Lord from my youth. 18:13 Certainly my master is aware of what I did 19  when Jezebel was killing the Lord’s prophets. I hid one hundred of the Lord’s prophets in two caves in two groups of fifty and I brought them food and water. 18:14 Now you say, ‘Go and say to your master, “Elijah is back,”’ 20  but he will kill me.” 18:15 But Elijah said, “As certainly as the Lord who rules over all 21  lives (whom I serve), 22  I will make an appearance before him today.”

1 tn Heb “the word of the Lord came to Elijah.”

2 map For location see Map2 B1; Map4 D3; Map5 E2; Map6 A4; Map7 C1.

3 tn Heb “now Obadiah greatly feared the Lord.” “Fear” refers here to obedience and allegiance, the products of healthy respect for the Lord’s authority.

4 tn Heb “cutting off.”

5 tn Heb “grass.”

6 tn Heb “to cut off.”

7 tn The Hebrew text has “alone” here and again in reference to Obadiah toward the end of the verse.

8 tn Heb “look, Elijah [came] to meet him.”

9 tn Heb “[It is] I.”

10 tn Heb “Look, Elijah”; or “Elijah is here.”

11 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Obadiah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

12 tn Heb “to kill me.”

13 tn Heb “he makes the kingdom or the nation swear an oath.”

14 tn Heb “Look, Elijah”; or “Elijah is here.”

15 tn Heb “to [a place] which I do not know.”

16 tn Heb “and I will go to inform Ahab and he will not find you and he will kill me.”

17 tn The words “that would not be fair” are added to clarify the logic of Obadiah’s argument.

18 tn Heb “has feared the Lord” (also see the note at 1 Kgs 18:3).

19 tn Heb “Has it not been told to my master what I did…?” The rhetorical question expects an answer, “Of course it has!”

20 tn Heb “Look, Elijah”; or “Elijah is here.”

21 tn Traditionally, “the Lord of Hosts.”

22 tn Heb “(before whom I stand).”

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