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1 Kings 19:1-8

Elijah Runs for His Life

19:1 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, including a detailed account of how he killed all the prophets with the sword. 19:2 Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah with this warning, 1  “May the gods judge me severely 2  if by this time tomorrow I do not take your life as you did theirs!” 3 

19:3 Elijah was afraid, 4  so he got up and fled for his life to Beer Sheba in Judah. He left his servant there, 19:4 while he went a day’s journey into the desert. He went and sat down under a shrub 5  and asked the Lord to take his life: 6  “I’ve had enough! Now, O Lord, take my life. After all, I’m no better than my ancestors.” 7  19:5 He stretched out 8  and fell asleep under the shrub. All of a sudden an angelic messenger 9  touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 19:6 He looked and right there by his head was a cake baking on hot coals and a jug of water. He ate and drank and then slept some more. 10  19:7 The Lord’s angelic messenger came back again, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, for otherwise you won’t be able to make the journey.” 11  19:8 So he got up and ate and drank. That meal gave him the strength to travel forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.

1 tn Heb “saying.”

2 tn Heb “So may the gods do to me, and so may they add.”

3 tn Heb “I do not make your life like the life of one of them.”

4 tc The MT has “and he saw,” but some medieval Hebrew mss as well as several ancient versions support the reading “he was afraid.” The consonantal text (וַיַּרְא, vayyar’) is ambiguous and can be vocalized וַיַּרְא (from רָאָה, raah, “to see”) or וַיִּרָא (vayyira’, from יָרֵא, yare’, “to fear”).

5 tn Or “broom tree” (also in v. 5).

6 tn Heb “and asked with respect to his life to die.”

7 tn Heb “fathers.”

8 tn Or “lay down.”

9 tn Heb “Look, a messenger.”

10 tn Heb “and again lay down”

11 tn Heb “for the journey is too great for you.”

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