1 Kings 19:9
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

King James Bible
And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

American Standard Version
And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of Jehovah came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when he was come thither, he abode in a cave: and behold the word of the Lord came unto him, and he said to him: What dost thou here, Elias?

English Revised Version
And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

Webster's Bible Translation
And he came thither to a cave, and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

1 Kings 19:9 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

But when Elijah saw (ויּרא), sc. how things stood, or the audacity of Jezebel, from which the failure of his work was evident, he rose up and went to Beersheba in Judah, i.e., Bir-seba on the southern frontier of Canaan (see at Genesis 21:31). The expression ליהוּדה אשׁר, "which to Judah," i.e., which belonged to the kingdom of Judah, for Beersheba was really allotted to the tribe of Simeon (Joshua 19:2), is appended not merely as a geographical indication that Elijah went outside the land, but to show that he meant to leave the kingdom of Israel, the scene of his previous labours, just as Jeremiah in a similar internal conflict gave utterance to the wish that he could leave his people, if he had but a lodging-place in the wilderness (Jeremiah 9:2). ויּרא is not to be altered into ויּירא, et timuit, after the lxx and Vulg., notwithstanding the fact that some Codd. have this reading, which only rests upon an erroneous conjecture. For it is obvious that Elijah did not flee from any fear of the vain threat of Jezebel, from the fact that he did not merely withdrawn into the kingdom of Judah, where he would have been safe under Jehoshaphat from all the persecutions of Jezebel, but went to Beersheba, and thence onwards into the desert there to pour out before the Lord God his weariness of life (1 Kings 19:4).

ילך אל־נפשׁו, he went upon his soul, or his life, i.e., not to save his life (as I once thought, with many other commentators), for his wish to die (1 Kings 19:4) is opposed to this; but to care for his soul in the manner indicated in 1 Kings 19:4, i.e., to commit his soul or his life to the Lord his God in the solitude of the desert, and see what He would determine concerning him.

(Note: G. Menken (christl. Homil. b. den Proph. Elias, p. 231) has given the following admirable explanation of אל נפשו fo so far as the sense is concerned: "For conscience sake, from conviction, out of obligation, not from fear. After all his former experience, and from the entire relation in which Elijah stood to God, it was impossible that he should be afraid, and not be firmly convinced that the God who had shut up heaven at his word, who had supplied him with bread and flesh for a whole year in the desert through the medium of ravens, who had supported him miraculously for years in a foreign land through the medium of a poor widow, who had concealed and rescued him for three years and a half from the search of the king, who had accredited and honoured him in the sight of all the people as His servant, who had given an immediate answer to his prayer for rain, could also defend him in this extremity, and rescue him from this danger, if such should be His will.")

- He left his servant in Beersheba, while he himself went a day's journey farther into the desert (Paran), not merely because he was so filled with weariness of life in his dark oppression, that he thought he should have no further need of his servant, and therefore left him behind in Beersheba, but that he might pour out his heart before God alone in the desert and yield himself up to His guidance. For however unquestionably his lamentation in 1 Kings 19:4, for example, expresses a weariness of life, this merely indicates the feeling which had taken possession of his soul after a day's journey in the barren desert. And even there he lays his wish to die before God in prayer; so that this feeling is merely to be regarded as one result of the spiritual conflict, which is bodily exhaustion had now raised to a height that it cannot have reached when he was in Beersheba. If, therefore, he did not start with the intention of making a pilgrimage to Horeb, he had certainly gone into the desert for the purpose of seeing whether the Lord would manifest His mercy to him, as He had formerly done to His people under Moses, or whether He would withdraw His hand entirely from him. After a day's journey he sat down under a רתם (construed here as a feminine, in 1 Kings 19:5 as a masculine), a species of broom (genista Retem in Forskl), which is the finest and most striking shrub of the Arabian desert, growing constantly in the beds of streams and in the valleys, where places of encampment are frequently selected for the sake of the shelter which they afford by night from the wind and by day from the sun (Rob. Pal. i. 299). למוּת...ויּשׁאל: and wished that his soul might die (a kind of accusative with infinitive; see Ewald, 336, b.), and said, עתּה רב, "Enough now; take, Lord, my soul, for I am not better than my fathers;" i.e., I have worked and endured enough, and deserve no longer life than my fathers. From this it appears that Elijah was already of a great age.

1 Kings 19:9 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

unto a cave

Exodus 33:21,22 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and you shall stand on a rock...

Jeremiah 9:2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people...

Hebrews 11:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

What does thou

1 Kings 19:13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave...

Genesis 3:9 And the LORD God called to Adam, and said to him, Where are you?

Genesis 16:8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, from where came you? and where will you go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.

Jeremiah 2:18 And now what have you to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what have you to do in the way of Assyria...

Jonah 1:3,4 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish...

Cross References
Hebrews 11:38
of whom the world was not worthy--wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

Genesis 16:8
And he said, "Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?" She said, "I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai."

Exodus 33:21
And the LORD said, "Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock,

Exodus 33:22
and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by.

1 Kings 19:13
And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

Jonah 4:5
Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city.

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