1 Kgs 16:29-18:46
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- 1 Kgs 18:15: Elijah's succinctness vs. Obadiah's verbosity. Robert Alter (in The Art of Biblical Narrative p. 73) uses this succinct response by Elijah contrasted with Obadiah's verbose response as an example of a common literary technique of contrasting dialogue. In this case Alter explains, "The contrastive form of the dialogue, which has a certain element of grim comedy, dramatizes the profound difference in character between the two speakers: the one, a God-fearing person who has taken certain chances because of his conscience but who is, after all, an ordianry man with understandable human fears and hesitations; the other, a fiercely uncompromising agent of God's purpose, impelled by the imperative sense of his own prophetic authority."
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- 1 Kgs 17:1-5: What does Elijah mean when he says "before whom I stand?" Is he expressing confidence in himself before the Lord, regarding the Lord above anyone else? Is it in comparison to Ahab? Could it perhaps refer to holding the priesthood (Deuteronomy 18:7) or having made a covenant (Deuteronomy 29:10)? Is the instruction to "get thee hence, and turn thee eastward" merely directional?
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- 1 Kgs 17:1: Drought caused by Jehovah, not Baal. See John A. Tvedtnes, “Elijah: Champion of Israel’s God,” (Ensign, July 1990, p. 52) for a discussion of beliefs regarding Baal as the weather-god.
- 1 Kgs 17:14: Contrast between famine and God. See "Contrast in the Elijah Narrative" by David J. at the FPR blog.
- 1 Kgs 18:37: Turned their heart back again. See "The Gospel According to the OT: God’s Memory" by Mogget at the FPR blog.
- 1 Kgs 18:38: Symbolism of the sacrifice, wood, stones, dust and water. See "Elijah: Champion of Israel’s God" (Ensign, July 1990, 52) where John A. Tvedtnes explains that the bullock sacrifice symbolized the Canaanite god El, the wood symbolized El's wife Ashera, the dust and stones symbolized Anath, the goddess of war, and the water symbolized Yamm who was believed to have killed Baal (see also the FARMS article Who Controls the Water? Yahweh vs. Baal.
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