1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21

1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21
Ordinary C31


15 Then the LordA said to him, “Go,B returnC

Notes on verse 15a

A “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
B “go” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
C “return” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”

on your wayD to the wildernessE of Damascus;F

Notes on verse 15b

D “way” = derek. From darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.
E “wilderness” = midbar. From dabar (to speak, command, declare). This is mouth or speech. It can also be desert or wilderness. Additionally, it can be used for a pasture to which one drives cattle.
F “Damascus” = Dammeseq. From Old Aramaic dammasq (Damascus); perhaps related to d-r (dwelling) OR in Syriac darsuq (“a well-watered land”). This is Damascus. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damascus.

when you arrive,G you shall anointH HazaelI as kingJ over Aram.K 

Notes on verse 15c

G “arrive” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
H “anoint” = mashach. This is smear, paint, spread, or paint. It can also be to rub with oil or, otherwise stated, to anoint. This implies a consecration. This root verb is where the word “messiah” comes from.
I “Hazael” = Chazael. From chazah (to gaze at – to see or behold; perceiving as a mental process or looking at something with pleasure; seeing a vision) + el (God, a god). This is Hazael or Chazael, meaning “God sees.”
J “king” = melek. From malak (to be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned; by implication, to take counsel). This is king or royal.
K “Aram” = Aram. Perhaps from ‘armon (any fortified building – castle, citadel, palace) OR from rum (to be high, rise, exalt self, extol, be haughty; to rise literally or figuratively). This is Aram, Syria, Mesopotamia – meaning elevated or citadel. See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Aram.html#.XqfDX8hKhPY

16 Also you shall anoint JehuL sonM of NimshiN as king over Israel,O

Notes on verse 16a

L “Jehu” = Yehu. Related to “Lord” in v15.  From YHVH (see note A above) + hu (third person pronoun – he, she, it). This is Jehu or Yehu, a name meaning “the Lord is He.”
M “son” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
N “Nimshi” = Nimshi. 5x in OT. Perhaps from mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out). This is Nimshi, perhaps meaning “extricated.”
O “Israel” = Yisrael. Related to “Hazael” in v15. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (see note I above). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.

and you shall anoint ElishaP son of ShaphatQ of Abel-meholahR as prophetS in your place.

Notes on verse 16b

P “Elisha” = Elisha. Related to “Hazael” in v15 & “Israel” in v16. From Elishua (Elishua, meaning “God is salvation”); {from el (see note I above) + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Elisha, meaning “God is salvation.”
Q “Shaphat” = Shaphat. 8x in OT. From shaphat (to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, govern). This is Shaphat, meaning “he has judged” or “judge.”
R “Abel-meholah” = Abel mecholoah. 3x in OT. From abel (meadow, plain – grassy) + mecholah (dancing, a company); {from machol (round dance); from chul (whirling around so dancing as in a circle or writhing in pain; used particularly for the pain of childbirth or from writhing due to fear; can also be falling in pain or waiting)} or {from machashabah (thought, scheme, imagination, purpose, or a plan either good or evil); from chashab (literally to weave; figuratively to think or plot something malicious)}. This is Abel-meholah or Abel Mecholah, meaning “meadow of dancing.”
S “prophet” = nabi. This is prophet, prophecy, speaker, or someone inspired.

19 So he set outT from there and foundU Elisha son of Shaphat, who was plowing.V There were twelveW yokeX of oxen

Notes on verse 19a

T “set out” = halak. Same as “go” inv15. See note B above.
U “found” = matsa. This is to find, catch or acquire. It can also mean to come forth or appear. Figuratively, this can mean to meet or be together with.
V “plowing” = charash. This is to scratch, which implies etching or plowing. It can mean to manufacture regardless of materials used. Figuratively, it can be to devise or conceal. It can also have a sense of secrecy. Hence, being silent or left alone. It can also be speechless.
W “twelve” = shenayim + asar. Shenayim is From sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple. Asar is from the same as eser (ten). It means ten or -teen.
X “yoke” = tsemed. 15x in OT. From tsamad (to bind, attach, frame, serve, or contrive). This is a pair, together, yoke, team. It can also be used for an acre because it would take a team of cattle a whole day to plow it.

aheadY of him, and he was with the twelfth. ElijahZ passedAA by him and threwBB his mantleCC over him. 

Notes on verse 19b

Y “ahead” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
Z “Elijah” = Eliyyah. Related to “Hazael” in v15 & “Israel” and “Elisha” in v16 & “Lord” in v15 & “Jehu” in v16. From el (see note I above) + Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (see note A above)}. This is Elijah, meaning “The Lord is God.”
AA “passed” = abar. This is to pass over or cross over. It is used for transitions, whether literal or figurative. It can also mean to escape, alienate, or fail. This is the root verb from which “Hebrew” is drawn.
BB “threw” = shalak. This is to throw, fling, or hurl. It can also be to throw away in a literal or figurative sense.
CC “mantle” = addereth. 12x in OT– this is the word used for the mantle that passes from Elijah to Elisha. From addir (majestic, excellent, mighty, powerful, or noble); from adar (wide, glorious, honorable, great, magnificent). This is something ample – glory, splendid, goodly. It could also refer to a cloak, robe, or garment.

20 He leftDD the oxen,EE ranFF after Elijah, and said, “Let me kissGG, HH my fatherII and my mother,JJ and then I will followKK you.”

Notes on verse 20a

DD “left” = azab. To loosen, relinquish, permit, forsake, fail, leave destitute.
EE “oxen” = baqar. From baqar (to plow, break forth; figuratively, to inquire, inspect, consider). This is cattle – an animal used for plowing.
FF “ran” = ruts. This is to run or rush, divide quickly, bring swiftly. It can also refer to a footman or guard.
GG “kiss” = nashaq. This is to kiss in a literal or figurative sense. It can mean to touch, rule, or equip with weapons.
HH {untranslated} = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
II “father” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
JJ “mother” = em. This is a mother as binding a family together or a breeding female animal. It could be mother in a literal or figurative sense.
KK “follow” = halak. Same as “go” inv15. See note B above.

Then Elijah said to him, “Go back again,LL for what have I doneMM to you?” 21 He returned from following him, tookNN the yoke of oxen, and slaughteredOO them; using the equipmentPP from the oxen,

Notes on verses 20b-21a

LL “back again” = shub. Same as “return” in v15. See note C above.
MM “done” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
NN “took” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
OO “slaughtered” = zabach. This is slaughtering an animal, generally for the purpose of sacrifice. It can mean kill or offer.
PP “equipment” = keli. From kalah (to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed). This is something that was prepared – any implement, utensil, article, vessel, weapon, or instrument. Also includes jewels, weapons, bags, carriages, and furniture.

he boiledQQ their fleshRR and gaveSS it to the people,TT and they ate.UU Then he set outVV and followed Elijah and became his servant.WW

Notes on verse 21b

QQ “boiled” = bashal. This is to boil up, roast, or bake. It can also mean ripen, produce, or seethe.
RR “flesh” = basar. From basar (being a messenger, publish, carry preach; properly, this is being fresh, rosy or cheerful as one bearing news). This is flesh, the body, fat, skin, self, nakedness, humankind, or kin. It can also refer to private parts.
SS “gave” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
TT “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
UU “ate” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
VV “set out” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
WW “became…servant” = sharath. This is ministering, serving, or waiting on. It can refer to one offering service as a worshipper or one serving as a servant.

Image credit: “Oxen Team” by Rudolf Koppitz (1884-1936) from the National Media Museum of the UK.

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