holy, or Kadesh-Barnea, sacred desert of wandering, a place on
the south-eastern border of Israel, about 165 miles from
Horeb. It lay in the "wilderness" or "desert of Zin" (Gen. 14:7;
Num. 13:3-26; 14:29-33; 20:1; 27:14), on the border of Edom
(20:16). From this place, in compliance with the desire of the
people, Moses sent forth "twelve spies" to spy the land. After
examining it in all its districts, the spies brought back an
evil report, Joshua and Caleb alone giving a good report of the
land (13:18-31). Influenced by the discouraging report, the
people abandoned all hope of entering into the Promised Land.
They remained a considerable time at Kadesh. (See HORMAH
T0001820; KORAH T0002222.) Because of their unbelief, they
were condemned by God to wander for thirty-eight years in the
wilderness. They took their journey from Kadesh into the deserts
of Paran, "by way of the Red Sea" (Deut. 2:1). (One theory is
that during these thirty-eight years they remained in and about
At the end of these years of wanderings, the tribes were a
second time gathered together at Kadesh. During their stay here
at this time Miriam died and was buried. Here the people
murmured for want of water, as their forefathers had done
formerly at Rephidim; and Moses, irritated by their chidings,
"with his rod smote the rock twice," instead of "speaking to the
rock before their eyes," as the Lord had commanded him (compare
Num. 27:14; Deut. 9:23; Ps. 106:32, 33). Because of this act of
his, in which Aaron too was involved, neither of them was to be
permitted to set foot within the Promised Land (Num. 20:12, 24).
The king of Edom would not permit them to pass on through his
territory, and therefore they commenced an eastward march, and
"came unto Mount Hor" (20:22).
This place has been identified with 'Ain el-Kadeis, about 12
miles east-south-east of Beersheba. (See SPIES T0003493.)
wild broom, a station in the wilderness (Num. 33:18, 19), the
"broom valley," or "valley of broombushes," the place apparently
of the original encampment of Israel, near Kadesh.
village of Addar, a place in the southern boundary of Israel
(Num. 34:4), in the desert to the west of Kadesh-barnea. It is
called Adar in Josh. 15:3.
the sacred city of the Hittites, on the left bank of the
Orontes, about 4 miles south of the Lake of Homs. It is
identified with the great mound Tell Neby Mendeh, some 50 to 100
feet high, and 400 yards long. On the ruins of the temple of
Karnak, in Egypt, has been found an inscription recording the
capture of this city by Rameses II. (See PHARAOH T0002923.)
Here the sculptor "has chiselled in deep work on the stone, with
a bold execution of the several parts, the procession of the
warriors, the battle before Kadesh, the storming of the
fortress, the overthrow of the enemy, and the camp life of the
Egyptians." (See HITTITES T0001794.)
enclosed. (1.) One of the sons of Reuben (Gen. 46:9; Ex. 6:14).
(2.) The older of the two sons of Pharez (Gen. 46:12). (3.) A
plain in the south of Judah, west of Kadesh-barnea (Josh. 15:3).
(Josh. 5:3, marg.), hill of the foreskins, a place at Gilgal
where those who had been born in the wilderness were
circumcised. All the others, i.e., those who were under twenty
years old at the time of the sentence at Kadesh, had already
the land of the newly inhabited, (2 Sam. 24:6). It is
conjectured that, instead of this word, the reading should be,
"the Hittites of Kadesh," the Hittite capital, on the Orontes.
It was apparently some region east of the Jordan and north of
Refuge, Cities of
were six in number (Num. 35). 1. On the west of Jordan were (1)
Kadesh, in Naphtali; (2) Shechem, in Mount Ephraim; (3) Hebron,
in Judah. 2. On the east of Jordan were, (1) Golan, in Bashan;
(2) Ramoth-Gilead, in Gad; and (3) Bezer, in Reuben. (See under
each of these names.)
i.e., "the well of him that liveth and seeth me," or, as some
render it, "the well of the vision of life", the well where the
Lord met with Hagar (Gen. 16:7-14). Isaac dwelt beside this well
(24:62; 25:11). It has been identified with 'Ain Muweileh, or
Moilahhi, south-west of Beersheba, and about 12 miles W. from
banning; i.e., placing under a "ban," or devoting to utter
destruction. After the manifestation of God's anger against the
Israelites, on account of their rebellion and their murmurings
when the spies returned to the camp at Kadesh, in the wilderness
of Paran, with an evil report of the land, they quickly repented
of their conduct, and presumed to go up "to the head of the
mountain," seeking to enter the Promised Land, but without the
presence of the Lord, without the ark of the convenant, and
without Moses. The Amalekites and the Canaanites came down and
"smote and discomfited them even unto Hormah" (Num. 14:45). This
place, or perhaps the watch-tower commanding it, was originally
called Zephath (Judg. 1:17), the modern Sebaiteh. Afterwards
(Num. 21:1-3) Arad, the king of the Canaanites, at the close of
the wanderings, when the Israelites were a second time encamped
at Kadesh, "fought against them, and took some of them
prisoners." But Israel vowed a vow unto the Lord utterly to
destroy the cities of the Canaanites; they "banned" them, and
hence the place was now called Hormah. But this "ban" was not
fully executed till the time of Joshua, who finally conquered
the king of this district, so that the ancient name Zephath
became "Hormah" (Josh. 12:14; Judg. 1:17).
their rebellion. (1.) The sister of Moses and Aaron (Ex. 2:4-10;
1 Chr. 6:3). Her name is prominent in the history of the Exodus.
She is called "the prophetess" (Ex. 15:20). She took the lead in
the song of triumph after the passage of the Red Sea. She died
at Kadesh during the second encampment at that place, toward the
close of the wanderings in the wilderness, and was buried there
(Num. 20:1). (See AARON T0000002; MOSES T0002602.)
(2.) 1 Chr. 4:17, one of the descendants of Judah.
abounding in foliage, or abounding in caverns, (Gen. 21:21), a
desert tract forming the NEern division of the peninsula
of Sinai, lying between the 'Arabah on the east and the
wilderness of Shur on the west. It is intersected in a
north-western direction by the Wady el-'Arish. It bears the
modern name of Badiet et-Tih, i.e., "the desert of the
wanderings." This district, through which the children of Israel
wandered, lay three days' march from Sinai (Num. 10:12, 33).
From Kadesh, in this wilderness, spies (q.v.) were sent to spy
the land (13:3, 26). Here, long afterwards, David found refuge
from Saul (1 Sam. 25:1, 4).
quarrel or strife. (1.) One of the names given by Moses to the
fountain in the desert of Sin, near Rephidim, which issued from
the rock in Horeb, which he smote by the divine command,
"because of the chiding of the children of Israel" (Ex. 17:1-7).
It was also called Massah (q.v.). It was probably in Wady
Feiran, near Mount Serbal.
(2.) Another fountain having a similar origin in the desert of
Zin, near to Kadesh (Num. 27:14). The two places are mentioned
together in Deut. 33:8. Some think the one place is called by
the two names (Ps. 81:7). In smiting the rock at this place
Moses showed the same impatience as the people (Num. 20:10-12).
This took place near the close of the wanderings in the desert
(Num. 20:1-24; Deut. 32:51).
fenced enclosures consisting of "a low wall of stones in which
thick bundles of thorny acacia are inserted, the tangled
branches and long needle-like spikes forming a perfectly
impenetrable hedge around the encampment" of tents and cattle
which they sheltered. Such like enclosures abound in the
wilderness of Paran, which the Israelites entered after leaving
Sinai (Num. 11:35; 12:16; 33:17, 18). This third encampment of
the Israelites has been identified with the modern 'Ain
el-Hudhera, some 40 miles NE of Sinai. Here Miriam
(q.v.), being displeased that Moses had married a Cushite wife
(Num. 12:1), induced Aaron to join with her in rebelling against
Moses. God vindicated the authority of his "servant Moses," and
Miriam was smitten with leprosy. Moses interceded for her, and
she was healed (Num. 12:4-16). From this encampment the
Israelites marched northward across the plateau of et-Tih, and
at length reached KADESH.
sanctuary. (1.) A place in the extreme south of Judah (Josh.
15:23). Probably the same as Kadesh-barnea (q.v.).
(2.) A city of Issachar (1 Chr. 6:72). Possibly Tell Abu
Kadeis, near Lejjun.
(3.) A "fenced city" of Naphtali, one of the cities of refuge
(Josh. 19:37; Judg. 4:6). It was assigned to the Gershonite
Levites (Josh. 21:32). It was originally a Canaanite royal city
(Josh. 12:22), and was the residence of Barak (Judg. 4:6); and
here he and Deborah assembled the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali
before the commencement of the conflict with Sisera in the plain
of Esdraelon, "for Jehovah among the mighty" (9, 10). In the
reign of Pekah it was taken by Tiglath-Pileser (2 Kings 15:29).
It was situated near the "plain" (rather "the oak") of Zaanaim,
and has been identified with the modern Kedes, on the hills
fully four miles north-west of Lake El Huleh.
It has been supposed by some that the Kedesh of the narrative,
where Barak assembled his troops, was not the place in Upper
Galilee so named, which was 30 miles distant from the plain of
Esdraelon, but Kedish, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, 12
miles from Tabor.
a bee. (1.) Rebekah's nurse. She accompanied her mistress when
she left her father's house in Padan-aram to become the wife of
Isaac (Gen. 24:59). Many years afterwards she died at Bethel,
and was buried under the "oak of weeping", Allon-bachuth (35:8).
(2.) A prophetess, "wife" (woman?) of Lapidoth. Jabin, the
king of Hazor, had for twenty years held Israel in degrading
subjection. The spirit of patriotism seemed crushed out of the
nation. In this emergency Deborah roused the people from their
lethargy. Her fame spread far and wide. She became a "mother in
Israel" (Judg. 4:6, 14; 5:7), and "the children of Israel came
up to her for judgment" as she sat in her tent under the palm
tree "between Ramah and Bethel." Preparations were everywhere
made by her direction for the great effort to throw off the yoke
of bondage. She summoned Barak from Kadesh to take the command
of 10,000 men of Zebulun and Naphtali, and lead them to Mount
Tabor on the plain of Esdraelon at its NE end. With his
aid she organized this army. She gave the signal for attack, and
the Hebrew host rushed down impetuously upon the army of Jabin,
which was commanded by Sisera, and gained a great and decisive
victory. The Canaanite army almost wholly perished. That was a
great and ever-memorable day in Israel. In Judg. 5 is given the
grand triumphal ode, the "song of Deborah," which she wrote in
grateful commemoration of that great deliverance. (See LAPIDOTH
T0002240, JABIN T0001938 .)
Israel and Syria appear to have been originally inhabited by
three different tribes. (1.) The Semites, living on the east of
the isthmus of Suez. They were nomadic and pastoral tribes. (2.)
The Phoenicians, who were merchants and traders; and (3.) the
Hittites, who were the warlike element of this confederation of
tribes. They inhabited the whole region between the Euphrates
and Damascus, their chief cities being Carchemish on the
Euphrates, and Kadesh, now Tell Neby Mendeh, in the Orontes
valley, about six miles south of the Lake of Homs. These
Hittites seem to have risen to great power as a nation, as for a
long time they were formidable rivals of the Egyptian and
Assyrian empires. In the book of Joshua they always appear as
the dominant race to the north of Galilee.
Somewhere about the twenty-third century B.C. the Syrian
confederation, led probably by the Hittites, arched against
Lower Egypt, which they took possession of, making Zoan their
capital. Their rulers were the Hyksos, or shepherd kings. They
were at length finally driven out of Egypt. Rameses II. sought
vengeance against the "vile Kheta," as he called them, and
encountered and defeated them in the great battle of Kadesh,
four centuries after Abraham. (See JOSHUA T0002114.)
They are first referred to in Scripture in the history of
Abraham, who bought from Ephron the Hittite the field and the
cave of Machpelah (Gen. 15:20: 23:3-18). They were then settled
at Kirjath-arba. From this tribe Esau took his first two wives
They are afterwards mentioned in the usual way among the
inhabitants of the Promised Land (Ex. 23:28). They were closely
allied to the Amorites, and are frequently mentioned along with
them as inhabiting the mountains of Israel. When the spies
entered the land they seem to have occupied with the Amorites
the mountain region of Judah (Num. 13:29). They took part with
the other Canaanites against the Israelites (Josh. 9:1; 11:3).
After this there are few references to them in Scripture.
Mention is made of "Ahimelech the Hittite" (1 Sam. 26:6), and of
"Uriah the Hittite," one of David's chief officers (2 Sam.
23:39; 1 Chr. 11:41). In the days of Solomon they were a
powerful confederation in the north of Syria, and were ruled by
"kings." They are met with after the Exile still a distinct
people (Ezra 9:1; compare Neh. 13:23-28).
The Hebrew merchants exported horses from Egypt not only for
the kings of Israel, but also for the Hittites (1 Kings 10:28,
29). From the Egyptian monuments we learn that "the Hittites
were a people with yellow skins and 'Mongoloid' features, whose
receding foreheads, oblique eyes, and protruding upper jaws are
represented as faithfully on their own monuments as they are on
those of Egypt, so that we cannot accuse the Egyptian artists of
caricaturing their enemies. The Amorites, on the contrary, were
a tall and handsome people. They are depicted with white skins,
blue eyes, and reddish hair, all the characteristics, in fact,
of the white race" (Sayce's The Hittites). The original seat of
the Hittite tribes was the mountain ranges of Taurus. They
belonged to Asia Minor, and not to Syria.
ice, hail. (1.) The third son of Esau, by Aholibamah (Gen.
36:14; 1 Chr. 1:35).
(2.) A Levite, the son of Izhar, the brother of Amram, the
father of Moses and Aaron (Ex. 6:21). The institution of the
Aaronic priesthood and the Levitical service at Sinai was a
great religious revolution. The old priesthood of the heads of
families passed away. This gave rise to murmurings and
discontent, while the Israelites were encamped at Kadesh for the
first time, which came to a head in a rebellion against Moses
and Aaron, headed by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Two hundred and
fifty princes, "men of renown" i.e., well-known men from among
the other tribes, joined this conspiracy. The whole company
demanded of Moses and Aaron that the old state of things should
be restored, alleging that "they took too much upon them" (Num.
16:1-3). On the morning after the outbreak, Korah and his
associates presented themselves at the door of the tabernacle,
and "took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid
incense thereon." But immediately "fire from the Lord" burst
forth and destroyed them all (Num. 16:35). Dathan and Abiram
"came out and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives,
and their sons, and their little children," and it came to pass
"that the ground clave asunder that was under them; and the
earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up." A plague
thereafter began among the people who sympathized in the
rebellion, and was only stayed by Aaron's appearing between the
living and the dead, and making "an atonement for the people"
The descendants of the sons of Korah who did not participate
in the rebellion afterwards rose to eminence in the Levitical
When the Israelites reached Kadesh for the first time, and were
encamped there, Moses selected twelve spies from among the
chiefs of the divisions of the tribes, and sent them forth to
spy the land of Canaan (Num. 13), and to bring back to him a
report of its actual condition. They at once proceeded on their
important errand, and went through the land as far north as the
district round Lake Merom. After about six weeks' absence they
returned. Their report was very discouraging, and the people
were greatly alarmed, and in a rebellious spirit proposed to
elect a new leader and return to Egypt. Only two of the spies,
Caleb and Joshua, showed themselves on this occasion
stout-hearted and faithful. All their appeals and remonstrances
were in vain. Moses announced that as a punishment for their
rebellion they must now wander in the wilderness till a new
generation should arise which would go up and posses the land.
The spies had been forty days absent on their expedition, and
for each day the Israelites were to be wanderers for a year in
the desert. (See ESHCOL T0001248.)
Two spies were sent by Joshua "secretly" i.e., unknown to the
people (Josh. 2:1), "to view the land and Jericho" after the
death of Moses, and just before the tribes under his leadership
were about to cross the Jordan. They learned from Rahab (q.v.),
in whose house they found a hiding-place, that terror had fallen
on all the inhabitants of the land because of the great things
they had heard that Jehovah had done for them (Ex. 15:14-16;
compare 23:27; Deut. 2:25; 11:25). As the result of their mission
they reported: "Truly Jehovah hath delivered into our hands all
the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint
because of us."
(1.) Heb. midhbar, denoting not a barren desert but a district
or region suitable for pasturing sheep and cattle (Ps. 65:12;
Isa. 42:11; Jer. 23:10; Joel 1:19; 2:22); an uncultivated place.
This word is used of the wilderness of Beersheba (Gen. 21:14),
on the southern border of Israel; the wilderness of the Red
Sea (Ex. 13:18); of Shur (15:22), a portion of the Sinaitic
peninsula; of Sin (17:1), Sinai (Lev. 7:38), Moab (Deut. 2:8),
Judah (Judg. 1:16), Ziph, Maon, En-gedi (1 Sam. 23:14, 24;
24:1), Jeruel and Tekoa (2 Chr. 20:16, 20), Kadesh (Ps. 29:8).
"The wilderness of the sea" (Isa. 21:1). Principal Douglas,
referring to this expression, says: "A mysterious name, which
must be meant to describe Babylon (see especially ver. 9),
perhaps because it became the place of discipline to God's
people, as the wilderness of the Red Sea had been (compare Ezek.
20:35). Otherwise it is in contrast with the symbolic title in
Isa. 22:1. Jerusalem is the "valley of vision," rich in
spiritual husbandry; whereas Babylon, the rival centre of
influence, is spiritually barren and as restless as the sea
(compare 57:20)." A Short Analysis of the O.T.
(2.) Jeshimon, a desert waste (Deut. 32:10; Ps. 68:7).
(3.) 'Arabah, the name given to the valley from the Dead Sea
to the eastern branch of the Red Sea. In Deut. 1:1; 2:8, it is
rendered "plain" (R.V., "Arabah").
(4.) Tziyyah, a "dry place" (Ps. 78:17; 105:41).
(5.) Tohu, a "desolate" place, a place "waste" or "unoccupied"
(Deut. 32:10; Job 12:24; compare Gen. 1:2, "without form"). The
wilderness region in the Sinaitic peninsula through which for
forty years the Hebrews wandered is generally styled "the
wilderness of the wanderings." This entire region is in the form
of a triangle, having its base toward the north and its apex
toward the south. Its extent from north to south is about 250
miles, and at its widest point it is about 150 miles broad.
Throughout this vast region of some 1,500 square miles there is
not a single river. The northern part of this triangular
peninsula is properly the "wilderness of the wanderings"
(et-Tih). The western portion of it is called the "wilderness of
Shur" (Ex. 15:22), and the eastern the "wilderness of Paran."
The "wilderness of Judea" (Matt. 3:1) is a wild, barren
region, lying between the Dead Sea and the Hebron Mountains. It
is the "Jeshimon" mentioned in 1 Sam. 23:19.
The earliest mention of city-building is that of Enoch, which
was built by Cain (Gen. 4:17). After the confusion of tongues,
the descendants of Nimrod founded several cities (10:10-12).
Next, we have a record of the cities of the Canaanites, Sidon,
Gaza, Sodom, etc. (10:12, 19; 11:3, 9; 36:31-39). The earliest
description of a city is that of Sodom (19:1-22). Damascus is
said to be the oldest existing city in the world. Before the
time of Abraham there were cities in Egypt (Num. 13:22). The
Israelites in Egypt were employed in building the "treasure
cities" of Pithom and Raamses (Ex. 1:11); but it does not seem
that they had any cities of their own in Goshen (Gen. 46:34;
47:1-11). In the kingdom of Og in Bashan there were sixty "great
cities with walls," and twenty-three cities in Gilead partly
rebuilt by the tribes on the east of Jordan (Num. 21:21, 32, 33,
35; 32:1-3, 34-42; Deut. 3:4, 5, 14; 1 Kings 4:13). On the west
of Jordan were thirty-one "royal cities" (Josh. 12), besides
many others spoken of in the history of Israel.
A fenced city was a city surrounded by fortifications and high
walls, with watch-towers upon them (2 Chr. 11:11; Deut. 3:5).
There was also within the city generally a tower to which the
citizens might flee when danger threatened them (Judg. 9:46-52).
A city with suburbs was a city surrounded with open
pasture-grounds, such as the forty-eight cities which were given
to the Levites (Num. 35:2-7). There were six cities of refuge,
three on each side of Jordan, namely, Kadesh, Shechem, Hebron,
on the west of Jordan; and on the east, Bezer, Ramoth-gilead,
and Golan. The cities on each side of the river were nearly
opposite each other. The regulations concerning these cities are
given in Num. 35:9-34; Deut. 19:1-13; Ex. 21:12-14.
When David reduced the fortress of the Jebusites which stood
on Mount Zion, he built on the site of it a palace and a city,
which he called by his own name (1 Chr. 11:5), the city of
David. Bethlehem is also so called as being David's native town
Jerusalem is called the Holy City, the holiness of the temple
being regarded as extending in some measure over the whole city
Pithom and Raamses, built by the Israelites as "treasure
cities," were not places where royal treasures were kept, but
were fortified towns where merchants might store their goods and
transact their business in safety, or cities in which munitions
of war were stored. (See PITHOM T0002968.)
of Sin (the moon god), called also Horeb, the name of the
mountain district which was reached by the Hebrews in the third
month after the Exodus. Here they remained encamped for about a
whole year. Their journey from the Red Sea to this encampment,
including all the windings of the route, was about 150 miles.
The last twenty-two chapters of Exodus, together with the whole
of Leviticus and Num. ch. 1-11, contain a record of all the
transactions which occurred while they were here. From Rephidim
(Ex. 17:8-13) the Israelites journeyed forward through the Wady
Solaf and Wady esh-Sheikh into the plain of er-Rahah, "the
desert of Sinai," about 2 miles long and half a mile broad, and
encamped there "before the mountain." The part of the mountain
range, a protruding lower bluff, known as the Ras Sasafeh
(Sufsafeh), rises almost perpendicularly from this plain, and is
in all probability the Sinai of history. Dean Stanley thus
describes the scene:, "The plain itself is not broken and uneven
and narrowly shut in, like almost all others in the range, but
presents a long retiring sweep, within which the people could
remove and stand afar off. The cliff, rising like a huge altar
in front of the whole congregation, and visible against the sky
in lonely grandeur from end to end of the whole plain, is the
very image of the 'mount that might be touched,' and from which
the voice of God might be heard far and wide over the plain
below." This was the scene of the giving of the law. From the
Ras Sufsafeh the law was proclaimed to the people encamped below
in the plain of er-Rahah. During the lengthened period of their
encampment here the Israelites passed through a very memorable
experience. An immense change passed over them. They are now an
organized nation, bound by covenant engagement to serve the Lord
their God, their ever-present divine Leader and Protector. At
length, in the second month of the second year of the Exodus,
they move their camp and march forward according to a prescribed
order. After three days they reach the "wilderness of Paran,"
the "et-Tih", i.e., "the desert", and here they make their first
encampment. At this time a spirit of discontent broke out
amongst them, and the Lord manifested his displeasure by a fire
which fell on the encampment and inflicted injury on them. Moses
called the place Taberah (q.v.), Num. 11:1-3. The journey
between Sinai and the southern boundary of the Promised Land
(about 150 miles) at Kadesh was accomplished in about a year.
(See MAP facing page 204.)
whose God is Jehovah. (1.) "The Tishbite," the "Elias" of the
New Testament, is suddenly introduced to our notice in 1 Kings
17:1 as delivering a message from the Lord to Ahab. There is
mention made of a town called Thisbe, south of Kadesh, but it is
impossible to say whether this was the place referred to in the
name given to the prophet.
Having delivered his message to Ahab, he retired at the
command of God to a hiding-place by the brook Cherith, beyond
Jordan, where he was fed by ravens. When the brook dried up God
sent him to the widow of Zarephath, a city of Zidon, from whose
scanty store he was supported for the space of two years. During
this period the widow's son died, and was restored to life by
Elijah (1 Kings 17: 2-24).
During all these two years a famine prevailed in the land. At
the close of this period of retirement and of preparation for
his work (compare Gal. 1:17, 18) Elijah met Obadiah, one of Ahab's
officers, whom he had sent out to seek for pasturage for the
cattle, and bade him go and tell his master that Elijah was
there. The king came and met Elijah, and reproached him as the
troubler of Israel. It was then proposed that sacrifices should
be publicly offered, for the purpose of determining whether Baal
or Jehovah were the true God. This was done on Carmel, with the
result that the people fell on their faces, crying, "The Lord,
he is the God." Thus was accomplished the great work of Elijah's
ministry. The prophets of Baal were then put to death by the
order of Elijah. Not one of them escaped. Then immediately
followed rain, according to the word of Elijah, and in answer to
his prayer (James 5:18).
Jezebel, enraged at the fate that had befallen her priests of
Baal, threatened to put Elijah to death (1 Kings 19:1-13). He
therefore fled in alarm to Beersheba, and thence went alone a
day's journey into the wilderness, and sat down in despondency
under a juniper tree. As he slept an angel touched him, and said
unto him, "Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for
thee." He arose and found a cake and a cruse of water. Having
partaken of the provision thus miraculously supplied, he went
forward on his solitary way for forty days and forty nights to
Horeb, the mount of God, where he took up his abode in a cave.
Here the Lord appeared unto him and said, "What dost thou here,
Elijah?" In answer to his despondent words God manifests to him
his glory, and then directs him to return to Damascus and anoint
Hazael king over Syria, and Jehu king over Israel, and Elisha to
be prophet in his room (1 Kings 19:13-21; compare 2 Kings 8:7-15;
Some six years after this he warned Ahab and Jezebel of the
violent deaths they would die (1 Kings 21:19-24; 22:38). He
also, four years afterwards, warned Ahaziah (q.v.), who had
succeeded his father Ahab, of his approaching death (2 Kings
1:1-16). (See NABOTH T0002645.) During these intervals he
probably withdrew to some quiet retirement, no one knew where.
His interview with Ahaziah's messengers on the way to Ekron, and
the account of the destruction of his captains with their
fifties, suggest the idea that he may have been in retirement at
this time on Mount Carmel.
The time now drew near when he was to be taken up into heaven
(2 Kings 2:1-12). He had a presentiment of what was awaiting
him. He went down to Gilgal, where was a school of the prophets,
and where his successor Elisha, whom he had anointed some years
before, resided. Elisha was solemnized by the thought of his
master's leaving him, and refused to be parted from him. "They
two went on," and came to Bethel and Jericho, and crossed the
Jordan, the waters of which were "divided hither and thither"
when smitten with Elijah's mantle. Arrived at the borders of
Gilead, which Elijah had left many years before, it "came to
pass as they still went on and talked" they were suddenly
separated by a chariot and horses of fire; and "Elijah went up
by a whirlwind into heaven, "Elisha receiving his mantle, which
fell from him as he ascended.
No one of the old prophets is so frequently referred to in the
New Testament. The priests and Levites said to the Baptist (John
1:25), "Why baptizest thou, if thou be not that Christ, nor
Elias?" Paul (Rom. 11:2) refers to an incident in his history to
illustrate his argument that God had not cast away his people.
James (5:17) finds in him an illustration of the power of
prayer. (See also Luke 4:25; 9:54.) He was a type of John the
Baptist in the sternness and power of his reproofs (Luke 9:8).
He was the Elijah that "must first come" (Matt. 11:11, 14), the
forerunner of our Lord announced by Malachi. Even outwardly the
Baptist corresponded so closely to the earlier prophet that he
might be styled a second Elijah. In him we see "the same
connection with a wild and wilderness country; the same long
retirement in the desert; the same sudden, startling entrance on
his work (1 Kings 17:1; Luke 3:2); even the same dress, a hairy
garment, and a leathern girdle about the loins (2 Kings 1:8;
How deep the impression was which Elijah made "on the mind of
the nation may be judged from the fixed belief, which rested on
the words of Malachi (4:5, 6), which many centuries after
prevailed that he would again appear for the relief and
restoration of the country. Each remarkable person as he arrives
on the scene, be his habits and characteristics what they may,
the stern John equally with his gentle Successor, is proclaimed
to be Elijah (Matt. 11:13, 14; 16:14; 17:10; Mark 9:11; 15:35;
Luke 9:7, 8; John 1:21). His appearance in glory on the mount of
transfiguration does not seem to have startled the disciples.
They were 'sore afraid,' but not apparently surprised."
(2.) The Elijah spoken of in 2 Chr. 21:12-15 is by some
supposed to be a different person from the foregoing. He lived
in the time of Jehoram, to whom he sent a letter of warning
(compare 1 Chr. 28:19; Jer. 36), and acted as a prophet in Judah;
while the Tishbite was a prophet of the northern kingdom. But
there does not seem any necessity for concluding that the writer
of this letter was some other Elijah than the Tishbite. It may
be supposed either that Elijah anticipated the character of
Jehoram, and so wrote the warning message, which was preserved
in the schools of the prophets till Jehoram ascended the throne
after the Tishbite's translation, or that the translation did
not actually take place till after the accession of Jehoram to
the throne (2 Chr. 21:12; 2 Kings 8:16). The events of 2 Kings 2
may not be recorded in chronological order, and thus there may
be room for the opinion that Elijah was still alive in the
beginning of Jehoram's reign.