Prophet Pearls #41 – Pinchas (1 Kings 18:46-19:21)

Prophet Pearls Pinchas, 1 Kings 18:46-19:21, 1 Kings, elijag mount horeb, elijah and jezebel, elijah mount carmel, elijah mt carmel, elijah mt horeb, etbaal, haftarah, jezebel baal, jezebel sidonian princess, Keith Johnson, mount horeb, Mt. Horeb, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, prophets, spirit of jezebel, still small voice, this silent voiceIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Pinchas covering 1 Kings 18:46-19:21. Following the smack-down at Mount Carmel, Elijah flees to the desert. But was he “afraid” or did he just “see” what he needed to do? Gordon parses “ra’ah” (reish, aleph, hei) and explains why this word could be translated “afraid” or “saw.”

We learn Jezebel’s background as a Sidonian princess, the influence of her father’s name on her life, her blind devotion to lies, and why she referred to Elohim in the plural. Gordon exposes the anti-women agenda sometimes at play when describing “the spirit of Jezebel.”  And we see two firsts in this portion: the anointing of a foreign king and the anointing of a prophet.

Elijah’s experience with the divine presence on Mount Horeb leads Gordon and Johnson to recount their own life-changing encounters with the still small voice on this mountain.

"And after the fire - a thin silent voice." 1 Kings 19:12

I looking forward to reading your comments!

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The Original Torah Pearls - Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1)

Image courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

21 thoughts on “Prophet Pearls #41 – Pinchas (1 Kings 18:46-19:21)

  1. Nehemia recalled how Yehovah delivered him on top of the mount from a very deep place. And even though there remains some pain it is no longer “all encompassing”.

    This brings to mind Psalm 4:1 “Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.”

    The English translation here robs us of the profound meaning that is found in the Hebrew. Such as “distress” from the Hebrew “tsarar” meaning to be cramped or made narrow, which is contrasted by “relieved” from the Hebrew “rachab” meaning to be widened or enlarged.

    Being in the depths of anguish and despair can feel like being squeezed so narrow that the thoughts of the heart cannot look beyond the pain. But when Yehovah answers prayer then He delivers from the “all encompassing” narrowness and provides a wide open space where healing can begin.

    Shalom, shalom

  2. Yeah he was the only one left. .. Sure there were more but they are in a cave hiding while he’s the only one putting in work!…. they couldn’t back a brother up at Carmel?…. must of been a stone blocking the cave entrance…. just a thought…. never occurred until now… great work on fellas!

  3. I think it was Keith who brought up the topic of the traditional Mt Sinai vs the actual Mt Sinai. Would anyone care to comment on the traditional Temple Mount vs the actual Temple Mount? This isn’t outside the bounds of possibility.

  4. Keith… I love your work and your teachings…. and I love Nehemiah’s also… sometimes Keith I think you’re too hard on Nehemiah.
    Nehemiah, I can SO relate to what you were talking about being at a place where you were ready to just give up and Yehovah ‘plucked you out’ of the arms of death! I had asthma all my life and when my children were in their teens and pre teens I was also in deep depression and had an asthma attach so bad I almost died… the EMT’s couldn’t even get a blood pressure reading on me… I just so badly wanted to not struggle for that next breath, to just relax and be done… and God clearly said to me… ‘You’re not finished raising your children yet.” That brought me up short… in a shock… and caused me to draw in my next breath… and the next. and the next… I recently told my daughter, who’s been going through suicidal depression about that incident with me… and told her… sometimes we are only able to live one breath at a time… not just one day at a time or one minute at a time but one breath at a time, till it gets to where we can draw two breaths, then 5, etc until we can feel like wanting to live again.
    As to Elijah, I have several pastor friends and some have told me they have to fight ‘being down’ on Mondays, especially after a really good spiritually blessed Sunday, and I took it from that, that maybe Elijah had the same problem in this passage. He’d just come from a spiritually blessed time… seeing Yehovah do His thing and eradicating the false prophets… he was bound to be physically exhausted, hungry, and lonely, (thinking he was the only one left of his kind)… I think of an acronym a friend taught me about being careful to H A L T, not get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, so that we don’t make poor choices.

  5. ” Now I’m the only one left…”

    The realization of SELF in a vast Universe.
    The reality that nobody else can or will become you in order to do what you were called to do.
    A common emotion of those who are asked to make decisions on behalf of others when faced with life-changing decisions.
    Staring at your mortality in the face of insurmountable odds.
    The consequence that is often felt by one who chooses to OBEY the mitzvot instead of running with the crowd.
    The place where we define our motives when no one is watching or listening.
    The place we all need to arrive before climbing the ladder of success or else you will find it on your way back down.
    A great definition of humility.

    The word ” Now” = After all that, this is what is left of me. lol

  6. Elijah had lost his friends , as many of these prophets who were killed must have been part of his circle of friends, at least to some extent. This must have been a traumatic experience. I don’t think this can be under estimated.

    By declaring a drought, which no man could possibly perform of his own will or mastery, he had to leave the land. This alone should have been an indicator of a true prophet of God.

    He returned back home to an even bigger baal establishment, he was then demonstrating the power of Yehovah and at the same time deminishing and humiliating the power of the baal establishment. The establishment could hardly face the humiliation and proclaimed a retaliation .

    Yehovah , the almighty Creator doesn’t need to demonstrate himself, I understand this is not what he is about. In my understanding his Son Yeshua made this point clear. John 14:7

    Elijah needed to perform for Yehovah to remind the people , and Elijah himself needed to be held up in the struggle for Yehovah. The still voice in my view is the voice of a Father being patient with his child, because the child is hurting…

  7. I just wanted to take the time to thank you two for all of your dedication and study. Saying that I’m really thanking Yehova. I have been trying to minister to my family my wife and my daughters and your program has become a part of my weekly study teaching them what it means to follow Yehova.

  8. Elijah & Jonah – Elijah sees God’s power and fire etc and says “Let me die” – Jonah sees God’s mercy on Nineveh and says – “Let me die” Question are they both ‘worried’ about what people will think about them rather than God – none of these events happened in a corner including Elisha’s anointing and the Oxen B- b- Q Elisha does for the ‘people’ / audience. Great’ Pearl’ in this one – I have dealt with suicidal people at times in my ministry – Nehemia’s statement “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” All will be resurrected so it is a temporary solution for the present – Rev.20:12

  9. Shalom Nehemia & Keith, I believe the reason Elijah said he was the only prophet left, was no one knew that the other prophets were alive. I don’t think it’s a case of forgetfulness, I think he feels like he’s publicly been carrying this huge weight of responsibility, and it’s been wearing on him. Publicly he’s the sole face of speaking truth, and all eyes are on him. I believe when the creator gives us a burden or assignment, we become zealous to carry it out, but at the same time he will send people in our midst to come along side us to help carry it out. Thank you guys for spreading the truth and I pray you have a blessed day.

  10. Greetings and blessings to all! Yes, very strange the happenings here positioned between extremes. On one hand, God Amighty showing “His stuff”. On the other hand, the degradation of mankind reflecting the supposed powers of HaSatan in such a one as Jezebel, a political leader.

    We also see two world views. One from God’s perspective. The other from mankind’s perspective.

    Now we must make sense out of these perplexing extremes and put things in order. The extremes are so powerful that they can bring one to wish to give up on this life! OH yes Nehemiah, I’ve been there also and hold that those who enter the fray will no doubt require a rescue from utter despair sooner or later.

    Two more views also must be brought to light as they are at the heart of the extreme issues here that are so very powerful in our battles. One, a false view of mankind that says that man as he is in the flesh, is good. Mankind has great value to Yehovah, but not to be confused with good for there is none good, no not one. The second view is that mankind as in the flesh, is inherently evil. This is a true view. If it weren’t so, we wouldn’t be here in the flesh in the first place. But there can be value and goodness as given by God through faith in Him.

    NOW, we can get down to business. Question; ever hear of one so evil and void of all good that they are “reprobate”? This type of mankind is doomed and will never have any capacity to make repentance. This is a marvelous thing and Elijah came up against one of these types. I doubt before these days in his life and subsequent instructions, he knew this kind was on the face of the earth! Therefore when God Amighty had shone Himself to be such, and it had no effect on a reprobate, Elijah was shocked and became despondent wishing to die as all seemed lost. He appeared powerless and altogether as his forefathers who led the Israelites to such a place of degradation in the first place. He needed some schooling and that is just what he (we) got. Then Yehovah took care of the reprobate. Yehovah used a reprobate to teach us all what we can expect “in the fray”. Now then, what about these days in which we live? Go in peace, me

  11. Thank you Nehemiah for your teachings, I learn something new every time. I can relate to your experience of God saving you from suicide, and while it was such a dark time it was also one of the best. Only because “you know that you know” God rescued you, His presence is “real”, because it was something you could not do for yourself. There is such power in that “still small voice”. He said the same thing to me.

  12. It is enough; now, O Yahweh, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. 1Kings 19:4
    After seeing the punishment for sins, Though he is righteous, He knows He is not sinless.
    I feel this is why Lot and his family could not look back, Lot was righteous, but not sinless.
    So many today think when Messiah comes, they will point their finger at people being punished, and say you deserve this. We have to realize we deserve the same punishment.

  13. Thank you for “keeping it real” during the Torah studies.. You deal with some difficult topics and include your personal experience. Thanks to YHVH for making this possible. I pray for your ministries and that YHVH will continue to bless you..

  14. Keith, I believe I saw the same incident where the denominations gathered at the vatican and… What I saw was these denominations and underneath was captions because it was a ceremony in Latin. What was shocking was the caption read and (I just last night spoke of this same incident) but the caption read: The denominations are swearing allegiance to the vatican they bowed and kissed the ring of the pope. They (the denominations were introduced singularly) I saw every denomination represented. I was shocked. I can’t remember who sent me the link or from which site it came.

  15. Why is it that when we experience our greatest victories, we sometimes are the most spiritually vulnerable? Eliyahu had just performed a Pinchas feat by destroying the prophets of baal, now he shudders at the threat of one. My thinking is that he was expecting the people to rise up and repent. Earlier when speaking at Mt, Carmel he challenges the people to let the god that answers by fire be God. If baal then let baal be god or if YHVH answers by fire then let Him be God. It does not appear that the people responded as they had promised. This was probably very disheartening to Eliyahu. He definitly felt alone even though Obadiah had told him that he had hidden 100 prophets. Where were they? Why did they not step up and Proclaim the Name? How will we respond to the challenges we face morally, socially and politically today? Are we goint to be prophets in hiding or are we going to boldly proclaim, “Thus saith YHVH”?

    I like YHVH’s question. “What are you doing here, Eliyahu?” Will He ask the same question to us today? What are we doing?

    May YHVH bless you as you complete the Prophet Pearls and continue to seek His purpose for yourselves and followers of YHVH.


    Rick Johnson, Smithfield, NC

  16. Elijah experienced PTSD and Compassion burnout. But, He is still believing in God. He is still obedient to God. Elijah does participate in the slaughtering, and he is seeing the slaughtering of these people. He is involved in spiritual/physical warfare. He may have felt zeal and may have fully believe in the cause. But, as a human that does not prevent him from feeling disgusted. Feeling Hopeless that he has just been involving at Mt Carmel and it wasn’t any better. Which means Jezebel is going to rally more against him. What he did seems to be null, void.Hopelessness and tunnel vision (look down a paper tube sometime) all he could see what is in front of him. He either could not see or was unaware that anyone else was actually following and preaching that God is real. He may have even doubted his own sanity. It is one thing to die from oneself (organ failure, self inflicted, or just giving up. The person chooses their time, place, moment, and method. As opposed to be killed by someone else which could be violent, protracted, cruel. Jezebel tone has already warned him his death will be violent. Depression causes fatigue. Even though Elijah at first ran away. The rest of the trip he obeyed an Angel/Messenger to take nourishment and go to the mountain. God is not in violence and destruction. Even though Elijah is fractured he still recognizes God. He is fried and can’t go one in this mission. God reassures him that he has it covered. In Counseling people may do individual therapy but also group therapy which reminds them they are not alone experiencing that dark tunnel vision of their events and see how others are struggling, experiencing, and growing in different phases of similar events. Yes, that still small voice is real.

    • Thank you, so timely. I’ll run now with so much frustration. I am listening prepared for ‘ the still small voice.” And Nehemia ,it is not supersition, doing things in my life. I am so tired, sleeping with depression. I am there. But still He is there.

  17. I so enjoy listening to your teachings, banter and all. I have learned so much more from the ‘Pearls” than I had learned from my 30 odd readings through the Tanakh in past years. Thank you so much.

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