This week, Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss the Prophets portion for Pinchas (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. " 1Kings 19:12
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.