The Meaning of 1 Kings 17:1 Explained

1 Kings 17:1

KJV: And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

YLT: And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, saith unto Ahab, 'Jehovah, God of Israel, liveth, before whom I have stood, there is not these years dew and rain, except according to my word.'

Darby: And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, As Jehovah the God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except by my word.

ASV: And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the sojourners of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As Jehovah, the God of Israel, liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

What does 1 Kings 17:1 Mean?

Study Notes

Elijah Heb. "Elijahu," Luke 1:17 ; Luke 4:25 called Elias.
Ahab It was a small thing for a man whose life was passed in Jehovah's presence to stand before Ahab.

Context Summary

1 Kings 17:1-7 - Sin's Climax Summons Jehovah's Prophet
From the beginning of his reign Ahab set aside both the First and the Second Commandment. His marriage with Jezebel, the young and beautiful Sidonian princess, plunged him and his kingdom into yet deeper darkness. In addition to Jeroboam's calves, the worship of Baal, the sun-god, was shamelessly introduced, and his temple was served by hundreds of priests. The inspired artist does not hesitate to paint with Rembrandt colors, and the illustrious glory of Elijah shows clearly against the dark background. The darkest hour precedes the dawn; the keenest pain ushers in birth. First Ahab and Jezebel, then Elijah.
Gilead was far from court or temple-God trains His workers in His own school. The prophet's name-"Jehovah is my strength"-suggests where he abode and whence he derived his power. He stood before God for the uniting and the uplifting of a divided people. The drought was the result of prayer. Elijah felt that nothing less could arrest king and people, James 5:17. The man who stands before God is not afraid to stand before Ahab. Now and again God bids His servants hide themselves toward the sunrise, but in these periods of enforced seclusion He makes Himself responsible for their supplies. [source]

Chapter Summary: 1 Kings 17

1  Elijah, having prophesied against Ahab,
3  is sent to Cherith where the ravens feed him
8  He is sent to the widow of Zarephath
17  He raises the widow's son
24  The woman believes him

What do the individual words in 1 Kings 17:1 mean?

And said Elijah the Tishbite of the inhabitants of Gilead to Ahab [As] lives Yahweh God of Israel whom I stand before not there shall be years these dew nor rain except except at my word -
וַיֹּאמֶר֩ אֵלִיָּ֨הוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּ֜י מִתֹּשָׁבֵ֣י גִלְעָד֮ אֶל־ אַחְאָב֒ חַי־ יְהוָ֞ה אֱלֹהֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָמַ֣דְתִּי לְפָנָ֔יו אִם־ יִהְיֶ֛ה הַשָּׁנִ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה טַ֣ל וּמָטָ֑ר כִּ֖י אִם־ לְפִ֥י דְבָרִֽי ס

וַיֹּאמֶר֩  And  said 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
אֵלִיָּ֨הוּ  Elijah 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: אֵלִיָּה 
Sense: the great prophet of the reign of Ahab.
הַתִּשְׁבִּ֜י  the  Tishbite 
Parse: Article, Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: תִּשְׁבִּי 
Sense: the home of Elijah.
מִתֹּשָׁבֵ֣י  of  the  inhabitants 
Parse: Preposition-m, Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: תֹּושָׁב  
Sense: sojourner, stranger.
גִלְעָד֮  of  Gilead 
Parse: Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: גִּלְעָד  
Sense: a mountainous region bounded on the west by the Jordan, on the north by Bashan, on the east by the Arabian plateau, and on the south by Moab and Ammon; sometimes called ‘Mount Gilead’ or the ‘land of Gilead’ or just ‘Gilead’.
אַחְאָב֒  Ahab 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: אַחְאָב 
Sense: king of Israel, son of Omri, husband of Jezebel.
חַי־  [As]  lives 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: חַי 
Sense: living, alive.
יְהוָ֞ה  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
אֱלֹהֵ֤י  God 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
יִשְׂרָאֵל֙  of  Israel 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יִשְׂרָאֵל  
Sense: the second name for Jacob given to him by God after his wrestling with the angel at Peniel.
אֲשֶׁ֣ר  whom 
Parse: Pronoun, relative
Root: אֲשֶׁר 
Sense: (relative part.).
עָמַ֣דְתִּי  I  stand 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, first person common singular
Root: עָמַד  
Sense: to stand, remain, endure, take one’s stand.
לְפָנָ֔יו  before 
Parse: Preposition-l, Noun, common plural construct, third person masculine singular
Root: לִפְנֵי 
Sense: face.
יִהְיֶ֛ה  there  shall  be 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אֶהְיֶה 
Sense: to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out.
הַשָּׁנִ֥ים  years 
Parse: Article, Noun, feminine plural
Root: שָׁנָה  
Sense: year.
הָאֵ֖לֶּה  these 
Parse: Article, Pronoun, common plural
Root: אֵהֶל 
Sense: these.
טַ֣ל  dew 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: טַל  
Sense: dew, night mist.
וּמָטָ֑ר  nor  rain 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular
Root: מָטָר  
Sense: rain.
כִּ֖י  except 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: כִּי 
Sense: that, for, because, when, as though, as, because that, but, then, certainly, except, surely, since.
אִם־  except 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: אִם  
Sense: if.
לְפִ֥י  at 
Parse: Preposition-l, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: פֶּה  
Sense: mouth.
דְבָרִֽי  my  word 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, first person common singular
Root: דָּבָר  
Sense: speech, word, speaking, thing.
ס  - 
Parse: Punctuation