The Meaning of 1 Kings 17:21 Explained

1 Kings 17:21

KJV: And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again.

YLT: And he stretcheth himself out on the lad three times, and calleth unto Jehovah, and saith, 'O Jehovah my God, let turn back, I pray Thee, the soul of this lad into his midst;'

Darby: And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried to Jehovah and said, Jehovah, my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again!

ASV: And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto Jehovah, and said, O Jehovah my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again.

What does 1 Kings 17:21 Mean?

Context Summary

1 Kings 17:17-24 - New Life For The Dead
It must have been a severe trial to Elijah's faith, first to note the gradual diminishing of the brook; then the abject poverty of the woman to whom he was directed; and finally the illness and death of her child. But through it all, he held fast to the living God. It was still, "O Lord my God," 1 Kings 17:20. Affliction is no proof that we are off the path of duty. The way of obedience is sometimes paved with flints, as every servant of God has discovered. But the difficulties only give room for the exercise of greater faith, and reveal more of the delivering power of the Almighty Friend.
The true physician bends over the little child of the poor, eager to save a human life; but his power is limited. To faith and prayer, however, other forces are available, which accomplish what no skill or medicine can. When we have confessed and put away sin which the hour of anguish has brought to light, room is made for the exercise of that divine power which is always within the reach of hands that are lifted without fear or doubting. [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 17:21 mean?

and he stretched himself out on the child three times and cried out to Yahweh and said Yahweh my God let come back I pray soul of child this to him
וַיִּתְמֹדֵ֤ד עַל־ הַיֶּ֙לֶד֙ שָׁלֹ֣שׁ פְּעָמִ֔ים וַיִּקְרָ֥א אֶל־ יְהוָ֖ה וַיֹּאמַ֑ר יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהָ֔י תָּ֥שָׁב נָ֛א נֶֽפֶשׁ־ הַיֶּ֥לֶד הַזֶּ֖ה עַל־ קִרְבּֽוֹ

וַיִּתְמֹדֵ֤ד  and  he  stretched  himself  out 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Hitpael, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: מָדַד  
Sense: to measure, stretch.
הַיֶּ֙לֶד֙  the  child 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: יֶלֶד  
Sense: child, son, boy, offspring, youth.
שָׁלֹ֣שׁ  three 
Parse: Number, feminine singular
Root: מִשְׁלֹשׁ 
Sense: three, triad.
פְּעָמִ֔ים  times 
Parse: Noun, feminine plural
Root: פַּעַם  
Sense: stroke, beat, foot, step, anvil, occurrence.
וַיִּקְרָ֥א  and  cried  out 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: קָרָא  
Sense: to call, call out, recite, read, cry out, proclaim.
יְהוָ֖ה  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
וַיֹּאמַ֑ר  and  said 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
יְהוָ֣ה  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
אֱלֹהָ֔י  my  God 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct, first person common singular
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
תָּ֥שָׁב  let  come  back 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect Jussive, third person feminine singular
Root: שׁוּב  
Sense: to return, turn back.
נָ֛א  I  pray 
Parse: Interjection
Root: נָא  
Sense: I (we) pray, now, please.
נֶֽפֶשׁ־  soul 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct
Root: נֶפֶשׁ  
Sense: soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion.
הַיֶּ֥לֶד  of  child 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: יֶלֶד  
Sense: child, son, boy, offspring, youth.
הַזֶּ֖ה  this 
Parse: Article, Pronoun, masculine singular
Root: זֶה  
Sense: this, this one, here, which, this … that, the one … the other, another, such.

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