The Meaning of 1 Kings 19:21 Explained

1 Kings 19:21

KJV: And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.

YLT: And he turneth back from after him, and taketh the yoke of oxen, and sacrificeth it, and with instruments of the oxen he hath boiled their flesh, and giveth to the people, and they eat, and he riseth, and goeth after Elijah, and serveth him.

Darby: And he returned back from him, and took the yoke of oxen, and killed them, and boiled their flesh with the implements of the oxen, and gave to the people, and they ate. And he arose and went after Elijah, and ministered to him.

ASV: And he returned from following him, and took the yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.

What does 1 Kings 19:21 Mean?

Context Summary

1 Kings 19:15-21 - Appointing Jehovah's Instruments
Elijah was never reinstated in quite the position that he had occupied before his fatal flight. True, he was bidden to return, and work was given him to do. But that work consisted in anointing three men who were to share the ministry which he might have fulfilled, if only he had been true to his opportunities and faithful to his God. God's work must go forward, if not by us, then by others brought in to fill our place.
Hazael, king of Syria; Jehu, the rude captain; and Elisha, the young farmer. Each was as different as possible from the others; yet each had his special sphere in dealing with the idolatries and impurities that were destroying the chosen race. God's nets are not all constructed with the same size of meshes. Men may escape some of the bigger ones, who will be caught by the smaller ones. But God so orders the lives of men that once at least each encounters a mesh that cannot be evaded. What a comfort it is to think that God is at work in the world, and that, while statistics tell a sad tale, there may still be seven thousand secret disciples for every Elijah! [source]

Chapter Summary: 1 Kings 19

1  Elijah, threatened by Jezebel, flees to Beersheba
4  In the desert, being weary of his life, he is comforted by an angel
9  At Horeb God appears unto him, sending him to anoint Hazael, Jehu, and Elisha
19  Elisha, taking leave of his friends, follows Elijah

What do the individual words in 1 Kings 19:21 mean?

So [Elisha] turned back from him and took - a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them and using equipment of the oxen and boiled their flesh and gave [it] to the people and they ate And he arose and followed after Elijah and became his servant -
וַיָּ֨שָׁב מֵאַחֲרָ֜יו וַיִּקַּ֣ח אֶת־ צֶ֧מֶד הַבָּקָ֣ר וַיִּזְבָּחֵ֗הוּ וּבִכְלִ֤י הַבָּקָר֙ בִּשְּׁלָ֣ם הַבָּשָׂ֔ר וַיִּתֵּ֥ן לָעָ֖ם וַיֹּאכֵ֑לוּ וַיָּ֗קָם וַיֵּ֛לֶךְ אַחֲרֵ֥י אֵלִיָּ֖הוּ וַיְשָׁרְתֵֽהוּ פ

וַיָּ֨שָׁב  So  [Elisha]  turned  back 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: שׁוּב  
Sense: to return, turn back.
מֵאַחֲרָ֜יו  from  him 
Parse: Preposition-m, third person masculine singular
Root: אַחַר 
Sense: after the following part, behind (of place), hinder, afterwards (of time).
וַיִּקַּ֣ח  and  took 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: יָקַח 
Sense: to take, get, fetch, lay hold of, seize, receive, acquire, buy, bring, marry, take a wife, snatch, take away.
אֶת־  - 
Parse: Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
צֶ֧מֶד  a  yoke 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: צֶמֶד  
Sense: couple, pair, team, yoke.
הַבָּקָ֣ר  of  oxen 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: בָּקָר  
Sense: cattle, herd, oxen, ox.
וַיִּזְבָּחֵ֗הוּ  and  slaughtered  them 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular, third person masculine singular
Root: זָבַח  
Sense: to slaughter, kill, sacrifice, slaughter for sacrifice.
וּבִכְלִ֤י  and  using  equipment 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Preposition-b, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: כְּלִי  
Sense: article, vessel, implement, utensil.
הַבָּקָר֙  of  the  oxen 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: בָּקָר  
Sense: cattle, herd, oxen, ox.
בִּשְּׁלָ֣ם  and  boiled 
Parse: Verb, Piel, Perfect, third person masculine singular, third person masculine plural
Root: בָּשַׁל  
Sense: to boil, cook, bake, roast, ripen, grow ripe.
הַבָּשָׂ֔ר  their  flesh 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: בָּשָׂר  
Sense: flesh.
וַיִּתֵּ֥ן  and  gave  [it] 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: יָתַן 
Sense: to give, put, set.
לָעָ֖ם  to  the  people 
Parse: Preposition-l, Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: עַם 
Sense: nation, people.
וַיֹּאכֵ֑לוּ  and  they  ate 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: אָכַל  
Sense: to eat, devour, burn up, feed.
וַיָּ֗קָם  And  he  arose 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: קוּם 
Sense: to rise, arise, stand, rise up, stand up.
וַיֵּ֛לֶךְ  and  followed 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: הָלַךְ  
Sense: to go, walk, come.
אַחֲרֵ֥י  after 
Parse: Preposition
Root: אַחַר 
Sense: after the following part, behind (of place), hinder, afterwards (of time).
אֵלִיָּ֖הוּ  Elijah 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: אֵלִיָּה 
Sense: the great prophet of the reign of Ahab.
וַיְשָׁרְתֵֽהוּ  and  became  his  servant 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Piel, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular, third person masculine singular
Root: שָׁרַת  
Sense: (Piel) to minister, serve, minister to.
פ  - 
Parse: Punctuation