[Copyright by W. R. HARPER, 1887.]
PREPARED BY PROFESSORS W. R. HARPER (Yale University), W. G. BALLANTINE (Oberlin Theol. Sem.), WILLIS J. BEECHER (Auburn Theol. Sem.), and G. S. BURROUGHS (Amherst College).
Nineteenth Study.—Elijah, Elisha, and Their Fellow-Prophets.
[The material of this " study " is furnished by Professors Beecher and Harper. It is edited by Professor Harper.]
I. PRELIMINARY NOTES.
1. It should be the chief aim in the work of such a " study " as that which follows, to have as a result of it not only a certain comprehensive knowledge of the facts, but also a clear understanding of the relation of these facts to each other. In other words, one must not allow the philosophy of the history to be ignored.
2. Facts, but also their philosophy. Too many students stop after having gained possession of the facts. In doing this they lose sight of the work which they set out to accomplish.
3. In a "study" covering so many disconnected facts, there will surely be a disappointment unless something satisfactory in the way of a chain linking these facts together be obtained.
4. In connection with this "study" the following literature is suggested:
II. BIBLICAL LESSON.
Prepare for recitation the biblical material as arranged according to the following topics:
1. Prophets besides Elijah and Elisha of the Times of the Dynasties of Jeroboam, Baasha, and Omri.
2. "Schools of the Prophets," at Bethel, Jericho, Gilgal, etc.:
3. The Character of the Prophets of this Period.
4. Elijah and Elisha.
5. The Famine in the time of Elijah.
6. Persecution of Elijah and the Worshipers of Jehovah.
7. Jehovah's Worshipers tolerated, and his Prophets honored (though grudgingly, as if by compulsion).
8. The Rest of Elisha's Career.
III. TEXTUAL TOPICS.
1. 1 Kgs. 17:1. "The Tishbite;" the form of oath.
2. 1. Kgs. 17:4. "The ravens," other interpretations.
3. 1 Kgs. 17:9. Zarephath (cf. Luke 4:26), of what nationality?
4. 1 Kgs. 17:17,18. Was the lad really dead? " bring my sin to remembrance."
5. 1 Kgs. 18:9. What is the ground of his fear?
6. 1 Kgs. 18:17-40. If this is taken as an account of a battle in a civil war, in defence of the prophets and worshipers of Jehovah, did it accomplish its purpose? Would this view justify Elijah's conduct in the matter? Can 2 Kgs. 1:9-14 be explained as a second and less severe battle in the same war; and 2:23-25 as a third affair of similar significance?
7. 1 Kgs. 18:19,22. Prophets of Baal; prophets of the Asherah; was Elijah the only true prophet?
8. 1 Kgs. 18:26-29. "And they leaped about the altar;" "for he is a god;" "cut themselves;" "they prophesied."
9. 1 Kgs 18:30. Is the altar here mentioned (cf. 19:10,14) consistent with Deut. 12:10-14.
10. 1 Kgs. 18:32-35. "Trench;" purpose of the water.
11. 1. Kgs. 18:42,43. His attitude; why toward the sea?
12. 1 Kgs. 18:45. "Hand of the Lord was on Elijah;" his running; his stopping outside; the purpose of his journey.
13. 1 Kgs. 19:2. Form and significance of the oath.
14. 1 Kgs. 19:4. Occasion of his despondency; parallel case of Jonah.
15. 1 Kgs. 19:8,11,12. Purpose of visit to Horeb; forty days and forty nights; the meaning of these manifestations.
16. 1 Kgs. 19:15-18. Connection of the contents of these verses with what precedes; the number "seven thousand;" "kissed him," Hos. 13:2; Ps. 2:12.
17. 1 Kgs. 19:20,21. Elisha's attitude; Elijah's words; the feast.
18. 2 Kgs. 2:1. The source of the following narrative.
19. 2 Kgs. 2:2,4. Why does Elijah visit Bethel and Jericho?
20. 2 Kgs. 2:9,10. "Double portion of thy spirit;" why a " hcird" thing? Meaning of the test.
21. 2 Kgs. 2:12. The title " my father;" the following expression.
22. 2 Kgs. 2:23-25. Various questions suggested by this narrative; does this account say that the bears either ate, or killed, or seriously maimed all the forty-two children, or any of them? In view of the number of bears and that of the children, how is it most naturally to be understood?
23. 2 Kgs 4:1. What inference to be taken from this verse?
24. 2 Kgs. 4:19. Symptoms of what disease? cf. Ps. 121:6 and Judith 8:2,3.
25. 2 Kgs. 4:23. What inference as to regular assemblies for worship?
26. 2 Kgs. 4:25. Distance of the journey
27. 2 Kgs. 4:27,28,29. "Hid it from me and hath not told me;" abruptness; purpose of sending Gehazi with staff.
28. 2 Kgs. 5:7. " He rent his clothes."
29. 2 Kgs. 5:10. The purpose of this command.
30. 2 Kgs. 5:15,17. "No God in all the earth but in Israel;" "two mules' burden of earth."
31. 2 Kgs. 5:18. "House of Rimmon;" the principle here involved.
32. 2 Kgs. 6:23. Reconcile the last clause with the following verse.
33. 2 Kgs. 6.30. "Sackcloth within upon his flesh."
34. 2 Kgs. 6:33. Whose words, and what do they imply?
35. 2 Kgs. 7:6. The Hittites in Scripture.2
IV. SPECIAL TOPICS.
3. Elijah's Earlier Work.
4. Elijah's Later Work.
5. Elijah's Removal.
6. Elijah's Life and Character.
8. Comparisons and Contrasts.
1) The names of the three children of Ahab were Ahaziah, "whom Jehovah holds," Jehoram, "whom Jehovah has exalted," and Athaliah, "whom Jehovah afflicts." Too much stress should not be put upon the significance of these names, as an acknowledgment of Jehovah by Ahab; but they agree with all the other facts of the history in suggesting that the earlier part of Ahab's reign was full of promise to the worshipers of Jehovah. This would of course intensify their disappointment and indignation when this policy was changed into one which attempted to extirpate them.
2) See Wright, Empire of the Hittites, Scribner and Welford, N. Y.; also the article on the Hittites, in the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, and the literature there described.