Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 19

God chooses Jehu and Elisha

1 Kings 19:16

To ‘anoint’ means to pour oil upon someone, as a sacred ceremony to appoint that person to an important job. The oil in that ceremony had a special meaning. It was like God’s Holy Spirit which came upon that person (1 Samuel 16:13). God’s Spirit gave that person the power and authority to do his special work for God.

Of course, we can see a ceremony like that. We cannot usually see when the Holy Spirit comes upon a person. So, we imagine that the ceremony is the reality – but without the power of the Holy Spirit, the ceremony achieves nothing. So, the reality is when the Holy Spirit comes upon the person.

God was making great changes in Israel by the power of his Holy Spirit. At the present time, King Ahab and his wife Jezebel seemed to have absolute power. However, God claims Israel as his special nation. He would appoint Jehu to destroy the power of Ahab’s family. God told Elijah about this before it happened.

It would not in fact be Elijah’s task to anoint Jehu. Rather, God wanted Elijah to appoint Elisha to become the principal prophet (holy man) in Israel after him. It seems that Elijah did not carry out the ceremony with oil to do that (19:19-21). Instead, he understood the reality to be when God’s Holy Spirit came upon Elisha.

So, Elisha would send the man who actually anointed Jehu (2 Kings 9:1-10). Similarly, Elisha declared that Hazael would become king of Aram (2 Kings 8:13). He too did not use the ceremony with oil then. Hazael became king by his own evil act (2 Kings 8:15). However, he could only become king because God’s Holy Spirit had given him the authority to rule his nation.

Next part: Three men who would bring God's judgment (1 Kings 19:17)


Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 1000+ page course book.


© 2024, Keith Simons.