17:1 Elijah. The name means “Yah is God.” “Yah” or “Jah” is a short form of the divine name “Yahweh,” translated as “Lord” (cf. Ex. 3:14, 15). Elijah’s name corresponds to the theme of his ministry: the Lord is God and there is no other. Elijah was the major prophet of Yahweh when Ahab and Jezebel were promoting Baal worship in Israel.
Tishbite. Probably Elijah was from a town called Tishbe.
Gilead. Gilead is an area of undefined extent east of the Jordan River.
neither dew nor rain. Baal (16:31 note) was the Canaanite storm god, and this drought questioned Baal’s ability to control the weather.
except by my word. The drought will demonstrate to a wayward Israel who truly is God.