1 Kings 19:11-13
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
11 (A)Then the Lord said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord;[a] the Lord will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord—but the Lord was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 after the earthquake, fire—but the Lord was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound.[b]
13 When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, Why are you here, Elijah?Read full chapter
- 19:11–13 To “stand before the Lord” is a literal translation of a Hebrew idiom meaning “to serve the Lord”; Elijah has used this idiom twice before to describe himself as the Lord’s servant (17:1; 18:15). The Lord’s command, then, means that Elijah is to take up once again the prophetic service to which he has been appointed. The Lord’s question, “Why are you here?” (v. 9, repeated in v. 13), could imply an accusation that he is abandoning his prophetic office. In v. 15, the Lord tells him to go back.
- 19:12 Compare these divine manifestations to Elijah with those to Moses on the same mountain (Ex 19:16–19; 33:18–23; 34:5–6; Dt 4:10–15). Though various phenomena, such as wind, storms, earthquakes, fire, accompany the divine presence, they do not constitute the presence itself which, like the “silent sound,” is mysterious and ultimately ungraspable. Moses and Elijah, the two figures who experienced God’s theophany on this mountain, reappear with Jesus on another mountain at his transfiguration (Mt 17:1–9; Mk 9:2–9; Lk 9:28–36).