The message from Yahweh (1 Kings 19:15-19:18)

“Then Yahweh said to him. ‘Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Arameans. Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel. You shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill. Whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

This is a direct command of Yahweh to Elijah about what he must do. This is not a renewal of the covenant at Mount Horeb, but a direct order of who is to be in charge and who is to be killed. This is not love God and your neighbor. This was to prepare for the righteous remnant. For some reason, Elijah was to anoint Hazael, the King of the Syrians in Damascus. Why would the prophet of Yahweh anoint a non-Hebrew king who battled against Israel and Judah? However, he also was to anoint Jehu as the new king of Israel in opposition to King Ahab. That makes more sense. He also was to anoint a new prophet in his place, Elisha. In another twist, there is the admonition that those who escaped from the deadly attack of Hazael, King Jehu should kill. Those not killed by King Jehu, Elisha should kill. Finally there would be about 7,000 in all Israel, who have not bowed to Baal or kissed this idol god. This message for Elijah from Yahweh will dominate the life of Elijah and Elisha as they attempt to carry out this command of Yahweh.