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The. Trinity. Learning to Serve Ministries. i n a. Cave. 1 st Kings 19:9-18. May 30, 2013. Background. Pronouncement of three-year famine for idolatry End of famine – Elijah asked for a summit on Mt. Carmel

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May 30 2013



Learning to Serve


in a


1st Kings 19:9-18

May 30, 2013


  • Pronouncement of three-year famine for idolatry

  • End of famine – Elijah asked for a summit on Mt. Carmel

    • Political overtones were high – if Baal didn’t win, King Ahab loses favor with the people…

  • What happened? (450 prophets of Baal)

  • The order came to kill Elijah by noon the next day

  • The 40-day, 40-night journey to Mt. Horeb (Sinai) – let’s read about it

May 30 2013


1st Kings 19:1-18


Elijah and moses
Elijah and Moses

  • Elijah, like Moses, fled to the desert as a wanted man by pagan government leaders to escape death after killing someone

  • Elijah was exiled for 40 days in the desert before meeting efei at Mt. Horeb

    • Parallels Moses’ exile of 40 years in the desert before meeting efeiat the same mountain

Elijah and moses1
Elijah and Moses

An angel led and directed both Moses and Elijah in the same desert (cf. Exodus 14:19 et al; 1st Kings 19:5-7)

On the mountain, Elijah, like Moses, spoke to efeiout of deep frustration and desperation for speaking on His behalf to Israel (cf. Exodus 33)

Elijah, like Moses, sought refuge inside a cave (or cleft) in the side of the mountain (cf. Exodus 33:21-23; 1st Kings 18:9)

Elijah and moses2
Elijah and Moses

Elijah, like Moses, was called by Yahweh to see Him pass by (cf. Exodus 33:19, 22; 1st Kings 19:11)

Elijah, like Moses, experienced a fierce wind, an earthquake and fire on the mountain, but the voice of efeiwas not in any of them (cf. Exodus 19:16-19; 1st Kings 19:11-12)

Elijah and moses on another mountain
Elijah and Moses on Another Mountain

  • By divine revelation, the apostle Peter confessed Yeshua’s identity and role as the True Messiah

    • With this admission, the countdown had begun

    • Soon osfei would face death by crucifixion

    • Time had entered a critical phase for Him

    • Though some saw Him connected to Moses and others to Elijah, the link to each of them was clearly revealed on the mountain

May 30 2013


Matthew 17:1-8


May 30 2013

Let’s go

back to Elijah at the cave…

Elijah and efei
Elijah and efei

  • In verses 9 – 11, we see someone appear in a very subtle reference

    • The Word of efei

  • Where do we first see Him in Scripture?

    Genesis 15:1

Elijah and efei1
Elijah and efei

  • In verse 11, efei passes before Elijah in a “great and strong wind”

  • Why is there a “Word of efei” and a “efei”

    • Why is God revealing Himself to Elijah in different ways?

Elijah and efei2
Elijah and efei

The solution lies in Exodus:

“And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as efeihad commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone. And efeidescended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of efei. And efeipassed by before him, and proclaimed, efei, efeiElohim, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,…”

Exodus 34:4-6

Elijah and efei3
Elijah and efei

We recognize osfei as the Word of Yahweh in the flesh

The belief that “the Word of Yahweh” was a distinctly separate and simultaneous manifestation of the One True God of hosts is well attested in ancient Jewish thought

In this holy hint (remez) of a distinct, but simultaneous, revelation of Yahweh, Elijah is linked not only to Moses at Mt. Sinai, but also to the coming Messiah osfei

Elijah and efei4
Elijah and efei

Elijah is told by “the Word of efei” to stand outside the cave on the mountain like Moses did in his own desperation when Yahweh passed by him (cf. Exodus 33)

The dynamic tie to Moses is reinforced

The voice of efei
The voice of efei

We’ve established that inside the cave Yahweh spoke to Elijah as “the Word of efei” (cf. 1st Kings 19:9, 11)

Outside the cave we learn that God spoke as efei (19:15)

These two instances are straight-forward to understand

But efeispoke to Elijah in a third way…

The voice of efei1
The voice of efei

  • First “the Word of efei” spoke to him plainly in the cave

  • Next, the voice of efei–a voice of awesome silence – spoke to him

    • There occurred three circumstances on the mountain involving

      • a powerful wind

      • an earthquake

      • a fierce fire

The voice of efei2
The voice of efei

  • While Elijah is safely hidden in the cave, he hears a voice so incredibly difficult to explain that the Hebrew language of the Bible makes it difficult for the translator to translate it

    • Nowhere else in Biblical Hebrew do we find this peculiar description of how the voice of efeisounds, or, rather, how it does not sound

The voice of efei3
The voice of efei

The voice of God is depicted as being silent, but it can penetrate the soul such that its impact is greater than if the voice of efeiwas heard audibly

Elijah heard the voice of efei so deeply without ever actually hearing a word, and he obeyed by standing up, moving to the mouth of the cave to see efei Himself pass by

The voice of efei4
The voice of efei

  • What did efei say to Elijah in that still small voice?

    • We know what “the Word of efei” said inside the cave

    • We have what efeisaid outside the cave

    • But we don’t know what efei said to Elijah in that still small voice

    • You can bet that it was highly significant in the life of Elijah

      What about you and me?

      How should we understand this voice today?

The voice of efei5
The voice of efei

  • What we do know about this still small voice is that it came from the “Spirit of efei” – not “the Word of efei” nor “efei” but the same Spirit that we can hear and feel today

  • What we need to know today, however, is, was it a still small voice?

    • Is this translation correct?

A muted silence
A Muted Silence

  • The Hebrew phrase used here is qoldemamahdaqqa

  • qol – voice

  • demamah– silence, speechless

  • daqqa– muted, emptied out

  • How can you mute that which is silenced?

    • It boils down to “an exponentially intense silence”


A muted silence1
A Muted Silence

  • Ask yourself – is the absolute, utter removal of any sound or movement or sound pattern whatsoever equal to a whisper or a blowing sound?

    • How can silencex equal sound?

A muted silence2
A Muted Silence

“a still, small voice” (KJV, RSV)

“a light murmuring sound” (New Jerusalem Bible)

“a soft murmuring sound” (JPS Tanakh)

“a sound of a gentle blowing” (NASB)

“a soft whisper” (NET)

“a sound of a gentle whisper” (NIV)

“a quiet, subdued voice” (CJB)

“a sound of sheer silence” (NRSV)

A muted silence3
A Muted Silence

Perhaps the best way to put it, or to literally translate it, is as a shrunken silence or a voice of sheer thought

Elijah was hearing a sound of silence in which all silence is vacuumed out of it to an infinite and perfect degree

The silent voice of efeitaken to exponential and perfect silence, then, is God’s pure and holy thought

It is the thought of His Spirit

Elijah heard God’s thoughts!

A muted silence4
A Muted Silence

Can we hear God’s thoughts?

“But we speak the wisdom of Elohim in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which Elohim ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which Elohim hath prepared for them that love him. But Elohim hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of Elohim. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of Elohim knowethno man, but the Spirit of Elohim.”

1st Corinthians 2:7-11

A muted silence5
A Muted Silence

Can we hear God’s thoughts?

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of Elohim; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of Elohim. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of Elohim : for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of efei, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Messiah.”

1st Corinthians 2:12-16

A muted silence6
A Muted Silence

Elijah heard the Spirit of God speaking to his spirit

Out of this “muted silence”, God got Elijah’s undivided attention to speak to him in a different way from the other ways He had previously spoken to him

Spiritual was speaking to spiritual

Is that your connection with Him?


What is the voice of the Spirit of God like?

This is at the heart of the phrase qoldemamahdaqqa

The Spirit bears witness with our spirit when He testifies of the Father and the Son


“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches”

In the Book of Revelation, we are told to listen to this same Spirit

Seven times in chapters 2 and 3 we are told by none other than osfei Himself:

May 30 2013



Throughout history efei has pardoned sin by His grace based on Messiah’s work on the cross alone, not on man’s actions. Though we advocate obedience, obedience does not determine salvation. Our right standing before Him is established on one thing only: the finished work of Messiah. We are released from our sins by His blood. He has reconciled us in His earthly body through His death. Osfei bore our sins in His own Body on the cross so that by His wounds we are healed. We are made holy through the offering up of His body as a sacrifice. Messiah appeared once for all to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. efei sent His Son to remove the wrath that we ourselves both created and deserve. The penalty of sin that is rightly ours is absolved by grace through faith, not by any righteous deeds of our own. Only when we are born again, given a new life through God’s Spirit, by faith in Osfei Messiah can we be forgiven.Will you accept Him?