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Verse 18. And he prayed again. The allusion here seems to be to 1 Ki 18:42,45, though it is not expressly said there that he prayed. Perhaps it might be fairly gathered from the narrative that he did pray, or at least that would be the presumption, for he put himself into a natural attitude of prayer. "he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees," 1 Ki 18:42. In such circumstances, it is to be fairly presumed that such a man would pray; but it is remarkable that it is not expressly mentioned, and quite as remarkable that James should have made his argument turn on a thing which is not expressly mentioned, but which seems to have been a matter of inference. It seems probable to me, therefore, that there was some tradition on which he relied, or that it was a common interpretation of the passage in 1 Ki 18 that Elijah prayed earnestly, and that this was generally believed by those to whom the apostle wrote. Of the fact that Elijah was a man of prayer, no one could doubt; and in these circumstances the tradition and common belief were sufficient to justify the argument which is employed here.

And the heaven gave rain. The clouds gave rain. "The heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain," 1 Ki 18:45.

And the earth brought forth her fruit. The famine ceased, and the land again became productive. The case referred to here was indeed a miracle, but it was a case of the power of prayer, and therefore to the point. If God would work a miracle in answer to prayer, it is reasonable to presume that he will bestow upon us the blessings which we need in the same way.

{a} "he prayed again" 1 Ki 18:42,45 {+} "fruit" or, "produce"

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