1 Kings 18

Elijah’s Message to Ahab

1After a long time, the word of the Lord a came to Elijah in the third year: b “Go and present yourself to Ahab. c I will send rain on the surface of the land.” 2So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab.The famine was severe in Samaria. d 3 Ahab called for Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. e Obadiah was a man who greatly
fear(s) God or the Lord/ the fear of the Lord: No single English word conveys every aspect of the word fear in this phrase. The meaning includes worshipful submission, reverential awe, and obedient respect to the covenant-keeping God of Israel.
feared the Lord g
4and took 100 prophets and hid them, 50 men to a cave, and provided them with food and water when Jezebel h slaughtered the Lord’s prophets. i 5 Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go throughout the land to every spring of water and to every
wadi: A seasonal stream that flows only in the rainy season
wadi. Perhaps we’ll find grass so we can keep the horses and mules alive and not have to destroy any cattle.” k
6They divided the land between them in order to cover it. Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went the other way by himself.

7While Obadiah was walking along the road, Elijah suddenly met him. l When Obadiah recognized him, he fell with his face to the ground and said, “Is it you, my lord Elijah?”

8 “It is I,” he replied. “Go tell your lord, ‘Elijah is here!’”

9But Obadiah said, “What sin have I committed, m that you are handing your servant over to Ahab to put me to death? 10As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent someone to search for you. When they said, ‘He is not here,’ he made that kingdom or nation swear they had not found you.

11 “Now you say, ‘Go tell your lord, “Elijah is here!”’ 12But when I leave you, the Spirit of the Lord may carry you off n to some place I don’t know. Then when I go report to Ahab and he doesn’t find you, he will kill me. But I, your servant, have feared the Lord from my youth. 13 Wasn’t it reported to my lord what I did when Jezebel slaughtered the Lord’s prophets? I hid 100 of the prophets of the Lord, 50 men to a cave, and I provided them with food and water. 14 Now you say, ‘Go tell your lord, “Elijah is here!”’ He will kill me!”

15Then Elijah said, “As the Lord of
Hosts/hosts: Military forces consisting of God's angels, sometimes including the sun, moon, and stars, and occasionally, Israel
Hosts lives, p before whom I stand, today I will present myself to Ahab.”

16 Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him. Then Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is that you, you destroyer of Israel?” q

18He replied, “I have not destroyed Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have abandoned the Lord’s commands r and followed the
Baal: A fertility god who was the main god of the Canaanite religion and the god of rain and thunderstorms; also the Hebrew word meaning "lord," "master," "owner," or "husband"
Baals. t
19 Now summon all Israel to meet me at Mount Carmel, u along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of
Asherah(s): A Canaanite fertility goddess, who was the mother of the god Baal; also the wooden poles associated with the worship of her
Asherah w who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

Elijah at Mount Carmel

20 So Ahab summoned all the Israelites and gathered the prophets at Mount Carmel. 21Then Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? x If
Yahweh/Yah: Or The Lord; the personal name of God in Hebrew; "Yah" is the shortened form of the name.
Yahweh is God, follow Him. But if Baal, follow him.” z But the people didn’t answer him a word.

22Then Elijah said to the people, “I am the only remaining prophet of the Lord, aa but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23Let two bulls be given to us. They are to choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and place it on the wood but not light the fire. I will prepare the other bull and place it on the wood but not light the fire. 24Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of Yahweh. ab The God who answers with fire, He is God.”All the people answered, “That sounds good.”

25Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Since you are so numerous, choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first. Then call on the name of your god but don’t light the fire.”

26So they took the bull that he gave them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “Baal, answer us!” But there was no sound; ac no one answered. Then they danced, hobbling around the altar they had made.

27At noon Elijah mocked them. He said, “Shout loudly, for he’s a god! Maybe he’s thinking it over; maybe he has wandered away;
Or has turned aside; possibly to relieve himself
or maybe he’s on the road. Perhaps he’s sleeping and will wake up!” ae
28They shouted loudly, and cut themselves af with knives and spears, according to their custom, until blood gushed over them. 29All afternoon they kept on raving until the offering of the evening sacrifice, ag but there was no sound; no one answered, no one paid attention. ah

30Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near me.” So all the people approached him. Then he repaired the Lord’s altar that had been torn down: ai 31 Elijah took 12 stones – according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Israel will be your nameaj 32and he built an altar ak with the stones in the name of Yahweh. Then he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold about four gallons.
LXX reads trench containing two measures of seed
Lit altar corresponding to a house of two seahs of seed
33Next, he arranged the wood, cut up the bull, and placed it on the wood. He said, “Fill four water pots with water and pour it on the offering to be burned and on the wood.” 34Then he said, “A second time!” and they did it a second time. And then he said, “A third time!” and they did it a third time. 35So the water ran all around the altar; he even filled the trench with water.

36At the time for offering the evening sacrifice, an Elijah the prophet approached the altar and said, “Yahweh, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, ao today let it be known ap that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that at Your word I have done all these things. 37 Answer me, Lord! Answer me so that this people will know that You, Yahweh, are God aq and that You have turned their hearts back.”

38Then Yahweh’s fire fell and consumed the
burnt offering(s): Or holocaust, an offering completely burned to ashes; it was used in connection with worship, seeking God's favor, expiating sin, or averting judgment.
burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.
39When all the people saw it, they fell facedown as and said, “Yahweh, He is God! Yahweh, He is God!” at

40Then Elijah ordered them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! au Do not let even one of them escape.” So they seized them, and Elijah brought them down to the Wadi Kishon av and slaughtered them there. aw 41 Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a rainstorm.” ax

42So Ahab went to eat and drink, but Elijah went up to the summit of Carmel. ay He bowed down on the ground and put his face between his knees. az 43Then he said to his servant, “Go up and look toward the sea.”So he went up, looked, and said, “There’s nothing.”Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”

44On the seventh ba time, he reported, “There’s a cloud as small as a man’s hand coming from the sea.”Then Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Get your chariot ready and go down so the rain doesn’t stop you.’”

45In a little while, the sky grew dark with clouds and wind, and there was a downpour. So Ahab got in his chariot and went to Jezreel. bb 46The power of the Lord bc was on Elijah, and he tucked his mantle under his belt bd and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
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