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Ahab Promotes Idolatry

29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa’s reign over Judah, Omri’s son Ahab became king over Israel. Ahab son of Omri ruled over Israel for twenty-two years in Samaria. 30 Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the sight of[a] the Lord than all who were before him. 31 As if following in the sinful footsteps of Jeroboam son of Nebat were not bad enough, he married Jezebel the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians. Then he worshiped and bowed to Baal.[b] 32 He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal he had built in Samaria. 33 Ahab also made an Asherah pole; he[c] did more to anger the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him.

34 During Ahab’s reign,[d] Hiel the Bethelite rebuilt Jericho. Abiram, his firstborn son, died when he laid the foundation;[e] Segub, his youngest son, died when he erected its gates,[f] in keeping with the Lord’s message that he had spoken through Joshua son of Nun.[g]

Elijah Visits a Widow in Sidonian Territory

17 Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As certainly as the Lord God of Israel lives (whom I serve),[h] there will be no dew or rain in the years ahead unless I give the command.”[i] The Lord’s message came to him: “Leave here and travel eastward. Hide out in the Kerith Valley near the Jordan. Drink from the stream; I have already told[j] the ravens to bring you food[k] there.” So he carried out[l] the Lord’s message; he went and lived in the Kerith Valley near the Jordan. The ravens would bring him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he would drink from the stream.


  1. 1 Kings 16:30 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
  2. 1 Kings 16:31 tn Heb “and he went and served Baal and bowed down to him.”sn The Canaanites worshiped Baal as a storm and fertility god.
  3. 1 Kings 16:33 tn Heb “Ahab”; the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  4. 1 Kings 16:34 tn Heb “in his days.”
  5. 1 Kings 16:34 tn Heb “with Abiram, his firstborn, he founded it.”
  6. 1 Kings 16:34 tn Heb “with Segub, his youngest, he set up its gates.”
  7. 1 Kings 16:34 sn Warned through Joshua son of Nun. For the background to this statement, see Josh 6:26, where Joshua pronounces a curse on the one who dares to rebuild Jericho. Here that curse is viewed as a prophecy spoken by God through Joshua.
  8. 1 Kings 17:1 tn Heb “before whom I stand.”
  9. 1 Kings 17:1 tn Heb “except at the command of my word.”
  10. 1 Kings 17:4 tn Heb “commanded.”
  11. 1 Kings 17:4 tn Heb “to provide for you.”
  12. 1 Kings 17:5 tn Heb “acted according to.”