Elijah and Obadiah

18 After a long time, in the third(A) year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go and present(B) yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain(C) on the land.” So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab.

Now the famine was severe(D) in Samaria, and Ahab had summoned Obadiah, his palace administrator.(E) (Obadiah was a devout believer(F) in the Lord. While Jezebel(G) was killing off the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden(H) them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied(I) them with food and water.) Ahab had said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs(J) and valleys. Maybe we can find some grass to keep the horses and mules alive so we will not have to kill any of our animals.”(K) So they divided the land they were to cover, Ahab going in one direction and Obadiah in another.

As Obadiah was walking along, Elijah met him. Obadiah recognized(L) him, bowed down to the ground, and said, “Is it really you, my lord Elijah?”

“Yes,” he replied. “Go tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.’”

“What have I done wrong,” asked Obadiah, “that you are handing your servant over to Ahab to be put to death? 10 As surely as the Lord your God lives, there is not a nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to look(M) for you. And whenever a nation or kingdom claimed you were not there, he made them swear they could not find you. 11 But now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ 12 I don’t know where the Spirit(N) of the Lord may carry you when I leave you. If I go and tell Ahab and he doesn’t find you, he will kill me. Yet I your servant have worshiped the Lord since my youth. 13 Haven’t you heard, my lord, what I did while Jezebel was killing the prophets of the Lord? I hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water. 14 And now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ He will kill me!”

15 Elijah said, “As the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, I will surely present(O) myself to Ahab today.”

Elijah on Mount Carmel

16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler(P) of Israel?”

18 “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you(Q) and your father’s family have. You have abandoned(R) the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. 19 Now summon(S) the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel.(T) And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”(U)

20 So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel.(V) 21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver(W) between two opinions? If the Lord(X) is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”

But the people said nothing.

22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left,(Y) but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets.(Z) 23 Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you call(AA) on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord.(AB) The god who answers by fire(AC)—he is God.”

Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”

25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” 26 So they took the bull given them and prepared it.

Then they called(AD) on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response;(AE) no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”(AF) 28 So they shouted louder and slashed(AG) themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice.(AH) But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.(AI)

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar(AJ) of the Lord, which had been torn down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.”(AK) 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name(AL) of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs[a] of seed. 33 He arranged(AM) the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”

34 “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.

“Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.

36 At the time(AN) of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham,(AO) Isaac and Israel, let it be known(AP) today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.(AQ) 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know(AR) that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

38 Then the fire(AS) of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate(AT) and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”(AU)

40 Then Elijah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley(AV) and slaughtered(AW) there.

41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” 42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.(AX)

43 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked.

“There is nothing there,” he said.

Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”

44 The seventh time(AY) the servant reported, “A cloud(AZ) as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”

So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’”

45 Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain(BA) started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel.(BB) 46 The power(BC) of the Lord came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt,(BD) he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 18:32 That is, probably about 24 pounds or about 11 kilograms

18 And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.

And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria.

And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly:

For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)

And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts.

So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.

And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Art thou that my lord Elijah?

And he answered him, I am: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.

And he said, What have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me?

10 As the Lord thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not.

11 And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.

12 And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the Lord shall carry thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant fear the Lord from my youth.

13 Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the Lord, how I hid an hundred men of the Lord's prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water?

14 And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here: and he shall slay me.

15 And Elijah said, As the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely shew myself unto him to day.

16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah.

17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?

18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.

19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table.

20 So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.

21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:

24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

25 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.

26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.

27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.

28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.

29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.

30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.

31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:

32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.

33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.

34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.

35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.

36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.

40 And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

41 And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.

42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,

43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times.

44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down that the rain stop thee not.

45 And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.

46 And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

Elijah’s Message to Ahab

18 And it came to pass after (A)many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, present yourself to Ahab, and (B)I will send rain on the earth.”

So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab; and there was a severe famine in Samaria. And Ahab had called Obadiah, who was [a]in charge of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly. For so it was, while Jezebel [b]massacred the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water.) And Ahab had said to Obadiah, “Go into the land to all the springs of water and to all the brooks; perhaps we may find grass to keep the horses and mules alive, so that we will not have to kill any livestock.” So they divided the land between them to explore it; Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.

Now as Obadiah was on his way, suddenly Elijah met him; and he (C)recognized him, and fell on his face, and said, “Is that you, my lord Elijah?”

And he answered him, “It is I. Go, tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.’ ”

So he said, “How have I sinned, that you are delivering your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? 10 As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to hunt for you; and when they said, ‘He is not here,’ he took an oath from the kingdom or nation that they could not find you. 11 And now you say, ‘Go, tell your master, “Elijah is here” ’! 12 And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from you, that (D)the Spirit of the Lord will carry you to a place I do not know; so when I go and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he will kill me. But I your servant have feared the Lord from my youth. 13 Was it not reported to my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid one hundred men of the Lord’s prophets, fifty to a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14 And now you say, ‘Go, tell your master, “Elijah is here.” ’ He will kill me!”

15 Then Elijah said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely present myself to him today.”

16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah.

17 Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, (E)Is that you, O (F)troubler of Israel?”

18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, (G)in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals. 19 Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on (H)Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, (I)and the four hundred prophets of [c]Asherah, who [d]eat at Jezebel’s table.”

Elijah’s Mount Carmel Victory

20 So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and (J)gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came to all the people, and said, (K)“How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, (L)follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, (M)“I alone am left a prophet of the Lord; (N)but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it. 24 Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who (O)answers by fire, He is God.”

So all the people answered and said, [e]“It is well spoken.”

25 Now Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.

26 So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, “O Baal, [f]hear us!” But there was (P)no voice; no one answered. Then they [g]leaped about the altar which they had made.

27 And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry [h]aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28 So they cried aloud, and (Q)cut themselves, as was their custom, with [i]knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. 29 And when midday was past, (R)they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was (S)no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. (T)And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, (U)“Israel shall be your name.” 32 Then with the stones he built an altar (V)in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. 33 And he (W)put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four waterpots with water, and (X)pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.” 34 Then he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time; and he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. 35 So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled (Y)the trench with water.

36 And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Lord (Z)God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, (AA)let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that (AB)I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”

38 Then (AC)the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, (AD)“The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”

40 And Elijah said to them, (AE)“Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook (AF)Kishon and (AG)executed them there.

The Drought Ends

41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; (AH)then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, 43 and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.”

So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.”

44 Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, [j]‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’ ”

45 Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel. 46 Then the (AI)hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he (AJ)girded[k] up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 18:3 Lit. over the house
  2. 1 Kings 18:4 Lit. cut off
  3. 1 Kings 18:19 A Canaanite goddess
  4. 1 Kings 18:19 Are provided for by Jezebel
  5. 1 Kings 18:24 Lit. The word is good
  6. 1 Kings 18:26 answer
  7. 1 Kings 18:26 Lit. limped about, leaped in dancing around
  8. 1 Kings 18:27 with a loud voice
  9. 1 Kings 18:28 swords
  10. 1 Kings 18:44 Lit. Bind or Harness
  11. 1 Kings 18:46 Tucked the skirts of his robe in his belt in preparation for quick travel

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