1 Kings 18 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Elijah Kills the Prophets of Baal
18 During the third year without rain, the ·Lord spoke his word [L word of the Lord came] to Elijah: “Go and ·meet [present/show yourself to] King Ahab, and I will soon send rain.” 2 So Elijah went to ·meet [present/show himself to] Ahab.
By this time ·there was no food [the famine was severe] in Samaria. 3 King Ahab sent for Obadiah, who was in charge of the ·king’s palace [household]. (Obadiah ·was a true follower of [L greatly revered/feared] the Lord. 4 When Jezebel was killing the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah hid a hundred of them in two caves, fifty in one cave and fifty in another. He also ·brought [provided] them food and water.) 5 Ahab said to Obadiah, “·Let’s [Go] check every spring and valley in the land. Maybe we can find enough grass to keep our horses and mules alive and not have to kill our animals.” 6 So ·each one chose a part of the country to search [they divided the land between them]; Ahab ·went in one direction [L walked one way by himself] and Obadiah ·in another [L walked one way by himself].
7 While Obadiah was on his way, Elijah met him. Obadiah recognized Elijah, so he ·bowed down to the ground [L fell on his face] and said, “Elijah? Is it really you, ·master [my lord]?”
8 “Yes,” Elijah answered. “Go tell your master that I am here.”
9 Then Obadiah said, “What ·wrong [sin] have I done for you to hand me over to Ahab like this? He will put me to death. 10 As surely as the Lord your God lives, the king has sent people to every ·country [nation and kingdom] to search for you. If the ruler said you were not there, Ahab ·forced the ruler to swear [required an oath that] you could not be found in his country. 11 Now you want me to go to my master and tell him, ‘Elijah is here’? 12 The Spirit of the Lord may carry you to some ·other [unknown] place after I leave. If I go tell King Ahab you are here, and he comes and doesn’t find you, he will kill me! ·I [Even though/Yet I] have ·followed [L revered; feared] the Lord since I was a boy. 13 Haven’t you been told what I did? When Jezebel was killing the Lord’s prophets, I hid a hundred of them, fifty in one cave and fifty in another. I ·brought [provided] them food and water. 14 Now you want me to go and tell my master, ‘Elijah is here’? He will kill me!”
15 Elijah answered, “As surely as the Lord ·All-Powerful [of Heaven’s Armies; of hosts] lives, whom I serve, I will ·be seen by [present/show myself to] Ahab today.”
16 So Obadiah went to Ahab and told him. Then Ahab went to meet Elijah.
17 When he saw Elijah, he asked, “Is it you—·the biggest troublemaker in [L you troubler of] Israel?”
18 Elijah answered, “I have not made trouble in Israel. You and your father’s ·family [L house] have made all this trouble by ·not obeying [forsaking; abandoning] the Lord’s commands. You have ·gone after [followed; worshiped] the Baals. 19 Now ·tell [summon; assemble] all Israel to meet me at Mount Carmel. Also bring the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah [14:15], who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
20 So Ahab ·called [summoned; assembled] all the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] and those prophets to Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah approached the people and said, “How long will you ·not decide between two choices [L limp/hobble/waver between two opinions]? If the Lord is ·the true God [L God], follow him, but if ·Baal is the true God [L Baal], follow him!” But the people ·said nothing [L did not answer a word].
22 Elijah said, “I am the only prophet of the Lord ·here [left], but there are four hundred fifty prophets of Baal. 23 Bring two ·bulls [oxen]. Let the prophets of Baal choose one bull and kill it and cut it into pieces. Then let them put the meat on the wood, but they are not to set fire to it. I will prepare the other ·bull [ox], putting the meat on the wood but not setting fire to it. 24 You prophets of Baal, ·pray to [L call on the name of] your god, and I will ·pray to [L call on the name of] the Lord. The god who answers by ·setting fire to his wood is the true [fire—he is] God [C Baal, the storm god, threw lightening from the sky].”
All the people agreed that this was a good idea.
25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “There are many of you, so you go first. Choose a ·bull [ox] and prepare it. ·Pray to [L Call on the name of] your god, but don’t start the fire.”
26 So they took the ·bull [ox] that was given to them and prepared it. They ·prayed to [L called on the name of] Baal from morning until noon, shouting “Baal, answer us!” But there was no ·sound [voice; response], and no one answered. They ·danced [leaped; or limped; C “limped” may suggest that Israel had hobbled itself by worshiping both God and Baal] around the altar they had built.
27 At noon Elijah began to ·make fun of [mock; taunt] them. “·Pray [Call; Shout] louder!” he said. “·If Baal really is [Since he is surely] a god, maybe he is ·thinking [preoccupied; daydreaming], or ·busy [has wandered away], or ·traveling [is on a trip/journey]! Maybe he is sleeping so you will have to wake him!” 28 The prophets ·prayed [called; shouted] louder, cutting themselves with swords and ·spears [lances] until their blood flowed, ·which was the way they worshiped [as was their custom; C a ritual performed when they thought Baal had temporarily gone to the underworld]. 29 The afternoon passed, and the prophets ·continued to act like this [raved; ranted] until it was time for the evening sacrifice. But no voice was heard; Baal did not answer, and no one paid attention.
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Now come ·to [near/closer to] me.” So they gathered around him, and Elijah ·rebuilt [repaired] the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down [C the remains of a previous altar to God]. 31 He took twelve stones, one stone for each of the twelve tribes [C symbolizing a previously unified Israel; cf Josh. 4:2–20], the number of Jacob’s sons. (·The Lord changed Jacob’s name to Israel […to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying “Israel will be your name”; Gen. 32:22–32].) 32 Elijah used these stones to ·rebuild the [build an] altar in ·honor [L the name] of the Lord. Then he dug a ·ditch [trench] around the altar that was big enough to hold ·about thirteen quarts [L two measures/seahs] of seed. 33 Elijah ·put [piled; arranged] the wood on the altar, cut the ·bull [ox] into pieces, and laid the pieces on the wood. 34 Then he said, “Fill four ·jars [pitchers] with water, and pour it on the ·meat [L burnt offering; Lev. 1:1–17] and on the wood.” Then Elijah said, “Do it ·again [a second time],” and they did it ·again [a second time]. Then he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it the third time. 35 So the water ran ·off [all around] the altar and filled the ·ditch [trench].
36 At the time for the evening sacrifice, the prophet Elijah went near the altar. “Lord, you are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,” he ·prayed [said]. “·Prove [L Let it be known this day] that you are the God ·of [in] Israel and that I am your servant. Show these people that ·you commanded me to do all these things [L I have done all these things at your word]. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer ·my prayer [L me,] so these people will know that you, Lord, are God and that you ·will change their minds [L have turned their hearts back again].”
38 Then fire from the Lord came down and ·burned the sacrifice [consumed the burnt offering; Lev. 1:1–17], the wood, the stones, and the ·ground [dust] around the altar. It also ·dried [L licked] up the water in the ·ditch [trench]. 39 When all the people saw this, they fell ·down to the ground [on their faces], crying, “·The Lord is God [L The Lord—he is God]! ·The Lord is God [L The Lord—he is God]!”
40 Then Elijah said, “·Capture [Seize] the prophets of Baal! Don’t let ·any [a single one] of them ·run away [escape]!” The people ·captured [seized] all the prophets. Then Elijah led them down to the Kishon ·Valley [Brook], where he ·killed [slaughtered] them.
The Rain Comes Again
41 Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Now, go, eat, and drink, ·because a heavy rain is coming [L for there is the sound of rushing rain].” 42 So King Ahab went to eat and drink. At the same time Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel, where he bent down to the ground with his ·head [L face] between his knees.
43 Then Elijah said to his servant, “Go and look toward the sea.”
The servant went and looked. “I see nothing,” he said.
Elijah told him to go and look again. This happened seven times. 44 The seventh time, the servant said, “I see a small cloud, the size of a ·human fist [man’s hand], ·coming [rising] from the sea.”
Elijah told the servant, “Go to Ahab and tell him to get his chariot ready and go ·home [L down] now. Otherwise, the rain will stop him.”
45 After a short time the sky ·was covered with dark [grew black with] clouds. The wind began to blow, and soon a ·heavy [torrential] rain began to fall [C showing that it was the Lord, not Baal, that supplied the rain]. Ahab got in his chariot and started back to Jezreel. 46 ·The Lord gave his power to [L The hand of the Lord was on] Elijah, who ·tightened his clothes around him [T girded up his loins] and ·ran ahead of King [outran] Ahab all the way to Jezreel.
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