1 Kings 18:20-46 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
20 Ahab got everyone together, then they went to meet Elijah on Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you try to have things both ways? If the Lord is God, worship him! But if Baal is God, worship him!”
The people did not say a word.
22 Then Elijah continued:
I am the Lord’s only prophet, but Baal has four hundred fifty prophets.
23 Bring us two bulls. Baal’s prophets can take one of them, kill it, and cut it into pieces. Then they can put the meat on the wood without lighting the fire. I will do the same thing with the other bull, and I won’t light a fire under it either.
24 The prophets of Baal will pray to their god, and I will pray to the Lord. The one who answers by starting the fire is God.
“That’s a good idea,” everyone agreed.
25 Elijah said to Baal’s prophets, “There are more of you, so you go first. Pick out a bull and get it ready, but don’t light the fire. Then pray to your god.”
26 They chose their bull, then they got it ready and prayed to Baal all morning, asking him to start the fire. They danced around the altar and shouted, “Answer us, Baal!” But there was no answer.
27 At noon, Elijah began making fun of them. “Pray louder!” he said. “Baal must be a god. Maybe he’s day-dreaming or using the toilet or traveling somewhere. Or maybe he’s asleep, and you have to wake him up.”
28 The prophets kept shouting louder and louder, and they cut themselves with swords and knives until they were bleeding. This was the way they worshiped, 29 and they kept it up all afternoon. But there was no answer of any kind.
30 Elijah told everyone to gather around him while he repaired the Lord’s altar. 31-32 Then he used twelve stones to build an altar in honor of the Lord. Each stone stood for one of the tribes of Israel, which was the name the Lord had given to their ancestor Jacob. Elijah dug a ditch around the altar, large enough to hold about thirteen quarts. 33 He placed the wood on the altar, then they cut the bull into pieces and laid the meat on the wood.
He told the people, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it over the meat and the wood.” After they did this, 34 he told them to do it two more times. They did exactly as he said 35 until finally, the water ran down the altar and filled the ditch.
36 When it was time for the evening sacrifice, Elijah prayed:
Our Lord, you are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Now, prove that you are the God of this nation,[a] and that I, your servant, have done this at your command. 37 Please answer me, so these people will know that you are the Lord God, and that you will turn their hearts back to you.[b]
38 The Lord immediately sent fire, and it burned up the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones. It scorched the ground everywhere around the altar and dried up every drop of water in the ditch. 39 When the crowd saw what had happened, they all bowed down and shouted, “The Lord is God! The Lord is God!”
40 Just then, Elijah said, “Grab the prophets of Baal! Don’t let any of them get away.”
So the people captured the prophets and took them to Kishon River, where Elijah killed every one of them.
It Starts To Rain
41 Elijah told Ahab, “Get something to eat and drink. I hear a heavy rain coming.”
42 Ahab left, but Elijah climbed back to the top of Mount Carmel. Then he stooped down with his face almost to the ground 43 and said to his servant, “Look toward the sea.”
The servant left. And when he came back, he said, “I looked, but I didn’t see anything.” Elijah told him to look seven more times.
44 After the seventh time the servant replied, “I see a small cloud coming this way. But it’s no bigger than a fist.”
Elijah told him, “Tell Ahab to get his chariot ready and start home now. Otherwise, the rain will stop him.”
45-46 A few minutes later, it got very cloudy and windy, and rain started pouring down. So Elijah wrapped his coat around himself, and the Lord gave him strength to run all the way to Jezreel. Ahab followed him.
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