1 Kings 18 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Elijah’s Message to Ahab
18 After many days the word of the Lord came to Eli′jah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.” 2 So Eli′jah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samar′ia. 3 And Ahab called Obadi′ah, who was over the household. (Now Obadi′ah revered the Lord greatly; 4 and when Jez′ebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, Obadi′ah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) 5 And Ahab said to Obadi′ah, “Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the valleys; perhaps we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, and not lose some of the animals.” 6 So they divided the land between them to pass through it; Ahab went in one direction by himself, and Obadi′ah went in another direction by himself.
7 And as Obadi′ah was on the way, behold, Eli′jah met him; and Obadi′ah recognized him, and fell on his face, and said, “Is it you, my lord Eli′jah?” 8 And he answered him, “It is I. Go, tell your lord, ‘Behold, Eli′jah is here.’” 9 And he said, “Wherein have I sinned, that you would give your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? 10 As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom whither my lord has not sent to seek you; and when they would say, ‘He is not here,’ he would take an oath of the kingdom or nation, that they had not found you. 11 And now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Behold, Eli′jah is here.”’ 12 And as soon as I have gone from you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you whither I know not; and so, when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, although I your servant have revered the Lord from my youth. 13 Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jez′ebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid a hundred men of the Lord’s prophets by fifties in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14 And now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Behold, Eli′jah is here”’; and he will kill me.” 15 And Eli′jah said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.” 16 So Obadi′ah went to meet Ahab, and told him; and Ahab went to meet Eli′jah.
17 When Ahab saw Eli′jah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel; but you have, and your father’s house, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and followed the Ba′als. 19 Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the four hundred and fifty prophets of Ba′al and the four hundred prophets of Ashe′rah, who eat at Jez′ebel’s table.”
Elijah’s Triumph over the Priests of Baal
20 So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel, and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Eli′jah came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Ba′al, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 22 Then Eli′jah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord; but Ba′al’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Let two bulls be given to us; and let them choose one bull for themselves, and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it; and I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood, and put no fire to it. 24 And you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” 25 Then Eli′jah said to the prophets of Ba′al, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 26 And they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Ba′al from morning until noon, saying, “O Ba′al, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped about the altar which they had made. 27 And at noon Eli′jah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is musing, or he has gone aside, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice; no one answered, no one heeded.
30 Then Eli′jah said to all the people, “Come near to me”; and all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down; 31 Eli′jah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your 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 bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the burnt offering, and on the wood.” 34 And 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 And the water ran round about the altar, and filled the trench also with water.
36 And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Eli′jah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and 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 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that thou, O Lord, art God, and that thou hast turned their hearts back.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt offering, 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 God; the Lord, he is God.” 40 And Eli′jah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Ba′al; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them; and Eli′jah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and killed them there.
The Drought Ends
41 And Eli′jah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Eli′jah went up to the top of Carmel; and he bowed himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees. 43 And he 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 at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising out of the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” 45 And in a little while the heavens grew 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 Eli′jah; and he girded up his loins and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.