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

Micaiah Prophesies Against Ahab(A)

22 For three years there was no war between Aram and Israel. But in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah went down to see the king of Israel. The king of Israel had said to his officials, “Don’t you know that Ramoth Gilead(B) belongs to us and yet we are doing nothing to retake it from the king of Aram?”

So he asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight(C) against Ramoth Gilead?”

Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel(D) of the Lord.”

So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—about four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?”

“Go,”(E) they answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”(F)

But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet(G) of the Lord here whom we can inquire(H) of?”

The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate(I) him because he never prophesies anything good(J) about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”

“The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied.

So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”

10 Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor(K) by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them. 11 Now Zedekiah(L) son of Kenaanah had made iron horns(M) and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’”

12 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”

13 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”(N)

14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.”(O)

15 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?”

“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”

16 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”

17 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered(P) on the hills like sheep without a shepherd,(Q) and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’”

18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”

19 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne(R) with all the multitudes(S) of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’

“One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’

22 “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.

“‘I will go out and be a deceiving(T) spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.

“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’

23 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving(U) spirit in the mouths of all these prophets(V) of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster(W) for you.”

24 Then Zedekiah(X) son of Kenaanah went up and slapped(Y) Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from[a] the Lord go when he went from me to speak(Z) to you?” he asked.

25 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide(AA) in an inner room.”

26 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son 27 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison(AB) and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’”

28 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken(AC) through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!”

Ahab Killed at Ramoth Gilead(AD)

29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. 30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will enter the battle in disguise,(AE) but you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.

31 Now the king of Aram(AF) had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, “Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king(AG) of Israel.” 32 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, “Surely this is the king of Israel.” So they turned to attack him, but when Jehoshaphat cried out, 33 the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel and stopped pursuing him.

34 But someone drew his bow(AH) at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I’ve been wounded.” 35 All day long the battle raged, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. The blood from his wound ran onto the floor of the chariot, and that evening he died. 36 As the sun was setting, a cry spread through the army: “Every man to his town. Every man to his land!”(AI)

37 So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried him there. 38 They washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria (where the prostitutes bathed),[b] and the dogs(AJ) licked up his blood, as the word of the Lord had declared.

39 As for the other events of Ahab’s reign, including all he did, the palace he built and adorned with ivory,(AK) and the cities he fortified, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 40 Ahab rested with his ancestors. And Ahaziah his son succeeded him as king.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 22:24 Or Spirit of
  2. 1 Kings 22:38 Or Samaria and cleaned the weapons

The Apostles Persecuted

17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party(A) of the Sadducees,(B) were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.(C) 19 But during the night an angel(D) of the Lord opened the doors of the jail(E) and brought them out.(F) 20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”(G)

21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.

When the high priest and his associates(H) arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin(I)—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there.(J) So they went back and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests(K) were at a loss, wondering what this might lead to.

25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” 26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people(L) would stone them.

27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin(M) to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,”(N) he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”(O)

29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!(P) 30 The God of our ancestors(Q) raised Jesus from the dead(R)—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.(S) 31 God exalted him to his own right hand(T) as Prince and Savior(U) that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.(V) 32 We are witnesses of these things,(W) and so is the Holy Spirit,(X) whom God has given to those who obey him.”

33 When they heard this, they were furious(Y) and wanted to put them to death.

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