Elijah Runs Away to Mount Horeb
1Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done. He told her how Elijah had killed all the prophets of Baal with his sword. 2So Jezebel sent a message to Elijah. She said, “You can be sure that I will kill you, just as I killed the other prophets. I’ll do it by this time tomorrow. If I don’t, may the gods punish me greatly.”
3Elijah was afraid. So he ran for his life. He came to Beersheba in Judah. He left his servant there. 4Then he traveled for one day into the desert. He came to a small bush. He sat down under it. He prayed that he would die. “Lord, I’ve had enough,” he said. “Take my life. I’m no better than my people of long ago.” 5Then he lay down under the bush. And he fell asleep.
Suddenly an angel touched him. The angel said, “Get up and eat.” 6Elijah looked around. Near his head he saw some bread. It had been baked over hot coals. A jar of water was also there. So Elijah ate and drank. Then he lay down again.
7The angel of the Lord came to him a second time. He touched him and said, “Get up and eat. Your journey will be long and hard.” 8So he got up. He ate and drank. The food gave him new strength. He traveled for 40 days and 40 nights. He kept going until he arrived at Horeb. It was the mountain of God. 9There he went into a cave and spent the night.
The Lord Appears to Elijah
A message came to Elijah from the Lord. He said, “Elijah, what are you doing here?”
10He replied, “Lord God who rules over all, I’ve been very committed to you. The Israelites have turned their backs on your covenant. They have torn down your altars. They’ve put your prophets to death with their swords. I’m the only one left. And they are trying to kill me.”
11The Lord said, “Go out. Stand on the mountain in front of me. I am going to pass by.”
As the Lord approached, a very powerful wind tore the mountains apart. It broke up the rocks. But the Lord wasn’t in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake. But the Lord wasn’t in the earthquake. 12After the earthquake a fire came. But the Lord wasn’t in the fire. And after the fire there was only a gentle whisper. 13When Elijah heard it, he pulled his coat over his face. He went out and stood at the entrance to the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “Elijah, what are you doing here?”
14He replied, “Lord God who rules over all, I’ve been very committed to you. The Israelites have turned their backs on your covenant. They have torn down your altars. They’ve put your prophets to death with their swords. I’m the only one left. And they are trying to kill me.”
15The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came. Go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael as king over Aram. 16Also anoint Jehu as king over Israel. He is the son of Nimshi. And anoint Elisha from Abel Meholah as the next prophet after you. He is the son of Shaphat. 17Jehu will put to death anyone who escapes Hazael’s sword. And Elisha will put to death anyone who escapes Jehu’s sword. 18But I will keep 7,000 people in Israel for myself. They have not bowed down to Baal. And they have not kissed him.”
The Lord Chooses Elisha
19Elijah left Mount Horeb. He saw Elisha, the son of Shaphat. Elisha was plowing in a field. He was driving the last of 12 pairs of oxen. Elijah went up to him. He threw his coat around him. 20Then Elisha left his oxen. He ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said. “Then I’ll come with you.”
“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”
21So Elisha left him and went back. He got his two oxen and killed them. He burned the plow to cook the meat. He gave it to the people, and they ate it. Then he started to follow Elijah. He became Elijah’s servant.