You're the troublemaker—not me! You and your family have disobeyed the LORD's commands by worshiping Baal.
Call together everyone from Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. Be sure to bring along the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel's table.
Ahab got everyone together, then they went to meet Elijah on Mount Carmel. 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.
Then Elijah continued:
I am the LORD's only prophet, but Baal has 450 prophets.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
At noon, Elijah began making fun of them. “Pray louder!” he said. “Baal must be a god. Maybe he's daydreaming or using the toilet or traveling somewhere. Or maybe he's asleep, and you have to wake him up.”