Elijah’s Message to Ahab
1And it came to pass after #1 Kin. 17:1; Luke 4:25; James 5:17many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, present yourself to Ahab, and #Deut. 28:12I will send rain on the earth.”
2So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab; and there was a severe famine in Samaria. 3And Ahab had called Obadiah, who was in charge of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly. 4For so it was, while Jezebel massacred the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and had fed them with bread and water.) 5And Ahab had said to Obadiah, “Go into the land to all the springs of water and to all the brooks; perhaps we may find grass to keep the horses and mules alive, so that we will not have to kill any livestock.” 6So they divided the land between them to explore it; Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.
7Now as Obadiah was on his way, suddenly Elijah met him; and he #2 Kin. 1:6–8recognized him, and fell on his face, and said, “Is that you, my lord Elijah?”
8And he answered him, “It is I. Go, tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.’ ”
9So he said, “How have I sinned, that you are delivering your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? 10As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to hunt for you; and when they said, ‘He is not here,’ he took an oath from the kingdom or nation that they could not find you. 11And now you say, ‘Go, tell your master, “Elijah is here” ’! 12And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from you, that #2 Kin. 2:16; Ezek. 3:12, 14; Matt. 4:1; Acts 8:39the Spirit of the Lord will carry you to a place I do not know; so when I go and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he will kill me. But I your servant have feared the Lord from my youth. 13Was it not reported to my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid one hundred men of the Lord’s prophets, fifty to a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14And now you say, ‘Go, tell your master, “Elijah is here.” ’ He will kill me!”
15Then Elijah said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely present myself to him today.”
16So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah.
17Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, #1 Kin. 21:20“Is that you, O #Josh. 7:25; Acts 16:20troubler of Israel?”
18And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, #1 Kin. 16:30–33; (2 Chr. 15:2)in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals. 19Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on #Josh. 19:26; 2 Kin. 2:25Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal, #1 Kin. 16:33and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
Elijah’s Mount Carmel Victory
20So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and #1 Kin. 22:6gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. 21And Elijah came to all the people, and said, #2 Kin. 17:41; (Matt. 6:24)“How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, #Josh. 24:15follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. 22Then Elijah said to the people, #1 Kin. 19:10, 14“I alone am left a prophet of the Lord; #1 Kin. 18:19but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it. 24Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the God who #1 Kin. 18:38; 1 Chr. 21:26answers by fire, He is God.”
So all the people answered and said, “It is well spoken.”
25Now Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.”
26So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us!” But there was #Ps. 115:5; Jer. 10:5; (1 Cor. 8:4)no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made.
27And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28So they cried aloud, and #(Lev. 19:28; Deut. 14:1)cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. 29And when midday was past, #Ex. 29:39, 41they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was #1 Kin. 18:26no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.
30Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. #1 Kin. 19:10, 14; 2 Chr. 33:16And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. 31And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, #Gen. 32:28; 35:10; 2 Kin. 17:34“Israel shall be your name.” 32Then with the stones he built an altar #(Ex. 20:25; Col. 3:17)in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. 33And he #Gen. 22:9; Lev. 1:6–8put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four waterpots with water, and #Judg. 6:20pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.” 34Then 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. 35So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled #1 Kin. 18:32, 38the trench with water.
36And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Lord #Gen. 28:13; Ex. 3:6; 4:5; (Matt. 22:32)God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, #1 Kin. 8:43; 2 Kin. 19:19let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that #Num. 16:28I have done all these things at Your word. 37Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”
38Then #Gen. 15:17; Lev. 9:24; 10:1, 2; Judg. 6:21; 2 Kin. 1:12; 1 Chr. 21:26; 2 Chr. 7:1; Job 1:16the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. 39Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, #1 Kin. 18:21, 24“The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”
40And Elijah said to them, #2 Kin. 10:25“Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook #Judg. 4:7; 5:21Kishon and #(Deut. 13:5; 18:20)executed them there.
The Drought Ends
41Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” 42So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; #James 5:17, 18then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, 43and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.”
So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.”
44Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’ ”
45Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. So Ahab rode away and went to Jezreel. 46Then the #2 Kin. 3:15; Is. 8:11; Ezek. 3:14hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he #2 Kin. 4:29; 9:1; Jer. 1:17; 1 Pet. 1:13girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.