Elijah Confronts Ahab
1#Lk 4:25; Jas 5:17; 1Ki 17:1After many days, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah, saying, “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.” 2Elijah went to show himself to Ahab.
And there was a great famine in Samaria. 3#Ne 7:2; 1Ki 16:9Ahab called Obadiah, who was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly. 4#1Ki 18:13; Mt 10:40–42When Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them in groups of fifty in a cave and fed them with bread and water.) 5And Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go into the land, to all the springs of water and to all the brooks. Perhaps we will find grass to save the horses and mules, so that we do not lose all the beasts.” 6So they divided the land between them to search throughout it. Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.
7#2Ki 1:6–8As Obadiah was going along, he met Elijah, and he recognized him and fell on his face and said, “Is that you, my lord Elijah?”
8And he answered him, “I am. Go, tell your lord, ‘Elijah is here.’ ”
9He said, “What evil have I done that you would hand your servant into the hand of Ahab to put me to death? 10#1Ki 17:1As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not looked for you, and when they said, ‘He is not here,’ he made the kingdom and nation swear that they could not find you, 11and now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Elijah is here!” ’ 12#2Ki 2:16; Ac 8:39As soon as I am gone from you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you to a place I do not know, and so when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will execute me. But I, your servant, have feared the Lord since my youth. 13#1Ki 18:4Were you not told what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid a hundred men of the Lord’s prophets in groups of fifty in a cave and fed them with bread and water? 14And now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Elijah is here,” ’ and he will execute me.”
15#1Ki 17:1; 18:10Elijah said, “As the Lord of Hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.”
Elijah and the Prophets of Baal
16So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him. And Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17#Jos 7:25; 1Ki 21:20When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Are you he that troubles Israel?”
18#2Ch 15:2; 1Ki 9:9And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed the Baals. 19#Jos 19:26; 1Ki 16:33Now send word out and gather for me all Israel on Mount Carmel, along with the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
20So Ahab called out all the children of Israel and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel. 21#Jos 24:15; 2Ki 17:41Elijah came to all the people and said, “How long will you stay between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him, but if Baal, then follow him.”
And the people did not say a word.
22#1Ki 19:10; 19:14Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone remain a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets number four hundred and fifty men. 23Therefore, let them give us two bulls, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on some wood, but do not light a fire under it, and I will prepare the other bull, lay it on some wood, and not light a fire underneath it. 24#1Ki 18:38; 1Ch 21:26And you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God that answers by fire, let Him be God.”
And all the people answered and said, “It is well spoken.”
25Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for there are many of you, and call on the name of your god, but do not light a fire underneath.”
26#Jer 10:5; 1Co 8:4They took the bull which was given to them, and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us.” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
27By noon, Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry out loud, for he is a god. Either he is talking or is gone away or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened.” 28#Lev 19:28; Dt 14:1They cried out loud and cut themselves with knives and spears according to their custom until the blood gushed out on them. 29#Ex 29:41; 1Ki 18:26And as midday passed, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.
30#1Ki 19:10; 19:14Elijah 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 was broken down. 31#Ge 32:28; 35:10Elijah 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#Col 3:17and he built an altar in the name of the Lord with stones, and he made a trench around the altar, so deep that it could contain two seahs#Likely about 24 pounds, or 11 kilograms. of seed. 33#Ge 22:9; Lev 1:6–8He arranged the wood and cut the bull in pieces and laid him on the wood and said, “Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.”
34He 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 the third time. 35The water ran all around the altar and also filled the trench with water.
36#Ex 3:6; 1Ki 8:43At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “The Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37Hear me, O Lord, hear me, so that this people may know that You are the Lord God and that You have turned their hearts back again.”
38#Lev 9:24; Jdg 6:21Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice and the wood and the stones and the dust and licked up the water that was in the trench.
39#1Ki 18:24; 18:21When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”
40#Dt 13:5; 18:20Elijah said to them, “Arrest the prophets of Baal, and do not let one of them escape.” And they arrested them, and Elijah brought them down to the Kishon brook and executed them there.
End of the Drought
41Elijah said to Ahab, “Get up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of a heavy rainfall.” 42So Ahab got up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, and he threw himself down on the ground and put his face between his knees.
43And he said to his servant, “Go up now, and look toward the sea.”
And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.”
And he said, “Go again,” seven times.
44#Lk 12:54On the seventh time, he said, “A small cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising out of the sea.”
And he said, “Go up and say to Ahab, ‘Mount your chariot and get down, so that the rain does not stop you.’ ”
45In the meantime, the sky turned black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. 46#2Ki 3:15; 4:29The hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.