1 Kings Chapter 18  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Kng 18
Elijah Confronts Ahab

1It came to pass after many days, in the third year, that the word of Yahweh came to Elijah, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth.”
  2So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria.
  3And Ahab had called for Obadiah, who was over the household. (Now Obadiah feared Yahweh greatly;
  4for it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of Yahweh, that Obadiah took 100 prophets and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water).
  5And Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go throughout the land to all the springs of water and to all the brooks. Perhaps we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, so that we do not lose all the animals.”
  6So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself and Obadiah went another way by himself.

7As Obadiah was walking along on the road, behold, Elijah met him. And Obadiah recognized him and fell on his face and said, “Is it you, my lord Elijah?”

8He answered him, “It is I. Go, tell your lord, ‘Behold, Elijah is here!’”

9He said, “How have I sinned, that you would give your servant over into the hand of Ahab to kill me?
  10As Yahweh your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent to search 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.

11“But now you are saying, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Behold, Elijah is here.”’
  12And it will happen that as soon as I am gone from you the Spirit of Yahweh will carry you I do not know where; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he will kill me. But I, your servant, have feared Yahweh from my youth.
  13Wasn’t my lord told what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of Yahweh, how I hid 100 men of Yahweh’s prophets with fifty to a cave, and fed them with bread and water?
  14But now you are saying, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Behold, Elijah is here;”’ and he will kill me.”

15Then Elijah said, “As Yahweh of Armies lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.”

16So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah.
  17It came to pass when Ahab saw Elijah that Ahab said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”

18He answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house, in that you have forsaken the commandments of Yahweh and you have followed the Baals.
  19Now therefore send and gather to me all Israel to Mount Carmel, and 450 of the prophets of Baal, and 400 of the prophets of the Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

The Prophets of Baal Defeated

20So Ahab sent to all the children of Israel and gathered the prophets together to Mount Carmel.
  21And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If Yahweh is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.

22Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left of the prophets of Yahweh; but Baal’s prophets are 450 men.
  23Now let them get two bulls for us; and let them choose one bull for themselves and 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 and put no fire under it.
  24Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of Yahweh. The God who answers by fire—he is God!” And all the people answered, “What you say is good.”

25Elijah 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.”

26They took the bull that was given them, and they dressed it and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, “Baal, hear us.” But there was no voice, nor any who answered. They leaped around the altar that was made.

27It came to pass at noon that Elijah mocked them, and said, “Shout loudly, for he is a god. Either he is deep in thought, or he has gone aside, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.”
  28They cried out loudly and cut themselves in their way with knives and spears until the blood gushed out on them.
  29It was so when midday was past that they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, but there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any who regarded.

30Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me,” and all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of Yahweh that was torn down.
  31Elijah took 12 stones according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob to whom the word of Yahweh came, saying, “Israel will be your name.”
  32And with the stones he built an altar in the name of Yahweh. He made a trench around the altar large enough to contain two measures of seed.
  33And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.”
  34And he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it the second time. And he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it the third time.
  35And the water ran around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water.

36It came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Yahweh, the God of Abraham, of 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, Yahweh, hear me, so that this people will know that you, Yahweh, are God, and that you have turned their heart back again.”

38Then the fire of Yahweh fell and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
  39When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces, and they said, “Yahweh, he is God! Yahweh, he is God!”

40And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!” They seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and killed them there.
  41And Elijah said to Ahab, “Get up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.”

Yahweh Sends Rain

42So Ahab went up to eat and to drink, but Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees.
  43Then he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” He went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times.

44It came to pass on the seventh time that he said, “Behold, a small cloud, like a man’s hand, is rising out of the sea.” Then he said, “Go up, tell Ahab, ‘Get ready and go down so that the rain doesn’t stop you.’”

45It came to pass in a little while that the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. Ahab rode and went to Jezreel.
  46The hand of Yahweh was on Elijah, and he tucked his cloak into his belt and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

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