1 Kings Chapter 18  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 1 Kng 18
Elijah Confronts Ahab

1Now after many days, in the third year, the word of Yahweh came to Elijah, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the land.”
  2So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria.
  3And Ahab called for Obadiah, who was Over the House. (Now Obadiah feared Yahweh greatly,
  4for when Jezebel cut off the prophets of Yahweh, Obadiah took 100 prophets and hid them by fifty in a cave, and supplied 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 keep the horses and mules alive so that we do not have to slaughter some of the animals.”
  6So they divided the land between them in order to go over all of it. Ahab went one way by himself and Obadiah went another way by himself.

7As Obadiah was 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!’”

9But he 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 they said, ‘He is not here.’ Then he made the kingdom or nation swear that they had not found you.

11“But now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Behold, Elijah is here.”’
  12But then, as soon as I leave you the spirit of Yahweh will carry you to somewhere that I do not know, and so when I go and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he will kill me. But I, your servant, have feared Yahweh from my youth.
  13Was my lord not told what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of Yahweh, how I hid 100 men of Yahweh’s prophets, with fifty men to a cave, and supplied them with bread and water?
  14But now you say, ‘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.
  17And when Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is that you, O troubler of Israel?”

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

The Prophets of Baal Defeated

20So Ahab sent to all the children of Israel and gathered the prophets to Mount Carmel.
  21And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you leap back and forth between the two sides? 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 am left of the prophets of Yahweh, I alone, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men.
  23Now let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but do not put fire under it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood but will not put fire under it.
  24Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of Yahweh. And it will be that the God who answers by fire—he is God!” And all the people answered, “What you say is good.”

25Then 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 that was given them, and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us.” But there was no voice, nor any who answered. And they leaped around the altar they had made.

27Then at noon Elijah mocked them, and said, “Shout louder, for he is a god. Either he is thinking, or he stepped out for a moment, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.”
  28So they shouted louder and cut themselves according to their custom with knives and spears until the blood spilled out on them.
  29And when noon had passed, they prophesied until the time of the evening offering, but there was no voice, no one answering, no one paying attention.

30Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me!” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of Yahweh that was broken down.
  31Then Elijah took twelve 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 he built the stones into an altar in the name of Yahweh. And he made a trench around the altar large enough to contain two measures of seed.
  33And he arranged the wood and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jugs 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.

36And at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Yahweh, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant, and that it is by your word that I have done all these things.
  37Answer me, Yahweh, answer me, so that this people will know that you, Yahweh, are God, and that you have turned their heart back to you.”

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 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!” So they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.
  41And Elijah said to Ahab, “Get up, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.”

Yahweh Sends Rain

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

44And on the seventh time he said, “Behold, a small cloud, like a man’s hand, is rising out of the sea!” Then he said, “Go up, tell Ahab, ‘Harness your chariot and go down so that the rain does not stop you.’”

45And in a little while the sky grew dark with clouds and wind and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel.
  46And the hand of Yahweh was on Elijah, and he tucked his cloak into his belt and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

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