18 1AFTER MANY days, the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth. 2So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria. 3And Ahab called Obadiah, who was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly; 4For when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water.) 5And Ahab said to Obadiah, Go into the land to all the fountains of water and to all the brooks; perhaps we may find grass to keep the horses and mules alive, that we lose none of the beasts. 6So they divided the land between them to pass through it. Ahab went one way and Obadiah went another way, each by himself. 7As Obadiah was on the way, behold, Elijah met him. He recognized him and fell on his face and said, Are you my lord Elijah? 8He answered him, It is I. Go tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here. 9And he said, What sin have I committed, that you would deliver your servant into the hands of Ahab to be slain? 10As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent to seek you. And when they said, He is not here, he took an oath from the kingdom or nation that they had not found you. 11And now you say, Go tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here. 12And as soon as I have gone out from you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you I know not where; so when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me. But I your servant have feared and revered the Lord from my youth. 13Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the Lord, how I hid a hundred men of the Lord’s prophets by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water? 14And now you say, Go tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here; and he will kill me. 15Elijah said, As the Lord of hosts lives, before Whom I stand, I will surely show myself to Ahab today. 16So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, Are you he who troubles Israel? 18Elijah replied, I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, by forsaking the commandments of the Lord and by following the Baals. 19Therefore send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of [the goddess] Asherah, who eat at [Queen] Jezebel’s table. 20So Ahab sent to all the Israelites and assembled the prophets at Mount Carmel. 21Elijah came near to all the people and said, How long will you halt and limp between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him! But if Baal, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word. 22Then Elijah said to the people, I, I only, remain a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23Let two bulls be given us; let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood but put no fire to it. I will dress the other bull, lay it on the wood, and put no fire to it. 24Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord; and the One Who answers by fire, let Him be God. And all the people answered, It is well spoken. 25Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, Choose one bull for yourselves and dress 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 given them, dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, O Baal, hear and answer us! But there was no voice; no one answered. And they leaped upon or limped about the altar they had made. 27At noon Elijah mocked them, saying, Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is musing, or he has gone aside, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened. 28And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with knives and lances until the blood gushed out upon them. 29Midday passed, and they played the part of prophets until the time for offering the evening sacrifice, but there was no voice, no answer, no one who paid attention. 30Then Elijah said to all the people, Come near to me. And all the people came near him. And he repaired the [old] altar of the Lord that had been broken down [by Jezebel]. 31Then Elijah 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. 32And with the stones Elijah built an altar in the name [and self-revelation] of the Lord. He made a trench about the altar as great as would contain two measures of seed. 33He put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood and said, Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and the wood. 34And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. 35The water ran round about the altar, and he filled the trench also with water. 36At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, O Lord, the 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 I have done all these things at Your word. 37Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You, the Lord, are God, and have turned their hearts back [to You]. 38Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice and the wood and the stones and the dust, and also licked up the water that was in the trench. 39When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and they said, The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God! 40And Elijah said, Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one escape. They seized them, and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and [as God’s law required] slew them there. 41And 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 to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he bowed himself down upon the earth and put his face between his knees 43And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up and looked and said, There is nothing. Elijah said, Go again seven times. 44And at the seventh time the servant said, A cloud as small as a man’s hand is arising out of the sea. And Elijah said, Go up, say to Ahab, Hitch your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you. 45In a little while, the heavens were black with wind-swept clouds, and there was a great rain. And Ahab went to Jezreel. 46The hand of the Lord was on Elijah. He girded up his loins and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel [nearly twenty miles].
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