1 Kings 18
New Heart English Bible
1And it happened after many days that the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, "Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land." 2So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab. And the famine was severe in Samaria. 3And Ahab summoned Obadiah, the steward of the house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly. 4And it came about, when Jezebel was killing the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took one hundred prophets and hid them, fifty by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) 5And Ahab said to Obadiah, "Go through the land, to all the springs of water, and to all the wadis. Perhaps we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, that we not lose all the animals." 6So they divided the land between them to explore it; Ahab went one way alone, and Obadiah went another way alone.

7And as Obadiah was on the way, look, Elijah met him; and he 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, 'Look, Elijah is here.'" 9And he said, "How have I sinned, that you would deliver your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? 10As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom, where my lord has not sent to seek you. When they said, 'He is not here,' he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they did not find you. 11Now you say, 'Go, tell your lord, "Look, Elijah is here."' 12It will happen, as soon as I am gone from you, that the Spirit of the LORD will carry you I do not know where; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he can't find you, he will kill me. But I, your servant, have feared the LORD from my youth. 13Wasn't it told 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 by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14Now you say, 'Go, tell your lord, "Look, Elijah is here";' and he will kill me." 15Elijah 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.

17It happened, 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 the LORD, and you have followed the Baals. 19Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel to Mount Carmel, and four hundred fifty of the prophets of Baal, and four hundred of the prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table."

20So Ahab sent to all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21Elijah came near to all the people, and said, "How long will you keep limping between two positions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." But the people did not answer him a word. 22Then Elijah said to the people, "I, even I only, am left a prophet of the LORD; but the prophets of Baal are four hundred and fifty men, and the prophets of Asherah four hundred. 23Let them therefore give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under. And I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under it. 24You call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD, and the god who answers by fire, he is God." All the people answered, "It is well said."

25Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one bull for yourselves, and prepare it first, for you are the majority, and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it." 26And they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, "Baal, answer us." But there was no voice, nor any who answered. And they limped about the altar they had made. 27And it came about, at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, "Cry aloud, for he is a god. Maybe he is thinking about it, or he is busy, or he is on a trip, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened." 28And they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with swords and spears, until the blood gushed out on them. 29And when midday was past, they prophesied until the offering up of the offering; but there was no voice, no answer, and no response.

30Elijah said to all the people, "Come near to me"; and all the people came near to him. He repaired the altar of the LORD that had been torn down. 31Elijah 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 he built an altar in the name of the LORD. And he made a trench around the altar, large enough to contain two seahs of seed. 33And he arranged the wood, and cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood. 34And he said, "Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the burnt offering, and on the wood."And they did so. And 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 happened at the time of the offering up of the offering, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, "LORD, 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, LORD, hear me, that this people may know that you, LORD, are God, and that you have turned their heart back again." 38Then the fire of the LORD 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. 39And when all the people saw it, they fell facedown and said, "The LORD, he is God. The LORD, he is God." 40And Elijah said to them, "Seize the prophets of Baal. Do not let one of them escape." And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the Wadi Kishon, and killed them there.

41And Elijah said to Ahab, "Get up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of a heavy rain." 42So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he bowed himself down toward the ground, and put his face between his knees. 43And he said to his servant, "Go up now, look toward the sea." So he went up, and looked, and said, "There is nothing." Then he said, "Go again" seven times. And the servant went again seven times. 44It happened at the seventh time, that he said, "Look, a small cloud, like a man's hand, is rising out of the sea." He said, "Go up, tell Ahab, 'Get ready and go down, so that the rain doesn't stop you.'" 45It happened in a little while, that the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain. Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. 46The hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he tucked his cloak into his belt and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

New Heart English Bible
Edited by Wayne A. Mitchell.
Public Domain 2008-2023

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