1 Kings 18-20 American Standard Version

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Elijah Returns to Ahab

18 1  And it came to pass after many days, that the word of Jehovah came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, Go, show thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. 2  And Elijah went to show himself unto Ahab. And the famine was sore in Samaria. 3  And Ahab called Obadiah, who was over the household. (Now Obadiah feared Jehovah greatly: 4  for it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of Jehovah, that Obadiah took a hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) 5  And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go through the land, unto all the fountains of water, and unto all the brooks: peradventure we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts. 6  So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself. 7  And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Is it thou, my lord Elijah? 8  And he answered him, It is I: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah [is here]. 9  And he said, Wherein have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me? 10  As Jehovah thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not here, he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not. 11  And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah [is here]. 12  And it will come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of Jehovah will carry thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he will slay me: but I thy servant fear Jehovah from my youth. 13  Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of Jehovah, how I hid a hundred men of Jehovah's prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14  And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah [is here]; and he will slay me. 15  And Elijah said, As Jehovah of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself unto him to-day. 16  So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah.

17  And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Is it thou, thou troubler of Israel? 18  And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of Jehovah, and thou hast followed the Baalim. 19  Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the Asherah four hundred, that eat at Jezebel's table.

The Contest on Mount Carmel

20  So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.

21  And Elijah came near unto all the people, and said, How long go ye limping between the two sides? if Jehovah be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 22  Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, am left a prophet of Jehovah; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23  Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under; and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under. 24  And call ye on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of Jehovah; and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. 25  And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under. 26  And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped about the altar which was made. 27  And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud; for he is a god: either he is musing, or he is gone aside, or he is on a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth and must be awaked. 28  And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lances, till the blood gushed out upon them. 29  And it was so, when midday was past, that they prophesied until the time of the offering of the [evening] oblation; but there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. 30  And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me; and all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of Jehovah that was thrown down. 31  And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of Jehovah came, saying, Israel shall be thy name. 32  And with the stones he built an altar in the name of Jehovah; and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. 33  And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock 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. 34  And 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. 35  And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. 36  And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the [evening] oblation, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, O Jehovah, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. 37  Hear me, O Jehovah, hear me, that this people may know that thou, Jehovah, art God, and [that] thou hast turned their heart back again. 38  Then the fire of Jehovah 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. 39  And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, Jehovah, he is God; Jehovah, he is God. 40  and Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

Elijah Prays for Rain

41  And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain. 42  So 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. 43  And he said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. 44  And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a cloud out of the sea, as small as a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Make ready [thy chariot], and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. 45  And it came to pass in a little while, that the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel: 46  and the hand of Jehovah was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

Elijah Flees to Horeb

19 1  And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. 2  Then Jezebel send a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to-morrow about this time. 3  And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. 4  But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper-tree: and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is enough; now, O Jehovah, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. 5  And he lay down and slept under a juniper-tree; and, behold, an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. 6  And he looked, and, behold, there was at his head a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. 7  And the angel of Jehovah came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for thee. 8  And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.

9  And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of Jehovah came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? 10  And he said, I have been very jealous for Jehovah, the God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword: and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 11  And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before Jehovah. And, behold, Jehovah passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before Jehovah; but Jehovah was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but Jehovah was not in the earthquake: 12  and after the earthquake a fire; but Jehovah was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 13  And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? 14  And he said, I have been very jealous for Jehovah, the God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 15  And Jehovah said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, thou shalt anoint Hazael to be king over Syria; 16  and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. 17  And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay; and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. 18  Yet will I leave [me] seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

The Call of Elisha

19  So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing, with twelve yoke [of oxen] before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed over unto him, and cast his mantle upon him. 20  And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again; for what have I done to thee? 21  And he returned from following him, and took the yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.

Ahab Defeats the Syrians

20 1  And Ben-hadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together; and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and fought against it. 2  And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel, into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Ben-hadad, 3  Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine. 4  And the king of Israel answered and said, It is according to thy saying, my lord, O king; I am thine, and all that I have. 5  And the messengers came again, and said, Thus speaketh Ben-hadad, saying, I sent indeed unto thee, saying, Thou shalt deliver me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children; 6  but I will send my servants unto thee to-morrow about this time, and they shall search thy house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away. 7  Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, Mark, I pray you, and see how this man seeketh mischief: for he sent unto me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold; and I denied him not. 8  And all the elders and all the people said unto him, Hearken thou not, neither consent. 9  Wherefore he said unto the messengers of Ben-hadad, Tell my lord the king, All that thou didst send for to thy servant at the first I will do; but this thing I may not do. And the messengers departed, and brought him word again. 10  And Ben-hadad sent unto him, and said, The gods do so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me. 11  And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girdeth on [his armor] boast himself as he that putteth it off.

12  And it came to pass, when [Ben-hadad] heard this message, as he was drinking, he and the kings, in the pavilions, that he said unto his servants, Set [yourselves in array]. And they set [themselves in array] against the city. 13  And, behold, a prophet came near unto Ahab king of Israel, and said, Thus saith Jehovah, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thy hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am Jehovah. 14  And Ahab said, By whom? And he said, Thus saith Jehovah, By the young men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who shall begin the battle? And he answered, Thou. 15  Then he mustered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty-two: and after them he mustered all the people, even all the children of Israel, being seven thousand. 16  And they went out at noon. But Ben-hadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him. 17  And the young men of the princes of the provinces went out first; and Ben-hadad sent out, and they told him, saying, There are men come out from Samaria. 18  And he said, Whether they are come out for peace, take them alive, or whether they are come out for war, taken them alive. 19  So these went out of the city, the young men of the princes of the provinces, and the army which followed them. 20  And they slew every one his man; and the Syrians fled, and Israel pursued them: and Ben-hadad the king of Syria escaped on a horse with horsemen. 21  And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter.

22  And the prophet came near to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest; for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee. 23  And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their god is a god of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we: but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. 24  And do this thing: take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their room; 25  and number thee an army, like the army that thou hast lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot; and we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. And he hearkened unto their voice, and did so. 26  And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Ben-hadad mustered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel. 27  And the children of Israel were mustered, and were victualled, and went against them: and the children of Israel encamped before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country. 28  And a man of God came near and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith Jehovah, Because the Syrians have said, Jehovah is a god of the hills, but he is not a god of the valleys; therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thy hand, and ye shall know that I am Jehovah. 29  And they encamped one over against the other seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined; and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians a hundred thousand footmen in one day. 30  But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and the wall fell upon twenty and seven thousand men that were left. And Ben-hadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber.

31  And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, we pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save thy life. 32  So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and [put] ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy servant Ben-hadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. And he said, Is he yet alive? he is my brother. 33  Now the men observed diligently, and hasted to catch whether it were his mind; and they said, Thy brother Ben-hadad. Then he said, Go ye, bring him. Then Ben-hadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot. 34  And [Ben-hadad] said unto him, The cities which my father took from thy father I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. And I, [said Ahab], will let thee go with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and let him go. 35  And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his fellow by the word of Jehovah, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him. 36  Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of Jehovah, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him. 37  Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him, smiting and wounding him. 38  So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with his headband over his eyes. 39  And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king; and he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver. 40  And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it. 41  And he hasted, and took the headband away from his eyes; and the king of israel discerned him that he was of the prophets. 42  And he said unto him, Thus saith Jehovah, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people. 43  And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.

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