Elijah Returns to Ahab
18 1 Now it happened after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year , saying , "Go , show yourself to Ahab , and I will send rain on the face of the earth ." 2 So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab . Now the famine was severe in Samaria . 3 Ahab called Obadiah who was over the household . (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly ; 4 for when Jezebel destroyed the prophets of the Lord , Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave , and provided them with bread and water .) 5 Then Ahab said to Obadiah , "Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the valleys ; perhaps we will find grass and keep the horses and mules alive , and not have to kill some of the cattle ." 6 So they divided the land between them to survey it; Ahab went one way by himself and Obadiah went another way by himself . 7 Now as Obadiah was on the way , behold , Elijah met him, and he recognized him and fell on his face and said , "Is this you, Elijah my master ?" 8 He said to him, "It is I. Go , say to your master , 'Behold , Elijah is here."' 9 He said , "What sin have I committed , that you are giving your servant into the hand of Ahab to put me to death ? 10 " As the Lord your God lives , there is no nation or kingdom where e my master has not sent to search for you; and when they said , 'He is not here,' he made the kingdom or nation swear that they could not find you. 11 "And now you are saying , 'Go , say to your master , "Behold , Elijah is here."' 12 "It will come about when I leave e you that the Spirit of the Lord will carry you where e I do not know ; so when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, although I your servant have feared the Lord from my youth . 13 " Has it not been told to my master what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord , that I hid a hundred prophets of the Lord by fifties in a cave , and provided them with bread and water ? 14 "And now you are saying , 'Go , say to your master , "Behold , Elijah is here"'; he will then kill me." 15 Elijah said , " As the Lord of hosts lives , before whom I stand , I will surely show myself to him today ." 16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah .
17 When Ahab saw Elijah , Ahab said to him, "Is this you, you troubler of Israel ?" 18 He said , "I have not troubled Israel , but you and your father's house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed e the Baals . 19 "Now then send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel , together with 450 e e prophets of Baal and 400 e prophets of the Asherah , who eat at Jezebel's table ."
The Contest on Mount Carmel
20 So Ahab sent a message among all the sons of Israel and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel .
21 Elijah came near to all the people and said , " How long e will you hesitate between two opinions ? If the Lord is God , follow e Him; but if Baal , follow e him." But the people did not answer him a word . 22 Then Elijah said to the people , "I alone am left a prophet of the Lord , but Baal's prophets are 450 e e men . 23 "Now let them give us two oxen ; and let them choose one ox for themselves and cut it up, and place it on the wood , but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other ox and lay it on the wood , and I will not put a fire under it. 24 "Then you 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 ." And all the people said , "That is a good idea ." 25 So Elijah said to the prophets of Baal , "Choose one ox for yourselves and prepare it first for you are many , and call on the name of your god , but put no fire under it." 26 Then they took the ox which 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 and no one answered . And they leaped about the altar which they made . 27 It came about at noon , that Elijah mocked them and said , "Call out with a loud voice , for he is a god ; either he is occupied or gone aside , or is on a journey , or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened ." 28 So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them. 29 When midday was past , they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice ; but there was no voice , no one answered , and no one paid attention . 30 Then Elijah said to all the people , "Come near to me." So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord which had been torn down . 31 Elijah took twelve e stones according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob , to whom the word of the Lord had come , saying , " Israel shall be your name ." 32 So with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord , and he made a trench around the altar , large enough to hold two measures of seed . 33 Then he arranged the wood and cut the ox in pieces and laid it on the wood . 34 And he said , "Fill four pitchers with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood ." And he said , "Do it a second time ," and they did it a second time . And he said , "Do it a third time ," and they did it a third time . 35 The water flowed around the altar and he also filled the trench with water . 36 At 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 , today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word . 37 "Answer me, O Lord , answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord , are God , and that You have turned their heart back again ." 38 Then 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 . 39 When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces ; and they said , " The Lord , He is God ; the Lord , He is God ." 40 Then 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 slew them there .
Elijah Prays for Rain
41 Now Elijah said to Ahab , "Go up, eat and drink ; for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower ." 42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink . But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel ; and he crouched down on the earth and put his face between his knees . 43 He said to his servant , "Go up now , look toward the sea ." So he went up and looked and said , "There is nothing e ." And he said , "Go back " seven times . 44 It came about at the seventh time, that he said , "Behold , a cloud as small as a man's hand is coming up from the sea ." And he said , "Go up, say to Ahab , 'Prepare your chariot and go down , so that the heavy shower does not stop you.' " 45 In a little e while e the sky grew black with clouds and wind , and there was a heavy shower . And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel . 46 Then the hand of the Lord was on Elijah , and he girded up his loins and outran e Ahab to Jezreel .
Elijah Flees to Horeb
19 1 Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done , and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword . 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah , saying , " So may the gods do to me and even more , if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time ." 3 And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba , which belongs 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 Lord , take my life , for I am not better than my fathers ." 5 He lay down and slept under a juniper tree ; and behold , there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, "Arise , eat ." 6 Then he looked and behold , there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones , and a jar of water . So he ate and drank and lay down again . 7 The angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said , "Arise , eat , because the journey is too great for you." 8 So he arose and ate and drank , and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb , the mountain of God .
9 Then he came there to a cave and lodged there ; and behold , the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, "What are you doing here , Elijah ?" 10 He said , " I have been very zealous for the Lord , the God of hosts ; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant , torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword . And I alone am left ; and they seek my life , to take it away." 11 So He said , " Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord ." And behold , the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord ; but the Lord was not in the wind . And after the wind an earthquake , but the Lord was not in the earthquake . 12 After the earthquake a fire , but the Lord was not in the fire ; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing . 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave . And behold , a voice came to him and said , "What are you doing here , Elijah ?" 14 Then he said , " I have been very zealous for the Lord , the God of hosts ; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant , torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword . And I alone am left ; and they seek my life , to take it away." 15 The Lord said to him, "Go , return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus , and when you have arrived , you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram ; 16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel ; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place . 17 "It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael , Jehu shall put to death , and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu , Elisha shall put to death . 18 " Yet I will leave 7,000 e in Israel , all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him."
The Call of Elisha
19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat , while he was plowing with twelve e pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth e . And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him. 20 He left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said , "Please let me kiss my father and my mother , then I will follow e you." And he said to him, "Go back again , for what have I done to you?" 21 So he returned from following him, and took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the implements of the oxen , and gave it to the people and they ate . Then he arose and followed e Elijah and ministered to him.
Ahab Defeats the Syrians
20 1 Now Ben-hadad king of Aram gathered all his army , and there were thirty-two e kings with him, and horses and chariots . And he went up and besieged e Samaria and fought against it. 2 Then he sent messengers to the city to Ahab king of Israel and said to him, "Thus says Ben-hadad , 3 'Your silver and your gold are mine; your most beautiful wives and children are also mine.' " 4 The king of Israel replied , "It is according to your word , my lord , O king ; I am yours, and all that I have." 5 Then the messengers returned and said , "Thus says Ben-hadad , 'Surely , I sent to you saying , "You shall give me your silver and your gold and your wives and your children ," 6 but about this time tomorrow I will send my servants to you, and they will search your house and the houses of your servants ; and whatever is desirable in your eyes , they will take in their hand and carry away.' " 7 Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land and said , "Please observe and see how this man is looking for trouble ; for he sent to me for my wives and my children and my silver and my gold , and I did not refuse him." 8 All the elders and all the people said to him, "Do not listen or consent ." 9 So he said to the messengers of Ben-hadad , "Tell my lord the king , 'All that you sent for to your servant at the first I will do , but this thing I cannot e do .' " And the messengers departed and brought him word again . 10 Ben-hadad sent to him and said , "May the gods do so to me and more also , if the dust of Samaria will suffice for handfuls for all the people who follow me." 11 Then the king of Israel replied , "Tell him, ' Let not him who girds on his armor boast like him who takes it off .' "
12 When Ben-hadad heard this message , as he was drinking with the kings in the temporary shelters , he said to his servants , "Station yourselves." So they stationed themselves against the city . 13 Now behold , a prophet approached Ahab king of Israel and said , "Thus says the Lord , 'Have you seen all this great multitude ? Behold , I will deliver them into your hand today , and you shall know that I am the Lord .' " 14 Ahab said , "By whom ?" So he said , "Thus says the Lord , 'By the young men of the rulers of the provinces .' " Then he said , "Who shall begin the battle ?" And he answered , "You." 15 Then he mustered the young men of the rulers of the provinces , and there were 232 e e ; and after them he mustered all the people , even all the sons of Israel , 7,000 e . 16 They went out at noon , while Ben-hadad was drinking himself drunk in the temporary shelters with the thirty-two e kings who helped him. 17 The young men of the rulers of the provinces went out first ; and Ben-hadad sent out and they told him, saying , "Men have come out from Samaria ." 18 Then he said , "If they have come out for peace , take them alive ; or if they have come out for war , take them alive ." 19 So these went out from the city , the young men of the rulers of the provinces , and the army which followed them. 20 They killed each his man ; and the Arameans fled and Israel pursued them, and Ben-hadad king of Aram escaped on a horse with horsemen . 21 The king of Israel went out and struck the horses and chariots , and killed the Arameans with a great slaughter .
22 Then the prophet came near to the king of Israel and said to him, "Go , strengthen yourself and observe and see what you have to do ; for at the turn of the year the king of Aram will come up against you." 23 Now the servants of the king of Aram said to him, " Their gods are gods of the mountains , therefore e they were stronger than we; but rather let us fight against them in the plain , and surely e we will be stronger than they. 24 "Do this thing : remove the kings , each from his place , and put captains in their place , 25 and muster an army like the army that you have lost , horse for horse , and chariot for chariot . Then we will fight against them in the plain , and surely e we will be stronger than they." And he listened to their voice and did so . 26 At the turn of the year , Ben-hadad mustered the Arameans and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel . 27 The sons of Israel were mustered and were provisioned and went to meet them; and the sons of Israel camped before them like two little flocks of goats , but the Arameans filled the country . 28 Then a man of God came near and spoke to the king of Israel and said , "Thus says the Lord , 'Because e the Arameans have said , " The Lord is a god of the mountains , but He is not a god of the valleys ," therefore I will give all this great multitude into your hand , and you shall know that I am the Lord .' " 29 So they camped one over against the other seven days . And on the seventh day the battle was joined , and the sons of Israel killed of the Arameans 100,000 e foot soldiers in one day . 30 But the rest fled to Aphek into the city , and the wall fell on 27,000 e e men who were left . And Ben-hadad fled and came into the city into an inner chamber .
31 His servants said to him, "Behold now , we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings , please let us put sackcloth on our loins and ropes on our heads , and go out to the king of Israel ; perhaps he will save your life ." 32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins and put ropes on their heads , and came to the king of Israel and said , " Your servant Ben-hadad says , 'Please let me live .' " And he said , "Is he still alive ? He is my brother ." 33 Now the men took this as an omen , and quickly catching his word said , "Your brother Ben-hadad ." Then he said , "Go , bring him." Then Ben-hadad came out to him, and he took him up into the chariot . 34 Ben-hadad said to him, " The cities which my father took from your father I will restore , and you shall make streets for yourself in Damascus , as my father made in Samaria ." Ahab said, "And I will let you go with this covenant ." So he made a covenant with him and let him go . 35 Now a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to another by the word of the Lord , "Please strike me." But the man refused to strike him. 36 Then he said to him, "Because e you have not listened to the voice of the Lord , behold , as soon as you have departed from me, a lion will kill you." And as soon as he had departed from him a lion found him and killed him. 37 Then he found another man and said , "Please strike me." And the man struck him, wounding e him. 38 So the prophet departed and waited for the king by the way , and disguised himself with a bandage over his eyes . 39 As the king passed by, he cried to the king and said , "Your servant went out into the midst of the battle ; and behold , a man turned aside and brought a man to me and said , 'Guard this man ; if for any reason he is missing , then your life shall be for his life , or else you shall pay a talent of silver .' 40 "While your servant was busy here and there , he was gone ." And the king of Israel said to him, "So shall your judgment be; you yourself have decided it." 41 Then he hastily took the bandage away from his eyes , and the king of Israel recognized him that he was of the prophets . 42 He said to him, "Thus says the Lord , 'Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction , therefore your life shall go for his life , and your people for his people .' " 43 So the king of Israel went to his house sullen and vexed , and came to Samaria .