1 Kings Chapter 18

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1: And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. edit

2: And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria. edit

3: And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly: edit

4: For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) edit

5: And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts. edit

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. edit

7: And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Art thou that my lord Elijah? edit

8: And he answered him, I am: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here. edit

9: And he said, What have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me? edit

10: As the LORD 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 there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not. edit

11: And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here. edit

12: And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the LORD shall carry thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant fear the LORD from my youth. edit

13: Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the LORD's prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? edit

14: And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here: and he shall slay me. edit

15: And Elijah said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely shew myself unto him to day. edit

16: So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah. edit

17: And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? edit

18: And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim. edit

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 groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table. edit

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

21: And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. edit

22: Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. edit

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 wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: edit

24: And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. edit

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 gods, but put no fire under. edit

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 upon the altar which was made. edit

27: And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. edit

28: And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. edit

29: And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. edit

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 the LORD that was broken down. edit

31: And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: edit

32: And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. edit

33: And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. edit

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. edit

35: And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. edit

36: And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, 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. edit

37: Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. edit

38: Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. edit

39: And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. edit

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. edit

41: And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. edit

42: So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, edit

43: And 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. edit

44: And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down that the rain stop thee not. edit

45: And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. edit

46: And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. edit

1 Kings 18:16-46 Elijah on Mount Carmel Paraphrase

It was very hot during those long days of the drought and especially dry. I looked around and the trees seemed to be wilting with every passing day that there was no rain. “The brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land” (1 Kings 17:7) It hadn’t rained in three years and rain was not in the forecast until God decided it was time. After sometime I received word from God that I was supposed to present myself to King Ahab, and the Lord would send rain to the land. I am Elijah, a prophet of the Lord. I have had many obstacles in my life that have made me who I am. One of the main obstacles has been King Ahab who was evil in the sight of the Lord. I had to hide in the desert because of him, and we were enemies. I lived in the wilderness and became used to my surroundings, but when the brook that was supplying water dried up, I had to find nutrients elsewhere. I went to a widow’s house and she fed me by a miracle from the Lord. Sometime after I met Obadiah, another believer in the Lord, I shared with him that the Lord told me I needed to meet with King Ahab.

When I met with King Ahab, I told him that he has done much evil in the eyes of the Lord. Ahab was married Jezebel, who was also evil, and she influenced him to build temples and altars to Baal. He was such a powerful king that he had all the prophets of the Lord killed, except me and the ones that fled. I told Ahab to gather the people from all over Israel and four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal to meet me on Mount Carmel. When we all arrived I asked them “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” As soon as I made this statement the people where silent and one could hear a pin drop. When I saw their stunned faces and heard their silence, I knew that I needed to prove that the Lord Almighty is the one true God. I proposed a challenge to the people; I told them to get two bulls and cut them into pieces and put it on wood but set no fire to it. They were to call on their god, and I would call on the name of the Lord. Whichever god answered with fire would be the true God. The people agreed, and we started to prepare. The prophets of Baal went first. They prepared their bull and altar and started calling on the name of Baal. We started in the morning, and the prophets of Baal called on his name until noon. They started dancing around the altar, and they looked ridiculous. It was getting boring for me to watch this, so of course I started teasing and taunting them. I told them to shout louder because their god could be in deep thought or busy or traveling. I also told them that he might be sleeping and needed to be woken up. When the prophets of Baal heard this they shouted louder and started cutting themselves with swords and knives. I personally thought this was a little extreme, but that was the custom of Baal worshipers so I just stood by and watched their extreme way of worship and prophesy.

When evening came and there was still no answer, I told the people to come to me because if Baal was a real God then I’m sure he would have answered by now. I knew what I had to do to prove that God is the true God. I took twelve stones, each representing a tribe descended from Jacob. I then dug a trench around the altar and prepared the bull and put it on the wood. Then I told the people to fill four large jars of water to be poured on the offering and the wood. I told them to do this three times and by the time they poured out the jars the third time, water was running down the altar and filled the trench. After this was done I stepped forward and prayed. I prayed hard that the Lord would show these people that he is God and that he would turn the people’s hearts back to him. Then the Lord sent a holy fire that burned up the bull, the wood, the stones, the soil and even the water in the trench. When the smoke cleared and the people saw that there was nothing left of the altar, they fell to the ground, almost in unison, crying out to the Lord that he is God.

I was amazed at what the Lord did that day, but I also knew that I had to take care of the prophets of Baal. I told the people to not let any of prophets escape and I gathered them up and had them taken to the Kishon Valley to be slaughtered like the pigs they were. Then I told Ahab to go eat and drink because he hadn’t eaten all day, and he was hungry. I went back up to the top of Mount Carmel and bent down and started reflecting on what had happened that day. My servant was with me and I told him to go look at the sea to see if there was a rain cloud in sight. He returned to me with a grim face and told me that he saw nothing. I knew there had to be a rain cloud coming so I told him to go look seven times and when he returned the seventh time he said that a small rain cloud was coming. When I heard this I said to my servant to go and tell Ahab to “Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you” (1 Kings 18:44b). While Ahab was getting his chariot ready the sky began to turn black with clouds, that distinct smell of rain was in the air and the heavy rain, that we awaited for so long, finally came.

When I came down from Mount Carmel, Ahab was already on his way back to Jezreel. Then the power of the Lord came over me and I tucked my cloak into my belt and started running. I ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel. Don’t ask me how this was possible. All I know is that the Lord gave me the strength. When Ahab told his evil wife, Jezebel, what had happened to the prophets, she was very angry and sent a messenger telling me that she was going to kill me. I thought to myself, “Well this isn’t the first time,” but I was still afraid so I fled. So again I was on the run.

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