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30Ahab did more things to disobey the LORD than any king before him. 31He acted just like Jeroboam. Even worse, he married Jezebel the daughter of King Ethbaal of Sidon and started worshiping Baal. 32Ahab built an altar and temple for Baal in Samaria 33and set up a sacred pole for worshiping the goddess Asherah. Ahab did more to make the LORD God of Israel angry than any king of Israel before him. 34While
Ahab was king, a man from Bethel named Hiel rebuilt the town of
Jericho. But while Hiel was laying the foundation for the town wall,
his oldest son Abiram died. And while he was finishing the gates, his
youngest son Segub died. This happened just as the LORD had told Joshua
to say many years ago.
5Elijah obeyed the LORD and went to live near Cherith Creek. 6Ravens brought him bread and meat twice a day, and he drank water from the creek. 7But after a while, it dried up because there was no rain.
Elijah came near the town gate of Zarephath, he saw a widow gathering
sticks for a fire. "Would you please bring me a cup of water?" he
asked. 11As she left to get it, he asked, "Would you also please bring me a piece of bread?"
widow answered, "In the name of the living LORD your God, I swear that
I don't have any bread. All I have is a handful of flour and a little
olive oil. I'm on my way home now with these few sticks to cook what I
have for my son and me. After that, we will starve to death."
said, "Everything will be fine. Do what you said. Go home and fix
something for you and your son. But first, please make a small piece of
bread and bring it to me. 14The
LORD God of Israel has promised that your jar of flour won't run out
and your bottle of oil won't dry up before he sends rain for the
15The widow went home and did exactly what Elijah had told her. She and Elijah and her family had enough food for a long time. 16The LORD kept the promise that his prophet Elijah had made, and she did not run out of flour or oil.
22The LORD answered Elijah's prayer, and the boy started breathing again. 23Elijah picked him up and carried him downstairs. He gave the boy to his mother and said, "Look, your son is alive."
24"You are God's prophet!" the woman replied. "Now I know that you really do speak for the LORD."
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that time Obadiah was in charge of Ahab's palace, but he faithfully
worshiped the LORD. In fact, when Jezebel was trying to kill the LORD's
prophets, Obadiah hid one hundred of them in two caves and gave them
food and water.
Ahab sent for Obadiah 5and
said, "We have to find something for our horses and mules to eat. If we
don't, we will have to kill them. Let's look around every creek and
spring in the country for some grass. 6You go one way, and I'll go the other." Then they left in separate directions.
7As Obadiah was walking along, he met Elijah. Obadiah recognized him, bowed down, and asked, "Elijah, is it really you?"
8"Yes. Go tell Ahab I'm here."
King Ahab would kill me if I told him that. And I haven't even done anything wrong. 10I
swear to you in the name of the living LORD your God that the king has
looked everywhere for you. He sent people to look in every country, and
when they couldn't find you, he made the leader of each country swear
that you were not in that country. 11Do you really want me to tell him you're here?
if the LORD's Spirit takes you away as soon as I leave? When Ahab comes
to get you, he won't find you. Then he will surely kill me.
I have worshiped the LORD since I was a boy. 13I even hid one hundred of the LORD's prophets in caves when Jezebel was trying to kill them. I also gave them food and water. 14Do you really want me to tell Ahab you're here? He will kill me!
15Elijah said, "I'm a servant of the living LORD All-Powerful, and I swear in his name that I will meet with Ahab today."
16Obadiah left and told Ahab where to find Elijah.
Ahab went to meet Elijah, 17and when he saw him, Ahab shouted, "There you are, the biggest troublemaker in Israel!"
You're the troublemaker--not me! You and your family have disobeyed the LORD's commands by worshiping Baal.
together everyone from Israel and have them meet me on Mount Carmel. Be
sure to bring along the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and the
four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel's table.
20Ahab got everyone together, then they went to meet Elijah on Mount Carmel. 21Elijah
stood in front of them and said, "How much longer will you try to have
things both ways? If the LORD is God, worship him! But if Baal is God,
The people did not say a word.
22Then Elijah continued:
I am the LORD's only prophet, but Baal has four hundred fifty prophets.
us two bulls. Baal's prophets can take one of them, kill it, and cut it
into pieces. Then they can put the meat on the wood without lighting
the fire. I will do the same thing with the other bull, and I won't
light a fire under it either.
24The prophets of Baal will pray to their god, and I will pray to the LORD. The one who answers by starting the fire is God.
"That's a good idea," everyone agreed.
said to Baal's prophets, "There are more of you, so you go first. Pick
out a bull and get it ready, but don't light the fire. Then pray to
chose their bull, then they got it ready and prayed to Baal all
morning, asking him to start the fire. They danced around the altar and
shouted, "Answer us, Baal!" But there was no answer.
noon, Elijah began making fun of them. "Pray louder!" he said. "Baal
must be a god. Maybe he's day-dreaming or using the toilet or traveling
somewhere. Or maybe he's asleep, and you have to wake him up."
prophets kept shouting louder and louder, and they cut themselves with
swords and knives until they were bleeding. This was the way they
worshiped, 29and they kept it up all afternoon. But there was no answer of any kind.
30Elijah told everyone to gather around him while he repaired the LORD's altar. 31-32Then
he used twelve stones to build an altar in honor of the LORD. Each
stone stood for one of the tribes of Israel, which was the name the
LORD had given to their ancestor Jacob. Elijah dug a ditch around the
altar, large enough to hold about thirteen quarts. 33He placed the wood on the altar, then they cut the bull into pieces and laid the meat on the wood.
He told the people, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it over the meat and the wood." After they did this, 34he told them to do it two more times. They did exactly as he said 35until finally, the water ran down the altar and filled the ditch.
36When it was time for the evening sacrifice, Elijah prayed:
Our LORD, you are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Now, prove that you are the God of this nation, and that I, your servant, have done this at your command. 37Please answer me, so these people will know that you are the LORD God, and that you will turn their hearts back to you. 38The
LORD immediately sent fire, and it burned up the sacrifice, the wood,
and the stones. It scorched the ground everywhere around the altar and
dried up every drop of water in the ditch. 39When the crowd saw what had happened, they all bowed down and shouted, "The LORD is God! The LORD is God!"
40Just then, Elijah said, "Grab the prophets of Baal! Don't let any of them get away."
So the people captured the prophets and took them to Kishon River, where Elijah killed every one of them.
42Ahab left, but Elijah climbed back to the top of Mount Carmel. Then he stooped down with his face almost to the ground 43and said to his servant, "Look toward the sea."
servant left. And when he came back, he said, "I looked, but I didn't
see anything." Elijah told him to look seven more times.
44After the seventh time the servant replied, "I see a small cloud coming this way. But it's no bigger than a fist."
Elijah told him, "Tell Ahab to get his chariot ready and start home now. Otherwise, the rain will stop him."
few minutes later, it got very cloudy and windy, and rain started
pouring down. So Elijah wrapped his coat around himself, and the LORD
gave him strength to run all the way to Jezreel. Ahab followed him.
3Elijah was afraid when he got her message, and he ran to the town of Beersheba in Judah. He left his servant there, 4then
walked another whole day into the desert. Finally, he came to a large
bush and sat down in its shade. He begged the LORD, "I've had enough.
Just let me die! I'm no better off than my ancestors." 5Then he lay down in the shade and fell asleep.
Suddenly an angel woke him up and said, "Get up and eat." 6Elijah
looked around, and by his head was a jar of water and some baked bread.
He sat up, ate and drank, then lay down and went back to sleep.
7Soon the LORD's angel woke him again and said, "Get up and eat, or else you'll get too tired to travel." 8So Elijah sat up and ate and drank.
The food and water made him strong enough to walk forty more days. At last, he reached Mount Sinai, the mountain of God, 9and he spent the night there in a cave. While Elijah was on Mount Sinai, the LORD asked, "Elijah, why are you here?"
11"Go out and stand on the mountain," the LORD replied. "I want you to see me when I pass by."
at once, a strong wind shook the mountain and shattered the rocks. But
the LORD was not in the wind. Next, there was an earthquake, but the
LORD was not in the earthquake. 12Then there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.
Finally, there was a gentle breeze, 13and when Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his coat. He went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. The LORD asked, "Elijah, why are you here?" 14Elijah
answered, "LORD God All-Powerful, I've always done my best to obey you.
But your people have broken their solemn promise to you. They have torn
down your altars and killed all your prophets, except me. And now they
are even trying to kill me!"
15The LORD said:
Elijah, you can go back to the desert near Damascus. And when you get there, appoint Hazael to be king of Syria. 16Then appoint Jehu son of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and Elisha son of Shaphat to take your place as my prophet. 17Hazael
will start killing the people who worship Baal. Jehu will kill those
who escape from Hazael, and Elisha will kill those who escape from
18But seven thousand Israelites have refused to worship Baal, and they will live.