skip to Main Content

Elijah and the False Prophets

And Ahab called to Obadiah, who was over the house (and Obadiah greatly feared Jehovah; and it happened, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of Jehovah, that Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and had hidden them, fifty men in a cave, and had fed them with bread and water); and Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs of water, and to all the torrents; perhaps we may find grass and keep alive horse and mule, and will not cut off any of the livestock.” And they divided the land to themselves, to pass over into it; Ahab went in one way by himself, and Obadiah went in another way by himself.

And Obadiah was in the highway; and behold, Elijah came to meet him. And he recognized him, and he fell on his face, and said, “Are you this one, my lord Elijah?” And he said to him, “I am; Go, say to your lord, Behold, Elijah!” And he said, “What have I sinned, that you are giving your servant into the hand of Ahab to cause me to die? As Jehovah your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent to seek you; and when they said, He is not here, then he caused the kingdom and the nation to swear that it did not find you. And now, you are saying, ‘Go, say to your lord, Behold, Elijah.’ And it shall be, I will go away from you, and the Spirit of Jehovah will lift you up, where I do not know, and I will come to tell Ahab, and he will not find you, and he will kill me. And your servant has feared Jehovah from my youth. Was it not told to my lord that which I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of Jehovah, that I hid a hundred men of the prophets, fifty by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? And now you are saying, ‘Go, say to your lord, Behold, Elijah,’ and he will kill me.”

And Elijah said, “As Jehovah of Hosts lives, before whom I stand, surely today I will be seen by him.” And Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah.

And it happened when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, “Are you this one disturbing Israel?” And he answered, “I have not disturbed Israel, but you and the house of your father, in that you have forsaken the commands of Jehovah, and you have gone after the Baals.”

“And now send, gather all Israel to me, to Mount Carmel and four hundred and fifty of the prophets of Baal, and four hundred of the prophets of the Asherah, who eat at the table of Jezebel.” And Ahab sent among all the sons of Israel and gathered the prophets to Mount Carmel.

And Elijah came near all the people and said, “Until when are you limping over two opinions? If Jehovah is God, follow Him; and if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word.

And Elijah said to the people, “I, I alone, remain a prophet of Jehovah; but the prophets of Baal are four hundred and fifty men. And let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and place it on the wood, and place no fire. And I, I will prepare the other bull and will put it on the wood, and I will not place fire. And you shall call on the name of your god; and I, I will call on the name of Jehovah; and it shall be, the god who answers by fire, he is the God.”

And all the people answered and said, “The word is good.” And Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose the one bull for yourself, and prepare first, for you are many; and you call on the name of your god, but place no fire.”

And they took the bull that one gave to them, and prepared, and called on the name of Baal from the morning even until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” And there was no sound, and no one was answering; and they limped about the altar that one had made.

And it happened at noon, that Elijah taunted them and said, “Call with a loud voice, for he is a god; for he is meditating, or a moving is to him, or a journey is to him; perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”

And they called with a loud voice, and cut themselves, according to their way, with swords and with spears until blood gushed out on them.

And it happened as noon passed by, that they prophesied madly until the offering up of the offering; and no sound came, and no one was answering, and no one was paying attention.

And Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him; and he healed the altar of Jehovah that had been broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the Word of Jehovah came, saying, “Israel shall be your name.” And he built an altar with the stones in the name of Jehovah, and made a trench around the altar as large as two seahs of seed. And he arranged the wood, and cut the bull in pieces, and placed it on the wood, and said, “Fill four water jars with water and pour on the burnt offering and on the wood.” And he said, “Repeat it;” and they repeated it; and he said, “Do it a third time;” and they did it a third time.

And the water went around the altar, and also he filled the trench with water. And it happened at the going up of the offering that Elijah the prophet came near and said, ‘O Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that You are God in Israel, and I Your servant, that by Your Word I have done all these things. Answer me, O Jehovah, answer me; and this people shall know that You are Jehovah God; and You have turned their hearts back again.”

And fire fell from Jehovah and burned up the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust; and the water that was in the trench it licked up. And all the people saw, and fell on their faces, and said, “Jehovah, He is the God; Jehovah, He is the God!”

And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; do not let a man of them escape.” And they caught them, and Elijah brought them down to the Kishon and killed them there.

(1 Kings 18:1-40, from Jay P. Green’s King James III translation)

Back To Top