1 Kings 18:1-46, NLT
1 Kings 18
The Contest on Mount Carmel
1Later on, in the third year of the drought, the Lord said to Elijah, “Go and present yourself to King Ahab. Tell him that I will soon send rain!”
Meanwhile, the famine had become very severe in Samaria.
7As Obadiah was walking along, he suddenly saw Elijah coming toward him. Obadiah recognized him at once and bowed low to the ground before him. “Is it really you, my lord Elijah?” he asked.
8“Yes, it is,” Elijah replied. “Now go and tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.’”
9“Oh, sir,” Obadiah protested, “what harm have I done to you that you are sending me to my death at the hands of Ahab?
15But Elijah said, “I swear by the Lord Almighty, in whose presence I stand, that I will present myself to Ahab this very day.”
16So Obadiah went to tell Ahab that Elijah had come, and Ahab went out to meet Elijah.
18“I have made no trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “You and your family are the troublemakers, for you have refused to obey the commands of the Lord and have worshiped the images of Baal instead.
20So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel.
22Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only prophet of the Lord who is left, but Baal has 450 prophets.
25Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “You go first, for there are many of you. Choose one of the bulls, and prepare it and call on the name of your god. But do not set fire to the wood.”
26So they prepared one of the bulls and placed it on the altar. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning until noontime, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no reply of any kind. Then they danced, hobbling around the altar they had made.
27About noontime Elijah began mocking them. “You’ll have to shout louder,” he scoffed, “for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself.*18:27 Or is busy somewhere else, or is engaged in business. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!”
28So they shouted louder, and following their normal custom, they cut themselves with knives and swords until the blood gushed out.
30Then Elijah called to the people, “Come over here!” They all crowded around him as he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been torn down.
Then he said, “Fill four large jars with water, and pour the water over the offering and the wood.”
34After they had done this, he said, “Do the same thing again!” And when they were finished, he said, “Now do it a third time!” So they did as he said,
36At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,*18:36 Hebrew and Israel. The names “Jacob” and “Israel” are often interchanged throughout the Old Testament, referring sometimes to the individual patriarch and sometimes to the nation. prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command.
38Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench!
40Then Elijah commanded, “Seize all the prophets of Baal. Don’t let a single one escape!” So the people seized them all, and Elijah took them down to the Kishon Valley and killed them there.
Elijah Prays for Rain
41Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go get something to eat and drink, for I hear a mighty rainstorm coming!”
42So Ahab went to eat and drink. But Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and bowed low to the ground and prayed with his face between his knees.
43Then he said to his servant, “Go and look out toward the sea.”
The servant went and looked, then returned to Elijah and said, “I didn’t see anything.”
Seven times Elijah told him to go and look.
Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’”
45And soon the sky was black with clouds. A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm, and Ahab left quickly for Jezreel.