1 Kings 18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Obadiah Meets Elijah
18 Now it happened after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, “Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will provide rain on the face of the earth.” 2 So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria. 3 Ahab summoned Obadiah, who was in charge of the household. (Now Obadiah [a]feared the Lord greatly; 4 for when Jezebel killed 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 river 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 [b]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 it you, Elijah my master?” 8 And he said to him, “It is I. Go, say to your master, ‘Behold, Elijah is here.’” 9 But he said, “What [c]sin have I committed, that you are handing your servant over to Ahab, to put me to death? 10 As surely as the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom to which my master has not sent word to search for you; and whenever they say, ‘He is not here,’ he makes the kingdom or nation swear that they could not find you. 11 Yet now you are saying, ‘Go, say to your master, “Behold, Elijah is here!”’ 12 And it will come about when I leave you that the Spirit of the Lord will carry you to where I do not know; so when I come and inform Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, though I, your servant, have [d]feared the Lord from my youth. 13 Has it not been reported to my master what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, that I hid a hundred [e]prophets of the Lord by fifties in a cave, and provided them with bread and water? 14 Yet now you are saying, ‘Go, say to your master, “Behold, Elijah is here”’; he will then kill me!” 15 Then Elijah said, “As surely as the Lord of armies lives, before whom I stand, I will certainly present myself to him today.” 16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and informed him; then Ahab went to meet Elijah.
17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is this you, the cause of disaster to Israel?” 18 He said, “I have not brought disaster to Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and you have followed the Baals. 19 Now then, send orders and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal and four hundred prophets of [f]the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
God or Baal on Mount Carmel
20 So Ahab sent orders among all the sons of Israel and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 Then Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long are you going to [g]struggle with the two choices? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him so much as a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left as a prophet of the Lord, while Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23 Now have them give us two oxen; and have them choose the 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 replied, “[h]That is a good idea.”
25 So Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose the one ox for yourselves and prepare it first, since there are many of you, and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under the ox.” 26 Then they took the ox which [i]was given them and they prepared it, and they 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 [j]limped about the altar which [k]they had made. 27 And at noon Elijah ridiculed them and said, “Call out with a loud voice, since he is a god; undoubtedly he is attending to business, or is on the way, or is on a journey. Perhaps he is asleep, and will awaken.” 28 So they cried out with a loud voice, and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until 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 [l]no one paid attention.
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come forward to me.” So all the people came forward to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord which had been torn down. 31 Then Elijah took twelve stones, corresponding 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 And 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 [m]measures of seed. 33 Then he laid out the wood, and he cut the ox in pieces and placed it on the wood. 34 And he said, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” And he said, “Do it a second time,” so they did it a second time. Then he said, “Do it a third time,” so they did it a third time. 35 The water flowed around the altar, and he also filled the trench with water.
36 Then at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet approached and said, “Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so that this people may know that You, Lord, are God, and that You have turned their heart back.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood, and the stones and the dust; and it licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 When all the people saw this, 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 slaughtered them there.
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 bent down to the earth and put his face between his knees. 43 And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, but he said, “There is nothing.” Yet Elijah said, “Go back” seven times. 44 And when he returned the seventh time, he said, “Behold, a cloud as small as a person’s hand is coming up from the sea.” And Elijah said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Harness your chariot horses and go down, so that the heavy shower does not stop you.’” 45 Meanwhile the sky became dark with clouds and wind came up, 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 [n]belted his cloak around his waist and [o]outran Ahab [p]to Jezreel.
1 Kings 18 New International Version (NIV)
Elijah and Obadiah
18 After a long time, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.” 2 So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab.
Now the famine was severe in Samaria, 3 and Ahab had summoned Obadiah, his palace administrator. (Obadiah was a devout believer in the Lord. 4 While Jezebel was killing off the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water.) 5 Ahab had said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs and valleys. Maybe we can find some grass to keep the horses and mules alive so we will not have to kill any of our animals.” 6 So they divided the land they were to cover, Ahab going in one direction and Obadiah in another.
7 As Obadiah was walking along, Elijah met him. Obadiah recognized him, bowed down to the ground, and said, “Is it really you, my lord Elijah?”
8 “Yes,” he replied. “Go tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.’”
9 “What have I done wrong,” asked Obadiah, “that you are handing your servant over to Ahab to be put to death? 10 As surely as the Lord your God lives, there is not a nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to look for you. And whenever a nation or kingdom claimed you were not there, he made them swear they could not find you. 11 But now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ 12 I don’t know where the Spirit of the Lord may carry you when I leave you. If I go and tell Ahab and he doesn’t find you, he will kill me. Yet I your servant have worshiped the Lord since my youth. 13 Haven’t you heard, my lord, what I did while Jezebel was killing the prophets of the Lord? I hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water. 14 And now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ He will kill me!”
15 Elijah said, “As the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, I will surely present myself to Ahab today.”
Elijah on Mount Carmel
16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”
18 “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. 19 Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
20 So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
But the people said nothing.
22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. 23 Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire—he is God.”
Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”
25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” 26 So they took the bull given them and prepared it.
Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28 So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs[a] of seed. 33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”
34 “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.
“Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”
40 Then Elijah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.
41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” 42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.
43 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked.
“There is nothing there,” he said.
Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”
44 The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”
So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’”
45 Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel. 46 The power of the Lord came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.