Now Ahab told Jezebel1 everything Elijah had done and how he had killed2 all the prophets with the sword.
So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, "May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely,3 if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them."43
Elijah was afraida and ran5 for his life.6 When he came to Beersheba7 in Judah, he left his servant there,
while he himself went a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree,8 sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life;9 I am no better than my ancestors."
Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.10 All at once an angel11 touched him and said, "Get up and eat."
He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you."
So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty12 days and forty nights until he reached Horeb,13 the mountain of God.
There he went into a cave14 and spent the night. And the word of the LORD came to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?"1510
He replied, "I have been very zealous16 for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant,17 broken down your altars,18 and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left,19 and now they are trying to kill me too."
The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain20 in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by."21 Then a great and powerful wind22 tore the mountains apart and shattered23 the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake came a fire,24 but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.2513
When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face26 and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left,27 and now they are trying to kill me too."
The LORD said to him, "Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael28 king over Aram.
Also, anoint29 Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha30 son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah31 to succeed you as prophet.
Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael,32 and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.3318
Yet I reserve34 seven thousand in Israel--all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed35 him."
So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak36 around him.
Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. "Let me kiss my father and mother good-by,"37 he said, "and then I will come with you." "Go back," Elijah replied. "What have I done to you?"
So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen38 and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.39