So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah.
When he saw Elijah, he said to him, "Is that you, you troubler1 of Israel?"
"I have not made trouble for Israel," Elijah replied. "But you2 and your father's family have. You have abandoned3 the LORD's commands and have followed the Baals.
Now summon4 the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel.5 And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel's table."620
So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel.721
Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver8 between two opinions? If the LORD9 is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." But the people said nothing.
Then Elijah said to them, "I am the only one of the LORD's prophets left,10 but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets.1123
Get two bulls for us. Let them 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.
Then you call12 on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD.13 The god who answers by fire14--he is God." Then all the people said, "What you say is good."
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."
So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called15 on the name of Baal from morning till noon. "O Baal, answer us!" they shouted. But there was no response;16 no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
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."1728
So they shouted louder and slashed18 themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed.
Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice.19 But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.2030
Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." They came to him, and he repaired the altar21 of the LORD, which was in ruins.
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."2232
With the stones he built an altar in the name23 of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahsa of seed.
He arranged24 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."
"Do it again," he said, and they did it again. "Do it a third time," he ordered, and they did it the third time.
The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
At the time25 of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham,26 Isaac and Israel, let it be known27 today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.2837
Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know29 that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."
Then the fire30 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.
When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate31 and cried, "The LORD--he is God! The LORD--he is God!"3240
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 Valley33 and slaughtered34 there.
And Elijah said to Ahab, "Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain."
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.3543
"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."
The seventh time36 the servant reported, "A cloud37 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.' "
Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain38 came on and Ahab rode off to Jezreel.3946
The power40 of the LORD came upon Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt,41 he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.