And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal
Who agreed to this proposal, though not expressed; or they signified it by their silence. Ben Gersom thinks they agreed to it, because that, according to their belief, Baal was Mars, and in the sign of Aries, one of the fiery planets, and therefore fancied he could send down fire on their sacrifice; but Abarbinel is of opinion that it was the sun they worshipped, under the name of Baal, the great luminary which presides over the element of fire, and therefore had power to cause it to descend; and if not, they agreed to it, he thinks, for three reasons; one was necessity, they could not refuse, after the people had approved of it, lest they should rise upon them, and stone them; and another was, that Elijah proposed to offer without the temple, contrary to the law of his God, and therefore concluded he would not answer him by fire, and so they should be upon a par with him; and the third was, that they thought they should offer their bullocks together, so that, if fire descended, it would come upon them both, and then the dispute would be, whether his God, or their god, sent it; and so no proof could be made who was God, nor the matter in controversy decided:
choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are
therefore in civility to them gave the choice of the bullock and the altar first, he being one and they many:
and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under;
under the wood on which was the sacrifice cut in pieces; and when they had so done, then they were to call on their gods to cause fire to descend upon it.