And Elijah said unto them, take the prophets of Baal
The four hundred and fifty that were upon the spot; for the number of the people of Israel, now gathered together, were equal to it; nor was it in Ahab's power to hinder it, and he might himself be so far surprised and convicted as not in the least to object to it:
let not one of them escape:
that there might be none of them left to seduce the people any more:
and they took them;
laid hold on them, everyone of them:
and slew them there;
intimating, that it was owing to the idolatry they led the people into that rain had been withheld, and the brooks were dried up, as this might be; or, as Ben Gersom thinks, that the land might not be defiled with their blood, but be carried down the river after it: these he slew not with his own hand, but by others he gave orders to do it; and this not as a private person, but as an extraordinary minister of God, to execute justice according to his law, ( Deuteronomy 13:1 ) by which law such false prophets were to die; and the rather he was raised up and spirited for this service, as the supreme magistrate was addicted to idolatry himself.