1 Kings 18:22-40

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.

1 Kings 18:22-40 Meaning and Commentary


In this chapter Elijah has an order from the Lord to show himself to Ahab, who, going first, and meeting with a servant of his, Obadiah, charges him to tell his master where he was, that he might meet him, 1Ki 18:1-16, and, upon meeting him, desires that all Israel, and the prophets of Baal, might be convened, which was accordingly done, 1Ki 18:17-20, when he expostulated with the people of Israel for their idolatry, mocked and confounded the prophets of Baal, and gave the strongest proofs, to the conviction of the people, that Jehovah is the true God, 1Ki 18:21-39, on which all the prophets of Baal were slain, 1Ki 18:40, and rain in great abundance was given at the prayer of the prophet, 1Ki 18:41-46.

Cross References 25

  • 1. 1 Kings 19:10
  • 2. ver 19; Jeremiah 2:8; Jeremiah 23:13
  • 3. S 1 Samuel 7:8
  • 4. S Genesis 4:26
  • 5. S ver 38; S Exodus 19:18; S Leviticus 9:24; 1 Chronicles 21:26
  • 6. Isaiah 44:17; Isaiah 45:20
  • 7. Psalms 115:4-5; Psalms 135:16; Isaiah 41:26,28; Isaiah 46:7; Jeremiah 10:5; 1 Corinthians 8:4; 1 Corinthians 12:2
  • 8. Habakkuk 2:19
  • 9. S Leviticus 19:28; Deuteronomy 14:1
  • 10. S Exodus 29:41
  • 11. ver 26; 2 Kings 19:12; Isaiah 16:12; Jeremiah 10:5
  • 12. 1 Kings 19:10
  • 13. S Genesis 17:5; Genesis 32:28; Genesis 35:10; 2 Kings 17:34
  • 14. S Deuteronomy 18:7; Colossians 3:17
  • 15. S Genesis 22:9; Leviticus 1:6-8
  • 16. S Exodus 29:39,41
  • 17. S Genesis 24:12; S Exodus 4:5; Exodus 3:6; Matthew 22:32
  • 18. S Joshua 4:24; S 1 Samuel 17:46; S Psalms 46:10; 1 Kings 8:43; 2 Kings 19:19
  • 19. Numbers 16:28
  • 20. S Joshua 4:24
  • 21. ver 24; S Exodus 19:18; S Leviticus 9:24; Judges 6:21; 2 Kings 1:10; 1 Chronicles 21:26; 2 Chronicles 7:1; Job 1:16
  • 22. S Leviticus 9:24
  • 23. S ver 24; S Psalms 46:10
  • 24. S Judges 4:7
  • 25. S Exodus 22:20; S Deuteronomy 17:12; S 2 Kings 11:18; Deuteronomy 13:5; Deuteronomy 18:20; 2 Kings 10:24-25

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. That is, probably about 24 pounds or about 11 kilograms
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