1 Kings 18:26

26 So they took the bull that was given them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, crying, "O Baal, answer us!" But there was no voice, and no answer. They limped about the altar that they had made.

1 Kings 18:26 Meaning and Commentary

1 Kings 18:26

And they took the bullock which was given them
By such of them as made the choice:

and they dressed it;
slew it, and cut it in pieces, and laid it on the wood, but put no fire under it:

and called on the name of Baal, from morning even until noon, saying, O
Baal, hear us;
and send fire down on the sacrifice; and if the sun was their Baal, they might hope, as the heat he gradually diffused was at its height at noon, that some flashes of fire would proceed from it to consume their sacrifice; but after, their hope was turned into despair, they became and acted like madmen:

but there was no voice, nor any that answered;
by word, or by sending down fire as they desired:

and they leapt upon the altar which was made;
not by Elijah, but by themselves, either now or heretofore, and where they had formerly sacrificed; and they danced about it, and leaped on it, either according to a custom used by them; such as the Salii, the priests of Mars, used, so called from their leaping, because they did their sacred things leaping, and went about their altars capering and leaping F19; or rather they were mad on it, as the Targum renders it, and acted like madmen, as if they were agitated by a prophetic fury and frenzy.


FOOTNOTES:

F19 Servius in Virgil. Aeneid. l. 8. "tum Salii ad cantus" Vid. Gutberleth. de Salii, c. 2. p. 9.

1 Kings 18:26 In-Context

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 is indeed God." All the people answered, "Well spoken!"
25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many; then call on the name of your god, but put no fire to it."
26 So they took the bull that was given them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, crying, "O Baal, answer us!" But there was no voice, and no answer. They limped about the altar that they had made.
27 At noon Elijah mocked them, saying, "Cry aloud! Surely he is a god; either he is meditating, or he has wandered away, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened."
28 Then they cried aloud and, as was their custom, they cut themselves with swords and lances until the blood gushed out over them.