April 23

1 Kings 16:15 — 18:46

15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa the king of Judah, Zimri became king for seven days in Tirzah, while the people were encamping against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines. 16 In time the people that were encamped heard it said: “Zimri has conspired and also struck down the king.” So all Israel made Omri, the chief of the army, king over Israel on that day in the camp. 17 Omri and all Israel with him now went on up from Gibbethon and began to lay siege to Tirzah. 18 And it came about that as soon as Zimri saw that the city had been captured, he then came into the dwelling tower of the king’s house and burned the king’s house over himself with fire, so that he died, 19 for the sins of his with which he had sinned by doing what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah by walking in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he did by causing Israel to sin. 20 As for the rest of the affairs of Zimri and his conspiracy with which he conspired, are they not written in the book of the affairs of the days of the kings of Israel?

21 It was then that the people of Israel began to divide themselves into two parts. There was one part of the people that became followers of Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king, and the other part followers of Omri. 22 Finally the people that were following Omri overcame the people that were following Tibni the son of Ginath; so that Tibni met death, and Omri began to reign.

23 In the thirty-first year of Asa the king of Judah, Omri became king over Israel for twelve years. In Tirzah he reigned six years. 24 And he proceeded to buy the mountain of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver, and began to build [on] the mountain and call the name of the city that he built by the name of Shemer the master of the mountain, Samaria. 25 And Omri kept doing what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah and came to do worse than all who were prior to him. 26 And he went walking in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat and in his sin with which he caused Israel to sin by offending Jehovah the God of Israel with their vain idols. 27 As for the rest of the affairs of Omri, what he did and his mightiness with which he acted, are they not written in the book of the affairs of the days of the kings of Israel? 28 Finally Omri lay down with his forefathers and was buried in Samaria; and Ahab his son began to reign in place of him.

29 And as for Ahab the son of Omri, he became king over Israel in the thirty-eighth year of Asa the king of Judah; and Ahab the son of Omri continued to reign over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. 30 And Ahab the son of Omri proceeded to do worse in the eyes of Jehovah than all those who were prior to him. 31 And it came about that, [as if it were] the most trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he now took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal the king of the Sidonians and began to go and serve Baal and to bow down to him. 32 Further, he set up an altar to Baal at the house of Baal that he built in Samaria. 33 And Ahab went on to make the sacred pole; and Ahab came to do more to offend Jehovah the God of Israel than all the kings of Israel that happened to be prior to him.

34 In his days Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho. At the forfeit of Abiram his firstborn he laid the foundation of it, and at the forfeit of Segub his youngest he put up its doors, according to Jehovah’s word that he spoke by means of Joshua the son of Nun.

17 And Elijah the Tishbite from the inhabitants of Gilead proceeded to say to Ahab: “As Jehovah the God of Israel before whom I do stand is living, there will occur during these years neither dew nor rain, except at the order of my word!”

2 The word of Jehovah now came to him, saying: 3 “Go away from here, and you must turn your way eastward and conceal yourself at the torrent valley of Cherith that is east of the Jordan. 4 And it must occur that from the torrent valley you should drink, and the ravens I shall certainly command to supply you food there.” 5 Immediately he went and did according to the word of Jehovah, and so went and took up dwelling by the torrent valley of Cherith that is east of the Jordan. 6 And the ravens themselves were bringing him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and from the torrent valley he kept drinking. 7 But it came about at the end of some days that the torrent valley became dry, because there had occurred no downpour upon the earth.

8 The word of Jehovah now came to him, saying: 9 “Rise up, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and you must dwell there. Look! I shall certainly command there a woman, a widow, to supply you food.” 10 Accordingly he rose up and went to Zarephath and came into the entrance of the city; and, look! a woman, a widow, was there gathering up pieces of wood. So he called to her and said: “Please, get me a sip of water in a vessel that I may drink.” 11 When she began to go and get it, he went on to call to her and say: “Please, get me a bit of bread in your hand.” 12 At this she said: “As Jehovah your God is living, I have no round cake, but a handful of flour in the large jar and a little oil in the small jar; and here I am gathering up a few pieces of wood, and I must go in and make something for myself and my son, and we shall have to eat it and die.”

13 Then Elijah said to her: “Do not be afraid. Go in, do according to your word. Only from what is there make me a small round cake first, and you must bring it out to me, and for yourself and your son you can make something afterward. 14 For this is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said, ‘The large jar of flour itself will not get exhausted, and the small jar of oil itself will not fail until the day of Jehovah’s giving a downpour upon the surface of the ground.’” 15 So she went and did according to Elijah’s word; and she continued to eat, she together with him and her household, for days. 16 The large jar of flour itself did not get exhausted, and the small jar of oil itself did not fail, according to Jehovah’s word that he had spoken by means of Elijah.

17 And it came about after these things that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick, and his sickness came to be so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 At this she said to Elijah: “What do I have to do with you, O man of the [true] God? You have come to me to bring my error to mind and to put my son to death.” 19 But he said to her: “Give me your son.” Then he took him from her bosom and carried him up to the roof chamber, where he was dwelling, and laid him upon his own couch. 20 And he began calling to Jehovah and saying: “O Jehovah my God, is it also upon the widow with whom I am residing as an alien that you must bring injury by putting her son to death?” 21 And he proceeded to stretch himself upon the child three times and call to Jehovah and say: “O Jehovah my God, please, cause the soul of this child to come back within him.” 22 Finally Jehovah listened to Elijah’s voice, so that the soul of the child came back within him and he came to life. 23 Elijah now took the child and brought him down from the roof chamber into the house and gave him to his mother; and Elijah then said: “See, your son is alive.” 24 Upon that the woman said to Elijah: “Now, indeed, I do know that you are a man of God and that Jehovah’s word in your mouth is true.”

18 And it came about [after] many days that Jehovah’s own word came to Elijah in the third year, saying: “Go, show yourself to Ahab, as I am determined to give rain upon the surface of the ground.” 2 Accordingly Elijah went to show himself to Ahab, while the famine was severe in Samaria.

3 Meantime, Ahab called Obadiah, who was over the household. (Now Obadiah himself had proved to be one greatly fearing Jehovah. 4 Hence it came about that when Jezebel cut off Jehovah’s prophets, Obadiah proceeded to take a hundred prophets and keep them hid by fifties in a cave, and he supplied them bread and water.) 5 And Ahab went on to say to Obadiah: “Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the torrent valleys. Perhaps we may find green grass, that we may preserve the horses and mules alive and may not have [any more] of the beasts cut off.” 6 So they divided between themselves the land through which to pass. Ahab himself went alone by one way, and Obadiah himself went alone by another way.

7 As Obadiah continued on the way, why, there was Elijah to meet him. At once he recognized him and fell upon his face and said: “Is this you, my lord Elijah?” 8 At this he said to him: “It is I. Go, say to your lord, ‘Here is Elijah.’” 9 But he said: “What sin have I committed that you should be putting your servant into the hand of Ahab to put me to death? 10 As Jehovah your God is living, there is not a nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent to look for you. After they had said, ‘He is not [here],’ he made the kingdom and the nation swear that they could not find you. 11 And now you are saying, ‘Go, say to your lord: “Here is Elijah.”’ 12 And it is bound to occur that, when I myself go from you, then the spirit of Jehovah itself will carry you away to where I shall not know; and I shall have come to tell Ahab, and he will not find you, and he will be bound to kill me, as your servant himself has feared Jehovah from his youth. 13 Has not my lord been told what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of Jehovah, how I kept some of the prophets of Jehovah hid, a hundred men by fifties in a cave, and kept supplying them bread and water? 14 And now you are saying, ‘Go, say to your lord: “Here is Elijah.”’ And he will be bound to kill me.” 15 However, Elijah said: “As Jehovah of armies before whom I do stand is living, today I shall show myself to him.”

16 Accordingly Obadiah went off to meet Ahab and told him; and so Ahab went to meet Elijah.

17 And it came about that, as soon as Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab immediately said to him: “Is this you, the bringer of ostracism upon Israel?”

18 To this he said: “I have not brought ostracism upon Israel, but you and the house of your father have, because YOU men have left the commandments of Jehovah, and you went following the Baals. 19 And now send, collect together all Israel to me at Mount Carmel and also the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of the sacred pole, who are eating at the table of Jezebel.” 20 And Ahab proceeded to send among all the sons of Israel and collect the prophets together at Mount Carmel.

21 Then Elijah approached all the people and said: “How long will YOU be limping upon two different opinions? If Jehovah is the [true] God, go following him; but if Baal is, go following him.” And the people did not say a word in answer to him. 22 And Elijah went on to say to the people: “I myself have been left as a prophet of Jehovah, I alone, while the prophets of Baal are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Now let them give us two young bulls, and let them choose for themselves one young bull and cut it in pieces and put it upon the wood, but they should not put fire to it. And I myself shall dress the other young bull, and I must place it upon the wood, but I shall not put fire to it. 24 And YOU must call upon the name of YOUR god, and I, for my part, shall call upon the name of Jehovah; and it must occur that the [true] God that answers by fire is the [true] God.” To this all the people answered and said: “The thing is good.”

25 Elijah now said to the prophets of Baal: “Choose for yourselves one young bull and dress it first, because YOU are the majority; and call upon the name of YOUR god, but YOU must not put fire to it.” 26 Accordingly they took the young bull that he gave them. Then they dressed it, and they kept calling upon the name of Baal from morning till noon, saying: “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and there was no one answering. And they kept limping around the altar that they had made. 27 And it came about at noon that Elijah began to mock them and say: “Call at the top of YOUR voice, for he is a god; for he must be concerned with a matter, and he has excrement and has to go to the privy. Or maybe he is asleep and ought to wake up!” 28 And they began calling at the top of their voice and cutting themselves according to their custom with daggers and with lances, until they caused blood to flow out upon them. 29 And it came about that, as soon as noon was past and they continued behaving as prophets until the going up of the grain offering, there was no voice, and there was no one answering, and there was no paying of attention.

30 At length Elijah said to all the people: “Approach me.” So all the people approached him. Then he proceeded to mend the altar of Jehovah that was torn down. 31 So Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom Jehovah’s word had come, saying: “Israel is what your name will become.” 32 And he went on to build the stones into an altar in the name of Jehovah and to make a trench, of about the area sowed with two seah measures of seed, all around the altar. 33 After that he put the pieces of wood in order and cut the young bull in pieces and placed it upon the pieces of wood. He now said: “FILL four large jars with water and pour it upon the burnt offering and upon the pieces of wood.” 34 Then he said: “Do it again.” So they did it again. But he said: “Do it a third time.” So they did it a third time. 35 Thus the water went all around the altar, and the trench also he filled with water.

36 And it came about at the time that the grain offering goes up that Elijah the prophet began to approach and say: “O Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that you are God in Israel and I am your servant and it is by your word that I have done all these things. 37 Answer me, O Jehovah, answer me, that this people may know that you, Jehovah, are the [true] God and you yourself have turned their heart back.”

38 At that the fire of Jehovah came falling and went eating up the burnt offering and the pieces of wood and the stones and the dust, and the water that was in the trench it licked up. 39 When all the people saw it, they immediately fell upon their faces and said: “Jehovah is the [true] God! Jehovah is the [true] God!” 40 Then Elijah said to them: “Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let a single one of them escape!” At once they seized them, and Elijah then brought them down to the torrent valley of Kishon and slaughtered them there.

41 Elijah now said to Ahab: “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the turmoil of a downpour.” 42 And Ahab proceeded to go up to eat and drink. As for Elijah, he went up to the top of Carmel and began crouching to the earth and keeping his face put between his knees. 43 Then he said to his attendant: “Go up, please. Look in the direction of the sea.” So he went up and looked and then said: “There is nothing at all.” And he went on to say, “Go back,” for seven times. 44 And it came about at the seventh time that he got to say: “Look! There is a small cloud like a man’s palm ascending out of the sea.” He now said: “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Hitch up! And go down that the downpour may not detain you!’” 45 And it came about in the meantime that the heavens themselves darkened up with clouds and wind and a great downpour began to occur. And Ahab kept riding and made his way to Jezreel. 46 And the very hand of Jehovah proved to be upon Elijah, so that he girded up his hips and went running ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.