Chapter 4

  1. And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years but according to my word. And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Depart from here and turn yourself eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith that is before Jordan. And it shall be that you shall drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.
  2. So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord; for he went and dwelled by the brook Cherith that is before Jordan, and the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning and bread and flesh in the evening, and he drank of the brook.
  3. And it came to pass after a while that the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain you.
  4. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks. And he called to her and said, Fetch me, I pray you, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her and said, Bring me, I pray you, a morsel of bread in your hand. And she said, As the Lord your God lives, I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in a barrel and a little oil in a jug. And behold, I am gathering two sticks that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.
  5. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as you have said, but make me thereof a little cake first and bring it unto me; and after, make for yourself and for your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel: The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the jug of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah; and she, and he, and her house did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord which he spoke by Elijah.
  6. And it came to pass, after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick, and his sickness was so serious that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What do I have to do with you, O man of God? Have you come unto me to call my sin to remembrance and to slay my son? And he said unto her, Give me your son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft where he stayed, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried unto the Lord and said, O Lord my God, have you also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord and said, O Lord my God, I pray you, let this child’s soul come into him again.
  7. And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came into him again and he revived. And Elijah took the child and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother, And Elijah said, See, your son lives. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.
  8. And it came to pass, after many days, that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go show yourself unto Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth. And Elijah went to show himself unto Ahab. And there was a severe famine in Samaria. And Ahab called Obadiah, who was the governor of his house.
  9. Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly; for it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water. And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water and unto all brooks, that perhaps we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts. So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it; Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.
  10. And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him, and he knew him and fell on his face, and said, Are you that my lord Elijah? And he answered him, I am. Go, tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here. And he said, What have I sinned, that you would deliver your servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me? As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent to seek you, and when they said, He is not there, he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found you not. And now you say, Go, tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here. And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from you, that the spirit of the Lord shall carry you where I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he shall slay me. But I, your servant, fear the Lord from my youth.
  11. Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the Lord? How I hid a hundred men of the Lord’s prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? And now you say, Go, tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here; and he shall slay me. And Elijah said, As the Lord of Hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself unto him today.
  12. So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Are you he that troubles Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed Baalim. Now therefore send and gather to me all Israel, unto Mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred who eat at Jezebel’s table.
  13. So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto Mount Carmel. And Elijah came unto all the people and said, How long will you halt between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
  14. Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bullocks, and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under. And I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under. And call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God that answers by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
  15. And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves and dress it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
  16. And it came to pass at noon that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or perhaps he sleeps and must be awoken. And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, until the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
  17. And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came saying, Israel shall be your name, and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood. And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.
  18. And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that you are the Lord God and you may turn their heart back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
  19. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God. And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal, let not one of them escape. And they took them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slew them there.
  20. And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get yourself up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, and he cast himself down upon the earth and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times.
  21. And it came to pass at the seventh time that he said, Behold, there arises a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare your chariot and get yourself down, that the rain stop you not. And it came to pass in the meanwhile that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain.
  22. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he girded up his loins and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.
  23. And when he saw that, he arose and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree. And he requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is enough now, O Lord; take away my life, for I am not better than my fathers.
  24. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and behold, there was a cake baked on the coals, and a jug of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him and said, Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you. And he arose and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. And he came there unto a cave, and lodged there.
  25. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What are you doing here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts, for the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and slain your prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left. And they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth and stand upon the mount before the Lord.
  26. And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake, a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.
  27. And behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What are you doing here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts, because the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and slain your prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left. And they seek my life, to take it away.
  28. And the Lord said unto him, Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you come, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria, and Jehu the son of Nimshi shall you anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat, of Abel-Meholah, shall you anoint to be prophet in your place. And it shall come to pass that him that escapes the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay, and him that escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which has not kissed him.
  29. So he departed from there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. And Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray you, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you. And he said unto him, Go back again, for what have I done to you? And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.
  30. And Benhadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together — and there were thirty-two kings with him, and horses, and chariots — and he went up and besieged Samaria and warred against it. And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel, into the city, and said unto him, Thus says Benhadad: Your silver and your gold is mine, your wives also and your children, even the best, are mine. And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to your saying, I am yours, and all that I have.
  31. And the messengers came again and said, Thus speaks Benhadad, saying: Although I have sent unto you saying you shall deliver me your silver, and your gold, and your wives, and your children, yet I will send my servants unto you tomorrow about this time, and they shall search your house and the houses of your servants. And it shall be that whatever is pleasant in your eyes, they shall put it in their hand and take it away.
  32. Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, Mark, I pray you, and see how this man seeks mischief; for he sent unto me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold, and I denied him not. And all the elders and all the people said unto him, Listen not unto him, nor consent. Wherefore, he said unto the messengers of Benhadad, Tell my lord the king, All that you did send to your servant at the first I will do, but this thing I may not do. And the messengers departed, and brought him word again.
  33. And Benhadad sent unto him and said, The gods do so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me. And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girds on his harness boast himself as he that puts it off. And it came to pass, when Benhadad heard this message as he was drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions, that he said unto his servants, Set yourselves in array. And they set themselves in array against the city.
  34. And behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus says the Lord: Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, I will deliver it into your hand this day, and you shall know that I am the Lord. And Ahab said, By whom? And he said, Thus says the Lord: Even by the young men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who shall order the battle? And he answered, You.
  35. Then he numbered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred thirty two; and after them he numbered all the people, even all the children of Israel, being seven thousand. And they went out at noon.
  36. But Benhadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty-two kings that helped him. And the young men of the princes of the provinces went out first. And Benhadad sent out, and they told him, saying, There are men come out of Samaria. And he said, Whether they have come out for peace, take them alive, or whether they have come out for war, take them alive.
  37. So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the army which followed them. And they slew every one his man, and the Syrians fled, and Israel pursued them; and Benhadad the king of Syria escaped on a horse with the horsemen. And the king of Israel went out and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter. And the prophet came to the king of Israel and said unto him, Go strengthen yourself, and mark and see what you do; for at the return of the year, the king of Syria will come up against you.
  38. And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the hills, therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. And do this thing: take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their place; and number an army, like the army that you have lost, horse for horse and chariot for chariot, and we will fight against them in the plain; and surely we shall be stronger than they. And he listened unto their voice and did so.
  39. And it came to pass at the return of the year that Benhadad numbered the Syrians and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel. And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all present, and went against them. And the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids, but the Syrians filled the country.
  40. And there came a man of God and spoke unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus says the Lord: Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys — therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord. And they pitched, one opposite the other, seven days.
  41. And so it was that in the seventh day the battle was joined, and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians a hundred thousand foot soldiers in one day. But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city, and there a wall fell upon twenty-seven thousand of the men that were left. And Benhadad fled and came into the city, into an inner chamber. And his servants said unto him, Behold, now we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings. Let us, I pray you, put sackcloth on our loins and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel, that perhaps he will save your life.
  42. So they girded sackcloth on their loins and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel and said, Your servant Benhadad says, I pray you, let me live. And he said, Is he yet alive? He is my brother. Now the men did diligently observe whether anything would come from him, and did hastily catch it, and they said, Your brother Benhadad. Then he said, Go, bring him.
  43. Then Benhadad came forth to him, and he caused him to come up into the chariot. And Benhadad said unto him, The cities which my father took from your father, I will restore, and you shall make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send you away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him and sent him away.
  44. And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbor in the word of the Lord, Smite me, I pray you. And the man refused to smite him. Then said he unto him, Because you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as you are departed from me, a lion shall slay you. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him and slew him.
  45. Then he found another man and said, Smite me, I pray you. And the man smote him, so that in smiting, he wounded him. So the prophet departed and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face.
  46. And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king, and he said, Your servant went out into the midst of the battle, and behold, a man turned aside and brought a man unto me and said, Keep this man; if by any means he is missing, then shall your life be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver. And as your servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall your judgment be, you yourself have decided it.
  47. And he hastened and took the ashes away from his face, and the king of Israel discerned him, that he was of the prophets. And he said unto him, Thus says the Lord: Because you have let go out of your hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people. And the king of Israel went to his house sorrowful and displeased, and came to Samaria.
  48. And it came to pass after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel, alongside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And Ahab spoke unto Naboth, saying, Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house, and I will give you for it a better vineyard than it; or if it seem good to you, I will give you the worth of it in money. And Naboth said to Ahab, The Lord forbid it to me that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto you. And Ahab came into his house sorrowful and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him, for he had said, I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid himself down upon his bed and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.
  49. But Jezebel his wife came to him and said unto him, Why is your spirit so sad, that you eat no bread? And he said unto her, Because I spoke unto Naboth the Jezreelite and said unto him, Give me your vineyard for money, or else, if it please you, I will give you another vineyard for it. And he answered, I will not give you my vineyard. And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Do you now govern the kingdom of Israel? Arise and eat bread, and let your heart be merry. I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.
  50. So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, You did blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out and stone him, that he may die.
  51. And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them. They proclaimed a fast and set Naboth on high among the people. And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him; and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city and stoned him with stones, that he died. Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned and is dead.
  52. And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite which he refused to give you for money, for Naboth is not alive, but dead. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
  53. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he is gone down to possess it. And you shall speak unto him, saying, Thus says the Lord: Have you killed, and also taken possession? And you shall speak unto him, saying, Thus says the Lord: In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your blood — even yours.
  54. And Ahab said to Elijah, Have you found me, O my enemy? And he answered, I have found you, because you have sold yourself to work evil in the sight of the Lord. Behold, I will bring evil upon you, and will take away your posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisses against the wall, and him that is both bond and free in Israel, and will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation with which you have provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin.
  55. And of Jezebel also spoke the Lord, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. He that dies of Ahab in the city, the dogs shall eat, and him that dies in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.
  56. But there was none like unto Ahab, who did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.
  57. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Do you see how Ahab humbles himself before me? Because he humbles himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days, but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.






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