1 After several days (in the third year) Yahweh spoke to Elijah and said, “Go, show yourself to Ahab that I may let it rain on the earth.” 2 So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab.
3 Now the famine in Samaria was severe. Ahab therefore called Obadiah, who was in charge of the household. 4 (Obadiah was a faithful servant of Yahweh and when Jezebel slew the prophets of Yahweh he himself took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in caves, feeding them with bread and water.) 5 Then Ahab told Obadiah, “Let’s go and check all the watersprings and the valleys through the land, looking for grass so that the horses and mules may be kept alive and not perish.” 6 So Ahab and Obadiah divided the land between them and each of them went his own way.
7 As Obadiah was going his way, Elijah met him. Recognizing Elijah, Obadiah fell on his face and said, “Is that you, my master Elijah?” 8 He answered him, “It is I. Go tell your master that I am here.” 9 But Obadiah replied, “What evil have I done that you expose me to Ahab’s anger? Surely you want me to die. 10 By Yahweh, your God, there is no people or nation where my master has not searched for you and if they said, ‘Elijah is not here,’ he would make them take an oath that they had not found you. 11 Yet now as soon as I leave to inform Ahab of your presence, 12 the Spirit of Yahweh will transport your goodness elsewhere, and when Ahab fails to find you, he will kill me. But I have served Yahweh from my youth. 13 Do you not know that when Jezebel had the prophets of Yahweh killed, I hid a hundred of them in two caves and fed them with bread and water? 14 Now if I notify Ahab of your presence, as you want me to do, he will surely kill me!”
15 But Elijah said to him, “By Yahweh of hosts whom I serve, I will show myself to him today.” 16 So Obadiah went to give Ahab this message and Ahab came to meet Elijah.
The sacrifice at Carmel
17 On seeing Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, the plague of Israel?” 18 Elijah replied, “Who is troubling Israel? Isn’t it you and your family who have disobeyed the commands of Yahweh and followed instead the Baals? 19 Now, therefore, give an order for the Israelites to gather before me at Mount Carmel, together with the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal who are sustained by Jezebel.”
20 So Ahab sent for all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets at Mount Carmel. 21 Then Elijah ad-dressed the people and asked, “How long will you follow two ways at the same time? If Yahweh is God, follow him; but if Baal is God then follow him.” The people remained silent.
22 So Elijah continued, “I am the only prophet of Yahweh left here to face Baal’s four hundred and fifty prophets. 23 Get us two bulls. Let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood and I will do the same with the other bull. But we will not set it on fire. 24 Then you shall call on the name of your gods while I shall call on the name of Yah weh. The God who answers with fire is the true one.” Then the people answered, “That is right.”
25 Then Elijah told 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 lest you are left without fire!” 26 So they took the bull and prepared it, and they called on the name of Baal, “Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice and no one an swered them while they went on dancing on one foot around the altar they had built.
27 By noontime, Elijah began to mock them, “Shout out louder. Baal is a busy god; or he may have gone out or perhaps he has gone on a trip, or he is sleeping and must be wakened.” 28 So they shouted louder gashing their skin with knives, as they are used to doing, until they bled. 29 It was already past noon and they were still raving on until the time of the evening offering. But still there was no voice; no one answered or gave a sign of life.
30 Then Elijah said to the people, “Draw closer to me,” and the people drew closer to him. He then repaired the altar of Yahweh which had been thrown down. 31 He took twelve stones corresponding to the number of tribes of the sons of Jacob whom Yahweh had addressed saying, “Israel shall be your name.” 32 With these stones, he built an altar to the Name of Yahweh and dug a trench around it that would contain about thirty liters. 33 He then arranged the firewood, cut the bull in pieces and laid them on the wood. Then, he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the firewood.” 34 He said, “Do it again”; and they did it again; “one more time,” and they did it a third time. 35 The water ran around the altar and filled the trench.
36 When the time of the evening offering came, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Yahweh, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant, doing all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, O Yahweh, answer me so that this peo ple may know that you, O Yahweh, are God and that you are turning back their hearts to you.” 38 Then the fire of Yahweh fell and consumed the burnt offering, together with the wood, the stones also, and the dust; the water also dried up in the trench.
39 All the people witnessed this. Then they fell on their faces and said, “Yahweh is God! Yahweh is God!” 40 Then Eli jah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal and let none of them escape.” And so they seized them. Then Eli jah brought them down to the brook Kidron and had them slaughtered there.
41 Elijah then said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for the sound of rain is rushing in.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. Elijah, in the meantime, went to the top of Carmel, bowed to the ground and put his face between his knees. 43 Then he said to his servant, “Go up and look in the direction of the sea.” The man went up, looked, and said, “There is nothing.” Then Elijah said, “Go again” and seven times he went. 44 At the seventh time, he perceived a little cloud, the size of a man’s hand, rising out of the sea. Elijah told him, “Go, tell Ahab: Prepare your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.” 45 A little later the sky grew dark with clouds and wind and a strong rain fell. Ahab was riding on his way to Jezreel; 46 as for Elijah, the hand of Yahweh was on him, and tucking his cloak in his belt, he ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.