Tell Them What You Know: The Book of Elijah

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Then Elijah called to the people to come closer and watch him. He gathered twelve stones, one for each of the twelve tribes, and erected an altar to G-d.

Notes and Commentary on 1 Kings 17–2 Kings 2

He ordered that a trench be dug around the altar and filled with water. He poured water upon the sacrifice and upon the wood, until it was drenched. Then he uttered a short prayer:. Answer me, O Lord, answer me! No sooner did Elijah conclude his prayer than G-d sent down a fire from heaven that consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the earth around and the water of the trench! The Lord, He is G-d! The people then seized the false prophets and executed them.

It grew very fast and a few minutes later the sky was black with clouds. The long-awaited rain came down in torrents. Throughout the ages we have proclaimed this truth, that there is only One G-d, the All-mighty and All-powerful Creator and Ruler of the world. And now, more than ever, we should realize this truth and put our trust in our G-d. He who answered Elijah on mount Carmel will surely answer us.

Before Messiah, our righteous redeemer, will make his appearance, Elijah will appear on the mountains of our Holy Land and will herald the good tidings of the coming of Messiah. In the third year of famine G-d ordered Elijah to appear before Ahab and to inform him that G-d would send rain upon the earth. Elijah went to Samaria. There he first met Obadiah and requested him to announce his arrival to the king. Then, challenging the king to stage a public contest between him, the only prophet of G-d, and the eight hundred and fifty prophets of the Baal and Ashtarte, Elijah promised to meet them on Mount Carmel.

He understood the purpose of this gathering, and was eager to have a public contest of power between these two conflicting spiritual forces who claimed supremacy and exclusive control over the land.

The Drought

The entire nation was assembled on Mount Carmel, and the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal came there also, proud and contemptuous and sure of their victory over Elijah. Ahab the king appeared too, eagerly anticipating the outcome of the momentous contest. If the L-rd be G-d, follow him; and if Baal be G-d, then follow him! I will prepare the other bullock and lay it on the altar without putting fire under it.

Then they shall call on the name of their gods, and I will call on the name of the L-rd; and the G-d who answers by fire, shall be the true G-d! The people voiced their approval and immediately the prophets of Baal picked one bullock and prepared it for the altar. Then they prayed and called on the Baal from morning till noon.

But there was no sign of an answer.

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Elijah the Prophet - Rapture and Second Coming of Elijah - SLJ Institute

Elijah ridiculed them and bade them call louder as their god might be asleep or engaged in other and more important business. They even cut their own flesh until their blood spurted forth, as was their custom.

Damian Marley - It Was Written

But cry as they might, Baal replied neither to their voices, nor to their wild and desperate gestures. Thus they raged furiously till late in the afternoon, yet there was no sign of an answer. Then Elijah called upon the people to gather around him. In the name of G-d he built an altar of twelve stones, symbolizing the number of the Hebrew tribes, and ordered a wide trench dug all about it.

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Then he laid the other bullock on the altar and had water poured over it, till the trench was filled to the brim. Having completed all these preparations, he stepped before the altar and prayed to G-d.


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Hear me, O L-rd, hear me, that this people may know that Thou art the L-rd G-d, and thus turn their hearts back again. Hardly had he finished praying when a flame of fire came down from G-d and consumed the offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the earth, and licked up even the water that was in the trench. The L-rd He is G-d! After bidding the king eat and drink for the drought would presently end, Elijah went to a solitary place on the mountain to pray for rain. Then he asked his servant to look in the direction of the sea for the first sign of a cloud.

The servant did so, but reported that he had not noticed anything. Immediately Elijah sent word to Ahab to have his horses harnessed and to return to his palace before the rains began to fall. Soon the whole sky became overcast. Strong winds drove large clouds and sent the rain down in torrents. The heavy rains drenched the parched earth of Israel, which had been craving water for almost three years.

Ahab fled before the storm, and rode into Jezreel, but the spirit of G-d seized Elijah, and carried him on before Ahab to the entrance of the city. Ahab related to Jezebel all that had come to pass on Mount Carmel, and told her also of the death of her prophets. Jezebel flew into a rage and swore that she would do unto Elijah as he had done unto them. Elijah fled to the desert of Judah. There he sat down amongst the bushes in a mood of despondency and deep disappointment. Wearied by his flight, and tortured by hunger and thirst, he lay down and fell asleep. But an angel of G-d touched him and ordered him to get up and eat.

Elijah opened his eyes and saw beside him a cruse of water and a cake. He ate and drank and fell asleep for the second time. With the strength derived from that meal, he walked forty days and forty nights until he reached Mount Horeb. Elijah took refuge in a cave on Mount Horeb. He mourned the loss of all the true prophets of G-d, expressing his apprehension as to who would carry on his work, now that he was the only remaining prophet of G-d, and the enemies of G-d sought to take away his life.

In reply, G-d told him to step outside and stand on the mountainside. Elijah did so, and G-d manifested Himself to him. At first a great and strong wind rocked the mountain.

He Stood Up for Pure Worship

But G-d was not in the wind. Then came an earthquake; but G-d was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came fire; but G-d was not in the fire. Then Elijah heard a still, soft whisper, and he covered his face with his mantle and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then G-d instructed him as to his work. Elijah was to go to Damascus and anoint Hazael, who was to be king over Syria.

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