3 Kingdoms 18
Elijah’s Word to Ahab
1 It came to pass many days later, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah, saying, “Go and appear to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth.”†
2 So Elijah went and appeared to Ahab, and there was a severe famine in Samaria.†
3 Then Ahab called Obadiah, who was in charge of his house. Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly.†
4 For when Jezebel massacred the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them, fifty to a cave, and fed them with bread and water.
5 So Ahab said to Obadiah, “Let us go into the land, to the springs of water and brooks. Perhaps we will find grass to keep the horses and mules alive, so none of the livestock dies.”
6 So to explore it, they divided the path between them. Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.
7 Now Obadiah was alone on his way, and Elijah came alone to meet him. Obadiah quickly fell on his face in Elijah’s presence and said, “My lord Elijah, is that you?”†
8 Elijah replied, “It is I; go, tell your master, ‘Behold, Elijah is here.’ ”
9 So Obadiah said, “What sin did I commit for you to give me, your servant, into the hand of Ahab to put me to death?
10 As the Lord your God lives, there is not a nation or kingdom where my master has not sent to hunt you. If they said, ‘He is not here,’ then he set fire to the kingdom and its territories, because he did not find you.
11 So now you say to me, ‘Go, tell your master, “Behold, Elijah is here’ ”!
12 But if I so do, it shall come to pass, when I leave you, the Spirit of the Lord shall carry you to a land I do not know. Moreover, when I go and report this to Ahab, he will kill me. Yet your servant fears the Lord from his youth.†
13 Was it not reported to you, my lord, as to what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid one hundred men of the Lord’s prophets, fifty to a cave, and fed them with bread and water?
14 But now you say to me, ‘Go, tell your master, “Behold, Elijah is here,’ ” but he will kill me.”
15 Then Elijah said, “As the Lord of hosts lives before whom I stand, today I will appear to him.”†
16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab ran out and went to meet Elijah.
17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Are you the one who is troubling Israel?”†
18 Elijah answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but rather you and the house of your father, in that you forsook the Lord your God and followed after the Baals.
19 Now therefore, send and gather all Israel to me on Mount Carmel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of shame, and the four hundred prophets of the sacred groves who eat at Jezebel’s table.”†
The Victory over Baal
20 So Ahab went back to Israel and gathered all the prophets on Mount Carmel.
21 Then Elijah came near to all of them and said, “How long will you be undecided between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him, but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer.†
22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone remain as a prophet of the Lord, but there are four hundred and fifty men who are prophets of Baal and four hundred prophets of the sacred groves.
23 Let them give us two oxen. Then let them choose one bull for themselves, to be cut into pieces and laid on the wood; but they shall not light a fire under it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood; and I will not light a fire under it.
24 Then you will call loudly on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord, my God. So it shall come to pass that the God who answers by fire, He is God.” So all the people answered and said, “The word you have spoken is good.”
25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of shame, “Choose one calf for yourselves and prepare it, for there are many of you. Then call on the name of your god, but do not put fire to the wood under it.”
26 So they took a calf and prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “Hear us, O Baal, hear us.” But there was no voice, for no one answered, and they ran about the altar they had made.
27 Then it came to pass at noon that Elijah the Tishbite mocked them and said, “Cry out with a loud voice, for he is a god; for either he is away meditating, or he is too busy, or preoccupied with other business. Perhaps he is sleeping and has need to be awakened from his nap.”
28 So they cried aloud and cut themselves with knives and lances, as is their custom, until blood gushes forth.
29 They prophesied until early evening, until the appointed time to offer the evening sacrifice. But even still, there was no voice. Finally, Elijah the Tishbite spoke to the prophets of the idols, saying, “Now remove yourselves from this place, for I will offer my whole burnt offering.” And they turned away and departed.
30 Then Elijah said to the people, “Come near me.” So all the people came near to him.
31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of Israel, for the Lord said, “Israel shall be your name.”
32 Then he built an altar with the stones in the name of the Lord, and he repaired the altar of sacrifice that was scattered about, and around the altar he made a furrow holding two measures of seed.
33 He piled the firewood on the altar he had made, divided the whole burnt offering, laid it on the firewood, and laid it in order on the altar.
34 Then he said, “Bring me four pots of water, and pour it on the whole burnt offering and pour it on the unlit firewood.” They did so. Again Elijah said, “Do it a second time.” So they did it again. Again he said, “Do it a third time.” So they did it a third time.
35 And the water ran all about the altar, and even the furrow became filled with water.
36 After this, Elijah cried out to heaven and said, “O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, answer me, O Lord, answer me this day with fire, and let this people know You are the God of Israel, and I am Your servant; and for Your sake I do all these works.
37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me with fire, and let these people know You are the Lord God, so as turn the heart of this people back.”
38 Then fire fell from the Lord out of the heaven and consumed the whole burnt offering, the firewood, and the water in the furrow. The fire also licked up the stones and the soil.
39 So all the people fell on their faces, and they said, “Truly, the Lord is God; He is God.”
40 Elijah then said to the people, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Let not one of them escape.” So they seized them, and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon, where he slaughtered them.
End of the Drought
41 After this, Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up and eat and drink, for there is a sound of rain.”
42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, where he bowed down on the ground and put his face between his knees.
43 He said to his servant, “Go up and look toward the sea.” So the servant went up, and looked and said, “There is nothing.” Then Elijah said, “Go again seven times, and return to me seven times.”
44 So it came to pass that on the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud, like the footprint of a man, bringing up water.” So Elijah said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Make ready your chariot and get down from here before the rain overcomes you.’ ”
45 Thus it came to pass that the sky darkened with black clouds and wind, and there was a heavy downpour of rain. But Ahab mourned and went to Jezreel.
46 Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins and ran ahead of Ahab as far as Jezreel.
1 A prayer of Moses, a man of God. †O Lord, You became a refuge to us in generation and generation;
2 Before the mountains were made, And before the earth and the world were formed, And from everlasting to everlasting, You are.
3 Do not let man be turned back to humiliation, And You said, “Return, you sons of men.”
4 For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday, which passed, And like a watch in the night.
5 Years shall be objects of contempt to them; In the morning let man pass by like grass;
6 In the morning let him blossom, and pass by; In the evening let him fall off, be dried up and withered.
7 For we fainted in Your wrath, And in Your wrath we were troubled.
8 You set our transgressions before You, Our time in the light of Your face.
9 For all our days failed, And in Your wrath we fainted; Our years were spent in thought like a spider.
10 As for the days of our years, their span is seventy years, But if we stay strong, perhaps eighty; And most of them are labor and pain; For meekness came upon us, and we shall be chastened.
11 Who knows the power of Your wrath, And who knows Your anger because of Your fear?
12 So make known Your right hand to us, that we may number our days, And our heart may be bound with wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord; how long? And be entreated concerning Your servants.
14 We were filled with Your mercy in the morning, And in all our days we greatly rejoiced and were glad;
15 Gladden us in return for the days You humbled us, For the years we saw evil things.
16 And behold Your servants and Your works, And guide their sons;
17 And let the brightness of the Lord our God be upon us, And prosper for us the works of our hands.
Proverbs of Solomon 19
13 A son without discernment is a disgrace to his father, And vows paid from the wage of a prostitute are not pure.
14 Fathers divide the house and property to their children, But a wife is suited to her husband by God.
15 Cowardice possesses a weak man, And the soul of the idle man will be hungry.†
16 He who guards the commandment keeps his soul, But he who despises his ways shall perish.
17 The one who has mercy on the poor lends to God, And He will repay him according to his gift.†
18 Instruct your son, for thus he shall be hopeful, But do not lift up your soul in arrogance.
A Man Healed on the Sabbath
1 Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely.†
2 And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy.
3 And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
4 But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go.
5 Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?”
6 And they could not answer Him regarding these things.
7 So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them:†
8 “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him;
9 and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.
10 But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you.
11 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Be Hospitable to the Lowly
12 Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.†
13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.
14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
Worldly Entanglements, Poor Excuses
15 Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!”†
16 Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many,†
17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’
18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’†
19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’
20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’
21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’†
22 And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’
23 Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ ”