I Kings 18
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Much later, in the third year, the word of Hashem came to Eliyahu: “Go, appear before Achav; then I will send rain upon the earth.”

א  וַיְהִי יָמִים רַבִּים וּדְבַר־יְהוָה הָיָה אֶל־אֵלִיָּהוּ בַּשָּׁנָה הַשְּׁלִישִׁית לֵאמֹר לֵךְ הֵרָאֵה אֶל־אַחְאָב וְאֶתְּנָה מָטָר עַל־פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה׃

2  Thereupon Eliyahu set out to appear before Achav.The famine was severe in Shomron.

ב  וַיֵּלֶךְ אֵלִיָּהוּ לְהֵרָאוֹת אֶל־אַחְאָב וְהָרָעָב חָזָק בְּשֹׁמְרוֹן׃

3  Achav had summoned Ovadya, the steward of the palace. (Ovadya revered Hashem greatly.

ג  וַיִּקְרָא אַחְאָב אֶל־עֹבַדְיָהוּ אֲשֶׁר עַל־הַבָּיִת וְעֹבַדְיָהוּ הָיָה יָרֵא אֶת־יְהוָה מְאֹד׃

4  When Jezebel was killing off the Neviim of Hashem, Ovadya had taken a hundred Neviim and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and provided them with food and drink.)

ד  וַיְהִי בְּהַכְרִית אִיזֶבֶל אֵת נְבִיאֵי יְהוָה וַיִּקַּח עֹבַדְיָהוּ מֵאָה נְבִאִים וַיַּחְבִּיאֵם חֲמִשִּׁים אִישׁ בַּמְּעָרָה וְכִלְכְּלָם לֶחֶם וָמָיִם׃

5  And Achav had said to Ovadya, “Go through the land, to all the springs of water and to all the wadis. Perhaps we shall find some grass to keep horses and mules alive, so that we are not left without beasts.”

ה  וַיֹּאמֶר אַחְאָב אֶל־עֹבַדְיָהוּ לֵךְ בָּאָרֶץ אֶל־כָּל־מַעְיְנֵי הַמַּיִם וְאֶל כָּל־הַנְּחָלִים אוּלַי נִמְצָא חָצִיר וּנְחַיֶּה סוּס וָפֶרֶד וְלוֹא נַכְרִית מֵהַבְּהֵמָה׃

6  They divided the country between them to explore it, Achav going alone in one direction and Ovadya going alone in another direction.

ו  וַיְחַלְּקוּ לָהֶם אֶת־הָאָרֶץ לַעֲבָר־בָּהּ אַחְאָב הָלַךְ בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶחָד לְבַדּוֹ וְעֹבַדְיָהוּ הָלַךְ בְּדֶרֶךְ־אֶחָד לְבַדּוֹ׃

7  Ovadya was on the road, when Eliyahu suddenly confronted him. [Ovadya] recognized him and flung himself on his face, saying, “Is that you, my lord Eliyahu?”

ז  וַיְהִי עֹבַדְיָהוּ בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְהִנֵּה אֵלִיָּהוּ לִקְרָאתוֹ וַיַּכִּרֵהוּ וַיִּפֹּל עַל־פָּנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הַאַתָּה זֶה אֲדֹנִי אֵלִיָּהוּ׃

8  “Yes, it is I,” he answered. “Go tell your lord: Eliyahu is here!”

ח  וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אָנִי לֵךְ אֱמֹר לַאדֹנֶיךָ הִנֵּה אֵלִיָּהוּ׃

9  But he said, “What wrong have I done, that you should hand your servant over to Achav to be killed?

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר מֶה חָטָאתִי כִּי־אַתָּה נֹתֵן אֶת־עַבְדְּךָ בְּיַד־אַחְאָב לַהֲמִיתֵנִי׃

10  As Hashem your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom to which my lord has not sent to look for you; and when they said, ‘He is not here,’ he made that kingdom or nation swear that you could not be found.

י  חַי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אִם־יֶשׁ־גּוֹי וּמַמְלָכָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא־שָׁלַח אֲדֹנִי שָׁם לְבַקֶּשְׁךָ וְאָמְרוּ אָיִן וְהִשְׁבִּיעַ אֶת־הַמַּמְלָכָה וְאֶת־הַגּוֹי כִּי לֹא יִמְצָאֶכָּה׃

11  And now you say, ‘Go tell your lord: Eliyahu is here!’

יא  וְעַתָּה אַתָּה אֹמֵר לֵךְ אֱמֹר לַאדֹנֶיךָ הִנֵּה אֵלִיָּהוּ׃

12  When I leave you, the spirit of Hashem will carry you off I don’t know where; and when I come and tell Achav and he does not find you, he will kill me. Yet your servant has revered Hashem from my youth.

יב  וְהָיָה אֲנִי אֵלֵךְ מֵאִתָּךְ וְרוּחַ יְהוָה יִשָּׂאֲךָ עַל אֲשֶׁר לֹא־אֵדָע וּבָאתִי לְהַגִּיד לְאַחְאָב וְלֹא יִמְצָאֲךָ וַהֲרָגָנִי וְעַבְדְּךָ יָרֵא אֶת־יְהוָה מִנְּעֻרָי׃

13  My lord has surely been told what I did when Jezebel was killing the Neviim of Hashem, how I hid a hundred of the Neviim of Hashem, fifty men to a cave, and provided them with food and drink.

יג  הֲלֹא־הֻגַּד לַאדֹנִי אֵת אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂיתִי בַּהֲרֹג אִיזֶבֶל אֵת נְבִיאֵי יְהוָה וָאַחְבִּא מִנְּבִיאֵי יְהוָה מֵאָה אִישׁ חֲמִשִּׁים חֲמִשִּׁים אִישׁ בַּמְּעָרָה וָאֲכַלְכְּלֵם לֶחֶם וָמָיִם׃

14  And now you say, ‘Go tell your lord: Eliyahu is here.’ Why, he will kill me!”

יד  וְעַתָּה אַתָּה אֹמֵר לֵךְ אֱמֹר לַאדֹנֶיךָ הִנֵּה אֵלִיָּהוּ וַהֲרָגָנִי׃

15  Eliyahu replied, “As God of Hosts lives, whom I serve, I will appear before him this very day.”

טו  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלִיָּהוּ חַי יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת אֲשֶׁר עָמַדְתִּי לְפָנָיו כִּי הַיּוֹם אֵרָאֶה אֵלָיו׃

16  Ovadya went to find Achav, and informed him; and Achav went to meet Eliyahu.

טז  וַיֵּלֶךְ עֹבַדְיָהוּ לִקְרַאת אַחְאָב וַיַּגֶּד־לוֹ וַיֵּלֶךְ אַחְאָב לִקְרַאת אֵלִיָּהוּ׃

17  When Achav caught sight of Eliyahu, Achav said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Yisrael?”

יז  וַיְהִי כִּרְאוֹת אַחְאָב אֶת־אֵלִיָּהוּ וַיֹּאמֶר אַחְאָב אֵלָיו הַאַתָּה זֶה עֹכֵר יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

18  He retorted, “It is not I who have brought trouble on Yisrael, but you and your father’s House, by forsaking the commandments of Hashem and going after the Baalim.

יח  וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא עָכַרְתִּי אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי אִם־אַתָּה וּבֵית אָבִיךָ בַּעֲזָבְכֶם אֶת־מִצְוֺת יְהוָה וַתֵּלֶךְ אַחֲרֵי הַבְּעָלִים׃

19  Now summon all Yisrael to join me at Mount Carmel, together with the four hundred and fifty Neviim of Baal and the four hundred Neviim of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

יט  וְעַתָּה שְׁלַח קְבֹץ אֵלַי אֶת־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־הַר הַכַּרְמֶל וְאֶת־נְבִיאֵי הַבַּעַל אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת וַחֲמִשִּׁים וּנְבִיאֵי הָאֲשֵׁרָה אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת אֹכְלֵי שֻׁלְחַן אִיזָבֶל׃

20  Achav sent orders to all the Israelites and gathered the Neviim at Mount Carmel.

כ  וַיִּשְׁלַח אַחְאָב בְּכָל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּקְבֹּץ אֶת־הַנְּבִיאִים אֶל־הַר הַכַּרְמֶל׃

21  Eliyahu approached all the people and said, “How long will you keep hopping between two opinions? If Hashem is Hashem, follow Him; and if Baal, follow him!” But the people answered him not a word.

כא  וַיִּגַּשׁ אֵלִיָּהוּ אֶל־כָּל־הָעָם וַיֹּאמֶר עַד־מָתַי אַתֶּם פֹּסְחִים עַל־שְׁתֵּי הַסְּעִפִּים אִם־יְהוָה הָאֱלֹהִים לְכוּ אַחֲרָיו וְאִם־הַבַּעַל לְכוּ אַחֲרָיו וְלֹא־עָנוּ הָעָם אֹתוֹ דָּבָר׃

22  Then Eliyahu said to the people, “I am the only Navi of Hashem left, while the Neviim of Baal are four hundred and fifty men.

כב  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלִיָּהוּ אֶל־הָעָם אֲנִי נוֹתַרְתִּי נָבִיא לַיהוָה לְבַדִּי וּנְבִיאֵי הַבַּעַל אַרְבַּע־מֵאוֹת וַחֲמִשִּׁים אִישׁ׃

23  Let two young bulls be given to us. Let them choose one bull, cut it up, and lay it on the wood, but let them not apply fire; I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, and will not apply fire.

כג  וְיִתְּנוּ־לָנוּ שְׁנַיִם פָּרִים וְיִבְחֲרוּ לָהֶם הַפָּר הָאֶחָד וִינַתְּחֻהוּ וְיָשִׂימוּ עַל־הָעֵצִים וְאֵשׁ לֹא יָשִׂימוּ וַאֲנִי אֶעֱשֶׂה אֶת־הַפָּר הָאֶחָד וְנָתַתִּי עַל־הָעֵצִים וְאֵשׁ לֹא אָשִׂים׃

24  You will then invoke your god by name, and I will invoke Hashem by name; and let us agree: the god who responds with fire, that one is Hashem.” And all the people answered, “Very good!”

כד  וּקְרָאתֶם בְּשֵׁם אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וַאֲנִי אֶקְרָא בְשֵׁם־יְהוָה וְהָיָה הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר־יַעֲנֶה בָאֵשׁ הוּא הָאֱלֹהִים וַיַּעַן כָּל־הָעָם וַיֹּאמְרוּ טוֹב הַדָּבָר׃

25  Eliyahu said to the Neviim of Baal, “Choose one bull and prepare it first, for you are the majority; invoke your god by name, but apply no fire.”

כה  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלִיָּהוּ לִנְבִיאֵי הַבַּעַל בַּחֲרוּ לָכֶם הַפָּר הָאֶחָד וַעֲשׂוּ רִאשֹׁנָה כִּי אַתֶּם הָרַבִּים וְקִרְאוּ בְּשֵׁם אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וְאֵשׁ לֹא תָשִׂימוּ׃

26  They took the bull that was given them; they prepared it, and invoked Baal by name from morning until noon, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no sound, and none who responded; so they performed a hopping dance about the altar that had been set up.

כו  וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת־הַפָּר אֲשֶׁר־נָתַן לָהֶם וַיַּעֲשׂוּ וַיִּקְרְאוּ בְשֵׁם־הַבַּעַל מֵהַבֹּקֶר וְעַד־הַצָּהֳרַיִם לֵאמֹר הַבַּעַל עֲנֵנוּ וְאֵין קוֹל וְאֵין עֹנֶה וַיְפַסְּחוּ עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה׃

27  When noon came, Eliyahu mocked them, saying, “Shout louder! After all, he is a god. But he may be in conversation, he may be detained, or he may be on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and will wake up.”

כז  וַיְהִי בַצָּהֳרַיִם וַיְהַתֵּל בָּהֶם אֵלִיָּהוּ וַיֹּאמֶר קִרְאוּ בְקוֹל־גָּדוֹל כִּי־אֱלֹהִים הוּא כִּי שִׂיחַ וְכִי־שִׂיג לוֹ וְכִי־דֶרֶךְ לוֹ אוּלַי יָשֵׁן הוּא וְיִקָץ׃

28  So they shouted louder, and gashed themselves with knives and spears, according to their practice, until the blood streamed over them.

כח  וַיִּקְרְאוּ בְּקוֹל גָּדוֹל וַיִּתְגֹּדְדוּ כְּמִשְׁפָּטָם בַּחֲרָבוֹת וּבָרְמָחִים עַד־שְׁפָךְ־דָּם עֲלֵיהֶם׃

29  When noon passed, they kept raving until the hour of presenting the meal offering. Still there was no sound, and none who responded or heeded.

כט  וַיְהִי כַּעֲבֹר הַצָּהֳרַיִם וַיִּתְנַבְּאוּ עַד לַעֲלוֹת הַמִּנְחָה וְאֵין־קוֹל וְאֵין־עֹנֶה וְאֵין קָשֶׁב׃

30  Then Eliyahu said to all the people, “Come closer to me”; and all the people came closer to him. He repaired the damaged mizbayach of Hashem.

ל  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלִיָּהוּ לְכָל־הָעָם גְּשׁוּ אֵלַי וַיִּגְּשׁוּ כָל־הָעָם אֵלָיו וַיְרַפֵּא אֶת־מִזְבַּח יְהוָה הֶהָרוּס׃

31  Then Eliyahu took twelve stones, corresponding to the number of the tribes of the sons of Yaakov—to whom the word of Hashem had come: “Yisrael shall be your name”

לא  וַיִּקַּח אֵלִיָּהוּ שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה אֲבָנִים כְּמִסְפַּר שִׁבְטֵי בְנֵי־יַעֲקֹב אֲשֶׁר הָיָה דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר יִשְׂרָאֵל יִהְיֶה שְׁמֶךָ׃

32  and with the stones he built a mizbayach in the name of Hashem. Around the mizbayach he made a trench large enough for two se’eem of seed.

לב  וַיִּבְנֶה אֶת־הָאֲבָנִים מִזְבֵּחַ בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה וַיַּעַשׂ תְּעָלָה כְּבֵית סָאתַיִם זֶרַע סָבִיב לַמִּזְבֵּחַ׃

33  He laid out the wood, and he cut up the bull and laid it on the wood.

לג  וַיַּעֲרֹךְ אֶת־הָעֵצִים וַיְנַתַּח אֶת־הַפָּר וַיָּשֶׂם עַל־הָעֵצִים׃

34  And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it over the burnt offering and the wood.” Then he said, “Do it a second time”; and they did it a second time. “Do it a third time,” he said; and they did it a third time.

לד  וַיֹּאמֶר מִלְאוּ אַרְבָּעָה כַדִּים מַיִם וְיִצְקוּ עַל־הָעֹלָה וְעַל־הָעֵצִים וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁנוּ וַיִּשְׁנוּ וַיֹּאמֶר שַׁלֵּשׁוּ וַיְשַׁלֵּשׁוּ׃

35  The water ran down around the mizbayach, and even the trench was filled with water.

לה  וַיֵּלְכוּ הַמַּיִם סָבִיב לַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְגַם אֶת־הַתְּעָלָה מִלֵּא־מָיִם׃

36  When it was time to present the meal offering, the NaviEliyahu came forward and said, “Hashem, God of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yisrael! Let it be known today that You are Hashem in Yisrael and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your bidding.

לו  וַיְהִי בַּעֲלוֹת הַמִּנְחָה וַיִּגַּשׁ אֵלִיָּהוּ הַנָּבִיא וַיֹּאמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיִשְׂרָאֵל הַיּוֹם יִוָּדַע כִּי־אַתָּה אֱלֹהִים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וַאֲנִי עַבְדֶּךָ ובדבריך [וּבִדְבָרְךָ] עָשִׂיתִי אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה׃

37  Answer me, Hashem, answer me, that this people may know that You, Hashem, are Hashem; for You have turned their hearts backward.”

לז  עֲנֵנִי יְהוָה עֲנֵנִי וְיֵדְעוּ הָעָם הַזֶּה כִּי־אַתָּה יְהוָה הָאֱלֹהִים וְאַתָּה הֲסִבֹּתָ אֶת־לִבָּם אֲחֹרַנִּית׃

38  Then fire from Hashem descended and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the earth; and it licked up the water that was in the trench.

va-ti-POL aysh a-do-NAI va-TO-khal et ha-o-LAH v’-et ha-ay-TZEEM v’-et ha-a-va-NEEM v’-et he-a-FAR v’-et ha-MA-yim a-sher ba-t’-a-LAH li-KHAY-khah

לח  וַתִּפֹּל אֵשׁ־יְהוָה וַתֹּאכַל אֶת־הָעֹלָה וְאֶת־הָעֵצִים וְאֶת־הָאֲבָנִים וְאֶת־הֶעָפָר וְאֶת־הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר־בַּתְּעָלָה לִחֵכָה׃

18:38   Then fire from Hashem descended

In miraculous fashion, Hashem accepts the Prophet Eliyahu’s offerings. This may be surprising, as Eliyahu did not offer these sacrifices in the Beit Hamikdash in Yerushalayim, the only place Israelite sacrifice is allowed. His battle with the prophets of the Baal and his offerings to Hashem take place on Mount Carmel in northern Israel, near the Mediterranean coast and the modern city of Haifa). The Sages (Yevamot 90b) teach that this was an extraordinary case where, because of the danger of the people of Israel being lost to idolatry, Eliyahu the Prophet was permitted to temporarily suspend the law and offer a sacrifice outside of the Beit Hamikdash. As the offering is received and the Israelites accept Hashem’s rule, it becomes clear to see that he was right to do so. Sometimes, prophets demonstrate that extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary actions.

 Comment

39  When they saw this, all the people flung themselves on their faces and cried out: “Hashem alone is Hashem, Hashem alone is Hashem!”

לט  וַיַּרְא כָּל־הָעָם וַיִּפְּלוּ עַל־פְּנֵיהֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ יְהוָה הוּא הָאֱלֹהִים יְהוָה הוּא הָאֱלֹהִים׃

40  Then Eliyahu said to them, “Seize the Neviim of Baal, let not a single one of them get away.” They seized them, and Eliyahu took them down to the Wadi Kishon and slaughtered them there.

מ  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלִיָּהוּ לָהֶם תִּפְשׂוּ אֶת־נְבִיאֵי הַבַּעַל אִישׁ אַל־יִמָּלֵט מֵהֶם וַיִּתְפְּשׂוּם וַיּוֹרִדֵם אֵלִיָּהוּ אֶל־נַחַל קִישׁוֹן וַיִּשְׁחָטֵם שָׁם׃

41  Eliyahu said to Achav, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a rumbling of [approaching] rain,”

מא  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלִיָּהוּ לְאַחְאָב עֲלֵה אֱכֹל וּשְׁתֵה כִּי־קוֹל הֲמוֹן הַגָּשֶׁם׃

42  and Achav went up to eat and drink. Eliyahu meanwhile climbed to the top of Mount Carmel, crouched on the ground, and put his face between his knees.

מב  וַיַּעֲלֶה אַחְאָב לֶאֱכֹל וְלִשְׁתּוֹת וְאֵלִיָּהוּ עָלָה אֶל־רֹאשׁ הַכַּרְמֶל וַיִּגְהַר אַרְצָה וַיָּשֶׂם פָּנָיו בֵּין ברכו [בִּרְכָּיו׃]

43  And he said to his servant, “Go up and look toward the Sea.” He went up and looked and reported, “There is nothing.” Seven times [Eliyahu] said, “Go back,”

מג  וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־נַעֲרוֹ עֲלֵה־נָא הַבֵּט דֶּרֶךְ־יָם וַיַּעַל וַיַּבֵּט וַיֹּאמֶר אֵין מְאוּמָה וַיֹּאמֶר שֻׁב שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים׃

44  and the seventh time, [the servant] reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising in the west.” Then [Eliyahu] said, “Go say to Achav, ‘Hitch up [your chariot] and go down before the rain stops you.’”

מד  וַיְהִי בַּשְּׁבִעִית וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה־עָב קְטַנָּה כְּכַף־אִישׁ עֹלָה מִיָּם וַיֹּאמֶר עֲלֵה אֱמֹר אֶל־אַחְאָב אֱסֹר וָרֵד וְלֹא יַעַצָרְכָה הַגָּשֶׁם׃

45  Meanwhile the sky grew black with clouds; there was wind, and a heavy downpour fell; Achav mounted his chariot and drove off to Yizrael.

מה  וַיְהִי עַד־כֹּה וְעַד־כֹּה וְהַשָּׁמַיִם הִתְקַדְּרוּ עָבִים וְרוּחַ וַיְהִי גֶּשֶׁם גָּדוֹל וַיִּרְכַּב אַחְאָב וַיֵּלֶךְ יִזְרְעֶאלָה׃

46  The hand of Hashem had come upon Eliyahu. He tied up his skirts and ran in front of Achav all the way to Yizrael.

 

מו  וְיַד־יְהוָה הָיְתָה אֶל־אֵלִיָּהוּ וַיְשַׁנֵּס מָתְנָיו וַיָּרָץ לִפְנֵי אַחְאָב עַד־בֹּאֲכָה יִזְרְעֶאלָה׃

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I Kings 17
I Kings 19

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I Kings 18

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