Eliijah And The Priests

Eliijah And The Priests

AND it came to pass after many days,  
that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year of the famine,  
saying: "Go and show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth."
And Elijah went to show himself to king Ahab.

When king Ahab saw Elijah, he said to him: "Are you the man who troubles Israel?"
Elijah answered: "It is not I who have troubled Israel, but you and your father's house,
by forsaking the commandments of the Lord and following Baalim.
"Now send out and gather together all Israel at Mount Carmel,
and the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal,
and the four hundred prophets of the groves who eat at queen Jezebel's table."

So Ahab sent word to all the children of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel.
Then Elijah came before all the people and said: "How long will you waver between two beliefs? If the Lord is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him."

The people answered not a word.
Then Elijah said to the people: "I, and I alone, remain a prophet of the Lord,
but the prophets of Baal are four hundred and fifty men.
Let them, then, get us two young bulls and let them choose one bull for themselves,
and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it.
And I will dress the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire under it.
"Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord,
and the God that answers with fire, let him be God."

And all the people answered and said: "It is well spoken."
Elijah said to the prophets of Baal: "Choose one bull for yourselves and dress it first,
for there are many of you.
Call on the name of your gods, but do not put any fire under it."
They took the bull which was given them,
and they dressed it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying: "O Baal, hear us."
But there was no voice nor any answer, though they leaped upon the altar they had made.

At noon Elijah mocked them and said: "Cry aloud, for he is a god.
Either he is talking, or he is busy, or he is on a journey,
or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened."
They cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances,
until the blood gushed out upon their robes.
When midday was past, they worshipped before the altar until time for the evening sacrifice, and still there was neither a voice nor any answer nor any sign that their gods had heard them.

Then Elijah said to all the people: "Come near to me."


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